Seto churches in South Estonia
Setomaa (the land of the Setos) was divided in two after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the re-independence of Estonia. Most Setos chose to live on the Estonian side of the border — Seto, like Estonian, is a Finno-Ugric language — though they practice Orthodox Christianity. The Värska Orthodox Church features an ornate iconostasis and many handcrafted sacred items. Saatse Church is associated with the only saint of Seto background, St. Stefanus, a parish priest who was shot in 1919.
The prayer houses near Lake Peipsi
On the shores of Lake Peipsi you can visit the prayer houses built by Old Believers. After fleeing Russia in the 17th century to avoid religious persecution, Old Believers built their first prayer house in Kükita in 1740. The current building replaced one destroyed in World War II. The Varnja Old Believer Prayer House can be visited by arranging a tour — the guide is a local member of the congregation and offers insights into the culture and history of Estonian Old Believers.
The Camino Estonia
Long-distance hikers or religious pilgrims may want to strap on their hiking boots to explore the Camino Estonia. This route begins at the Dome Church in Tallinn and heads south. The leg of the trail that crosses the border at Ikla connects hikers to the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route. If you've got the stamina, you can follow it all the way to the Lithuanian border town of Nida.