The Sinimäed hills in Vaivara municipality are a landscape protection area.From east to west, the names of the low hills are Pargimägi (aka Lastekodumägi), Põrguaugumägi (aka Grenaderimägi) and Tornimägi (often simply identifi ed on maps as 69.9). The chain is approximately 4 km in length and rises up to 35 metres over the surrounding countryside, and as much as 50 metres if measured from the edge of the limestone bank. The northern slope of the hills is steep, especially that of Tornimägi.Though it is not yet completely certain how the hills were formed, geologists currently generally favour the theory that it was a combination of three forces: pressure from the Pärnu-Narva tectonic fault belt, migrating banks and blue clay.

Pargimägi (Park Hill, 85.2 m) also known as Lastekodumägi (Orphanage Hill) got its respective names from the park situated on the hill and the orphanage located in an old manse on Vaivara manor. Baron Konstantin Korff who acquired Vaivara manor in 1878 redesigned the manor building and was also responsible for establishing the park on the side of the hill. After Vaivara manor was nationalized, a home for children home was built there. As Soviet forces retreated in 1941, the property belonging to the children’s home was relocated and the young charges were evacuated to Russia; the house was set on fi re. In World War II, the brunt of the Soviet’ army’s major off ensive of 26 July 1944 was directed
first and foremost at Lastekodumägi.

Põrguaugumägi (Hell’s Hole Hill, 83.1 m) is known today more commonly as Grenaderimägi, as it was the scene of fi erce fi ghting in the summer of 1944 – 29 July 1944 was a decisive day in the battles in the Sinimäed. A memorial was completed on Põrguaugumägi in 2000: a 12-metre steel circle cross, is fl anked by monuments to units of the national forces. A segment of trench in the vicinity is an authentic part of the defensive line.

Tornimägi (Tower Hill, 70.6 m) marked on maps simply as 69.9 – legend has it that Russian forces built a high watchtower here around the time of the Great Northern War, a good place to keep an eye on the area. A triangulation tower stood on the hill in the 20th century. Towers have graced the hill for centuries and bestowed the name on it. During World War II, Tornimägi was the site of the central command centre for the forces stationed on the Sinimäed front.

The Utria (Udria) bank
is the easternmost end of the limestone cliff s that line the shores of the Gulf of Finland and are still lapped by the sea. East of here, the cliff s turn away from the sea and the long sandy beach of Narva-Jõesuu begins. The Utria area was placed under protection in 1939, when attention was devoted to Utria erratic boulder fi eld. Sited between sea and limestone bank, it is one of the most scenic and imposing of such formations in Estonia. A type of mini-ecosystem called the klint forest can be found growing at the foot of the bank and on the steeper ledges. The klint forest is like a northern jungle with dense growth of broad-leaved trees – grey alder, limes, elms and maples.

The Gulf of Finland is a shallow sea (an average depth of 36-40 m) but has a varying relief. Fluctuations in water level caused by strong west winds in the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland have occasionally resulted in catastrophic fl ooding in St. Petersburg. The fl ora and fauna of the Gulf of Finland are relatively species-poor. The primary fi sh species are sprat, Baltic herring and cod.