One of Estonia’s most charming towns, Viljandi, 90km east of Pärnu, is a relaxed place to stop for a day or more or to use as a base for exploring the country’s largest floodplain and bog area (no laughing!). The town itself, settled since the 12th century, has a gentle 19th-century flow to it. The tourist information office (
A highlight is visiting Lossimäed (Castle Park), which sprawls out from behind the tourist information office. A picturesque green area with spectacular views over Lake Viljandi, here are the ruins of a 13th- to 15th-century castle founded by the German Knights of the Sword, open for all to muck about in. The excellent Kondase Keskus (
Some 40km west of Viljandi is the Soomaa National Park (
One of Estonia’s most popular festivals takes place here in late July, the Viljandi Folk Festival (www.folk.ee), which brings out the flower power in everyone.