Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Remote Estonian Village of Saatse

Tucked away in Estonia's uttermost far south eastern corner lies the remote village of Saatse. It is the only place in Estonia that requires you to travel through a small stretch of Russia in order to reach it. The area is known as the 'Saatse Boot' due to the shape of its border.

There are strict regulations in force by the Russian border police which you must adhere to otherwise you will be arrested. You don't require a visa to enter this pocket of Russia but once you enter the forest gate you must travel along the 900m stretch of road at no less than 60km/h and you must not stop. Pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted, you can only travel by car.

Once you arrive in Saatse you will find a Setu museum and perhaps see one of the village's 89 inhabitants.

In 2005 the Estonian and Russian governments approved a new border treaty which is yet to be ratified. Small pockets of land will be exchanged in order to make the area through which the road passes Estonian territory.