Useful information
1. Contract stones and Otimäe stone burial place
2. Pühalepa church
3. Suuremõisa castle
4. Suursadam
5. Soera Farm Museum
6. Kärdla
7. Hill of Crosses
8. Tahkuna lighthouse
9. Reigi church
10. Kõrgessaare-Viskoosa
11. Kõpu lighthouse
12. Vanajõe Valley
13. Sõru harbour
14. Orjaku bird observation tower
15. Exhibits building of Hiiumaa museum in Kassari
16. Sääretirp
17. Kassari chapel and graveyard
18. Vaemla wool factory

Supported by European Union


Continue driving towards Emmaste. In about 20 km, turn right, or follow the sign to the Sõru harbour.

Photo: Tiit Leito
Photo: Tiit Leito /

Sõru has become an important place for tourism. For most people, it is simply a harbour with a connection to Saaremaa. But many historians associate the place with Sarwo that was first mentioned in the document on the partition of Hiiumaa from 1254. Until the 16th century, a small chapel stood on the shore. The next sanctuary was built by a Dutch shipbuilder and entrepreneur Erasmus Jacobsson Bloedysel in the 1690s. It ceased to be an active church only at the end of the 19th century - after the completion of the Emmaste church in 1867. In any case, there has been a harbour area on the Hiiumaa side of the Soela Strait for a long time, although shipbuilding as we know it today only began at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. This was the time when peasants started to be more involved in shipbuilding and seafaring; and also the Czarist Russia's interests towards the local areas grew at the same time. So the more important dredge and construction works in Sõru harbour were performed in the period before the World War I.

During the first decade of the independence era, Emmaste was famous for its numerous masters in various fields. The large families of Sõru seaside village must have had an important role considering this tendency. The sailing ship Alar was built in Õngu in the years from 1937 to 1939 and it stands in the harbour nowadays as a memorial to the seafaring history. Sõru had its own schoolhouse, chapel, and even a tavern. Sõru has suffered much as an area of strategic importance before and during World War II, when the coastal defence batteries of Tohvri were built. Many families had to leave their homes and find new places to live. The military constructions were not very useful, either. Maybe only that some locals were employed in the construction works; and those, interested in military history, can satisfy their curiosity in here now.

During the Soviet occupation period, the Sõru harbour was mainly Sõru harbour 32 known as a small fishing port and reception point for fish. In 1996 the connection with Saaremaa was restored again. People living around in Sõru could be characterised as active people in many ways. Sõru inhabitants even have their own consumer association and co-op.

A little museum to coastal culture and local village life helps revive memories of the old times. It was established on 12 May 1999.

The big harbour buildings are often adapted for bigger summer events. Midsummer fires on Sõru's beach are especially popular.


On your way to Sõru, the Mänspäe church or chapel is worth a visit.

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