Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
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.
Fly to Vilnius where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accommodation as stated or similar standard.
There was too much coach travel, it would have been better to fly into Vilnius and out of Tallinn. The country side was not very interesting, flat with lots of trees and we had to travel up and down the same road. There was very little time to do our own sightseeing. The hotels were average and the food served in the hotels was not very good especially the hotel in Vilnius which served the same uninteresting vegetarian meal on the two occasions that we were there. That said our guide at the start of the week, Vaida, was excellent, interesting, just nicely jokey and kept good control of the group. The places we visited were very good, well worth visiting.
Too much travelling between attractions with too little time to fully appreciate them.All meals provided but too much pork on set menus.
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.
Apart from the local guides at Tallien and Riga, way over the top.
Very good holiday. Excellent tour guide. Food was pretty average but most of the hotels were very good
excellent tour guide, she was friendly helpful extremely knowledgeable and she had a great sense of humour. A true all round professional.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
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