Viljandi Southern Estonia Latvia area country Estonia Mulgimaa,Toomas Hendrik Ilves
The area that now makes up Southern Estonia was once part of Latvia. The Russian Petseri County, Võrumaa, and the Seto community in Põlvamaa, are also points of interest. A distinct dialect can be heard in Võrumaa. For example the word "keel," meaning language in Estonia, is pronounced "kiil" in the Võru dialect. It is particularly noticeable in the written language.
The inhabitants of Mulgimaa, the area outside of Viljandi, are known as “Mulks.” The Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves is from this area. This region has some of the best farmlands in the country.
It is worth becoming acquainted with southern Estonia’s history, and the surrounding landscapes are beautiful. Tall spruce trees, large oaks, deep lakes and rolling hills make up the landscape. During the summer be sure to visit one of the many festivals taking place in the area.
How to get there:
Take the train from Tallinn to Valga, and then from there, to Viljandi. Trains leave twice daily. A bus service to Viljandi runs almost hourly. Buses leave for Võru and Valga seven times daily.
Tallinn – Viljandi 159 km
Tallinn – Võru 253 km
Tallinn – Valga 267 km
Viljandi – Valga 88 km
Viljandi – Võru 124 km
Tallinn – Põlva 231 km
Viljandi 19,900 inhabitants
Võru 14,300 inhabitants
Valga 13,600 inhabitants
Põlva 6,500 inhabitants
TEXT MIKKO SAVIKKO, PHOTOS TOOMAS TUUL, URMAS VOLMER, EAS