Tartu Christmas 2018

We all know that Tallinn is one the most beautiful and nice winter cities in the world but now it was time to check another winter town, Tartu.

Again we spend our nights in Tampere Maja, and again slept like baby, enjoyed good breakfast and of course sauna!

Cause there was four of us and a dog, we reserved a family room. It has separate bedroom, living room with two beds and kitchen corner.

Bedroom

Living room

Kitchen

And the best part is that you can take your pets with you. There is enough space in the rooms, nice backyard for dogs to play. And in 100 meters from the Maja there is a big park where you can walk your dog.

Most of the restaurants are still open on 23.12 and some on 24.12, especially on Rüütli street (pedestrian zone) but on 25.12 most of the restaurants are closed, so prepare to do some googling beforehand. In Estonia most of the restaurants donn’t have a website or they don’t update those but almost all the places have their own Facebook-page and usually you can find updated business hours there.

This time we had our dinner in amazing La Dolce Vita pizzeria and really good Indian restaurant Mandala. And we can highly recommend both.

Local brewery Pühaste has opened new restaurant to Tarto and we checked it out also. The tap list was impressive!

Tartu is really nice and quiet Christmas town but there is not that much to do. You can do some shopping in local Kaubamaja -shopping center, eat and drink in restaurants and have some hot wine on Raekoja Plats -town hall area and walk around old town or Toompea -park but that’s that. So remember to take your favorite book and some board games with you, otherwise you are going to have some long days ahead.

Saka Mõis – Manor and spa

One of our first trips this summer was to Saka town in east side of Estonia, near Narva. We found this lovely manor closed to sea and decided to enjoy their spa and hospitality for one night.

The main road nro 1 is boring as h…, but in good condition, and also full of trucks. You can do as we did, and drive part of the trip in smaller roads. We took first road to Rakvere and from there to Kohtla-järv. These roads are in good shape also and not so straight and boring as the main road.

The manor is pretty old but recently renovated, the rooms are kinda oldish and there is nothing fancy but big enough for motorcycle stuff, clean and homey. Also free parking outside behind fence was nice.

The spa was lovely small spa with all the necessarily features like sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool. We had the whole area only for us for 1,5 hours and that was really nice small detail.

Breakfast next morning was really nice ans we were able to eat outside.

The manor area is big and there are also some cottages to rent, you can park your wagon here and there are also places for tents.

In surrounding area you can walk, play tennis, hike, rent bicycles or just climb to watching tower to enjoy the view.

Unfortunately there is only one restaurant in the manor and it’s ok but not that good. It’s not pricey either so we didn’t really care that much. But the service was nice, food rather ok and the dining room looked amazing so we were pretty happy after we left.

The whole Saka area is pretty quickly explored but the manor is lovely, the spa is nice, prices are decent so if you are driving to m/from Narva and need place to stay, we can really recommend thia place for you.

Continue Reading →

Tartu – Tampere Maja and cocktails by the river

The final destination of our trip was Tartu and Tampere Maja, really lovely wooden house with specious rooms, sauna and parking space on backyard.

The road from Otepää to Tartu was no different than the other roads; quiet, boring and in good condition. Nothing much to see on the road, few cows and a lots of trees and fields. When we arrived to Tartu, we noticed that ok, now we are in the real city, plenty of cars, some motorcycles and a bit tricky old town to drive. Luckily we had our navigator so it was pretty easy to find the hotel.

Tampere Maja

We know that we were able to park the bikes backyard so we drove straight in from the gates, took our stuff and checked in.

Our room was spacious and bright and of course really hot, cause it was Indian summer outside. The room had air conditioning but we had some problems to use it and we were too tired to call the staff so we decided to open the window and enjoy the Estonian summer.

Bedroom

Tampere Maja has also a sauna for rent. We rented it for 2 hours and it was really nice even after a short ride we had today. Sauna is clean and there is shampoos and stuff for the guests and also towels, so no need to bring your own. You can also bring your own drinks (also alcohol) with you but make sure you buy plastic bottles or cans.

Sauna and terrace

After a nice sauna session we headed to town and to river side, where is one of our favorite bars, Väike Kuuba. Their mojitos are just awesome!

Väike Cuba

After few drinks we decided to try local tex mex- food at Sheriff Saloon and what a disappointment it was. Service was slow, food was straight form the can and tasted like …. I don’t know. The place looks nice, but there is so much better restaurants in Tartu than this one.

Saloon

But thank good, Tartu has the best chocolate restaurant in the country, Chocolate de Pierre. There I had my dessert cake, a big cup of coffee, lovely glass of white wine and at the same time we enjoyed the atmosphere of Tartu town hall square.

Next morning we had a small breakfast at the Tampere Maja. Nothing special, just breads, cereals, vegetables, cheeses and hams, but it was enough for as at that point, so we were kind of happy. On our way home, we took a small detour and ended up this “sports center” near Tallinn, where we had really good soup for a lunch and the price was a round 2,5 euro per cup, nothing fancy but the area, friendly service and nice weather made our day and we drove happily back to Tallinn. The Tartu-Tallinn road is in really good shape and there is some traffic, and in rush hours you should take your time cause there might be a lots of cars going to Tartu on Friday or leaving from Tartu on Sundays.

But once again we had really nice road trip and we are really lucky that we have so nice places near us.

Viljandi-summer city

Our next trip was from Tallinn to Viljandi. No twisty roads ahead, but not too much traffic or road blocks either! Easy, good roads and a lots on places to bypass a car, truck, horse or what ever!

Our hotel in Viljandi was called Endla hotel. We had our own parking space and a big room, which had lots of space for helmets and stuff. We liked that a lot. The room and the hotel was a bit old but in a nice way, breakfast was just poor and the bathroom really was also very small, but service, location and prices were really good!

Here are few pictures of the hotel.

Backyard

 

 

Viljandi town is cute, small summer city with wooden houses, cafes, parks and medieval castle, or actually ruins of the castle but still really cool place to see.

 

A lot of chimneys

 

Local library and its wooden books

 

Lovely park and river. Nearby is the castle and a nice cafe

We had our dinner in restaurant Fellin (what means Viljandi in german language) and it was so good! I had a huge bowl of borch soup and house bread and he had a well cooked and seasoned pork and potatoes.

 

I had an excellent borsch soup and some fresh house bread.

 

And as a dessert, baked cheesecake with fresh strawberries

After a good dinner we wanted to taste some local beers. For that we found beershop and winebar called Mull. Nice selection of beers, good wines, terrace and good service. Not a bad end for a lovely evening.

The next morning we had our morning coffee at local “green” cafe, Roheline Maja pood ja kohvik, organic food, coffee etc.

And after a good cup coffee we headed to Otepää and Tarto. The road to Otepää was ok, good condition and finally some hills and twists. Unfortunately we only had time for a quick lunch but we will definitely go back again.

The lunch took place in a local cafe called Ugandi Kohvik. They are famous for their waffles, so we had a lunch soup and waffles with berries, 5 euros per person. And it was so good!

After Otepää it was time to go to see Tarto. You can find our tips for Tarto in the next blog post. See you soon.

Our route

Pärnu Grillfest

What’s a better way to start summer than a good old fashion barbeque festival! That’s why we headed to Pärnu in the beginning on June to celebrate summer and bbq-food!

Usually people choose the E67 -road to Pärnu, also known as Via Baltica, but for people with motorcycles we recommend something else, a bit smaller and about 50 km longer route trough Keila, Risti and Lihula. Roads 8, 9, 10 and 60. All of these roads are in really good shape, but don’t expect anything twisty or interesting though, since unfortunately we don’t have that much of those kinds of roads here in Estonia. But instead of those twisties you can find lovely countryside, cows and sheeps on the fields, and you might also spot a multitude of hawks and storks.

There are also plenty of places to have a coffee or enjoy a very reasonable priced lunch. So if you don’t need gas, please support the local entrepreneurs and stop in local cafes (kōrts or kohvik) and enjoy.

We stopped here for a quick coffee and continued on the road!

 

Here are some of the prices in year 2018.

It took us about 2,5 hour to go to Pärnu from Tallinn, and even though it is about 50 km longer route, it might be faster cause there is not that much traffic or road blocks as E67 could have in summertime.

Tervis Spa

This time we stayed at the Tervis Spa which is just around the corner of Grillfest. There is a big parking space for cars and motorcycles and a plenty of room for clothes, helmets etc in the room itself. Most of the rooms have a balcony, and all rooms have access to spa. Hotel is beside the Pärnu river, so if you like to run or walk by the water, this is the place for you. Here are some pictures of the hotel room:

 

Hotel room was spacious and bright

 

Bathroom big enough for two persons
And the view to the river was really nice

 

BBQ was the thing!

 

And also some local wines, ciders and beers were served.

 

The salmon was a big thing too! And why not, we are beside the water after all …

a lots of people were having fun around the riverside
Veinihaldjas offered us nice selection of Italian wines
and some snacks too
Ice coffee was a big hit

And all kind of seafood

 

And my personal favorite, mussels!

What can I say! We ate, we drank, we ate more and rolled back to the hotel with smile on our faces.

Next morning we had quick breakfast! Actually that was a small disappointment but luckily we weren’t that hungry 🙂 Took the bikes and headed back home.

It was fun and we will definitely come back next year! Thanks Pärnu!

Our route