Otepää - yet another Estonian pearl in the snow

Otepaa Travel Blog

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In winter, you may see eager families speeding out of Tallinn with skis strapped on their car roofs, chances are they're heading to the tiny southern town of Otepää, Estonia's 'Winter Capital.'

Nestled in a hilly region an hour's ride south of Tartu, Otepää is ringed by ski resorts that cater to both downhill and cross-country passions. Though the hills here are a far cry from Alpine magnitude, there is still enough snowboarding, ice skating, snow-tubing and other winter sports to keep even the most avid snow freaks happy.

Though there are three 'direct' bus connections from Tallinn daily, it's often faster to get an express to Tartu that meets an Otepää-bound bus.

About 11 buses a day leave Tartu for Otepää, and the trip takes 50 minutes. Check www.bussireisid.ee for schedules. However, since most ski resorts are well out of town, we recommend bringing your own car if you have one.

Kaija had promised a great day to her two oldest cousins and we had planned to drive to Otepää and do some fun in the snow. We chose to take them out for some tube flying which was to be found almost in the middle of the city centre. This was something that was fun for children in all ages.  

Kaija was the one who was taking charge of the entertainment and I volunteered as the photographer so everything could be documented. The two boys really enjoyed it and they were not the only ones; I was having great fun watching everything from bachelor parties to moms and dads taking their kids out for the first time. The speed was great and I found it well arranged, especially I enjoyed the belt that took everybody up the hill so everyone could have a lot of rides in a short timeframe.

We had the boys out in the snow for more than two hours and they just didn’t seem to be tired at all.

We had to talk to their stomachs in order to get something else done. We had to go for pizzas which they both enjoyed but only until they got focused on the desserts.

We left the pizzeria because they didn’t have pancakes with ice cream which were on top of their wish list. We found a place at the city centre of Otepää where they had some good ones, and they went down very fast.

After the pancakes it was time to move again so we went back to Tartu to do some skating in the shopping mall     

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photo by: Chokk