Värska (0 km) – Karisilla (4.3 km) – Vinso (22 km) – Põlva (40 km) – Puskaru (50 km) – Kanepi (61 km) – Otepää (81 km) – Sihva (89 km) – Sangaste (102 km) – Kuigatsi crossroad (118 km) – Tõrva (136 km) – Karksi-Nuia (166 km) – Sultsi (185 km) – Viljandi (200 km) – Vastsemõisa (212 km) – Tohvri (224 km) – Tõramaa (258 km) – Jõesuu (271 km) – Tori (277 km) – Sindi (291 km) – Pärnu city centre (305 km)
This cycling route offers the best overview of southern Estonia. On this route, you will be able to enjoy the diverse landscape that characterises southern Estonia. Start from Värska near the Russian border. All the way to Põlva, you'll see beautiful mossy woodlands and tall mast pines as well as billowing wheat fields. Those who wish to take a detour can go to the Meenikunno bog or the Võhandu River for some beautiful scenery (Süvahavva and others) near the cycling route. The famous Taevaskoja outcrops are close by as well.
The road from Põlva to Otepää is smooth at the beginning, but as you near Otepää it becomes pleasantly hilly with beautiful views of the lakes. Otepää Nature Park with Lake Pühajärv is certainly one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Estonia, and a local few routes in the area are also worth a visit.
Next, you cycle through the rye-growing areas of Sangaste (Estonians hold rye bread in high esteem), cross the Little Emajõgi river, see the charming small town of Tõrva and the centre of Mulgimaa, Karksi-Nuia. It is a lovely ride from there to Viljandi, a beautiful city with a long tradition of hosting the Viljandi Folk Music Festival. The ride from Viljandi to Tori, however, will truly immerse you in nature as you travel through forests and on gravel roads in the Soomaa National Park. Your route will reach its end once you arrive in the summer capital of Estonia, Pärnu, which is situated along the banks of the Pärnu river.
Along this route, road conditions are very diverse. The biking route from Värska to Kanepi runs on fairly quiet paved roads, there are quite long stretches of good quality cycle paths around Otepää and Sangaste and slightly shorter stretches of cycle paths in Tõrva and around Karksi-Nuia and Viljandi. In Soomaa, you have to cycle 12 km on forest paths to get from Tohvri to Tõramaa, then another 21 kilometres on gravel roads between the forests followed by paved roads leading from Jõesuu to Pärnu. The final stretch of the route consists of 15 kilometres of cycle paths.
You can do the entire route from beginning to end, but you can also start or finish in Põlva, Puka or Viljandi, all of which are accessible by train. If you wish, you can combine this route with routes 2, 3, 4, 6 or 14, or take a number of local routes.
Cycling this route will give you an excellent overview of Estonia's diverse landscapes.