Otepaa, Day Trip from Tartu, Estonia

On a crisp, sunny autumn day we took a 45 minute drive out of Tartu to the mountain ski resort town of Otepaa. Before you get too excited, note that the mountains are really hills and the skiing is cross-country.

Although the town is not much to look at the area offers a selection of outdoor activities including hiking, biking and skiing.

Stopping in at the tourist office we were given a map and directions to a lake 3K west of town with a 12K hiking circuit around the lake. The complete circuit was longer than we wanted and spends some amount of time walking on roads so we did a short out and back on the east side of the lake through a wooded section.

A pretty forest with frequent views of the lake through the trees, the destination makes a lovely escape from town on a sunny day. We saw only one other couple on the lake on a Thursday morning in late September.

Otepaa Golf Center

For lunch we stopped in at the golf club, recommended in Lonely Planet. A gorgeous autumn day, we saw no one on the golf course and were the only ones in the restaurant. The sun filled high-ceilinged contemporary space with large picture windows overlooking the golf course would have been a delight except for the multitude of flies.

The food started well with a light fish soup – cod, carrots and leaks in a clear broth, but my goat cheese mousse salad was a disaster. The cheese mousse was way too strong (and I like strong cheese), the dressing too vinegary and the roasted tomatoes too salty. Don’s arrabbiata was well done.

September 26, 2019

For links to all the posts in this series see the Baltics Road Trip page.