Ape – border crossing point between Estonia and Latvia (0 km) – Lüllemäe (35 km) – Sangaste – Kääriku – Otepää – Elva (108 km) – Kambja – Prangli – Liiva – Tartu (169 km) – Kavastu – Koosa – Varnja – Alatskivi (244 km) – Selgise – Vara – Maarja – Elistvere (296 km) – Ilmatsalu (332 km) – Elva – Puhja – Viljandi (434 km) – Päri – Mustla (472 km) – Tõrva (506 km) – Taagepera – Koorküla – Sooru – Valga (576 km)
This cycling route was developed jointly by Estonia and Latvia in 2011 and named Tour de LatEst. It takes you through the two neighbouring countries, half of it being in Estonia with a length of 576 km. In Estonia, the trail circles around Viljandi and Jõgeva County, so you can see as many beautiful spots as possible.
Once you cross the border into Estonia from the direction of Ape, you will immediately arrive at Metsavenna Farm, from where you will continue through the hilly landscape of Karula National Park. Cycling this route will take you across Sangaste, Kääriku, and Otepää, from there under Elva's pines to Pangodi, and finally into Tartu. By that time, the distance travelled will be 169 km.
After exploring Tartu, head to Peipsi. After driving along the banks of the River Emajõgi and crossing the river with a Kavastu raft, you will eventually arrive at the villages of the Peipsi Old Believers (Varnja, Kolkja, etc.). A visit to Alatskivi castle is followed by a long ride through the woods, first on paved roads and then on forest paths. With some luck you will be able to spot some of Estonia's bigger wild animals.
Continue to Vooremaa (Elistvere Animal Park, Lake Saadjärv) and ride along the Ilmatsalu cycling path until you reach the outskirts of Tartu. In total, you have now driven 336 km in Estonia.
The biking route continues on to Elva, from there via Lake Võrtsjärv to Viljandi, then through the beautiful landscapes of Heimtal and Mustla to Tõrva. A visit to the forests of Koorküla (more undisturbed nature and wildlife) through the Helme and Taagepera castles is followed by a drive to Estonia's main southern entrance in Valga to continue the journey into Latvia, if desired.
Driving conditions on this route are good. Most of the route runs along quiet paved roads, with longer stretches of gravel or forest paths in the Karula National Park (about 20 km), 7 km near Kääriku, about 15 km near Kambja, 15 km near Selgise and Vara, a few kilometres in Ilmatsalu and a total of 30 km from Taagepera to Sooru. There are quite a lot of cycle paths in sections, about 96 km in total.
As the route twists and turns so much, it is easy to start and end your bike ride at points not too far apart. If you take the train, you could start (or finish) in Tartu, Valga, Viljandi, Elva, Tabivere or Tsirguliina. When travelling by other means of transport, there are significantly more options.
Besides the main route, you can also include routes 3, 4, 5, 14, 15, 18 and 230, visit local routes in Jõgevamaa or take a longer detour around Otepää or Karula National Park, as South Estonia is very rich in cycling trails.