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www.visitestonia.com Estonia Estonia A A great great little little country country T R A V

www.visitestonia.com

Estonia Estonia

A A great great little little country country

TRAVEL GUIDE

IncludesIncludes 33 routeroute mapsmaps

P eople from larger countries may find it odd that there are in fact no

P eople from larger countries may find it odd that there are in fact no distant places in Estonia – one can travel from one end of the country to another in just four or five hours without having to rush.

another in just four or five hours without having to rush. And yet Estonia is larger

And yet Estonia is larger on the inside than on the outside, the “secret” well known and shared by the locals. It is quite unusual to find such a variety in landscapes, flora, seasons, weather and moods with- in only a couple of dozens of kilometres. At the same time the traveller in Estonia has plenty of space:

on the territory with a size comparable to that of Denmark or Holland there are four and twelve times

less inhabitants here, respectively.

E verything that you see while travelling around in Estonia is inseparable from our history. Estonians belong to the oldest peo- ples in Europe and were already living on the coasts of the Baltic Sea at the time when the first pyramids were erected in Egypt. Since the 13th century we have been invaded and ruled by Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles and Russians, but each one of them have left behind also something good. The Republic of Estonia was declared on 24 February, 1918, and for a couple of decades the people felt pride in their home country, work, children and achievements. The vile and destructive occupation by the Soviet Union which lasted half a century interrupted the natural development of many spheres of life in Estonia, which until then had been keeping up well with its northern neighbour Finland. In 1991 Estonians regained their independence in the course of the “Singing Revolution” and returned to their rightful place in Europe and the world.

M ost tourists who visit Estonia arrive first in Tallinn. Since this medieval Hanseatic town, the capital and the business and cultural centre of Estonia deserves a guidebook of its own (of which there are plenty available), we will cover only the

most important facts about Tallinn in this publication. First and foremost we will focus on interesting places, activities, food and culture in other parts of Estonia.

N orth Estonia – this is a mixture of colourful history and the dy- namic present time, contrasts in lifestyles and nature, a journey

from trendy Tallinn to the quiet of bogs and romantic fishing villages, an ascent from the primeval forest to the height of a limestone cliff and a view over the sea. South Estonia is unique and mysterious: the rich nature, lakes and hills of the heartland nourish the character of the hard-working country people, the nostalgic atmosphere of small towns and the academic-bohemian ambience of the university town Tartu. West Estonia is characterised by vast expanses of land, peace of mind and fresh sea air, bays abounding in birds, juniper fields, pine trees and people toughened by the sea breeze on the coast.

A fter having taken the chance to travel in the world after the re- gaining of independence, more and more Estonians spend their

summer holidays at home. What could serve as a better recommen- dation to a visitor? We wish that you will enjoy yourselves here are and leave Estonia richer – with new impressions and knowledge, and a warm feeling your hearts.

Estonia richer – with new impressions and knowledge, and a warm feeling your hearts. Vano Allsalu

Vano Allsalu

Your travel guide

Estonia richer – with new impressions and knowledge, and a warm feeling your hearts. Vano Allsalu

NORTH ESTONIA

Estonia

A great little country

Tallinn – a Hanseatic town

, the oldest capital in Northern

Europe, was put on the map for the

first time by Arabian geographer al-Idrisi in 1154. Tallinn’s Old Town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the best-preserved medieval town centres in Europe. It boasts a town wall with 26 defence towers, the Dominican St. Catherine’s Monastery founded in 1246, the 600-year-old Gothic Town Hall, the world’s oldest functioning phar- macy on the Town Hall Square and the 159 metres high Oleviste Church which was the highest structure in the world in the 16th century. Toompea Hill and the towers of Oleviste Church and the Town Hall offer breathtaking views over the Old Town. Toompea Castle, built in the 13th and 14th centuries, is the seat of the nation’s parliament and there flies Estonia’s “first flag” on top of Tall Hermann’s Tower.

T allinn

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T allinn is a dynamic city on the move. The medieval Old Town is not a mu-

seum, but a vibrant, living organism be-

Town is not a mu- seum, but a vibrant, living organism be- tween the harbour and
Town is not a mu- seum, but a vibrant, living organism be- tween the harbour and

tween the harbour and the new busi- ness district. The city centre with its cosy cafés, boutiques and art galleries beckons to take a stroll and explore the streets, to have a drink and a bite to eat, to party, and – why not – to shop. There is also the Estonian Open Air Museum which gives a glimpse of rural life, the Song Festival Grounds, Kadriorg Park and Castle, the Pirita Convent, romantic Nõmme, a garden town built under the pine trees in the 1930’s, and the distinc-

built under the pine trees in the 1930’s, and the distinc- tive wooden house districts of

tive wooden house districts of Kalamaja and Lilleküla.

INFO:

Tallinn Tourist Information Centre +372 645 7777 e-mail turismiinfo@tallinnlv.ee Tourist information centre in Tallinn port (Terminal A) +372 631 8321 e-mail port.tallinn@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.tourism.tallinn.ee | www.tallinn.ee/eng

Lahemaa and Kõrvemaa

W hen you drive from Tallinn to- wards Narva you will pass Saha-

Loo near Lake Maardu where the land has been cultivated for over 3,000 years.

there is the Rebala

Heritage Protection Area, by the muse- um of which lies the oldest known stone burial grounds in Estonia dating back to the 8th-7th centuries BC. Nearby are the

In Jõelähtme

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Kostivere karst area and Jägala Falls

largest in Estonia, which offer impressive sights during high water in spring and

autumn. Kiiu Tower

hold from the 16th century, houses a cafeteria and has given its name to a well-known Estonian li- queur.

, a vassal strong-

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E stonia’s largest national park, Lahe- maa, is famous for its rich nature,

cultural heritage and beautiful sights. The main attractions of Lahemaa are sandy beaches, enormous erratic boul- ders, mossy pine forests, over 200 spe- cies of birds and almost 900 different plants. The ancient Altja fishermen’s vil-

lage

coastal people in olden times and its

offers a glimpse into the life of

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in olden times and its offers a glimpse into the life of 5 Altja fishing village

Altja fishing village

genuine romantic aura is a real treat for an appreciative traveller. Near Altja you can take a walk along the wonderfully re-

which with

its numerous information boards also of- fers an educational experience. Among other things, you will find traces of elk, bear and wild boar, springs with crystal- clear water, windfalls, as well as dunes formed by the ancient sea: thousands of years ago waves of the Baltic Sea washed the shores here.

T he maritime museum in Käsmu

, where there

freshing Oandu forest trail

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“captains’ village”

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was a maritime school from 1884 to 1931, has exhibits on seafaring, fish-

school from 1884 to 1931, has exhibits on seafaring, fish- Palmse Manor ing and smuggling. In

Palmse Manor

ing and smuggling. In the 1920’s, the years of prohibition in Finland, the sea- men from the North Estonian coastal vil- lages helped to quench their kinsmen’s thirst by taking spirits across the bay in their boats under the cover of the night. Today drink and food are offered at the

, the 18th cen-

, the

colourful Altja Tavern

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tury rustic Viitna Tavern

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NORTH ESTONIA

popular Lamba-Ada Beach Bar in Vergi

and the stylish restaurant in Sagadi

Manor House.

M anors are undoubtedly one of the main attractions of Lahemaa. The

is home to a

forestry museum and hosts an annual in- ternational workshop on wood sculpting.

Palmse Manor

a palm house, houses the visitors’ centre of Lahemaa National Park, a museum in- troducing the life in the manor and a col- lection of antique cars. Beautiful views

situated on

the shore of a picturesque lake, and

on Kolga Manor

which was founded

, with a swan pond and

baroque Sagadi Manor

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open on Vihula Manor

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when Estonia was invaded by the Danes in the 13th century. Those interested in culture should visit the art museum in

Those interested in culture should visit the art museum in rock and dip the feet in

rock and dip the feet in the sea. The sea breeze, the sounds of screeching seagulls and a distant fishing boat are like a balm for any weary soul tired of hectic city life.

Silence and fresh air can be enjoyed in marshlands. For example, the Viru bog

which is surrounded by a pine forest

and has a boardwalk and a watchtower

is situated only 1 km from the Tallinn- Narva highway.

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is situated only 1 km from the Tallinn- Narva highway. 15 Kakerdaja Bog Jägala Falls Viinistu

Kakerdaja Bog

only 1 km from the Tallinn- Narva highway. 15 Kakerdaja Bog Jägala Falls Viinistu international interdisciplinary

Jägala Falls

Viinistu

international interdisciplinary art festi- val. There are around one hundred gi- ant boulders in Estonia that have a pe- rimeter of at least 25 metres and one- tenth of them are found on the nearby Pärispea Peninsula.

A traveller can also just stop the car

that each summer hosts an

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and take a walk in the woods or on the seashore, sit down on a sun-warmed

K õrvemaa is characterised by for- ests, bogs, mysterious forest lakes

and moors. North Kõrvemaa Landscape Protection Area with its centre in Aeg-

former

viidu

Soviet military polygon, and Kõrvemaa Landscape Protection Area with its centre

in Simisalu

landscapes remain pristine. Kõrvemaa is

a habitat for various protected bird spe-

cies including the golden eagle, the less-

make sure that the natural

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,

which

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includes

a

protected bird spe- cies including the golden eagle, the less- make sure that the natural 16

NORTH ESTONIA

er spotted eagle and the black stork, and

a number of fascinating plants.

I n northern Kõrvemaa one can hike along the nature study route of Pauk- järve, Jussi and Uuejärve. There are watchtowers on the Paukjärve glacial moraine and Venemägi. One of the most remarkable examples of untouched na-

bers, and you can try your hand at archery. Shenken- berg Tavern serves dishes made from recipes hundreds of years old.One of the most remarkable examples of untouched na- T he oldest traces of human inhabi-

T he oldest traces of human inhabi-

tation in Estonia, dating back more

than 10,000 years are found near Kunda

. The Kunda culture that existed fromdating back more than 10,000 years are found near Kunda 8,000 to 4,000 years BC was

8,000 to 4,000 years BC was based on hunting and fishing. Of domestic animals only the dog was known in those dis-

tant times, predating ancient Sumerian

or Egyptian cultures. When in Kunda, the Cement Museum is worth a visit:

cement manufacturing started here in

hous- 1870 and the first hydropower plant in

U ndoubtedly the biggest attraction in the area is the Ontika coast-

that runs for more

than 20 km between Saka and Toila. At its highest the cliff is 56 metres and presents breathtaking views of the Gulf

of Finland. Valaste

est waterfall in Estonia. One can admire it on a special viewing platform which also offers an excellent view on the 470

to 570 million-year-old amazing layers of rock. Limestone is Estonia’s national stone and the Ontika coastal limestone cliff is a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

N ortheast Estonia is a region full of contrasts where beautiful land-

scapes are side by side with industrial

locations such as the huge ashmounds

boasts the high-

al limestone cliff

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ture is the two-level Kakerdaja bog

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in

Albu in the southern part of Kõrvemaa.

Valgehobusemägi

ing and ski trails and a watchtower.

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Hill nearby has hik-

K õrvemaa also offers cultural experi- ences. The museum of A. H. Tamm-

saare, the great Estonian writer

a look at farm life in the past, hosts

, offersgreat Estonian writer a look at farm life in the past, hosts theatrical performances in the

theatrical performances in the summer, and is a starting point for nature hikes

in Kõrvemaa. Jäneda Manor

es a unique musical observatory of the composer Urmas Sisask. Popular eat- ing and partying places in Jäneda are Musta Täku Tall and the seafood restau- rant Suurvanker which is built on a huge horse carriage. In summertime tourists

and

can also visit Albu Manor House

admire its colourful wall paintings; near- by in Albu Toiduait you can have a bite to eat.

INFO:

Visitors’ Centre of Lahemaa National Park +372 329 5555 e-mail info@lahemaa.ee

WWW:

www.lahemaa.ee | www.l-virumv.ee

The coastal limestone cliff and Virumaa

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The coastal limestone cliff and Virumaa 21 22 Narva got its town rights in 1302, while

Narva

got its town rights in 1302,

while the original wooden stronghold

Tarvanpää was first described already in 1226 by the chronicler Latvian Henrik. Now there is a museum and an open air stage in the romantic ruins of the castle of the Teutonic knights, and next to it a recreational area with a windmill and a statue of aurochs, the symbol of Rakvere. The museum features exhibitions, tours to medieval horror and torture cham-

R akvere

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the Baltics was built in 1893. Nearby the

ruins of Toolse Order Castle the coast.

near Kunda on the Letipea

peninsula is the largest boulder in the

Northern European area that was cov- ered by huge ice sheets during the last Glacial Era. The perimeter of this giant rock is 49.6 metres and it weighs over 2,400 tons. A little more to the east you

will find Kalvi Manor

with splendid

sea views, fountains and a luxury restau-

is the location of a unique

rant. Purtse

stand on

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E halkivi

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that are the result of oil shale mining and

energy production, and the high chim- neys of power plants. To get a pano-

ramic view of the area climb to the top

of the Kukruse slagheap

throw away from the Tallinn-Narva high-

or-

ganises tours to the former underground mine where you can ride in a mine wag- on, try out mining tools and eat a miner’s

, a stone’s

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way. The Kohtla Oil Shale Museum

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lunch which is served right there.

Rakvere

Shale Museum 34 lunch which is served right there. Rakvere fortified dwelling house from the 16th

fortified dwelling house from the 16th century which is now a concert venue and a restaurant. You can take a stroll

in the protected parks of Aa Manor

, the latter of which is lo-

cated right on the seacoast and is rich in various plant species. It surrounded the former presidential summer residence which was destroyed in World War II.

or Toila-Oru

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Kohtla Oil Shale Museum

the former presidential summer residence which was destroyed in World War II. or Toila-Oru 29 30

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T he oldest written record on Jõhvi

, the county centre, dates back to

1241. With its sea views and Stalinist

buildings, Sillamäe

is a unique open

air museum of the Soviet industrial herit-

, which was once

called the baroque pearl of the Baltic Sea but was almost completely destroyed in 1944 by the Soviet air force, offers its

age in Estonia. Narva

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Soviet air force, offers its age in Estonia. Narva 35 36 37 visitors curious experiences. On

visitors curious experiences. On the bank

of the Narva River that has for centuries

been regarded as the border between the Eastern and Western civilisations stands the powerful Hermann Fortress. Now a museum, it faces Ivangorod Fortress on the opposite side of the Narva River. A few kilometres upstream is the historical Kreenholm Manufacture, one of the larg- est textile factories in Europe in the sec- ond half of the 19th century.

T he Pühtitsa Dormition Convent in

, established in 1891 is

the only Russian Orthodox cloister in Estonia and a destination for both pil- grims and curious travellers. In the dis- tant past it was the place of hiis, a sacred grove worshipped in Estonia’s ancient Taara religion. On the hillside there was

a sacrificial well. According to legends,

the hill itself was created by Kalevipoeg,

Kuremäe

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Kuremäe Convent

was created by Kalevipoeg, Kuremäe 38 Kuremäe Convent NORTH ESTONIA the epic Estonian hero. Eastern Virumaa

NORTH ESTONIA

the epic Estonian hero. Eastern Virumaa

is also the location of the Kurtna lake dis-

trict

covered mostly by pine forests is dotted with 40 larger and smaller lakes.

INFO:

Jõhvi Tourist Information Centre +372 337 0568 e-mail johvi@visitestonia.com Narva Tourist Information Centre +372 356 0184 e-mail narva@visitestonia.com Rakvere Tourist Information Centre +372 324 2734 e-mail rakvere@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.rakvere.ee | www.ida-viru.ee www.narva.ee | www.kaevanduspark.ee

West and South of Tallinn

where the hilly heath landscape| www.kaevanduspark.ee West and South of Tallinn T hose who do not want to leave Tallinn

T hose who do not want to leave Tallinn for too long will find plenty

do not want to leave Tallinn for too long will find plenty Saku Brewery training centre

Saku Brewery

training centre of the Soviet submarine

near

Paldiski were settled by Swedes in 1345 and were used by the Soviet air force for bombing practice in post-Second World War decades. In the Tallinn–Haapsalu direction the sites of interest are Vasa-

lemma Manor

that dates back to the 13th century

, the Padise Monastery

fleet. The beautiful Pakri islands

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48 , Harju-Madise Church overlooking the Pakri Bay 49 and Harju-Risti Church with
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, Harju-Madise Church overlooking the
Pakri Bay
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and Harju-Risti Church with

its unique steeple

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49 and Harju-Risti Church with its unique steeple 50 . to see within an hour’s drive

to see within an hour’s drive from the capital. There is Estonia’s largest brewery

in Saku

overview of the history of brewing; there is also a pub where you can have a meal and taste the local beer. About ten kilo-

there is a mo-

torcycle museum and the Vembu-tembu-

maa family amusement park.

are among the largest

in Estonia. Wonderful views open

from the 31-metre-high Türisalu lime-

stone cliff

cliff can be found on the Pakri Peninsula

dominated by a 54-metre-high light-

house and wind power generators. Pal-

diski

by the Soviet army, has remains of the naval fortress built by Peter the Great and the huge building of the former

, once turned into a closed townbuilt by Peter the Great and the huge building of the former . Another impressive coastal

. Another impressive coastal

metres away in Kurtna

, the museum of which gives an

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K eila Falls

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the way from Tallinn to Pärnu it

worth visiting the partially re-

stored Varbola Stronghold (first men-

tioned in 1212)

parts are the gateway, well, siege tow- er and some catapults. The settlement

is estimated to be as

old as 3,000 years. There are 11 places of ancient settlements, cult stones and

sacred groves in the area. Estonia’s oldest log road, dating back to the 3rd-4th cen- turies, can be found in the Heinasoo bog.

Tuhala, the largest karst area in Estonia

around Tuhala

. Among the restored

O

n

is

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Witch’s Well at Tuhala

bog. Tuhala, the largest karst area in Estonia around Tuhala . Among the restored O n
is best known by its Witch’s Well that gushes out water at the time of

is best known by its Witch’s Well that

gushes out water at the time of spring

and autumn floods as well as by a hid- den river that runs 1.5 kilometres un- derground.

P eople interested in manors should

, Kuu-

siku

. Those keen on

gardening should attend the flower fair in May in the Estonian “spring capital”

Türi

are the historical Nõmme Tavern (1786)

, Kadri Tare Cafeteria, the station res-

taurant Külla Jürile and Saara Kohvi- tuba, a café praising the work of sew- ing. Interesting fabric dolls and decora- tions can also be seen in the Resa Tiits- maa’s puppet room. And before leaving make sure you don’t miss the brightly coloured cock weathervane on top of Türi’s three-nave church.

N ow we are not far from the town

. The places to still hunger herethree-nave church. N ow we are not far from the town near the county centre Rapla

near the

county centre Rapla

certainly visit those at Alu

near the county centre Rapla certainly visit those at Alu , Valtu and Purila 57 53

, Valtu

the county centre Rapla certainly visit those at Alu , Valtu and Purila 57 53 56

and Purila

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53 56
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of Paide

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that is the heartland

of Estonia and the administrative cen- tre of Järvamaa. Paide, which became

a town in 1291, has several historical

monuments such as the octagonal gate tower of the order castle as well as a number of places for dining and recre- ation. Located halfway between Tallinn and Tartu, Paide is an excellent starting point for traveling south or north.

INFO:

Harju Tourist Information Centre +372 600 1333 e-mail harju@visitestonia.com Rapla Tourist Information Centre +372 489 4359 e-mail rapla@visitestonia.com Paide Tourist Information Centre +372 385 0400 e-mail paide@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.jarva.ee | www.tyri.ee

Things to do

T hose keen on holidays in nature will find various hiking routes, nature

trails, guided manor tours and horse- back riding trips in Lahemaa. There are

NORTH ESTONIA

also marked bicycle routes leading to sights of natural beauty and historical buildings. Recreation areas with places for campfire, shelters and other neces- sary amenities, as well as archaic-roman- tic huts and old farm houses for over- night stays are managed by the State Forest Management Centre RMK. A hike in a bog will definitely be an unforgetta-

ble experience: by walking along a safe boardwalk you can enjoy untouched pri- meval nature. In Rapla and Järva coun- ties you can go canoeing on the rivers of Jägala, Põltsamaa and Pärnu. For tips on equipment and guidance contact the ca-

noe and bike trip services in Tamselja

the Kõrve Centre

. In Western

or the hiking and

skiing centre in Kõrvemaa

Virumaa the rivers suitable for canoeing are Loobu, Kunda, Pedja and Valgejõgi.

60 ,
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,
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Kuusekännu Riding Farm 71 , Pallase Stables 8 , Arma Riding Farm 72 or Oru
Kuusekännu Riding Farm
71
, Pallase
Stables
8
, Arma Riding Farm
72
or Oru
Farm
73
in Western Virumaa. Kohala
Manor
74
offers riding for children on

Icelandic ponies. Golfers can enjoy their

favourite pastime on the Niitvälja

and

Suuresta

Sagadi Manor

and ATV tours, kayak tours to small is- lands off the northern coast, wind surf- ing and rafting possibilities, wall-climbing and go-kart racing on the tracks of Türi-

. There are nu-

Alliku

. There are 4×4 safaris

golf courses or practice at

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75 10
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10

and Araveteare 4 × 4 safaris golf courses or practice at 68 75 10 77 merous possibilities

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merous possibilities for hunting bear, elk, wild boar and other big game; archery

and bloodless hunting can be practiced

. Huntingbig game; archery and bloodless hunting can be practiced tourism is mainly organised by RMK. at

tourism is mainly organised by RMK.

at Saka Cliff Hotel & SPA

F or those who love animals there is Tallinn Zoo and Sillaotsa Farm

7

who love animals there is Tallinn Zoo and Sillaotsa Farm 7 A lthough the weather in

A lthough the weather in Estonia can be quite changeable, the beach

season usually kicks off in early June. Bathing in the sea is limited to July and August but lakes and shallow bays have warmer temperatures. But a high sea- son or not, Estonian beaches such as

, Salmistu

, Narva-Jõesuu

and the northern coast of Lake Peipsi offer nevertheless lots of atmosphere, fresh salty sea breeze, and an opportu- nity to be on one’s own. Those who seek fun and company should head for Pirita, Stroomi or Kakumäe beach in Tallinn.

Kloogarand

, Võsufor Pirita, Stroomi or Kakumäe beach in Tallinn. Kloogarand 63 66 , Kaberneeme , Vainupea 64

63 66
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66

, Kaberneeme

, Vainupea

64 67
64
67

P eople interested in horseback riding can choose between the Niitvälja

stables in Harju coun-

in Rapla

in Järvamaa,

or Ruilathe Niitvälja stables in Harju coun- in Rapla in Järvamaa, 69 ty, Maasikmäe Riding Farm county,

69
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ty, Maasikmäe Riding Farm

county, Jäneda Stables

70 21
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21

Museum

amusement park Vembu-tembumaa in

Kurtna

lines, an obstacle track and an outdoor

one can

indulge in all sorts of water activities all

year round. The spa resorts in Viimsi

Laulasmaa

sibilities to relax in pools, saunas and salt chambers as well as to enjoy massage and other treatments. Visitors who prefer rural holidays should visit the Väljaotsa farmhouse-spa with sauna and massage

offer the pos-

. In summer, the children’sfarmhouse-spa with sauna and massage offer the pos- 41 attracts visitors with trampo- 80 81 ,

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attracts visitors with trampo-

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,

grill. In the Keila aquapark

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and Toila

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pos- . In summer, the children’s 41 attracts visitors with trampo- 80 81 , grill. In

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NORTH ESTONIA

services 83 . One can relax in modern in- and places to go in Lahemaa,
services
83
. One can relax in modern in-
and places to go
in Lahemaa, Nõmme Tavern
87
in Rapla-
frared and steam saunas at Saka Cliff
maa and Musta Täku Tall
21
in Järvamaa
Hotel & SPA
78
, jump straight into icy
T allinn has many memorable dining es-
tablishments that offer either medie-
water from an archaic smoke sauna in
attract with excellent meals and the au-
thentic ambience of a country pub. At
Türi-Alliku
76
, visit a transparent plas-
val menus and atmosphere (Olde Hansa,
Peppersack), Estonian cuisine (Kuldse
trout farms at Hüüru
88
, Jõgisoo
89
, Veski-
tic sheet sauna at Vana-Veski Holiday
silla
76
and Vaikla
90
you can spend an
Notsu Kõrts, Vanaema Juures), Italian
Centre in Ussisoo
84
, enjoy a barrel sau-
na of Anne Holiday House
85
or test the
dishes (Bocca, Controvento), Russian
food (Nevskij, Troika), international and
heat of a very special sauna built inside
enjoyable day outdoors, catching fish and
having it prepared and cooked or smoked
on the spot.

a fire truck at Järva-Jaani

WWW:

www.retked.ee | www.ropeclimber.com www.egk-golf.ee | www.tallinnzoo.ee www.viimsitervis.ee | www.saka.ee www.laulasmaa.ee | www.toilasanatoorium.ee www.veskisilla.ee

86 .
86
.
| www.toilasanatoorium.ee www.veskisilla.ee 86 . modern cuisine (Pegasus, Novell), ex- clusive gourmet

modern cuisine (Pegasus, Novell), ex- clusive gourmet experience (Stenhus, Egoist) and much more. Party animals head for high-class nightclubs such as Privé, Moscow, Hollywood, BonBon, Parliament, etc. There is always some- thing different happening in places such as Von Krahl, LoveSexMoney, Levist Väljas (Out of Coverage), KuKu and Cultural Factory Polymer. Trend maga- zines praise Tallinn as a nightlife capi- tal in the Nordic countries. Yet there are plenty of possibilities for more peaceful activities and family vacations as well as space for wandering and meditating on one’s own.

D ining places with distinctive char- acter can also be found outside Tal-

linn. The taverns of Viitna

8
8

and Altja

5
5

T heatres, cinemas and museums make their best efforts to ensure a pleas-

ant stay in Tallinn. In Kadriorg Castle

one can enjoy classical painting and

make their best efforts to ensure a pleas- ant stay in Tallinn. In Kadriorg Castle one

NORTH ESTONIA

sculpture; in autumn 2005 the new contemporary art museum KUMU will open its doors in
sculpture; in autumn 2005 the new
contemporary art museum KUMU will
open its doors in Kadriorg. There is al-
ways something to see in the Tallinn Art
Hall, Rotermann’s Salt Storage, and the
Museum of Applied Arts and Design. The
numerous boutiques and galleries in the
Old Town are works of art in their own
right: here you can see exciting histor-
ical limestone interiors decorated with
murals, mixing boldly the ultramodern
and the archaic.
in Paide
59
, the Jäneda gardening and
where master craftsmen make beautiful
flower days
21
, the woman-carrying com-
handicrafts and where sometimes work-
petition in Müüriku
92
and watch bar-
shops are organised for tourists. The fa-
rel riding at Porkuni Lake
93
. Art lovers
will enjoy the Tallinn Print Triennial, the
vourites of visitors to Estonia are woollen
sweaters with colourful patterns, linen
Paide Limestone Festival
59
, the wood
garments, items made of juniper wood
sculpting festival Vambola Puu
51
, and
and articles of wrought iron.
the ceramics symposiums at Tohisoo
L ast but not least, one can visit the
Manor
94
. Katariina Guild in the Tallinn
motorcycle museum in Kurtna
41
,
Old Town, Puraviku Windmill’s Smithy
the firefighting museum in Järva-Jaani
55
, Atla Manor ceramics workshop
95
,
86
, the glass museum in Järvakandi
97
,
Kandlekoda
96
in Raplamaa and the
the cement museum in Kunda
24
and the
smithy at Palmse manor
are places
E stonia’s most famous festival is un-
questionably the National Song and
Estonian Broadcasting Museum
58
. When
Dance Festival which takes place every
five years. Summer events include the
Tallinn Old Town Days and the Medieval
Tallinn festival. There is also the Black
Nights Film Festival which takes place
in different places and at different times,
the jazz festival Jazzkaar, the new mu-
sic festival NYYD, the theatre festival
Baltoscandal, the church music festi-
in Tallinn, visit the History Museum in
the Old Town or the Estonian Open
Air Museum. Limestone and limestone
products are on display in the Porkuni
Limestone Museum in Lääne-Virumaa
93
and at the Gildemann’s dolomite centre
in Jalase
98
in Raplamaa.
WWW:
val in Rapla
57
and the folklore festival
Viru Säru
11
. For a different experience
www.opera.ee | www.concert.ee
www.ekm.ee | www.etdm.ee
www.evm.ee | www.eam.ee
www.svm.ee | www.bocca.ee
www.restoranpegasus.ee | www.egoist.ee
www.troika.ee | www.restoran.ee/viitna
you can visit the Viking Days in Käsmu
7
7

, the Türi Flower Festival

nurme Coopers’ Fair

, the Avi-

, the Masters’ Fairyou can visit the Viking Days in Käsmu 7 , the Türi Flower Festival nurme Coopers’

58
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9

Tartu and Lake Peipsi

10

M entioned for the first time in 1030,

is the centre of South

Estonia and the country’s second-largest town. Its pride is the University of Tartu, founded in 1632, whose academic staff has among other outstanding scholars in- cluded Karl Ernst von Baer, a pioneer of the theory of evolution and modern em- bryology, and Juri Lotman, the founder of structural semiotics. Tartu is also the birthplace of Estonian national literature

Tartu

1
1
also the birthplace of Estonian national literature Tartu 1 Tartu and journalism, and it hosted the

Tartu

and journalism, and it hosted the first na- tional song festival in 1869. The town’s most notable buildings are the main University building, St. John’s Church (1323), famous for its unique terracotta statues, and the Town Hall, which dates back to the 18th century.

W hen you take a walk in the dis- tinctly classical old town don’t

miss the famous statue of kissing stu- dents in front of the Town Hall or Tartu’s “Tower of Pisa”, the leaning building of the art museum by the Town Hall Square. Toomemägi, one of Tartu’s main landmarks, is an English-style park locat- ed on the site of the former Estonian stronghold. Toomemägi is known for its two bridges, the Devil’s Bridge and the Angel’s Bridge, the Observatory, and the ruins of Dome Church, which was the largest cathedral in Livonia when it was completed in the 15th century. At the foot of the hill you will find Wilde Pub with a cosy bookstore and the bronze figures of two prominent writ- ers: Estonian Eduard Vilde and British- Irish Oscar Wilde.

T he dominant element in Tartu is the Emajõgi River which divides the town into two parts and which used to be an important trade route in the past centuries. Within a walking dis-

SOUTH ESTONIA

tance from the city centre is Supilinn (Soup town), a picturesque and rath- er worn-out district of wooden hous-

es, with streets named after vegetables. Other districts worth seeing are Karlova, Tammelinn and Tähtvere.

A s you leave Tallinn towards Tartu

make a stopover in Põltsamaa

2 ,
2
,

Estonia’s wine capital. The local wines from apples and black currants are de- licious and certainly worth tasting. This small town has also a rose nursery and seventeen bridges. Near county centre

Jõgeva

, the winter residence of the

king of Sweden Karl XII during the Great Northern War. A legend says that the king personally planted a linden tree that is still growing in the local churchyard 300 years later.

E ndla Nature Reserve belongs to the list of wetlands of international impor-

tance under Ramsar Convention. Among other things it offers boat trips, study tours and an opportunity to climb the top of an observation tower right next to bog pools. Another interesting area is

se citadel

3 4
3
4

there are the ruins of the Laiu-

a i s se citadel 3 4 there are the ruins of the Laiu- Laiuse Vooremaa

Laiuse

Vooremaa with its picturesque drumlins formed by glacial drift and eight lakes full of fish. At the heart of Vooremaa

you will find Palamuse

with its parish

school museum, old vicarage and phar-

5
5

Võhandu River

macy buildings, a watermill, and an an- cient churchyard. The Luua Arboretum

houses around 750 different species

of trees and bushes, while the garden of

grows a wide selection

of herbs. Vooremaa is the home for Elist-

vere Animal Park

many local animals and birds.

F urther east there is Lake Peipsi, Europe’s fourth largest lake. The

mainly Russian settlements on the shores

that accommodates

Saare Manor

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6
7
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of the lake originate from religious refu-

gees who settled there in the 17th and

from religious refu- gees who settled there in the 17th and Onion beds at Lake Peipsi

Onion beds at Lake Peipsi

18th centuries. They were the so-called Old Believers who opposed the official

teachings of the Orthodox Church. These people live in unique one street villag-

es that stretch for miles. The museum in

collects and preserves every-

Kolkja

thing related to the Old Believers, and

a local restaurant offers authentic fish

and onion dishes. In Raja

pay a visit

to the monastery of Old Believers or go

swimming or fishing. Not far from the

shores of Peipsi lies Alatskivi Castle

in the middle of a nice deer garden. Life

seems to have stopped in Piirissaare

an island of fishermen and onion grow- ers. In summer you can get there by fer-

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12 ,
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,
have stopped in Piirissaare an island of fishermen and onion grow- ers. In summer you can

SOUTH ESTONIA

ry from Tartu. On the way to Peipsi great

views open on the vast expanse of Ema- jõe Suursoo Nature Protection Area on

both banks of the Emajõgi River.

INFO:

Tartu Tourist Information Centre +372 744 2111 e-mail tartu@visitestonia.com Palamuse Tourist Information Centre +372 776 8520 e-mail palamuse@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.tartu.ee | turism.tartumaa.ee www.jogevamv.ee

Põlvamaa and Setumaa

T he hilly landscapes of southern Estonia are punctuated by large and

small lakes, rivers, valleys, meadows cov- ered with scattered trees and forests, swamps and bogs. South of Tartu in the primeval valley of the Ahja River lies

Taevaskoda

with its 24 metres high

bare sandstone rocks that are 400 mil- lion years old. Taevaskoda is a popular destination for horseback riding. And if lucky, you may spot a rare kingfisher. In the Kiidjärve-Taevaskoja holiday area na-

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kingfisher. In the Kiidjärve-Taevaskoja holiday area na- 13 Akste ants’ protection area ture lovers should check

Akste ants’ protection area

ture lovers should check out the Akste

ants’ protection area, with its up to two metres high anthills, and the Kiidjärve water mill. In summertime it’s a pleas- ure to board the riverboat Lonny for a tour of the Saesaare water reservoir. An interesting hiking route and a watchtow- er help to discover Valgesoo Landscape

Protection Area

T he awesome sandstone vaults of

are worthy of

a church and are marked for safe ac-

14
14
15 .
15
.

the caves in Piusa

16
16
and are marked for safe ac- 14 15 . the caves in Piusa 16 43 metres),

43 metres), old mill sites, and beautiful meadows and forests.

one can find one of the

I oldest paper plants in Europe (found- ed in 1734) which is still working. There are more than 300 species of trees and bushes in the park of classical Sillapea

is

a small, peaceful town which emerged around the 16th century St. Mary’s Church. Other tourist attractions include the Intsikurmu song festival grounds, an impressive community centre, and the beach on the shore of an artificial lake.

eenikunno Landscape Protection

is a place to experienceshore of an artificial lake. eenikunno Landscape Protection Manor. The county capital Põlva n Räpina 17

Manor. The county capital Põlva

n Räpina

17
17
18
18

M

Area

Manor. The county capital Põlva n Räpina 17 18 M Area Meenikunno Landscape Protection Area the

Meenikunno Landscape Protection Area

the silence and tranquility of bogs, and

to admire Valgejärv (White Lake) which has the clearest water in Estonia, and

its sister Mustjärv (Black Lake) with its

dark waters. There are meteorite craters

hungry you can stop in Tiina’s Kitchen

in Veriora

I n the southeasternmost corner of Estonia is Setumaa, a region character-

ised by an interesting mixture of Estonian

and Russian cultures, which is inhabit- ed by native Setus who speak their own

dialect, difficult to understand by oth- er Estonians. Famous are Setu national

22 .
22
.
by oth- er Estonians. Famous are Setu national 22 . costumes, decorated with massive silver trappings,

costumes, decorated with massive silver trappings, and a special style of singing called leelo. Peko, the Setu god of fer- tility, belongs to an ancient religion that predates Christianity, and there are ar- chaic elements in the Setu way of life even today. You can get a good overview of the Setu culture at the Setu Kingdom Days, held annually in August, where among other things Peko’s representa- tive on earth is elected.

T he Setu Farm Museum in Värska

has many exhibits showing centu-

23
23

cess. This is one of the largest hiber-

in Ilumetsa

20
20

, the largest of which is

ries of farmhouse

nation locales for bats in northeast- ern Europe, which is why the caves are closed in winter. In the Piusa pottery, located in the former railway station, visitors can try their hand at ceramics. Further south is the protection area of

called the Hell’s Grave and is 80 me- tres across. Not far away are the Devil’s Grave and the Ghost’s Grave which, ac- cording to the locals, are shortcuts to Hell. Those with an interest in ecologi- cal tourism should visit Süvahavva (Deep

architecture, old tools, and samples of handicraft, and also serves tradi- tional Setu food. You can dine,

the Piusa River primeval valley that fea-

Grave) Nature Farm

21
21

, which organises

bathe and, for ex-

tures huge exposed sandstone rocks (in- cluding Härma Wall, Estonia’s highest at

tours to the Võhandu River, and helps you get to know local herbs. If you are

ample, play ten- nis at Hirvemäe

tours to the Võhandu River, and helps you get to know local herbs. If you are

11

SOUTH ESTONIA

Holiday Centre. Värska has a spa well-known for its cura-

you will find

the Seto Muuseumitarõ museum that presents the way Setus lived and worked from 1920 to 1940. The Obinitsa artificial lake, adorned by the statue of the Setu Mother of Song, is good for swimming, fishing and boat rides. The Setu museum

in Saatse

There are also many interesting small village chapels called tsässon in Setumaa. And be prepared for surprises in Setumaa. It is, for example, a venue for the annual meeting of the Estonian Volkswagen Beetle Club.

INFO:

Põlva Tourist Information Centre +372 799 5001 e-mail polva@visitestonia.com Räpina Tourist Information Centre +372 796 4810 e-mail rapina@visitestonia.com

WWW:

has more than 20,000 examples of Setu culture.

tive mud and mineral waters. In Obinitsa

Estonian writer who composed our

national epic “Kalevipoeg” in it while he was a town doctor. Other tour- ist attractions are the beaches by the lakes of Tamula and Kubija, a hunters’ and fishers’ settlement dat- ing back to the Stone Age, and the Meegomäe motocross track.

I n the Haanja Upland the

the Meegomäe motocross track. I n the Haanja Upland the 24 25 Rõuge Church traveller will
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25
Meegomäe motocross track. I n the Haanja Upland the 24 25 Rõuge Church traveller will find

Rõuge Church

traveller will find the highest peak of the generally low and flat Estonia – Suur

Munamägi (318 m)

, the deepest body

, the

deepest primeval valley Kütiorg (70 m)

of water – Rõuge Suurjärv (38 m)

29
29
30
30
31 with a downhill skiing resort, and the Vällamäe bog 32 with the thickest layer
31
with a downhill skiing resort, and the
Vällamäe bog
32
with the thickest layer

of peat (17 m) in Estonia. Magnificent views open on the varied southern Esto- nian landscape from the tower on Suur Munamägi. Haanja Nature Park, created to protect the local landscapes and traditions, attracts visitors as a holiday-making destination in summer; one can enjoy the colours of nature in autumn and go skiing in winter.

you will find a church harmonising with the

I surrounding beautiful landscapes. In the vicinity there is a unique complex of seven lakes, connected to one another, and Nightingale Valley that echoes with nightingale song in spring. In Tindiorg a traveller can admire the smart water pumps called water rams that are powered by the flow- ing water itself, swing on the village swing or visit the ostrich farm. You

can have dinner in the Saarsilla farm café in Rõuge, fish and grill trout in Tindiorg or at Veski Farm in Saarlase

Village. In the Hinni Canyon

Kahrila Lake there are impressive sandstone rocks. In the open-air mu-

seum in Mõniste

try weaving on the handloom, look for the vein of water with

you can see authentic old farmhouses and

12 www.southestonia.info

www.polvamaa.ee | www.polvamaale.ee www.hot.ee/setotour www.hot.ee/setomuuseum

Võrumaa and Valgamaa

W hen in Vastseliina

14th century episcopal castle which once used to be a

popular destination for pilgrimages. Visitors are welcome to eat and relax at Piiri Tavern, the lo- cation of which was printed on a road map as early as in 1695. This is also the starting point for trips to the Piusa primeval valley and col- ourful fairs are held here in summer. From the 202-metre Meremäe Hill

one should visit the ruins of theare held here in summer. From the 202-metre Meremäe Hill n Rõuge 30 Hinni Canyon Taagepera

n Rõuge

30
30
Meremäe Hill one should visit the ruins of the n Rõuge 30 Hinni Canyon Taagepera Castle

Hinni Canyon

one should visit the ruins of the n Rõuge 30 Hinni Canyon Taagepera Castle nearby you

Taagepera Castle

nearby you can get a good over-the ruins of the n Rõuge 30 Hinni Canyon Taagepera Castle view of the surrounding landscape

view of the surrounding landscape and in clear weather even the gold- en cupolas of the Orthodox church- es in Petseri on the Russian side are

visible. Võrumaa, with its hilly land- scapes, primeval valleys and forests, has always been consid- ered one of the most beautiful parts of Estonia. One of the

characteristic features of Võru

, the county centre, is its in-

teresting wooden architecture. One of the modest wooden houses is now the museum of Fr. R. Kreutzwald, the famous

33
33

near

34
34
28
28

a magic rod, chop wood or show your whole family around in

a horsecarriage. A scenic landscape can be enjoyed on a bike

or on foot also in Paganamaa (Devil’s Land) near the Latvian

border; a legend has it that its valleys were formed from the footprints of the Devil fleeing from a thunderstorm.

E stonia’s smallest, Karula National

View from Suur Munamägi

smallest, Karula National View from Suur Munamägi Park (visitors’ centre in Ähijärve is a mixture of

Park (visitors’ centre in Ähijärve

is a mixture of meadows, forests, lakes

and bogs. Here you can admire rare

plants and with a bit of luck encounter

a black stork, a fish hawk, or an otter.

Metsamoori Family Park in Mähkli

consisting of ten holiday farms, and the

Pokumaa hiking trail in Visela

are a

real treat for families with children. Near

you will find the 700 years

Urvaste

35 )
35
)
36 ,
36
,
37
37
38
38

old Tamme-Lauri oak, the largest tree in Estonia. On the slope of the picturesque

primeval valley stands the 14th-centu- ry church in Urvaste which is the oldest preserved building in Võrumaa and as

a basilica unique among Estonian coun- try churches.

V alga

ly a twin-town with Valka in Latvia

and they are split in two by the bor- der. North from Valga towards Otepää

, a major exam-

ple of the Historicist style in the Baltic States, with a remarkable park with nu- merous unusual plant species. There is also a hotel and restaurant in the castle.

Equally impressive is Taagepera Castle

situated in the middle of primeval for- ests which is considered one of the fin- est examples of the Art Nouveau man- or houses in Europe. Today the castle accommodates a hotel-conference cen- tre where one can enjoy a health pro- gramme focusing on different methods of massage or go pheasant hunting. Its

has beenon different methods of massage or go pheasant hunting. Its “little brother” Holdre Castle built in

“little brother” Holdre Castle built in the same style.

lies Sangaste Castle

, the county capital, is actual-

39
39
40
40
41
41
Sangaste Castle , the county capital, is actual- 39 40 41 , a miniature garden town

, a miniature

garden town and historical place of tar-

and ruins40 41 , a miniature garden town and historical place of tar- of an order castle,

of an order castle, Orjakivi (Slave’s Stone) and a sacrificial well where young girls are said to have sacrificed beads to pre- serve their beauty. Today there is a café

burning, are the Helme caves

I

n the vicinity of Tõrva

43
43

in the old smithy. On the bottom of Valg-

one can see the

remains of a 1,500 years old pile dwell- ing. One can go bathing and simply enjoy nature both at Valgjärv Lake and Tündre

one can visit

järv Lake further south

45
45

Lake

the mausoleum of Barclay de Tolly, the Russian general in the Napoleonic Wars.

46
46

. In Jõgeveste

47
47

SOUTH ESTONIA

in the Napoleonic Wars. 46 . In Jõgeveste 47 SOUTH ESTONIA Meadow in Soomaa is the

Meadow in Soomaa

is the the most well-known

winter sports centre in the Baltics

and the “winter capital” of Estonia. It got its name (“bear’s head”) after the pecu- liarly shaped hill, onto which was built the first known brick castle in Estonia in 1224. The Estonian national blue-black- and-white tricolor was blessed for the first time in the local St. Mary’s Church on 4 June, 1884. There is the Estonian

Flag Museum now in Otepää pastor’s mansion. Otepää Nature Park is a high-

ly appreciated holiday area comprising a landscape of rolling hills and lakes, ro- mantic winding village roads and small rivers. Beautiful views open from the ob- servation towers on top of 217-metre

, Harimägi

Kuutsemägi

Munamägi

hills. In wintertime the area

and Väike

O tepää

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48
49 51
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50

is a paradise for skiers, snow mobile rid- ers and to everyone enjoying snow: there are lit slalom slopes equipped with ele- vators, innumerable cross-country tracks, the skiing centres in Tehvandi and Kuutse- mäe and the ski museum in Otepää.

O tepää also boasts the most beau-

tiful lake in Estonia – Pühajärv

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52

(Holy Lake), featuring in many artists’ paintings. In summertime Pühajärv and around one hundred other lakes in the

area offer various activities ranging from

rowing and paddle boat rides to fish-

ing and sunbathing. There are also tennis courts and hiking trails as well as a soon opening golf course. Those who believe

Viljandi

as a soon opening golf course. Those who believe Viljandi in magic forces should pay a

in magic forces should pay a visit to the so-called “energy pillar” in Otepää.

INFO:

Võru Tourist Information Centre +372 782 1881 e-mail voru@visitestonia.com Valga Tourist Information Centre +372 766 1699 e-mail valga@visitestonia.com Otepää Tourist Information Centre +372 766 1200 e-mail otepaa@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.southestonia.info | www.vorulinn.ee www.visitvoru.ee | www.haanjamaa.ee www.karularahvuspark.ee

Viljandi and Soomaa

is the hilli-

est town in Estonia with lots of green-

ery and ancient trees, winding streets and

the ruins of the powerful order castle built between the 13th and 16th centu- ries. Organ concerts are held in St. John’s Church (1466); worth seeing are the Town Hall, the water and watch tower as well as the suspended bridge, the symbol of the town. The old pharmacy building now houses a museum introducing the histo-

ry of Viljandi. There is a nice beach, boat

rentals and sports grounds at the scenic Viljandi Lake. In town one will find cosy cafés and restaurants; in Uueveski Holiday Centre one can catch trout and prepare one’s own meal.

F or nature lovers the main attraction in Viljandimaa is certainly Soomaa

National Park. In spring and autumn, sometimes also in rainy summers, the rivers overflow their banks and flood the fields, forests and pastures so that the water level may rise up to six metres above the lowest level. Yet the floods in Soomaa are not a natural disaster but the area’s characteristic feature and a spectacle for tourists. The locals’ main vehicle at the time

T he county centre Viljandi

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13

SOUTH ESTONIA

SOUTH ESTONIA of floods is the boat and in some places also the archaic haabjas –

of floods is the boat and in some places also the archaic haabjas – a boat hewn from the trunk of one single big as- pen tree. Soomaa is the hab- itat for bear, lynx and wolf; one can encounter rare orchids and flocks of migrating birds resting on the water. Boating on the rivers one will notice meadows covered with scat- tered trees and virgin forests abundant with different plant species. Thirteen different hik- ing and nature study trails, ob- servation towers, hiking huts and 10 camping sites help to discover the secrets of the national park. More detailed in- formation can be obtained from the visitors’ centre in Kõrtsi-

Pilistvere

14 Tõramaa

. Exciting activities will surprise adventurers in the

Karuskose holiday centre

the “owl’s nest” on top of a big linden tree, the floating sauna Pühamüristus (Good Heavens) and of course boat trips. One

may have a chance to see the making of haabjas and even hold an ax in one’s hand. Sookolli Söögituba (Swamp Bogy’s Dining Room) serves characteristic local meals based on reci-

one

can visit a farm musem, the birthplace of Johann Köler, a pi- oneer of the nation’s professional art; there are also a camp-

nearby are the

remains of the ancient seashore. The Kurekiiva farm museum

displays local animals and

birds as well as horns and skulls of wild animals.

V iljandimaa borders on Võrtsjärv, Estonia’s largest inland water body, and a popular destination for fishermen who

catch eel, pike and bream here. The southern part of the coun- ty attracts visitors with its scenic landscape and sights of in-

terest. In Heimtali there is a museum of regional history

with a large collection of Estonian handicraft and an interest-

is a nice

small town by the Halliste primeval valley; there are ruins of a stronghold, a church with a leaning steeple and a winery. One will find several bathing places and picnic sites in the neigh- bourhood. Nearby in Allaste Village there is the Mägiste spruce

has a beautiful 18th

century manor complex and an old smithy open for tourists.

The 15th century Halliste

ing and a modern altar painting and is considered one of the prettiest churches in Estonia.

n Olustvere it is worth visiting the tourist centre in the man-

, the collection of wooden horses, and a park

with majestic alleys. The Pilistvere memorial

to the victims

of the Communist genocide is a place for a quiet stopover. By bringing field stones to the base of the large cross Estonians commemorate the tens of thousands of compatriots who were deported to Siberia. The date carved in the wall stone of the steeple of Pilistvere Church – 1222 – testifies to the begin- ning of the missionary work of the Cistertians in this area.

grows herbs

and organises special tours for those in-

tree whose trunk has 13 forks. Õisu

ing vodka distillery with four towers. Karksi-Nuia

ing site and swings. The Ruunaraipe dunes

pes dating from the grandmothers’ time. In Lubjassaare

: beaver safaris, overnight stay in

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of taxidermy in Sandra Village

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church has a unique black ceil-

I

or house

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The Energy Farm in Vihi Village

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terested in plants. The market town of Suure-Jaani

St. John’s fortified church that dates back to the 14th century,

boasts

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66

a

nice park and an artificial lake. Three kilometres away there

is

the Lõhavere stronghold hill

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67

, the home base of Lembitu,

the legendary leader of the Estonian freedom-fighters in the war with the Teutonic Order.

INFO:

Viljandi Tourist Information Centre +372 433 0442 e-mail viljandi@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.viljandi.ee | www.viljandimaa.ee | www.soomaa.ee | www.soomaa.com

Things to do

D etailed information on hikes on foot or by bicycle can be obtained from tourist information centres. Canoeers’ fa-

vourites are Soomaa National Park and the Ahja and Võhan- du rivers with their old water mill sites, rapids and high sand- stone banks. After the trip it is refreshing to enjoy sauna and organic food on a tourist farm. Most lakes and rivers, including

Lake Peipsi although most of its shoreline is filled with reeds, are suitable for bathing. There are also plenty of small beaches created at artificial lakes. Horseback riding, both indoors and outdoors, horse sledge picnics by torchlight in wintry woods with mulled wine and snacks – all this is offered by Timmo

Stables near Põlva

S kiing fans can participate in the Tartu Cross-Country Marathon, belonging to the Worldloppet series. Its 60-

kilometre track from Otepää

to Elva can be cycled through

on mountain bikes in summer. Various activities are offered

including ATV trips, ri-

by Junsi Holiday Centre near Kõpu

fle shooting, motor and canoe trips to Soomaa and “blood- less hunting” with the camera. The water festival and inflat-

able boat race in Rõuge

are fun for everyone. You can go

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and several tourist farms.

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69

Making the local dugout boat (haabjas) in Soomaa

are fun for everyone. You can go 68 and several tourist farms. 30 48 69 Making

pheasant hunting at Taagepera Castle

, while the main organiser of huntingpheasant hunting at Taagepera Castle tourism is the State Forest Management Centre RMK. I n Võrumaa,

tourism is the State Forest Management Centre RMK.

I n Võrumaa, families with children should certainly visit the Metsamoori

Family Park in Mähkli

maa hiking trail in Visela

Midriait you can try your weaving skills. July and August are the best months for picking berries and wild mushrooms in the woods with the help of a good guidebook. This very popular tradition in Estonia is almost forgotten in Western Europe but you only have to compare the taste of the wild blackberry to that of the cultivated blackberry, and you will see the difference!

, and the Poku-

in

36 37
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. In Nursi

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I f you are looking for something spe- cial visit the Sleep Centre in Kubija

to check the quality of your sleep,for something spe- cial visit the Sleep Centre in Kubija Smoke sauna in South Estonia to

Sleep Centre in Kubija to check the quality of your sleep, Smoke sauna in South Estonia

Smoke sauna in South Estonia

to cure insomnia and generally improve your health. A wide range of medical and recreational services is available in

Pühajärve

spa. While you are in South

Estonia, try out the smoke sauna where it is customary to beat oneself with ju- niper, nettle or birch twigs, whereafter you can spoil yourself with delicious lo- cal beer and food. Another possibility is to combine canoeing with a barrel sau- na experience: it is a giant wooden bar- rel that is filled with water heated by an underwater stove. Karuskose Holiday

attracts visitors with

Centre in Soomaa

its floating sauna called Pühamüristus (Good Heavens); a similar one can be found in Paunküla Holiday Centre.

WWW:

www.kagureis.ee | www.suusaliit.ee www.junsi.ee | www.taageperaloss.ee www.pokumaa.ee www.kaikakant.ee/metsamoor www.kubija.ee | www.pyhajarve.com

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and places to go

I n Tartu there is Püssirohukelder (Gun- powder Cellar) with its impressive inte-

rior, the restaurant-club Maailm (World),

SOUTH ESTONIA

the Werner and Wilde cafés, the night-

club Atlantis right next to the River Emajõgi, and a number of other cosy or trendy places. In Tammekännu Holiday

one

Centre near Põlva in Mammaste

can try the menu based on thousand-

year-old recipes and before that enjoy

activities in the nature. Modern and yet

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sive overview of Estonian history and cul- ture is provided by the Estonian National Museum and of art, by the Art Museum. Quality handicraft can be found at

Antoniuse Guild. The grand open-air per- formances of Vanemuine Theatre in sum- mer have become a tradition. The well- known expression in Estonia, “the Tartu

The well- known expression in Estonia, “the Tartu Lake Music Festival at Leigo characteristically Estonian

Lake Music Festival at Leigo

characteristically Estonian dishes are served by many taverns, restaurants and pubs. Tourist farms are also known for their excellent food. In Setumaa in south- east Estonia try baked potatoes with sau- erkraut, cottage cheese and raisin bread. Wash it down with mead and the local

white whiskey called “hansa” to the back-

ground of live music. Local organic food products and outdoor grilling are held in high esteem here. Estonians value es- pecially highly domestic milk and meat products, rye and barley bread. In Tartu visit the riverside vegetable and flower market, even just for fun or to see col- ourful country types.

has a lively cultural life all

year round where the youthful high-

T

artu

1
1
life all year round where the youthful high- T artu 1 lights are the Hansa days

lights are the Hansa days and the stu- dents’ days with the relay race in car- nival costumes and the inflatable boat race on the River Emajõgi. A comprehen-

spirit”, signifies the academic-bohemian atmosphere and the inexplicable “some- thing else”, which you simply have to ex- perience yourself.

n summer there is an impressive open-

near

Otepää. The eventful summers in Viljandi

culminate with the Old Music Festivalopen- near Otepää. The eventful summers in Viljandi and the traditional music festival Viljandi Folk. The

and the traditional music festival Viljandi Folk. The Kondas Centre exhibits excit- ing paintings by Paul Kondas, the best- known naïve artist in Estonia. The most

is the

international folklore festival accompa- nied by a handicraft fair. In the Bagpipe

Farm in Riidaja

you can listen to a live

bagpipe ensemble and see how this in- strument is made. The farm serves tra- ditional Estonian food, and don’t be sur- prised to find there also a small airstrip.

At the Hellenurme water mill

can see how grain is turned into flour and taste oven-warm bread. You can walk in

the beautiful garden in Kaasiku Farm

and visit their lace chamber; Lusika Farm

has a lovely rose garden. In the mu-in Kaasiku Farm and visit their lace chamber; Lusika Farm seum of regional history in Heimtali

seum of regional history in Heimtali textile artist Anu Raud has assembled a complete collection of Estonian nation- al handicrafts; there are knitted toy ani- mals with traditional patterns on display.

visitors

important cultural event in Võru

I

air Lake Music Festival at Leigo

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SOUTH ESTONIA

16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one
16 SOUTH ESTONIA Võru Folklore Festival F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one

Võru Folklore Festival

F or a better understanding of Estonian contemporary history one should vis-

it the Forest Brother’s farm in Vastse-

which restores the

scene of freedom fighting in Estonia af- ter World War II when thousands of men and women went into hiding in forests and swamps, not being able to accept the Soviet occupation. One can spend the night in an ascetic underground bun- ker; the local theatre troupe revives a piece of history – a battle between the freedom fighters and the Russian secu- rity forces.

WWW:

Roosa Village

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77

www.vanemuine.ee | www.erm.ee www.tammekanuu.ee | www.leigo.ee www.folk.ee | www.werro.ee/folkloor

Läänemaa

was granted the rights

of town in 1279 and nowadays it

is the administrative centre of Lääne

County. Its main attraction is the epis- copal castle that today accommodates

a museum and a café, and hosts plays

H aapsalu

1
1

Koluvere Castle

is the epis- copal castle that today accommodates a museum and a café, and hosts plays

WEST ESTONIA

WEST ESTONIA and concerts in its courtyard. At full moon in August a translucent figure of

and concerts in its courtyard. At full moon in August a translucent figure of a woman – the White Lady – appears in the window of the baptistery of Dome Church, the largest one-nave church in the Baltics. The old city centre is char- acterised by a miniature town hall and romantic wooden dwelling houses. By the seaside Promenade stands Kuursaal, one of the finest wooden buildings in Estonia, which houses a summer restau- rant. The first mud spa opened its doors in Haapsalu in 1825. Haapsalu was the favourite holiday spot for the family of Russian czars and the famous composer Peter Tchaikovsky among others. Today, people are attracted to Haapsalu by its historic and maritime ambience and by the Paralepa beach.

H aapsalu was a source of inspiration for Ilon Wikland who grew up here

and later illustrated the children’s books of the world famous Swedish writer Ast- rid Lindgren.

From the 13th century un- til World War II there was a large Swedish community in West Estonia, which explains why so many locations in the area have

Haapsalu Castle

Swedish names. To get a glimpse of the culture and histo- ry of the people called Coastal Swedes, you can visit special museums in Haap-

salu and Saare (Lyckholm)

T he landscape in Noarootsi is dotted with low lakes and thickets of reeds – tens of thousands of birds touch down

here in their spring migration. One will find nice beaches in

Österby

rootsi Tavern

and can visit Noa-

nice beaches in Österby rootsi Tavern and can visit Noa- 2 . 3 5 and by
2 .
2
.
3 5
3
5

and by the Roosta Resort

4
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in Pürksi for a meal. The island of Vormsi

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with its juniper fields, seaside meadows, erratic boulders and lighthouses is best toured on a bicycle or on foot. The grave- yard of Vormsi Church (1632) is famous for numerous an- cient circular crosses.

(1632) is famous for numerous an- cient circular crosses. Promenade in Haapsalu M atsalu National Park
(1632) is famous for numerous an- cient circular crosses. Promenade in Haapsalu M atsalu National Park

Promenade in Haapsalu

M atsalu National Park is a real paradise for bird watchers:

it is an important migration stopover and nesting place

for birds. 275 species of birds, 49 species of fish and 47 spe- cies of mammals have been recorded here. More information on hiking trails, bird-watching towers and boat rides is available

. Characteristic

is a bog with numer-

in the centre of the national park in Penijõe

of Marimetsa Nature Protection Area

ous pools, sand dunes covered with pine forest, a boardwalk hiking route and observation towers.

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P eople interested in history should visit the well-preserved Koluvere Order Castle 9 , medieval
P eople interested in history should visit the well-preserved
Koluvere Order Castle
9
, medieval churches in Kullamaa
10
and Ridala
11
, and the museum of local history in Lihula
Manor House
12
. There are vast expanses of land in Läänemaa

and it is a nice area for just wandering around in the fields of junipers or at the seaside.

around in the fields of junipers or at the seaside. INFO: Tourist Information Centre: +372 473

INFO:

Tourist Information Centre: +372 473 3248 e-mail haapsalu@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.aiboland.ee | www.matsalu.ee | www.eoy.ee

Hiiumaa

H iiumaa is famous for its virgin nature, picturesque coast- al landscapes and a peaceful pace of life. Already on

the mainland, in Rohuküla Harbour waiting for the ferry to Heltermaa a peculiar peaceful and pleasant feeling will sink in.

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WEST ESTONIA

T he county centre Kärdla

is a18 WEST ESTONIA T he county centre Kärdla cosy little town with small wood- 15 17

cosy little town with small wood-

county centre Kärdla is a cosy little town with small wood- 15 17 en houses, beautiful
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en houses, beautiful gardens and a nice beach. Most of Hiiumaa is cov- ered with forests; the Kõpu Lighthouse

– the symbol of Hiiumaa – rising high above treetops attracts the eye from a great distance. This impos- ing structure was erected in the first half of the 16th cen- tury and is the world’s third-oldest operating lighthouse. The

has made

windy, shingled beach of the Ristna Peninsula

it a popular surfing centre. Luidja

for its

is famous for its beau-

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surfing centre. Luidja for its is famous for its beau- 14 16 Kõpu Lighthouse tiful beach

Kõpu Lighthouse

tiful beach and Reigi

Hill)

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the Tahkuna Peninsula

church, known from “The Vicar of Reigi”, a novel by Aino Kallas. Near Kärdla is Ristimägi (Cross

with thousands of cross-

es made by visitors from rocks,

leaves or branches. At the tip of

there

is a fine lighthouse and a me- morial to the children who per- ished in the disaster of the fer- ry Estonia; nearby are ruins of military installations from vari-

ous periods of time. The shoreline of the peninsula is ideal for long walks in search of inner calm.

T he oldest place of worship on the island is Pühalepa Church

with a unique stone pulpit. The splendid Suuremõisa

Castle is close by. Driving towards Käina one passes the Vaemla

wool factory

old machinery, buy local products and refreshments in the café. The nar- row Sääre peninsu-

where one can watch the work of centuries-

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peninsu- where one can watch the work of centuries- 19 20 21 Sääre Peninsula la in

Sääre Peninsula

la in the southwest of Kassari Island 22
la in the southwest
of Kassari Island
22

stretches far into the sea; with its warm coastal wa- ter it is a great sunbathing and bathing spot. Other places worth visiting in Kassari are the Hiiumaa Museum and the unique reed-roofed

nature trail one can observein Kassari are the Hiiumaa Museum and the unique reed-roofed a host of birds in the

a host of birds in the Bay of Käina. Up to 10 metres high ju-

are a must

see. Tough and aromatic juni- per wood and products craft- ed from it are the trademark of the Estonian islands. Both Kassari and Käina offer plenty of places for dining and stay- ing the night.

nipers in Nasva

Tahkuna

chapel. Hiking on the Orjaku

24
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nipers in Nasva Tahkuna chapel. Hiking on the Orjaku 24 INFO: Tourist Information Centre: +372 462

INFO:

Tourist Information Centre:

+372 462 2232 e-mail hiiumaa@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.saared.ee | www.hiiumaa.ee turism.moonsund.ee

Saaremaa

E stonia’s largest island Saaremaa is a beloved destination for hiking, holiday-making or for just enjoying sea breeze

and beautiful sights. After taking a ferry from Virtsu you arrive

in the Gothic style

with its old farm buildings, stone

which offers

luxury accommodations and top-of-the-line cuisine. A working

windmill can be found in Linnuse Village

nearby. The atmosphere and nature on islets such as Kõinastu,

Võilaid and Suurelaid are also worth discovering.

T he sea dam across the

Strait of Väike Väin takes you to Saare-

maa where you will probably want to see Kuressaare,

the island’s capital first. Short detours along the way are certainly reward-

ing. In Pöide

and not far away you will find Kahutsi earthen stronghold and a boarded trail in the Koigi Bog. As imposing as Pöide is

Valjala Church

, the oldest one in Saaremaa with its unique

towers a massive 13th century fortified church

first in Muhumaa. There is Muhu Church

(1267), Koguva Village

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25
25

fences and draw wells, and Pädaste Manor

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27

and an ostrich farm

and draw wells, and Pädaste Manor 28 27 and an ostrich farm 29 30 frescos. Close
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frescos. Close by are the remains of Valjala Stronghold that was the last in Estonia to surrender to the German Teutonic Knights in 1227.

Muhu Church

of Valjala Stronghold that was the last in Estonia to surrender to the German Teutonic Knights

WEST ESTONIA

WEST ESTONIA Kuressaare N ear Kõljala you will find the round- , set in a me-

Kuressaare

N ear Kõljala you will find the round-

, set in a me-

teorite crater and, a rare natural object

in the context of the whole world. The

“space rock” that hit the Kaali area only

a few thousand years ago is the last

known meteorite to hit a densely pop-

shaped Kaali Lake

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known meteorite to hit a densely pop- shaped Kaali Lake 31 Koguva Village ulated area. This

Koguva Village

ulated area. This is why it has shaped not only the local landscape but the my-

thology as well. The “Kaali catastrophy”, comparable to a nuclear blast, has in- spired writers and historians (including Lennart Meri, President of Estonia in 1992–2001) to link the local “big bang” to the roots of Fenno-Ugric mythology

or the Phaethon’s flight and fall in Greek

mythology.

is a very

T he “brand” of Kuressaare

well preserved 14th century episco-

pal castle which houses the Museum of Saaremaa. Visitors of the castle can order medieval dinner and enjoy the view over the town and the sea opening from the tower café. The old town, built between the 17th and 19th centuries, abounds

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in dining and entertainment spots, sev-

eral high-standard health spas, and a yachting harbour. South of Kuressaare

lies the protected Loode oak wood, and further down the Sõrve Peninsula where

in World War II some of the heaviest battles in Estonia took place.

War II some of the heaviest battles in Estonia took place. Kaali Lake I n northwest

Kaali Lake

I n northwest Saaremaa near Kihelkonna you will find the Mihkli Farm Museum

. What makes it unique is the fact that

the items on display in this fully pre- served farmhouse complex have been made on the farm over six generations.

houses the centre of Vil-

Loona Manor

sandi National Park which encompasses

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Vil- Loona Manor sandi National Park which encompasses 33 34 around 100 small islands. Tens of

around 100 small islands. Tens of thou- sands of waterfowl migrate through or nest in the national park, and most of the Baltic grey seals come to breed in Innarahu Reserve. Vilsandi Island can be reached by boat from the harbour of Papisaare or if the sea level is low, by

from the harbour of Papisaare or if the sea level is low, by Limestone Cliff at

Limestone Cliff at Panga

walking across through the water. Access to the nesting areas of birds and animals

is limited to tourists. A beautiful view on

the islands opens also from the peninsula

, whose tip is adorned with

of Harilaid

a tilted lighthouse. Nature-lovers will en-

joy a visit to Viidumäe Nature Protection

Area, the centre of which is in Audaku

There is a museum that has an exhibition of rare and protected plants.

O ne of the attractions in Saaremaa is the steep and impressive limestone

cliff on the northern coast at Ninase

where it rises 21 metres

and Panga

above the sea level. Culturally and histor- ically interesting are the windmills

at Angla

rustic Karja church

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.
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39

; the medieval,

19

Pärnu beach 40 without a steeple is rich in unique hewn sculptures and frescos. In

Pärnu beach

40
40

without a steeple is rich in unique

hewn sculptures and frescos. In Laugu

Village

shop where you can watch masters at work and even try out their craft. Near

Triigi Harbour

tum and spelling and ritual grounds of a famous Estonian healer Vigala Sass. From Triigi you can take a ferry to Hiiumaa;

you will find the arbore-

there is a glassblower’s work-

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42

20 boat trips in the Strait of Väike Väin start

from Orissaare Harbour

ing ruins of Maasi Order Castle also worth a visit.

43
43

. The interest-

are

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WEST ESTONIA

camping in Saaremaa. Those looking for an “island of their own” can take a boat

from Kuressaare to Abruka Island

INFO:

Tourism Information Centre: +372 453 3120 e-mail kuressaare@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.saaremaa.ee | www.kuressaare.ee www.muinas.ee/ecp/kaali/en www.saaremaamuuseum.ee | www.vigalasass.com

Summer capital Pärnu

46 .
46
.

is a popular summer desti-

nation, a seaside resort, and a town

with a lively cultural life. Its shady parks,

beautiful sandy beach and quality restau- rants, cafés, spas and nightclubs help you recharge your batteries whether you trav- el with a family or look for adventures on

your own. For a change one can visit the

local theatre, museums, numerous con-

P ärnu

47
47
visit the local theatre, museums, numerous con- P ärnu 47 Kihnu girls O ne of the

Kihnu girls

O ne of the popular holiday spots is

. There are several

beaches by the seaside and even more places with a sea-view for walking and

Lake Karujärv

45
45
places with a sea-view for walking and Lake Karujärv 45 certs and exhibitions. A dedicated visi-

certs and exhibitions. A dedicated visi-

tor to the summer capital Pärnu is like- ly to have neither time nor mood to go to the countryside. Yet some landmarks of Estonian culture and plenty of sites of natural heritage in Pärnu County are worth mentioning.

V ändra

and its neighbourhood

which was the home of a number

of important figures in the history of

Estonian culture; the Kurgja farm mu-

seum

and the part

Islets Protection

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49

; Tõstamaa

50 51
50
51

Area; Tori Stud Farm

of Soomaa National Park belonging to

Pärnu County. Viisireiu Watermill

which is still in operation in Tali par- ish; the museum introducing the histo-

, and

not far from it the oldest, over 9,000 years old settlement site in Estonia in

ry of local wool industry in Sindi

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53
53

Pulli Village. The holiday centre in Silla

on the Reiu River with a swimming

spot and a small open air stage. In Mihkli

there is a church

the famous chronicler Latvian Henrik once served as a priest, and a protect- ed oak forest. The Soontagana earth-

en stronghold

built in 1226, where

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56

that

lies

on

a high

bog island; hiking trails and an obser- vation tower nearby. A unique railway

museum in Lavassaare 57 ; a hiking cen- tre for bicyclists in Oidrema Manor 58
museum in Lavassaare
57
; a hiking cen-
tre for bicyclists in Oidrema Manor
58
;

Nigula Nature Reserve with its centre in

Vanajärve

A must see destination in West Estonia

attracting

travellers with its virgin nature and tran- quillity. In Kihnu the centuries-old tra- ditions are still part of everyday life – the local dialect, national costumes and handicrafts, dances and songs. The area of Kihnu culture has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The ad- venture begins as soon as you board a ferry or a fishing boat to the island.

INFO:

Pärnu Tourism Information Centre +372 447 3000 e-mail parnu@visitestonia.com

WWW:

www.parnu.ee | www.pernau.ee | www.nigula.ee

Things to do

59 .
59
.

is the island of Kihnu

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60

T here are many picturesque seashores, varied landscapes as well as hiking

picturesque seashores, varied landscapes as well as hiking and nature study routes in West Estonia. Here

and nature study routes in West Estonia.

Here you can go bird or game watching or looking for rare orchids. A good over- view of the surroundings is provided by marked bicycle routes, and bikes can be

rented in lots of places. You can always

stop on your way and have a look at how the locals live. Although Estonian

country people are not always open and talkative right away, they are generally friendly and helpful.

T hose who feel comfortable at sea can contact Saarte Loodusmatkad who

organise sea canoe trips to the islands

and Abruka

islets surrounding Hiiumaa. Many tourist farms rent out rowing and paddle boats for shorter trips and offer fishing as well as bird and game watching services. For those interested in military history there

. Betweenservices. For those interested in military history there of Vilsandi and to the are special tours

of Vilsandi

and to the

in military history there . Between of Vilsandi and to the are special tours in Tahkuna

in military history there . Between of Vilsandi and to the are special tours in Tahkuna

are special tours in Tahkuna

Pärnu and Ikla one will find beautiful beaches and wild berry forests.

L ots of tourist farms offer horse- back riding and carriage rides. In

Tori

one can learn about the histo-

ry of horse breeding in the Stud Farm founded in 1856. In Tihuse Riding Farm

in Hellamaa on the island of Muhuin the Stud Farm founded in 1856. In Tihuse Riding Farm 51 you can plough the

51
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In Tihuse Riding Farm in Hellamaa on the island of Muhu 51 you can plough the

you can plough the field with a horse and do other farmwork. Families with children should certainly visit the Raja

Farm mini-zoo

Pärnumaa where you can see and make friends with miniature pigs, cows, goats and other tiny animals.

G olf players are welcome at the golf

and Valge-

ranna

Reiu

of activities. There are six spa hotels in

Pärnu

recreational services. The best known types of treatment are mud baths, mas- sage, laser and paraffin treatments, and salt and cold therapy. Other larger spas are Rüütli, Meri and Saaremaa Valss in

Kuressaare

and Fra Mare in Haapsaluspas are Rüütli, Meri and Saaremaa Valss in Kuressaare . The Port of Pärnu also offers

. The Port of Pärnu also offers yachtand Saaremaa Valss in Kuressaare and Fra Mare in Haapsalu rentals and pleasure trips on the

rentals and pleasure trips on the sea.

WWW:

and

holiday centres offer a variety

in Sigaste Village in

63
63

courses in Haapsalu

65 54
65
54

. Roosta

4
4
64
64

, Linnumäe

14
14

offering the best medical and63 courses in Haapsalu 65 54 . Roosta 4 64 , Linnumäe 14 www.roosta.ee | www.sanatoorium.ee

www.roosta.ee | www.sanatoorium.ee www.framare.ee | www.miniloomad.ee

and places to go

T here are many excellent places to eat in Pärnu such as the luxurious Ammen-

de Villa with its French-Mediterranean cuisine, Postipoiss Tavern specialising in Slavic cuisine, the restaurant in Ranna-

hotell and Kuld Lõvi Tavern

just out-

on

side of the town. Pädaste Manor

66 27
66
27

WEST ESTONIA

Muhu Island has won international ac- claim among gourmets. In Haapsalu you will find the Kuursaal summer café and several unique restaurants in the old town. Kuressaare welcomes its visitors with dozens of cosy and exciting dining

and entertainment spots. The restaurant

in the Liilia Hotel in Käina

ered to be the best in Hiiumaa. An inter- esting restaurant is in the former vodka

distillery of Kõrgessaare

I n smaller rural villages one will find both quite ordinary dining places as well as taverns and cafés with unique

and characteristic cuisine, interesting interiors and colourful local visitors. In tourist farms you can order simple, organic farm food, in coastal villages smoked fish. “Made in Saaremaa” is a strong brand in Estonia, be it smoked ham, vodka, or spring water.

is consid-

67
67
68
68

Manor.

the summer the streets and the open-air stages of Episcopal Castle are filled with folk music, opera and rock. The White Lady Days and the Medieval Haapsalu festivals add a bit of mystery with a fla- vour of history. The best souvenir is a hand-woven woollen kerchief or shawl

with a complicated pattern which are known as Haapsalu shawls or “miracles in lace”. Modern art is displayed at the

local Linnagalerii.

S aaremaa is famed for its opera days, held in the courtyard of Kuressaare

Castle and for the Saaremaa Waltz Festival which has become a com- mon friendly festivity of the two kin- dred peoples – Estonians and Finns. The programme includes a competition for young talents attended by popular stars from both countries. The Kures- saare Sea Days Festival is an enjoyable

21

The Kures- saare Sea Days Festival is an enjoyable 21 Midsummer Celebrations in Saaremaa T here

Midsummer Celebrations in Saaremaa

T here are several art galleries in Pärnu, including the Museum of

New Art and the Estonian Lithographic Centre which introduces visitors to var-

ious exciting graphic techniques. Pärnu

also hosts the reputable International

Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival. The David Oistrakh Festival in midsummer brings to Pärnu top-class musicians and exciting new works from all over the world. There are also the Pärnu Opera Days and Klaaspärlimäng Festival, as well as several other musical events that cater for many preferences and tastes. And last but not least, there is Endla Theatre with its interesting pro- gramme of plays.

H aapsalu is known for its Old Music

Festival, Violin Festival and the

Blues Festival in August. Throughout

family event focusing around sea-related themes and activities, visits to yachts and sailing trips, sea shanteys, and an open- air market. While there are also many great events taking place in Hiiumaa, let it stay, first and foremost, a haven of peace and quiet!

T he Estonian Railway Museum in Lavas-

is the third-largest of its kind

in Europe and impresses visitors with its extensive display of rolling stock, a func- tioning railway line and a museum train.

saare

57
57
impresses visitors with its extensive display of rolling stock, a func- tioning railway line and a

WEST ESTONIA

WEST ESTONIA There is also a railway museum in Haap- salu Saaremaa and the Soera Farm

There is also a railway museum in Haap-

salu

Saaremaa and the Soera Farm Museum

in Hiiumaa in Palade

into the everyday life of Estonian country folk in the past. In the latter one can go to a genuine smoke sauna, taste home- made beer and fish and listen to accor- dion music. In the Kurgja farm museum

give an insight

in

1
1

. The Mihkli Farm Museum

69
69
33
33

in Pärnumaa the land is farmed andmuseum give an insight in 1 . The Mihkli Farm Museum 69 33 animals bred in

animals bred in the traditional, centu- ries-old way.

WWW:

www.padaste.ee

www.ammende.ee

www.kuldlovi.ee

www.operadays.ee

www.ee/eesti-mr

The Republic of Estonia

in a nutshell:

Official name: the Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik in Estonian).www.ee/eesti-mr The Republic of Estonia in a nutshell: Area: 45,227 sq km (around 10% of the

Area: 45,227 sq km (around 10% of the territory is comprised of 1,520 islands, 5% of inland waters, 48% of forests, 7% of bogs and 37% of farmland).name: the Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik in Estonian). Population: 1.36 million (68% Estonians, 26% Russians,

Population: 1.36 million (68% Estonians, 26% Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 1% Belorussians and 1% Finns); 68% of population are urban inhabitants.waters, 48% of forests, 7% of bogs and 37% of farmland). Capital: Tallinn (397,000 inhabitants). Distances

Capital: Tallinn (397,000 inhabitants).and 1% Finns); 68% of population are urban inhabitants. Distances from Tallinn: Helsinki 85 km, Riga

Distances from Tallinn: Helsinki 85 km, Riga 307 km, St. Petersburg 395 km, Stockholm 405 km.urban inhabitants. Capital: Tallinn (397,000 inhabitants). Official language: Estonian. System of government:

Official language: Estonian. System of government: parliamen- tary democracy. Independence day: 24 February.85 km, Riga 307 km, St. Petersburg 395 km, Stockholm 405 km. National bird: barn swallow.

National bird: barn swallow. National flower: cornflower.parliamen- tary democracy. Independence day: 24 February. Good to know Time zone: Eastern European (GMT +02:00).

Good to know

Time zone: Eastern European (GMT +02:00).barn swallow. National flower: cornflower. Good to know Average temperatures: July be- tween 16 °C and

Average temperatures: July be- tween 16 °C and 20 °C (max 30 °C), February between –3 °C and –7 °C (www.weather.ee); the climate is varia- ble; coastal areas are often windy and humid due to the proximity of the sea.Good to know Time zone: Eastern European (GMT +02:00). Currency and credit cards The currency is

Currency and credit cards

The currency is the Estonian kroon (EEK) (1 EUR = 15.6466 EEK).due to the proximity of the sea. Currency and credit cards Most shops, restaurants, hotels and

Most shops, restaurants, hotels and service providers accept major international credit cards.currency is the Estonian kroon (EEK) (1 EUR = 15.6466 EEK). Currency can be exchanged at

Currency can be exchanged at banks and currency exchange bureaus (at Tallinn Passenger Port, Tallinn Airport, central rail- way station, hotels, supermarkets and elsewhere); traveller's cheques are cashed by banks (www.hansa.ee, www.eyp.ee, www.sampo.ee, etc).service providers accept major international credit cards. In towns there are many ATMs, but take along

In towns there are many ATMs, but take along some cash when you go to the countryside.by banks (www.hansa.ee, www.eyp.ee, www.sampo.ee, etc). While Estonian restaurants include the service charge in

While Estonian restaurants include the service charge in their bills, you are welcome to add 10% as a tip.but take along some cash when you go to the countryside. Shopping Most shops are open

Shopping

Most shops are open from 9 am to 7 pm on workdays and for more limited hours on weekends.their bills, you are welcome to add 10% as a tip. Shopping Supermarkets and shopping centres

Supermarkets and shopping centres are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm (some until 11 pm).to 7 pm on workdays and for more limited hours on weekends. Souvenir shops and other

Souvenir shops and other tourist attractions are generally open 7 days a week from 10 am to 6 pm.are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm (some until 11 pm).

Most service personnel speak adequate English, Finnish and Russian.are generally open 7 days a week from 10 am to 6 pm. Traffic and transportation

Traffic and transportation

You can enter Estonia by air (www.tallinn-airport.ee), by road via Latvia or by ferry from Rostock (www.silja.ee), Helsinki or Stockholm (www.tallink.ee).English, Finnish and Russian. Traffic and transportation For getting around you can rent a car (all

For getting around you can rent a car (all major car rental com- panies are represented). There is regular bus service between all major towns and villages (www.bussireisid.ee).(www.silja.ee), Helsinki or Stockholm (www.tallink.ee). There are few bicycle routes in Estonian towns but their

There are few bicycle routes in Estonian towns but their number is growing, as is the number of marked bicycle routes in the countryside.between all major towns and villages (www.bussireisid.ee). Neither pedestrians, bicyclists nor motorists should forget

Neither pedestrians, bicyclists nor motorists should forget that sometimes the Estonian traffic culture leaves much to be de- sired. While the majority of motorists are polite to others, there are some who give driving a bad name. Fortunately, the situa- tion is improving.is the number of marked bicycle routes in the countryside. Photos: Lembit Michelson, Ingmar Muusikus, Jüri

Photos: Lembit Michelson, Ingmar Muusikus, Jüri Seljamaa, Jarek Jõepera, Malev Toom, Mark Raidpere, Priit Simson, Vano Allsalu

There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned
There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned

There are a number of manned petrol stations (such as Statoil and Lukoil) and unmanned petrol stations (Neste, 123, Uno X) that operate 24 hours and accept both cash and credit cards.For 24-hour towing and car assistance dial 1888. Before set- ting out please check www.balticroads.net

For 24-hour towing and car assistance dial 1888. Before set- ting out please check www.balticroads.net for road informa- tion.that operate 24 hours and accept both cash and credit cards. Traffic rules and regulations Speed

Traffic rules and regulations

Speed limit: 50 km/h in urban areas; 90 km/h on roads, unless otherwise signposted.for road informa- tion. Traffic rules and regulations Headlights must be turned on and safety belts

Headlights must be turned on and safety belts fastened in both front and rear seats.urban areas; 90 km/h on roads, unless otherwise signposted. Driving under the influence of alcohol or

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating sub- stances is punishable by law!on and safety belts fastened in both front and rear seats. There is paid parking in

There is paid parking in most town centres. Look for more in- formation on special signs and parking metres.or other intoxicating sub- stances is punishable by law! In the case of a traffic accident

In the case of a traffic accident call the police. If there are no injuries and the drivers involved in the accident reach a consen- sus, they can prepare a written report on all circumstances and facts in two copies, without calling the police.for more in- formation on special signs and parking metres. Telephone and Internet Estonia's area code

Telephone and Internet

Estonia's area code is +372. To place an international call start by dialling 00.copies, without calling the police. Telephone and Internet Public phones are operated by telephone cards (50

Public phones are operated by telephone cards (50 EEK or 100 EEK) on sale in hotels, tourist information centres, post of- fices, newsstands, etc.+372. To place an international call start by dialling 00. Prepaid mobile phone cards (Simpel, Pop,

Prepaid mobile phone cards (Simpel, Pop, Zen, Ultra, Smart) are on sale in petrol stations, newsstands, post offices, shop- ping centres and telephone stores. The largest mobile phone operator is EMT (www.emt.ee).information centres, post of- fices, newsstands, etc. There are over 700 public Internet access points in

There are over 700 public Internet access points in Estonia (regio.delfi.ee/ipunktid) and about 400 mostly free wireless Internet areas in hotels, pubs, libraries, petrol stations, parks and elsewhere (www.wifi.ee).The largest mobile phone operator is EMT (www.emt.ee). For any inquiries (telephone numbers, addresses, public in-

For any inquiries (telephone numbers, addresses, public in- formation, etc.) dial 1182 (Ekspress Hotline, www.1182.ee) or 1188 (Infoabi, www.1188.ee) for a fee-based information service.petrol stations, parks and elsewhere (www.wifi.ee). For emergencies, dial 110 for police or 112 for ambulance

For emergencies, dial 110 for police or 112 for ambulance and fire department.(Infoabi, www.1188.ee) for a fee-based information service. Layout: TANK; text: Vano Allsalu; designer: Kaido Känd.

Layout: TANK; text: Vano Allsalu; designer: Kaido Känd. Data as of January 2005.

ENG

www.visitestonia.com e-mail: info@visitestonia.com www.investinestonia.com

Travel Information

Culture

www.riik.ee/en

www.culture.ee

www.vm.ee/eng

www.festivals.ee

www.rmk.ee

www.estonica.org

www.turismiweb.ee

www.laulupidu.ee

www.maaturism.ee

www.estoniantheatre.info

www.regio.ee

www.estmusic.com

www.balticsworldwide.com

www.kunstikeskus.ee

www.inyourpocket.com/estonia/en

www.estlit.ee

www.piletilevi.ee

www.balticsworldwide.com www.kunstikeskus.ee www.inyourpocket.com/estonia/en www.estlit.ee www.piletilevi.ee
www.balticsworldwide.com www.kunstikeskus.ee www.inyourpocket.com/estonia/en www.estlit.ee www.piletilevi.ee
www.balticsworldwide.com www.kunstikeskus.ee www.inyourpocket.com/estonia/en www.estlit.ee www.piletilevi.ee
www.balticsworldwide.com www.kunstikeskus.ee www.inyourpocket.com/estonia/en www.estlit.ee www.piletilevi.ee