EXCURSION 3: Lake Peipsi cultural and natural heritage
The tour that introduces you to the Lake Peipsi cultural and natural heritage starts and ends in Tartu.
Lake Peipsi is the largest transboundary water body in Europe and the fourth largest lake in Europe. The area of Lake Peipsi is 3555 km2, of which 44% belongs to the Republic of Estonia and 56% to russia. Peipsi is a shallow lake, its average depth is 7.1 m and maximum depth 15.3 m. Ice cover on Peipsi usually forms in December and stays until March. Lake is famous for recreational ice-fishing in winter.
Natural and ethnic landscape of Peipsimaa area is as diverse and nuanced as Estonian history. Here you’ll find aristocratic mansions, lighthouses, traditional market culture and colourful cottages marking the onion route.
First half of the day we will visit western shore of Lake Peipsi, which is a popular holiday destination - unique for its natural beauty. We will drive through old believers fishing villages such as Kolkja, Kasepää and Varnja. Old Believers are religious refugees from russia who in the 17th century settled on the banks of Lake Peipsi. This ethnic group has kept their peculiar traditions even until today. We will make a stop at samovar-house to enjoy old-believers tea – Ivan tsai.
Second half of the day, we are going to walk at Kauksi beach, which is one of the most beautiful and best-known beaches in the area. You can get to the beach of "singing sands", which is several kilometres long, via a stairway over the dunes.
Lunch break will be at „Lammas & Roos“, which is a well-known local gourmet meat restaurant. The day wil continue at Alutaguse visitor center and we will get to experience an amazing view from the Iisaku lookout tower.