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Destination Details

Otepaa, Estonia

A small city it might be but in winter, hilly Otepää is the winter capital of Estonia and attracts skiers, snowboarders, snowmobile riders, snow tubers and sledgers from all over Estonia and beyond.

It is the most well-known winter sports centre in the Baltics and the Winter Capital of Estonia. Otepää got its name, which in Estonian means "bear's head" after the shape of the castle hill - which reminds you of a bear's head. It's also where in 1224, Bishop Hermann started building the first known brick castle in Estonia, The Stone Fort.

In summer you can hike along the paths of the Otepää Nature Park, see the landscape of rolling hills and lakes, romantic winding village roads and small rivers. Beautiful views open from observation towers on top of Tehvandi and Harimägi hills. You can also take part in different sports or simply have a good time at lake Pühajärve, which is a jewel among Estonian lakes. Pühajärv was also the first Estonian lake to earn the Blue Flag in 2000.

Those who believe in supernatural power should pay a visit to the so-called "energy pillar" in Otepää. It is believed that when you touch it, it will give you a great shot of energy and good health.

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