If you're looking to explore something a little more exotic, then head to the South East border of Estonia to the traditional villages and home cooked food of Seto people. Setos have kept close to their traditional roots throughout the history and boast their own unique lifestyle including their own language and clothing customs. The estimated population of Setos in Estonia is 10,000 - 13,000, with about 3,000 - 4,000 living on their indigenous land.
Setos are well known also for their ancient polyphonic singing tradition called “Leelo”. Listed by UNESCO as part of world’s intangible cultural heritage, the singing tradition in Setomaa is kept alive and well by the older and younger generations alike. The most famous local singers were able to recall up to 20,000 rhymes, earning the title "Seto Mother of Songs."
Most Setos are practicing Orthodox Christians. Every household has its own icon corner and almost every village has its own small chapel. As a rule, the chapels are locked and the key is held by the village elder or chapel master/mistress. Visitors may have the opportunity to visit a Seto chapel during the village holidays when it is open for a public prayer.
Your trip over promises to be particularly memorable if you visit Setomaa during the various Seto traditional holidays or festivities: Kirmask, Seto Kingdom days, Seto Leelo days, Easter, and church holidays.