General information

Package type: weekend 
Season: January-December
For whom: groups (max. 10 pers.) 

Duration of the programme: 2 days 

Type of transport: 
individual transfer / tour bus 

Public transportation: bus Tartu-Varnja

Services included:
accommodation, meals, participation in local seasonal work, sauna night, entertainment performance 


The guest house is located on the Onion Route, a destination on the shores of Lake Peipsi, the largest lake in Estonia and a trans-border lake of the Europe-an Union. It is about 45 km from Tartu. The area by Lake Peipsi is well known for growing the Peipsi Onion. This area has been populated for 350 years by Rus-sian Old Believers – orthodox Christians who fled from Russia due to persecution. Guests can experience a family stay in a tra-ditional Old Believer house which is quite authentic from the fur-nishings up to spoons and forks. The hostess, Herling Mesi, mo-ved from Estonia’s capital Tallinn to this remote area of Lake Peipsi shore. She got fascinated by the local lifestyle, learned a lot about Russian Old Believers everyday life and now shares it enthusias-tically with her guests.

”Sibulatee Subbotnik” is a mix of Estonian and Russian cultures, meaning joint work done on Saturdays. It is a long-standing custom in the community that families or friends come together to cope with some seasonal work such as harvesting. Guests will get a real experience of joining in seasonal joint work the way it is done in the Onion Route area. After a bit of work there is time to enjoy the local lifestyle – learn about samovars and tea drinking culture in the Russian Old Believ-ers community, take a sauna and have a relaxing evening. 

Programme itinerary

  • Programme


    Arrival and welcome. Arriving at Mesi tare guesthouse on Friday evening. Welcome house tour with the hostess. Dinner. 

    Saturday morning breakfast. 

    Seasonal work / workshop. 

    • In spring: digging onion beds according to Russian Old Believers traditional method / preparing for onion planting / making onion pie together.
    • Fishing on Lake Peipsi with a fisherman. Subsequent fish cleaning, salting /drying/ cooking of fish soup. 
    • Cutting underwood / wood splitting/ making a campfire.
    • In autumn: harvesting fruit, preparing them for wine production.

    Lunch. Making and enjoying lunch together with the hostess. 

    The collection of samovars. The hostess will show her collection of 100 samovars - the traditional tea making devices and will talk about tea drinking traditions. 

    Visiting neighbours. The Voronja artisan gallery is open in the summer. 

    Smoke sauna. Heating the sauna together with the host and experiencing sauna rituals with the sauna master. 

    Dinner with entertainment. Traditional music with local musicians, learning dances and singing along. 

    Overnight in Mesi tare guest house. 

    Sunday morning breakfast.