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THE NOBLE HOUSES OF ESTONIA
with Leigo Lake Music Festival
beginning of August

Tallinn - Palmse - Alatskivi - Tartu - Taagepera - Viljandi - Olustvere - Tallinn.
      
 

Day 1   Tallinn - Lahemaa                                         Palmse manor house
Arrival to Tallinn and meet your tour guide at the airport. We start the tour with a  visit to the very well preserved and restored Palmse and Sagadi Manor, situated in the heart of the Lahemaa National Park. These are unique restored manor houses, surrounded by parks and swan lakes. Lunch in Sagadi Manor house. Accommodation and dinner in Vihula Manor house, located in Lahemaa National Park.

Day 2   Rakvere - Alatskivi - Tartu
After breakfast departure to a small town Rakvere. We visit the ancient Tarvanpea Castle Ruins on Rakvere Vallimägi. The castle has had a variety of powerful owners including the Swedish, Polish and Danish Monarchies, the Livonian Order and the Russia Tsars. Despite suffering severe damage in numerous battles over the centuries, Tarvanpea continues to amaze and inspire.
We continue our journey towards Lake Peipsi. This lake, straddling the border between European Union and Russia, is the fourth largest lake in Europe. On the shores of the lake, in Raja village, live Russian "Old Believers", they are famous as chicory and onion growers.

In the nearby valley lies the magnificient the Alatskivi Castle. The Castle of Alatskivi was built in 1876-1885 on the initiative and according to the design of the Baron Arved von Nolcken in the New-Gothic Scottish baronial style (like Balmoral castle). Despite the fact that the building is only in the early phase of restoration many different events are hosted in the Castle.
We continue to the University town Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. Dinner is served at the University Cafe.
Accommodation at Antonius hotel*****, located in front of the University of Tartu

Day 3,   Tartu - Otepää - Sangaste - Taagepera
A walking city tour in Tartu includes a visit to the University, Toome Hill Park with its monuments, bridges, St John`s church and Town Hall square.
On the way to the South we pass the picturesque landscape of Otepää, the winter capital of Estonia and the cradle of the Estonian flag. 25 km from Otepää is situated Sangaste Castle, built in 1874 - 1881 according to its owners Fr.G.M. Berg ideas. The red-brick building was similar to Windsor palace on the outside, but variety of different styles were used inside - Gothic, Korintos, Spanish, Roman and English. 

Later the tour goes on to the mysterious noble house of Taagepera. Taagepera mansion (built in 1907-1912) resembles a small palace. Taagepera, with its architect being Otto Wildau, is one of the most noteworthy Jugendstil buildings.
Accomodation and dinner in Taagepera castle.
After dinner we are attending the most unique type of classical concert not far from Taagepera - Leigo Lake Music Festival. The performers are giving a concert on a lake and audience is observing by a lakeside.

Day 4   Viljandi - Olustvere - Tallinn
The seven hundred years old town of Viljandi attracts with its simplicity, quiet, greenery and interesting architectural sights. The deep lake down in the valley is a natural offset to the town and castle hills up on the slope. The stone castle dates from 1224 and was built on the site of an ancient Estonian wooden stronghold. The fortress continued to be built and modernized until the beginning of the 16th century. Due to the wars between Sweden, Poland and Russia there only remain some walls of the castle that was once a major stronghold.
On the way to Tallinn, we visit an Art Nouveau style well preserved noble house in Olustvere. The manorial complex is surrounded by an English-style park (covers 20 ha) which is bounded by a high stonewall. Lunch in Olustvere.
Accommodation at the von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn (spacious ZEN rooms) and evening leisure time in Tallinn.

Day 5   Tallinn
Morning walking tour in the Old Town, the best preserved old town in Northern Europe. We visit the Dome Church (13th century), the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevskij and admire the view across the red roofs of Tallinn Old Town from Toompea Hill. There are still many fine examples of dwelling-houses and warehouses within the medieval main walls, many of which date back to the days of the Hanseatic merchants and their artisans. The 600 year old Town Hall is the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe and is one of the most famed symbols of the city. It overlooks the main cobbled square, which is a central point for relaxing café-style al fresco eating and enjoyment in summer or the Christmas Market in winter.
Farewell lunch in the Old Town, at modern Estonian cuisine restaurant  Kaerajaan.
Afternoon departure flight from Tallinn Airport.



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