General tourist information
Estonia is the smallest and the northenmost country of the Baltic States. Covering 45,227 km2, the state is slihgtly bigger than Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. There are 1,3 million inhabitants and the official language is Estonian.
Estonia is perfect for active holiday – ca 50 % covered with forest, over 2000 lakes, over 1500 islands, numerous national parks and nature reserves. On the other hand – it is a very modern country with WiFi almost everywere.
Tartu – center of South-Estonia
With its 100 000 inhabitants, Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia situated 185 km from capital Tallinn and 244 km from Latvian capital Riga.
Tartu is a Hansa Town and the oldest city in the Baltic States (first mentioned in 1030), known also as the intellectual capital of Estonia: the cradle of Estonian Song Festival, Estonian Theatre and the Estonian State. One of the oldest universities in Northern Europe - Tartu University, found in 1632 - brings thousands of new students to town every year.
Tartu is a green city with lots of promenades and parks, creating an excellent ground for active lifestyle.
Otepää – Estonian Winter Capital, host of FIS World Cups
Otepää, a small town with 2000 inhabitants, is located 43 km South from Tartu.
Otepää has an important role in the history of Estonia, as the current national flag of Estonia (blue, black and white) was consecrated and blessed here in 1884.
In the sports communities Otepää is also known by Tehvandi Sports Center (Estonia’s No. 1 ski resort, founded in 1978). The center offers sports activities all year round: skiing, running, Nordic walking, cycling, roller skiing and inline skating. It can be viewed as a “groundsel” for top Estonian skiers and Olympic medallists (Allar Levandi, Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, Andrus Veerpalu, Jaak Mae), but it is becoming more and more targeted towards popular sports.
Elva is a small and cosy town with sunny pine groves, small lakes and stunning wooden architecture. There are approximately 5500 inhabitants and it is situated 25 km South-West from Tartu.