Via Hanseatica landscape surroundings in Estonia
In Estonia Via Hanseatica leads you through many regions from south to north: Valgamaa, Tartumaa, Jõgevamaa and Ida-Virumaa.
Therefore Via Hanseatica is surrounded by a great variety of Estonian landscape types: hills and drumlins, swamps and virgin forests, water-meadows and marshes, lakes and rivers, sandstone and limestone outcrops, as well as different types of cultural landscapes.
Near Estonian-Latvian borderline in the South-East of Estonia is situated the beautiful Otepää Upland. Otepää Upland is famous for its many symbols of Estonian landscape, for example Pühajärv and "Väike Munamägi" (Small Egg Hill), many ski centers and interesting manorhouses (Sangaste, Palupera, and Hellenurme).
Near Tõrva in Helme you will find the legendary sandstone caves and in Pikasilla you can have a glance at Estonias largest inland lake Võrtsjärve. The beautiful Sakala Upland is located near Võru.
Road 3 to Tartu is mostly surrounded by cultural landscapes, but also by picturesque natural landscapes, for example Elva riverdale and the district of Vapramäe. Luke – the most beautiful manor park in Tartu County – is located near Nõo.
Tartu with its population of more than 100, 000 people is the oldest town in the Baltic region. It has always been an important centre of education and culture.
After visiting Tartu you can proceed to road 43 that will lead you to the fourth biggest lake in Europe – Lake Peipsi (2, 555 km2). Alatskivi with its exceptional nature and Alatskivi castle are also situated near lake Peipsi. At Peipsi Lowland you can visit the villages of the Russian Old Believers. The famous Devon sandstone outcrops are located in small town called Kallaste.
If you drive along the Peipsi lakeside to the North-East of Estonia you will see the best beaches of lake Peipsi. The woods of Alutaguse, Iisaku parish and Pühtitsa Convent in Kuremäe are also situated near the northern side of lake Peipsi.
In the North-East of Estonia near Jõhvi you can see the artificial landscape that is the result of many decades of mining oil shale. The unique limestone cliff of North-Estonia that is being promoted for listing on UNESCO heritage list is also near Jõhvi. Sillamäe, too, is definitely worth a visit: it is a town representing Soviet architecture and style.