Option 1: Lake Peipus region

Lake Peipus region - Grüne Fee gardening farm, "Peipsi onion route", Kolkja villageAlatskivi manorKallaste (Russian old believers' prayer houses)

The excursion departs from hotel London at 10 am on Tuesday, April 18. 


Grüne Fee gardening farm 

AS Grüne Fee Eesti is an Estonian-Finnish joint company that was established in 1993 on the basis of gardening farm Anne of the former Luunja sovkhoz. The company is situated in the village of Väike-Lohkva that is adjacent to Tartu. The primary activities of the company include year-round growing of cucumber, lettuces and herbs in greenhouse. As the largest producer of this business area in Estonia, we employ about 100 people whose work results in growing healthy supplements to consumer’s table.

As the first in the Baltics, Grüne Fee Eesti started using an innovative technology which enables to grow vegetables regardless of the current season due to extra light. This has increased crop yield and made domestic vegetables available all year long. Biological pesticides are used for fighting plant pests so that the latter are killed by predators of the pests instead of the chemicals. This precludes the possibility of contamination with chemical pesticides and ensures high quality of end production. The products of AS Grüne Fee Eesti conform to the quality requirements of domestic production sign “Eestis kasvatatud” (Grown in Estonia).

In addition to Estonia, the products of Grüne Fee Eesti are familiar to the consumers of Latvia, Lithuania and Finland and, hopefully, soon in Sweden. The company is planning to increase the growing area and to diversify the product range.


"Peipsi onion route" 

The Onion Route is a network of tourism service providers which covers the shores of Peipsi snaking from the banks of Emajõgi on the right side up to Kallaste. The fourth biggest lake in Europe has played a vital role in local life for centuries - Peipsi feeds and clothes the people, but sometimes also takes from them.

The Onion Route provides the visitors with an overview of three cultures: 
• Russian Old Believers. The Old Believers on the shores of Peipsi still honour old traditions. Varnja, Kasepää, Kolkja – all three are diverse ribbon villages. While you explore these, the museums, prayer houses and graveyards are worth looking up. Also, you should buy fish, onions and other agricultural products here. 
• Baltic German manor culture. The former Baltic German culture is represented by the stately Alatskivi manor. The old stone buildings at the heart of the manor are finding more and more new purposes of use. However, the majestic Alatskivi Castle deserves attention most of all. 
• Estonian peasant culture. Hard-working Estonians have also developed village life and culture in this area.The museum in the area where the famous Estonian poet Juhan Liiv was born and lived is well worth a visit and there are several places on the Onion Route which are related to the legends of our national epic's hero Kalevipoeg. 


Kolkja village 

Kolkja village is linear village, typical to Lake Peipus region. It is good example of villages on Onion Route, presenting influences of different cultures in this region - Estonians, Russian old believers and Baltic German culture. 

Kolkja Fish and Onion Restaurant serves traditional food of the Russian Old Believeres who have inhabited the coast of Lake Peipsi since the 17th century. Local fish and vegetables are used, as well as traditional recipes.



Alatskivi manor 

The magnificent main building of the Alatskivi Manor or Castle was completed in 1885 and was built based on the example of the British royal residence in Scotland.The history of Alatskivi Manor reaches back as ar as the mid-sixteenth century; the buildings of the Manor complex are partly in use and some are awaiting to be restored. The left section of the Castle has one floor, the right section two floors. In front of the main entrance is an open balcony with pillars on the right-hand corner there is an octahedral tower, inside the foyer extends over two floors The Manor is surrounded by a spacious park. Many of the outbuildings are located in groups close-by or further away.


Kallaste (Russian old believers' prayer houses) 

Kallaste is a town and a municipality in Tartu CountyEstonia. It is located on the western shore of Lake Peipus. Most of the population are Russians, 15% being EstoniansKallaste was founded in the 18th century as a village of Russian Old Believers. It became a small borough (alevik) in 1921 and a town 1 May 1938.