Lake Peipus that extends far into the Russian territory in the east has an important role to play in the border discussions between Estonia and Russia.
Lake Peipus, with its 3,600 square kilometres is approximately eight times the size of Lake Constance, its maximum length is 143 kilometres and its maximum width is approximately 50 kilometres. About 45% of the lake’s area (1600 km2) is on the territory of Estonia. The figures are impressive, but the Lake has much more than its mere vastness…
Especially on the northern banks between Kauksi and Vasknarva there are lots of beautiful swimming areas, sandy beaches and endless horizon create an atmosphere of a maritime holiday. At first only the salt-free taste of the water hints at inland water. Whilst being covered with a 50 cm layer of ice for several months in winter, Lake Peipus warms up in the relatively short summer to a temperature of more than 20°C – a temperature ideal for bathing.
What is the reason for that? The main reason for the rapid changes is the fact that Lake Peipus is not very deep. With an average depth of only eight metres the relatively fast changing temperatures have a strong impact on the climate of the lake.
In the villages and settlements around the lake live a lot of Russian immigrants, who are engaged in the main business of the area – fishing. In many places raw or cooked fish is offered on road sides. Fish is one of the favourite dishes of the local people, because the area is so rich in it.
Even in summer, there is no threat of meeting masses of tourists on the long banks of Lake Peipus. There are hardly any cultural or architectural sights worth mentioning. Thus, the area remains quiet and tranquil even in summer and is ideal for visitors who are looking for a relaxing experience in an unspoilt nature.