South Estonia Tour is 11 days long and it starts and ends in Tallinn.
Day 1 – Tallinn
Our time spent in Tallinn will be depending on the arrival time at the airport. We will do as much sightseeing as possible.
Day 2 – Tartu
Today we will be driving to Tartu – the second largest town in Estonia. Tartu is a university town, a home to Estonia’s oldest university, established in 1632 by Swedish king Gustav II Adolf. We will explore this relaxing town by the river of Emajõgi with its green parks and charming historical parts. We will be staying overnight in Tartu.
Day 3 – Tartu and Alatskivi Castle
We will start the day with a drive towards east to Alatskivi. There we will visit the beautiful Alatskivi Castle and its surrounding parklands and nature walks. In the evening we will continue discovering Tartu and we will stay another night there.
Day 4 – Otepää and Pühajärv
Today we will drive further down south to Otepää – a small but significant town in many ways. Nowadays it is a well-known resort both in winter as well as in summer, nestled between the rolling hills and surrounded by numerous lakes and a sizable nature park. Pühajärv is the largest and arguably the most beautiful lake in the area, blessed by Dalai Lama in 1991. One of my (Marielle) favourite pastimes is to take a rowing boat and spend a leisurely day on the lake, stopping perhaps at the shore of one of its five islands… We will be staying overnight in Otepää.
Day 5 – Sangaste and Taagepera Castles
Today we will visit two romantic castles of Sangaste and Taagepera. One of them was built in Gothic style, another one in Art Nouveau style, both steeped in rich history, and surrounded by wonderful manor gardens and parks. We will stay overnight in Otepää.
Day 6 – Võru and Rõuge and Suur-Munamägi
Today we will visit a charming town of Võru and its surroundings. We will take a walk in lush Rõuge primeval valley. We will also take the lift up the tower of Estonian highest hill Suur-Munamägi where we can admire the view over these ancient lands. We will stay overnight in Otepää.
Day 7 – Vastseliina and Piusa
We will visit magnificent Vastseliina Episcopal Castle and its museum, dating back to the 14th century. It was serving as a border fortress between Russia and Europe until the end of the 17th century as well as being a destination for Catholic pilgrims. We will also visit popular Piusa Caves nature reserve, created as a quarry for quartz sand to make glass in 1920s. We will stay overnight in Otepää.
Day 8 – Taevaskoja and Mooste Manor
We will drive to Taevaskoja – Heaven’s Gate in Estonian. We will walk in this lovely natural area with ancient sandstone caves and forests. We will also visit beautiful Mooste Manor ensemble. We will stay overnight in Otepää.
Day 9 – Viljandi and Võrtsjärv
Today we will drive to Viljandi and visit this charming town, including Viljandi Museum and a stroll in the park with castle ruins. We will also see Võrtsjärv – the second largest lake in Estonia, and stop at its Visitor Centre in Vaibla village. We will stay overnight in Viljandi.
Day 10 – Soomaa National Park and Olustvere Manor
We will start the day with a drive to Soomaa National Park. We will walk in the pristine meadows, bogs and marches and forests, via boardwalks and suspension bridges, stopping at viewing towers. We will also visit a beautiful and very well preserved complex of Olustvere Manor with its various buildings and lovely gardens. We will stay overnight in Viljandi.
Day 11 – Driving back to Tallinn
Today we will say good bye to South Estonia and drive back to Tallinn. Depending on your flight schedule, we spend some time exploring Tallinn before we say good bye to each other…