Gems of Pärnu county – Tõstamaa manor and Audru

  • Duration: 6 hours tour
  • Activity level: easy/moderate (bus and walking, stairs in Tõstamaa manor)

 
 
 

This trip takes us to the western part of the county, characterised by varied landscapes from bogs to dunes to forests, from fishermen’s villages to old churches and manors.

Tõstamaa Manor

After a short introduction to the history of Pärnu, we head off to the small town of Tõstamaa (40 km). The town’s manor, housing a school today, has been tastefully renovated and become one of the main attractions in the area.
The manorial estate dates from the middle ages but the mansion’s currently Late Classicist appearance is from the 1870s. The tour of the mansion includes various rooms, fanciful wall and ceiling paintings, stately main staircase and mantelpiece chimney. The last owner was Alexander Stael von Holstein, a renowned specialist in oriental studies and professor of Beijing University. To the rear of the mansion there is a pretty park. The mansion tour will be followed by a folk dance concert.

On the way back to Pärnu we stop over at Maria Farm for lunch and hear the story of the farm and Estonian farming life in general. The owner himself will be talking to us if we are lucky.

After lunch, we drop in at Audru, a pretty village on the road to Pärnu. The 19th century former manorial estate complex still has 14 buildings (all listed) which mostly date from the 19th century, unfortunately the mansion was destroyed in World War II. The municipal library and museum are housed in the former estate manager’s house. The complex is set in a landscaped park on the banks of the Audru river with 4 bridges spanning it. From Audru a road along the first polder in Estonia takes us to Valgerand beach. The polder was created in 1938 to protect against flooding. Today it is a major stopover site for migrating waterfowl and an internationally important Natura 2000 habitat.

Schedule:

  • 00:00 departure from Pärnu port. Guided bus tour through Pärnu
  • 00:20 journey to Tõstamaa
  • 01:30 tour in Tõstamaa manor* and folk dance concert (WC available)
  • 03:00 lunch and tour on Maria Farm (WC available)
  • 05:00 Audru church, manorial complex, polder
  • 06:00 return to Pärnu port

Length of journey: ca 115 km

  • Maximum size of group: 40 persons
  • Minimum size of group: 20 persons

Notes: Tõstamaa manor has high staircases (over 20 steps) and rooms with low vaulted ceilings.

Price includes:

  • Coach transfer
  • Guide services
  • Entry fees
  • Folk dance concert