Setomaa, a region in South-East Estonia and Russia, is famous for its unique cultural heritage. We will get a glimpse of rich local traditions, taste their fine food and celebrate the Seto Orthodox Easter with local people.

Saturday 7 April

Departure from Tallinn at 7 am, the 270 km drive to Setomaa will take 4-5 hours.

Arrival in Värska. Open air museum, traditional Seto lunch in Tsäimaja. St George’s Orthodox Church and Värska natural mineral water factory.

Retaining the qualities of its naturally pure source, the water is drawn from the Ordovician-Cambrian aqueous layer 500 metres underground. Värska natural mineral water is an Estonian favourite!

Visit to Värska Health Resort and Spa (spavarska.ee, where you can relax and enjoy different saunas and pools), dinner at Värska Spa. (Spa visit and dinner are not included in the price.)

Drive to Setomaa Turismitalo – a traditional Seto farm which now operates as a family hotel. Accommodation in double and triple rooms (breakfast included).

Sunday 8 April

After breakfast we will drive to Obinitsa where we’ll visit the Seto Art Gallery. We will learn to hand print a headscarf or a canvas bag in a traditional Seto style while our local guide Kauksi Ülle will tell us more about Seto culture and heritage. We will also paint traditional style Easter eggs for munaloomka.

Kauksi Ülle has written multiple poetry books, short stories, novels and plays. She writes in the local language. Her inspiration springs from ancient beliefs and Estonian runo songs (regilaul), through which she is best able to describe the perseverance of old traditions and of the trials faced in the crosswinds of history. Her partner Evar Riitsaar is an artist and has been elected as Setu Ülemsootska several times.

Participation at munaloomka – a Seto style Easter egg game. Lunch break with traditional Seto food.

Walk in Obinitsa: Obinitsa Orthodox Church and cemetery, sculpture of Lauluema (Singing Mother), Obinitsa lake.

Drive to Vastseliina. We will visit the ruins of the medieval Vastseliina Episcopal Castle which was one of the most powerful fortifications in 13th century Old Livonia.

Travel back to Tallinn, time of arrival around 9 pm.

Price: 120 euros

Price includes:

  • coach travel to Setomaa and back,
  • accommodation in a traditional Seto farm,
  • breakfast,
  • all entrance tickets to museums and churches,
  • two lunches (Tsäimaja and Obinitsa),
  • two handicraft workshops,
  • local guide services.

Price does not include: Entry to Värska Spa (14 € or 11€) and dinner in Värska.

Contact:

Lea Kreinin: lea.kreinin@estinst.ee

Phone: +372 6314 355