Tartu and Southern Estonia newsletter
October 2011 – March 2012

Introducing... Tartu and Southern Estonia

Tartu – an ancient Hanseatic town and a modern university city renowned for its scientific achievements – is the gateway to Southern Estonia. With thousands of years of history and cultural heritage, Tartu has plenty to offer to its visitors, with more than 20 museums and 4000 events being held here annually. Families with children will have a great time at the AHHAA science centre – the biggest of its kind in the Baltic States – which has attractions for the young and old alike. Those with an interest in handicraft will be enchanted by the city’s many workshops, studios and fairs.

As a region, Southern Estonia – comprising Tartu, Põlva, Jõgeva, Valga, Võru and Viljandi Counties – boasts around 125 hiking, nature and health trails, more than 40 conservation areas and breathtaking natural winter landscapes. It plays host to a variety of national and international sporting events, with Estonia’s winter capital Otepää offering the best variety of winter sports facilities. In winter, visitors can enjoy sleigh rides as well as beautiful sights of untouched snow, white trees and bushes and undisturbed silence.

The heritage of the region is equally rich: there are more than 140 sites of historical and cultural interest in the area, which hosts countless fairs, open air events, concerts and festivals, including many related to folklore. The region is also enriched by its cultural diversity – it is home to the Mulgi people, the Setos (whose language and unique leelo singing style form part of the UNESCO World Heritage list) and the Old Believers of Lake Peipsi, famed for their customs and traditions. Spa tourism is also popular in the region, which is well known for its small but unique spas and health centres, medical spas, sauna culture, its locally grown organic food and simply the peace and quiet and privacy it offers.
Since the territory of Southern Estonia is relatively small, you can visit lots of most different sites of cultural and natural interest and participate in numerous winter activities even during a short visit.

We look forward to seeing you in Tartu and Southern Estonia!

Welcome to the most beautiful ”country“ in the world!

Estonians often quote a phrase from our film classics: „Southern Estonia is the most beautiful country in the world“. This is an emotional and symbolic statement, which indicates the uniqueness of Southern Estonia when compared to the other regions in Estonia and should not be mistaken for the saying „a state within a state“. You can enjoy its phenomenal hilly landscape, picturesque Jõgeva and Põlva counties, culturally diverse Viljandi and Võru counties, Otepää and Tartu that offer lots of activities. All these create a very special atmosphere that breathes in its own rhythm all the year round.

This newsletter focuses on winter activities- things you can do during this fabulous, cold and crispy fairy-tale season. The snowy winters that we have enjoyed in the last few years give us hope that there will be plenty of fluffy snow this coming winter as well, enabling us to enjoy different winter activities. Events are held for both sports fans and professional skiers. Tartu marathon, which belongs to the Worldloppet series, and Otepää World Cup are just some examples of top-level international sports competitions. If you prefer to stay indoors, you might want to attend creativity workshops in St. Anthony’s Guild, enjoy the amenities of different spas and water centres or hotel and culture packages that can be found in this newsletter.

Have a pleasant and activity-filled winter time here,
in Southern Estonia!

Argo Annuk
Deputy Mayor

Calendar of events
Lindora Fair
Christmas Town Tartu 2011
Starting from 27.11.2011
December – Christmas Land in Vudila Playground
17.12. 2011
Christmas Market
Tartu Town Hall Square
17.12. 2011
41. Tartu Maraton,

Kalevipoja Skating Marathon on Lake Peipsi (in case it is covered with ice) End of February/ beginning of March 2012

  Get in touch

Tartu Visitor Centre,
Town Hall, Tartu 50089

+372 744 2111
Valga County
Viljandi County
Põlva County
Võru County
Jõgeva County
Tartu & South-Estonia

View virtual tours
Tartu University
Tartu and Tartu County
Seto leelo in Setomaa, part of the UNESCO World Heritage list 1
Seto leelo in Setomaa, part of the UNESCO World Heritage list 2
Viljandi County: town, manors, culture, nature
Võru County
  New products and services

Tartu Centre for Creative Industries – much more than just an incubator

For two years now, the Tartu Centre for Creative Industries has been operating as the coordinator of creative industries in Tartu and Southern Estonia. The centre is located between the city centre and Karlova- one of the most fascinating quarters of Tartu. This is the place that supports creative start-up businesses by providing them with training and renting them low- budget office spaces. However, the Centre for Creative Industries is not only a business for creative people and entrepreneurs. The cosy houses of the centre give a warm welcome to all visitors. Read more

Vastseliina Episcopal Castle – a place where time stands still

The story of Vastseliina Episcopal Castle began in 1342 when the building of a powerful stronghold started on the border of Pskov and Tartu Episcopacies. The castle has served many masters- the Germans, Russians, Polish and Swedish. Today, you will see Estonians working in the ruins of the castle.
Read more



  Otepää –
the winter capital of Estonia
Read more

Hotel Kubija –
Nature Spa and Sleep Clinic

Read more


  AHHAA Science Centre
Read more

Vilde Restaurant and Café
Read more


Sõmerpalu motorcycle race hall Read more
Olustvere Read more


Estonian Photo Tourism Centre Read more



Holiday in Tartu  

Relaxation Package of Hotel Tartu

If you want to spend a holiday to remember, you do not always need to travel far. You can have a nice holiday on the banks of the River Emajõgi. Hotel Tartu provides you with cosy accommodation, a hearty breakfast and a refreshing visit to the Aura Water Centre.
Read more


cultural experience!

Read more

Family holiday package at Hotel Aleksandri
Read more


  Soiree with Parrot
Read more

Dorpat family package will take you to the AHHAA Science Centre
Read more


  Joyful family
package in Tartu

Read more

Winter sports adventure in February
Read more


  Holiday in Southern Estonia

Historic holiday in Räpina Hotel

When entering the building which has been designed in 1930’s style, you will get a feeling of going back in time. Healthy and delicious food served at Kiudoski Restaurant, good wine and cosy interior give visitors an exquisite food experience. Read more


  Relaxing winter
holiday at Pühajärve!
Read more

Working day relaxation package
Read more


of Southern Estonia
Read more

Discover, learn and enjoy Estonia by tasting local food!
Read more


  Discover the spirit
of adventure!
Read more

Activity holiday in Mulgimaa!
Read more


Get in touch

Tartu Visitor Centre, Town Hall, Tartu 50089 +372 744 2111 info@visittartu.com
Valga CountyViljandi County Põlva CountyVõru County Jõgeva County
Tartu & South-Estonia


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