Best of the Baltics

  • 8 Days

  • Northern Europe

  • Active pace

Turreted castles peer through forest canopies, old town cobblestones wind through Gothic architecture, a Baroque Palace stands proudly in landscaped gardens: explore Gauja National Park and Turaida Castle, and walk the Galve Lake bridge on this inspiring Baltic journey.

Your journey starts here

Highlights

VIP private home pick-up service
Flights
Transfers
Services of a tour director
Accommodation
Selected meals
All airport taxes
VIP private home pick-up
  • Overview

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3

  • Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7

  • Day 8

of 8 days

Your detailed itinerary

Tour departing on 20th September 2017

Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

Overview

Turreted castles peer through forest canopies, old town cobblestones wind through Gothic architecture, a Baroque Palace stands proudly in landscaped gardens: explore Gauja National Park and Turaida Castle, and walk the Galve Lake bridge on this inspiring Baltic journey.

At a glance

  • Vilnius Known for its grand Baroque architecture and Neoclassical cathedral.
  • Sigulda A glimpse of Medieval Europe set in Gauja National Park.
  • Turaida Castle A beautifully restored Medieval castle with landscaped gardens.
  • Riga Explore the Old Town and see impressive examples of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture.
  • The Baroque Palace in Rundale A majestic Latvian palace and landscaped "French garden".
  • Siauliai Home to the pilgrimage site, the Hill of Crosses.
  • Galve Lake in Trakai Tour this remarkable setting of the red brick castle on Galve Lake.

Day 1

UK - Vilnius

Fly to Vilnius where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 2

Vilnius - Sigulda

A treat is in store today as you are introduced to this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a walking tour which starts in the Old Town. Here you'll find a maze of beautiful winding narrow streets which boast a variety of architectural styles from Gothic to Baroque. Some of the sightseeing highlights include the Cathedral, St Anne's Church, the Gate of Dawn with its chapel and the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There'll also be time to take in the Market Square, a striking meeting point in the middle of the city. After lunch in Vilnius, depart for Sigulda in Latvia for one night.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 3

Sigulda - Turaida - Tallinn

Located in the heart of the Gauja National Park, Rigulda is home to a selection medieval castles and is set amidst some mesmerising scenery made up of elegant hills, valleys and dramatic cliffs, which has inspired its comparison to Switzerland. Next is a sightseeing tour of Turaida Castle before departing for Tallinn for one night, but not before a short stop in Parnu, a colourful Estonian coastal town.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 4

Tallinn

Today it's all about discovering medieval Tallinn, another fascinating city on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Known as 'museum' town, Tallinn has preserved many features of the 15th century trading city that it started life as and shows off many fine and well-preserved buildings, including the Hanseatic Merchant houses at its heart. Key sights on your tour today include the Dome Hill, the Dome Cathedral, the Town Hall and St Nicholas' Church. Lunch at a city centre restaurant is followed by a visit to the Kadriorg Art Museum which is home to an array of wonderful pieces of art. This former palace was built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 5

Tallinn - Riga

After breakfast it's time to leave Tallinn for the Latvian capital of Riga for two nights, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is spent on a sightseeing tour of this, one of the biggest capitals in the Baltic States. Riga, situated on the mouth of the Daugava once belonged to the Hanseatic League, a powerful economic and political alliance formed in the 14th century. Today the city is known for its Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture with stunning examples seemingly everywhere you turn. Your tour highlights include the Old Town, university, opera and the charming cathedral.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 6

Riga - Jurmala - Riga

Today starts with a drive to Jurmala, famous for its wonderful Art Nouveau wooden architecture and Blue Flag beaches on a quite stunning part of coast stretching for 20 miles. Between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River, Jurmala is the largest resort town in the Baltics and has gained a reputation as a health spa. Lunch in the city centre is followed by a visit to the Museum of Ethnography before returning to Riga.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 7

Riga - Rundale - Siauliai - Vilnius

Leave Riga en route to Rundale, a city famous for its splendid Baroque Palace built in 1736-1767 as the summer residence of the Duke Ernst Johann of Courland. The Palace was regarded as the Latvian counterpart to the Versailles in France and the Sans Souci in Germany. Next stop is Siauliai for lunch. This is an important religious centre and home to the pilgrimage site, the Hill of Crosses which is on the UNESCO Heritage list. Over the centuries, not only crosses but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. It's estimated that there are nearly 200,000 crosses on the mountain. The day ends in Vilnius for your final night.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 8

Vilnius - Trakai - UK

This morning depart for the peaceful small town of Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A sightseeing tour of this absolutely amazing location is included and you can marvel at the lakeside setting and the red brick castle on Galve Lake; a sight you won't quickly forget. The castle museum of Trakai offers an exhibition of the history of Lithuania and its prehistoric origins. As you go through the castle's main gates it will feel like entering a fairytale with a spectacular view of the picturesque surrounding area. Hear about the fascinating stories and legends that bring this ancient site alive. Lunch is in the city centre before you're transferred to the airport and your flight to the UK.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hotels

  • Vilnius: Radisson Lietuva
  • Sigulda: Aparjods
  • Tallinn: Radisson Olumpia
  • Riga: Radisson Latvija

Notes

Accommodation as stated or similar standard.

Latest customer reviews

03/10/2016

Too much travelling between attractions with too little time to fully appreciate them.All meals provided but too much pork on set menus.

01/10/2016

Having worried in advance about the mileage to be covered and the quality of the food that we might experience with the three meals a day, we were pleasantly surprised to find that - due to the unexpectedly good roads - the driving distances were no problem (we could read on the coach) and the food was excellent. Hotel accommodation also very good and we were particularly pleased with our guide, who spoke good English very clearly and was very well organised. The driver also very good and helpful. Overall, this was a very good introduction to the Baltic States. Only embarrassment for us was at the end to see that many fellow participants did not tip the driver and, I think in some cases, nor the guide either. Suggest you give some advice about tipping on your tours.

17/09/2016

Apart from the local guides at Tallien and Riga, way over the top.

17/09/2016

Very good holiday. Excellent tour guide. Food was pretty average but most of the hotels were very good

17/09/2016

excellent tour guide, she was friendly helpful extremely knowledgeable and she had a great sense of humour. A true all round professional.

02/07/2016

Guide knew her history but was not too good as a guide. We visited a town then got back on the coach where she gave us a map of the same town. Arrived at a stately home 1 hour early etc etc

18/06/2016

A very busy week during which we saw many interesting sites.

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