Thursday, 21.09.2017

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Võru county


Võru County or as locals say – Võro maakund (Võrumaa), is a region worth discovering and full of extremes and Estonian ‘most-s’ from the longest river in Estonia to the tallest peak of the Baltics. Võru County has preserved a lot of local traditions and Võrumaa’s folk are very proud of it. There’s a lot to see in all seasons.


Võru County’s nature is vetust and untouched. Most beautiful lakes are Vagula and Tamula.  Estonia’s longest river Võhandu offers adventures both for active vacation and for just discovering.


Haanja Nature Park is located at the heart of Võru County. To name few of the most important sights right away, it’s necessary to mention the highest hill of the Baltic States – the Suur Munamägi (trans. the Big Egg-hill at 318m) and an impressive watchtower stretching to 346m. In the primeval valley of Rõuge you’ll find both Tindi and Ööbiku valleys, hydraulic rams, steep slopes and Rõuge Suurjärv (trans. Big Lake of Rõuge) which is the deepest lake in Estonia. Vällamäe primeval forest is untouched by human hand and surprises you with the 84m Vällamäe hill and Iskne creek.


Obinitsa in Setomaa is small but famous all over Estonia, so you should definitely visit the Seto Muuseumitarõ (trans. Seto’s Museum Farmand numerous tsässona’s (Seto’s traditional “churches”), the cemetery and new church. It’s unlikely that you’ll find such a close experience of Seto’s life somewhere else and more understand their complicated past and present.


Antsla in turn is green and peaceful, a typical Estonian small town with its typical architecture and atmosphere.


Close by is the Karula national park (covering also the territory of Valga County), with over 60 lakes and hillocked forests.


As for Võrumaa’s manors, visit the neo-gothic/historicism-style Sõmerpalu manor -house from 1860-1878, which is in private hands nowadays.


Järevere at Lake Vagula, was founded as a supporting-manor for Sõmerpalu, is a small historicism-style manor complex belonging to Sõmerpalu Parish Government. Vana-Antsla manor complex has a long history with interesting buildings and primeval oaks.


Moving forward you should visit Võru County’s capital – Võru, located between Otepää and Haanja highlands. There are 3 lakes in the city: Tamula, Kubija and Mustjärv. You can cross the hanging bridge on Lake Tamula to the Rose island, visit the Võru Katariina church (1793) and the orthodox church (1806), as well as the cemetery for the fallen of the Freedom War and the Freedom war monument.


If you have a chance to visit Urvaste, find the Tamme-Lauri oak, which is the thickest tree in Estonia – measuring a diameter of 8m.


If you like swamps and swamp trips, you are in the right please as even with the number of swamps Võru County tops all other counties having over 2300 swamps (Luhasoo being the most famous).


To end, you may visit Vastseliina at the Piusa River, also Rõuge and Misso but you should have a lot of time to discover all of Võrumaa’s beauty…