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Destination Details

Polva, Estonia

The small town of Põlva is the county centre of Põlvamaa. It is known for its versatile and unspoilt nature, unique landscapes and plenty of wildlife, both local and visiting camping enthusiasts enjoy the scenery alike.

Cosy farmhouse b&b’s, good and simple traditional food, wild surroundings and beautiful nature – no wonder it has become one of the favourite spots for nature lovers.

The first historic record of Põlvamaa dates back to 13th century, when the bishop of Bernhard monks order established Maarja (Maria) Church. According to legend, the church was named after a kneeling girl called Maarja, who was walled alive into the church. No evidence has been found to back up the story, but visitors to the Maarja church often claim to have felt a certain serene presence there. But, of course, there is nothing quite like the first-hand experience, so visit the church and perhaps you’ll get a chance to meet her, too!

Over many years, Põlvamaa was the birth place for a number of Estonian philologists and authors:

Reverend Gustav Adolf Oldekop established the first newspaper published in the Estonian language, “Tarto maa rahva Näddali Leht” (the Weekly Paper of Tartu countryside people).

Johann Georg Schwartz was the first to publish school books in the Estonian language

Johannes Käis is known as the man behind many educational reforms and was t he founder of the Võru Teachers’ Seminar

Jakob Hurt, a notable Estonian folklorist, theologian and linguist, collected and published Estonian national folk poetry.

Enjoy active and nature holidays in Põlva

Though it is small in size, Põlva town has always taken a pride in the active, sport loving nature of its citizens. You can go bowling in Edu centre bowling alley, enjoy the swimming pool in the Sports Centre, watch and participate in different athletics in Mesikäpa Hall or enjoy your morning run around the Intsikurmu Südamerada (Heart Track).

During summer, go for a swim in Põlva lake: there are plenty of playgrounds around the lake, rollerblading and skating places and beautiful walking tracks make it an ideal way to spend a day with the family. And when night falls, enjoy the romantic side of Põlva – there are over 150 different coloured lanterns on the lake’s island, casting their flickering light across the calm water.

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