Sightseeing tours

After productive programme of the Forum we are offering 3 different tourism excursions to you and your companions. You can choose to get to know with Tartu City more or to discover Southern-Estonia during 4.5h guided excursions.

All excursions are in english and require pre-registration.

1 – Guided tour in Tartu, 35€ per person
Duration 1.5 hours. Minimum number of participants 10.
2 – Guided bus tour to Onion Route, 65€ per person
Duration 4.5 hours. Minimum number of participants 15.
3 – Guided bus tour to Setomaa & Võrumaa, 65€ per person
Duration 5 hours. Minimum number of participants 15.

For registration please send an e-mail to the Forum Secretariat with the following information:

1. Tour you want to attend
2. Name(s) of the participant(s)
3. Invoice details

After receiving your registration request, the Forum Secretariat will send you an invoice that needs to be paid in advance. Please note that the tours only take place and invoices will be issued after minimum number of people per tour is registered.

Additionally you can book private tours in Tartu for yourself or your accompanying persons before and during the official Forum programme:

Professional tour guide services for exploring Tartu in english.
Cultural tours and walks in the old town, university ensemble and Dome hill.
Book a tour:


Onion Route

13:30 Departure from Tartu (V-SPA and Dorpat hotel)
14:15 Old Believers´ Worship House and Raja Village
15:00 Alatskivi Castle museum and Park (including light meal in the restaurant)
16:10 Kolkja Museum of Old Believers
17:00 Kostja Onion Farm
18:10 Arriving back to Tartu

NOTE: Most places will not accept debit or credit cards. In order to buy souvenirs please bring some change with you.

On the Onion Route you will meet three local cultures on the shore of the biggest lake in Estonia, Lake Peipus – Russian Old Believers, Baltic German manor culture and Estonian peasants. Our next stop, is an Old Believers Worship House at Raja village. It is believed that the Raja congregation of Old Believers was established in the first quarter of the 18th century. The congregation was given permission to build its own church only in 1879. The church was destroyed during the Second World War – the only thing left is the belfry.

Alatskivi Castle Park is the heart of Onion Route. The biggest park in Tartu County (130 ha) – was established by squire von Stackelberg in the end of the 18th century. The Alatskivi Castle built according to the designs of Arved von Nolcken with the surrounding park is one of the main sights in the area.

57 buildings and objects belonged to the manor ensemble in the 19th century, 41 of them are still in their original place now. The towers and terraces of the castle offer beautiful views of the lakes, the church and the surrounding landscape.

Our next stop is at the Kostja Onion Farm. The farmer Konstantin (Kostja himself) will introduce you to the old believers traditional onion farming, how the onions were grown in the old days and how is it done nowadays.

Setomaa & Võrumaa tour

13:30 Departure from Tartu (V-SPA and Dorpat hotels)
14:30 Vastseliina Episcopal Castle
15:10 Meremäe Hill and Seto Art Gallery at Obinitsa
16:10 The Seto Farm Museum in Värska (light snacks will be served)
17:15 Podmotsa village
18:30 Arriving back to Tartu

Vastseliina Episcople Castle. In 1379 the Master of Order Vrymersheim described Vastseliina as the strongest and the most reinforced castle in Livonia.

It was only in the beginning of the Livonian War, in 1558 than the defence capacity of the castle was pushed to its limits facing the 80 000 warriors of Ivan the Terrible. In order to avoid the fatal damages, the castle’s garrison surrendered to Russian army.

The castle was completely destroyed during the The North War (1700–1721) by the solders of Tsar Peter I. Only some years earlier the Tsar himself had visited Vastseliina. Today you can roam around between the walls and see what was life like before the destruction of the castle in a nearby museum.

After that, we have an introduction to Setomaa at Meremäe Hill, where we can see the Setomaa map. The Meremäe Hill belongs to the eastern part of Haanja upland and a large part of Setomaa can be seen from the Hill in clear weather as well as Petseri abbey church domes and reflection of water from Pihkva Lake.

Then we head to Obinitsa, that is one of the culturally richest villages in Setomaa and had an honour of bearing the title of the Finno-Ugric Culture Capital. It means that this small village was the capital for 25 million finno-ugric people. We also visit a Hal´as Kunn Art Gallery, where we can find permanent exhibition of older and contemporary Seto art.

Then we will enter Russia legally and without Visa and visit the Seto Farm Museum in Värska. The museum enables the visitors to learn about the farm architecture, old tools and rich collection of handicraft items dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.The exposition comprises a half-enclosed yard, a dwelling, storehouses for clothes, grain and food, a bam with a hay shed, a workshop, other sheds, a smoke sauna, a pottery, a smithy, a barn and kiln house and a tea house. The majority of the buildings are original and originate from Nothern Setumaa.

We finish off our day by visiting Podmotsa village, where we will see a tsässon (small prayer house) from the 18th century and get a glimpse of Russia as the village is on the border of Estonia and the European Union. Kuulja Church on Russian side is only a 100 meters away!