Cross-country Skiing: Estonia

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Cross-country skiing in Estonia's remote south east

The beauty of Estonian winters attract people from across the world, looking for a mix of snow covered forest, fairy-tale towns and friendly locals. Our week cross-country skiing starts in Tallinn, Estonia's compact historic city. Here we will enjoy some of the local tracks around the city and along the coast, with plenty of free time to enjoy this pretty capital, with its walled old town dating back to the 14th century.
We then travel south to the ski capital of Estonia - Otepää. Here we enjoy four full days of cross-country skiing both on and off track, through beautiful pine forest. One day will be spent taking part of the route of the famous Tartu Ski Marathon which takes place in the region annually.


  • Intermediate skiing on and off track
  • Explore 14th century Tallinn
  • Stay in a comfortable hotel in a great location

Key information

  • 7 nights in en suite rooms, hotel in Tallinn has a spa
  • Six days guided cross-country skiing 
  • Group normally 5 to 14. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private minibus

What's included

  • All breakfast included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights
  • Skies, poles and boots

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's and Vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


  • Day 1

    Fly to Tallinn, transfer to hotel

    Fly Gatwick to Tallinn. Transfer to hotel. Time permitting there will the opportunity to pick up our skis and go out to explore the routes around the city.

    The hotel is a good quality spa hotel with a pool, hot tub, steam room and saunas. Perfect after a long flight and an afternoon of skiing.

  • Day 2

    Morning skiing around Tallinn. Free afternoon to explore the city

    This morning we head out for some more skiing around the Estonian capital. There are two main options, one is about 25-30 mins to the west called Nomme and the other is about 10 mins to the east by the sea called Pirita. Nomme has a 15 km loop split into 2 sections. Pirita is more attractive as it runs through forest and along the river.

    In the afternoon we have free time to explore the Old Town. This pretty 14th century walled city dates back to the days of the Hanseatic League, when it was an important trading port. Here you can lose yourself in the winding cobbled streets, with a chance to dip into a cosy coffee shop to warm up by the fire. You may want to visit one of the two main Cathedrals or take a walk up Toompea Hill for a lovely view over the tiled rooftops.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Otepaa and afternoon skiing

    Today we transfer to Otepaa, approximately 2.5hrs south east of Tallinn. We take lunch nearby and then head out on our skis to explore the local area.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ski route from Otepaa

    Full day cross-country skiing from the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Kaariku and ski back to Otepaa

    Transfer to Kaariku, from here we will skiing on some of the local tracks through the forest. After lunch we'll ski back to Otepaa

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Skills day with retired Olympiad Jaanus Teppan

    Today we are joined by Jaanus Teppan a retired Olympic skier, who competed in both Albertville 92 and Lillehammer in 94 for Estonia in the 30KM race. He will guide in the local, watching our techniques and suggesting improvements we could make. He also films us so we can see where we might be going wrong on the computer after we return to the hotel. This is great opportunity to improve on what we have learnt with a highly skilled instructor.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Final day skiing in the beautiful Estonian wilderness

    Today is our final full day of skiing in Otepaa. There will be the option to join a short race in the afternoon. These vary from week to week, so we can't say where this will take place or how long the course will be. But there will be the option to sign up at the beginning of the week.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer back to Tallinn Airport; fly to London

    After breakfast we transfer back to Tallinn Airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



British passport holders do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.



There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Dinners will be taken in the hotels or in a nearby restaurant. Cuisine in Estonia is often centred around pork, veal, fish, potatoes, sauerkraut and soups such as borsch (beetroot soup with meat). Dumplings are also very popular. While desserts include mannavaht (a cream made of semoline and juice or fruit), pancakes and rhubarb pies. Drinking beer with a meal is common and still more popular than wine. Local favourites include Saku and A.le Coq, the latter of which is brewed in Tartu.


The climate of Estonia can be described as a typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters. February is one of the coldest months with daytime temperatures usually around -5°C, but in some cases temperatures can drop to about -20°C or even lower with strong, cold north easterly winds. Heavy snowfall or even snowstorms are also possible. However, cold crisp sunny days are also common.

Is this trip for you?

Exodus offers cross-country skiing holidays to suit a wide range of technical and physical levels. Our cross-country skiing grades reflect both the level of physical fitness required and the level of skiing experience required. They are comparable to the activity levels we use on our snowshoeing, cycling, activity and trekking holidays; however we believe a slightly different system is required, due to the tuition we provide on our holidays. This sets our cross-country skiing holidays apart, as we tend not to need to teach people how to ride a bike or walk. The aim remains to create groups of similar ability and fitness. Our descriptions are below, however feel free to call and speak to an expert if you are unsure which grade or type of holiday will suit you best.

In Estonia we offer grade 3 holidays:

Grade 3 Intermediates Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3.  A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Tallink Spa Hotel & Tehvandi Hotel

Tallink Spa Hotel 4*
Located just a 5 minute walk from the walls of the Old Town, The Tallink Spa Hotel is a good standard, 4-star hotel, with large rooms and a generous buffet breakfast. The large spa complex offers various types of saunas and hot tubs, as well as indoor and outdoor heated pools.

Tehvandi Hotel 3*
The hotel has a quirky design with a grass roof and is perfectly located less than 100 metres from the athletics track. All 45 rooms were refurbished in 2014, each with an en suite bathroom. The communal sauna is free of charge in the morning and can be hired for groups in the evening (€20)

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed March 2018
    jean luc laot

    cross country skiing in estonia

    the skiimg in otepaa was very good . a busy week lots of skiing with a few nice surpriseslike the biathlon and a look at the high ski jump ! loved doing part of the tartu ski marathon and our guide kristel of course was so good too ! did like the old town of Tallinn well worh a visit and did not miss not doing the optional second afternoon skiing in Tallinn

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I guess doing the 26 km tartu marathon .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    one of the best have had with exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    be relatively fit to enjoy your trip and enjoy the cold weather
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Chris Bailey

    Cross-country skiing in Estonia

    Let me begin by saying that this was an excellent trip. Estonia doesn’t have the mountains of Norway but it it does have forests in spades. If you want relatively easy skiing on quiet tracks this is the trip for you. I think the exodus grade of 3 is too high and a 2 would be be more appropriate. Not sure that there is much value in the time spent in Tallinn. Beautiful city but visit on a city break. Impossible to finish this review without mention of our guide Kristel. Kristel was an amazing guide/leader. I have been on a number of trips and Kristel is one of the best. She encouraged us, gave plenty of hugs, and went out of her way to make our trip memorable. Somehow she sorted out biathlon shooting (think about this - how many times do you get to shoot real rifles, watching ski jumpers, and night skiing. If I were Exodus ZI’d sign her up as leader for as many trips as possible .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?


Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936