BALTIC HIGHLIGHTS TOUR (10 days/ 9 nights*)
VILNIUS - TRAKAI - KAUNAS - KLAIPEDA - NIDA - PALANGA - HILL OF CROSSES - RIGA - SIGULDA - CESIS - TARTU - TALLINN
Arrival in Vilnius. Transfer to the chosen hotel. Welcome meeting.
In the evening optional traditional Lithuanian dinner at a cosy restaurant in the Old Town of Vilnius.
Overnight in Vilnius.
Day 2 VILNIUS - TRAKAI - VILNIUS (~ 50 km)
After breakfast guided walking tour in the Old Town of Vilnius - one of the largest and most interesting historical city centres among the Eastern European capitals. This tour includes: the Cathedral and the Cathedral Square, Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Presidential Palace, Vilnius University, Amber Museum - Gallery, gothic corner with St. Anne‘s Church and Bernardines, the Gate of Dawn and more.
In the afternoon visit to a Lithuanian baroque masterpiece St. Peter and Paul‘s Church followed by a tour to Trakai (~28 km), the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Visit to Trakai Insular Castle, the red brick medieval architectural monument from the end of the 14th century and now part of Trakai History Museum. Then time for admiring the beautiful nature of Trakai, taking an optional boat ride, acquiring some Lithuanian souvenirs and perhaps trying some local authentic food specialities. Return back to Vilnius in the evening.
Overnight in Vilnius.
Day 3 VILNIUS- KAUNAS - KLAIPEDA (~ 310 km)
After breakfast departure to Lithuanian seaport Klaipeda via Kaunas, the second largest city of Lithuania. Places of interest included in Kaunas city tour: Kaunas Castle built at the confluence of 2 largest Lithuanian rivers, Town Hall Square surrounded by Jesuit Church and Monastery, the Cathedral among other churches and Theological Seminary, Avenue of Freedom (Laisves aleja), visit to M. K. Ciurlionis Art Gallery or a unique of its kind Devils‘ Museum. Afterwards visit to the Pazaislis Ensemble of the Church of Holy Virgin Mary and Camaldolli Abbey which is considered as one of the most beautiful Baroque style buildings in Lithuania.
Arrival in Klaipeda in the afternoon. Guided city tour of Klaipeda including the Theatre square and the statue of girl Ann from Tharau dedicated to Simon Dach, a German poet who was born in Klaipeda and studied at Konigsberg University, numerous old streets and buildings, some of them dating from the middle of the 18th century - warehouses built in the fachwerk style, Linden street with the old post office and more.
Overnight in Klaipeda.
Day 4 KLAIPEDA - CURONIAN SPIT - KLAIPEDA (~100 km**)
After breakfast a day tour to the Curonian Spit, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural landscape object. First stop in Juodkrante visiting the Hill of Witches with more than 80 oak sculptures of fairy-tale characters and the legends existing in these fields for ages made by Lithuanian carvers and smiths as a gift to the country and its visitors. Further drive to Nida with short en route stops at the Grey heron and Great cormorants' colony and the Grey (Dead) Dune. Guided tour of the former fishermen village and now the largest town in the Curonian Spit Nida includes: fisherman's ethnographic farmstead, Parnidis dune and Solar clock, Amber Gallery-Museum, Thomas Mann Memorial Museum, ethnographic cemetery of Nida. Return back to Klaipeda in the evening.
Boat or sailing trips from Klaipeda or the Curonian Spit can be booked upon request.
Overnight in Klaipeda.
Day 5 KLAIPEDA - PALANGA - HILL OF CROSSES - RIGA (~ 310 km)
After breakfast departure to Riga via Palanga, the most the popular Lithuanian sea resort, including a visit to the Amber Museum in the neo-classical 19th century Palace of the noble Tiszkewicz family. Further drive via the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai, a Catholic pilgrimage site with thousands of crosses brought there by people from different countries as a symbol of Faith, Love and Sacrifice. Arrival in Riga in the evening.
Overnight in Riga.
Day 6 RIGA
After breakfast time to explore the largest city in the Baltic States - Riga and its diverse architecture which reflects the entire history of the city from the beginning of the 13th century to the present day. Guided walking tour in the Old Town of Riga includes: Riga Castle, the Dome Square with the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, Town Hall Square with the House of the Blackheads, the Great and Small Guilds, the medieval ensemble of three dwelling houses called "Three Brothers", the Swedish Gate and more. Afterwards a tour by bus including the masterpieces of the marvellous Art Nouveau architecture, the Latvian National Opera, the Freedom Monument among other objects.
In the afternoon optional visit to the Open Air Ethnographical museum, one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe. More than a hundred traditional rural buildings have been brought to the museum from all four Latvian regions: Vidzeme, Zemgale, Latgale, Kurzeme - making a visit to this museum a great opportunity to see typical ancient Latvian farm dwellings and learn about their lives and traditions.
Overnight in Riga.
Day 7 RIGA - SIGULDA - CESIS - TARTU (~ 260 km)
After breakfast departure to Tartu with en route stop in Sigulda located in Gauja National Park, distinguished for its impressive diversity of nature and the availability of cultural and historical monuments, including a visit to Turaida Castle and the mysterious Gutmana Cave, and another stop in Cesis, the small town which boasts medieval castle ruins, beautiful nature and wooden Old Town of medieval splendour. Arrival in Tartu in the evening.
Overnight in Tartu.
Day 8 TARTU - TALLINN (~ 190 km)
After breakfast city tour of Tartu, Estonia's second largest city and former hanseatic town. The tour includes: classical 17th century Town Hall, University of Tartu, the Observatory, Toomemagi - the hill with picturesque ruins of Dome Church, now a Museum of History of Tartu University, Devil's Bridge and Angel's Bridge. In the afternoon departure to Tallinn.
Overnight in Tallinn.
Day 9 TALLINN
After breakfast time to discover the capital city of Estonia - Tallinn. A guided city tour on foot in the Old Town of Tallinn, one of the best preserved Hanseatic town centres in the world, including: a stop in front of the Toompea Palace, the seat of the Estonian Parliament, with limestone walls and towers that belonged to its predecessor - the medieval Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Dome Church, scenic viewpoints, Town Hall Square and the medieval Old Town Hall.
In the afternoon optional sightseeing tour by bus including: Kadriorg Park and the magnificent Baroque palace - Kadriorg Palace; the Song Festival Grounds, home to the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration, an event drawing together up to 30,000 performers; the Pirita district with former Olympic yachting centre, ruins of St. Bridget‘s Convent and sandy Pirita beach.
Day 10 TALLINN DEPARTURE
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.
Selection of day tours and activities in Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and their surroundings are available on request. These may include ethnographic programs, tastings of local dishes and drinks, craft workshops, sport and SPA activities among others.
**Including a round trip transfer by ferry across the Lagoon.