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Cycle the Baltics

from $1,849.00

Cycle through three countries from Estonia to Lithuania

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 16
All about the Cycle the Baltics.

Crossing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, this ride will take you on a journey of discovery through historic cities, untouched wilderness and along breathtaking coastline. Our trip will start in Tallinn where the fairytale architectural style sets an enchanting scene. This will feature throughout the trip as we journey through Tartu, Riga, Trakai and Vilnius. Between the architectural highlights, we will also enjoy some of the best cycling this region has to offer, through beautiful national parks and along idyllic coastal paths.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts
* 10 nights hotels, all ensuite
* Local bike rental
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout. Group normally 6 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Cycle through three countries
  • Explore three fascinating capital cities
  • Visit the fairytale Trakai castle
  1. Day 1 Start Tallinn; transfer to hotel.

    On arrival, there should be some time to explore Tallinn. Tallinn is a fascinating historical city with many sites to explore. We recommend strolling through the streets of the Old Town to Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square); the square historically served as a market and meeting place and is surrounded by elaborate merchant houses – the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. If you find the round stone with a compass rose in the middle of the square you will be able to see the 5 church spires of the old town. The Cathedral of Saint Mary, St. Alexander Nevsky and St. Olav’s Church have long characterised the skyline of the old town and are well worth a visit, as are the old town walls.*Braavo Hotel or similar *

  2. Day 2 Explore Tallinn; transfer to the Lahemaa N.P. for a scenic ride.

    This morning there is some free time to further explore Estonia’s capital (timings will be confirmed by the guide in the welcome briefing). In the afternoon we leave Tallin behind and drive out of the city (approx. 1h), we will begin our first ride through National Park Lahemaa. The park, one of the last unspoilt regions of the Baltic Coast, extends over 700 square kilometres. Its nature is rich and unique. Here you will cycle through thick woods, marshes and lakes. Above all, the coastline is what makes this area so distinctive. It is also a rich environment for wildlife with moose and wild boar, although difficult to spot, and over 220 species of bird – keep your eyes open! Our accommodation for the evening is situated in the national park itself and is in a spectacular setting in the grounds of an old distillery.**Park Hotel Palmse or similar

  3. Day 3 Full day riding through Lahemaa N.P.

    Today we have a full day to explore the largest national park in Estonia and one of the biggest in Europe. We will embark on a circular route taking in as many of the parks wonderful attractions as possible. Starting from Palmse Hotel (the former park manor house), we will pass Sagadi manor, the 400 year old fisherman’s village of Altja, the popular seaside resort of Vosu, and Kasmu village which is home to the fisherman’s museum. We finish the loop cycling back through Estonian forests and meadows until we arrive at the hotel.*Park Hotel Palmse or similar*

  4. Day 4 Transfer to Peipsi and cycle along the shore of the lake; transfer to Tartu.

    We start the day with a bus transfer to the shore of Peipsi Lake (approx. 1.5h), then start cycling from the 17th Century fisherman’s village of Mustvee. From here we pass through ancient towns and churches. Following an old Russian tradition, villages in Peipsi only have one street. Because of this, the shore of Peipsi Lake is one long street with lots of small settlements dotted along it. We continue cycling into Varnja and then transfer to Tartu (approx. 30min).*Tartu Hotel or similar *

  5. Day 5 Cycle through 'Estonian Switzerland' to Otepaa; transfer to Riga.

    After breakfast, we have a 40km transfer to Otepaa. This area is known as ‘Estonian Switzerland’ because of its stunning scenery and pine forests. As you would expect, there are a few hills on today’s ride, though nothing too steep and challenging with the gradient not going above 7%. Once over the hills, we cycle through beautiful forest and meadows and past Lake Puhajarve on our way to Sangaste town. We will visit the park and castle in Sangaste – walking up the castle tower gives us a great view over Otepaa and the surrounding green natural areas. After visiting the castle we continue cycling to Valga city, and from here we transfer by bus to Riga (approx. 2.5h), our base for the next two nights.*Ibis Centre Riga or similar*

  6. Day 6 Cycle to Jurmala; transfer to Riga for the night.

    Our journey today will start in the bustling town Riga, Latvia’s largest town and capital city. The city has a mediaeval old town which is famous for its wooden buildings and art nouveau architecture. We will then follow the cycle paths to the beautiful town of Jurmala, which is famous for its incredible wooden buildings and 19th Century Russian villas. Jurmala is also one of Latvia’s largest seaside resorts – it has a 33km stretch of white sandy beach for us to explore on our bikes. There will be plenty of time to have a swim in the sea before we transfer back to Riga for the night.**Ibis Centre Riga* *

  7. Day 7 Transfer to Sventoji; cycle to Klaipeda.

    After breakfast, we leave Latvia and transfer directly to Lithuania (approx. 4h). We begin our ride in Sventoji on a beautiful cycle route to Klaipeda, which lies along the Baltic Coast. On the way we pass Palanga, a traditional bucket and spade seaside town with a long stretch of sandy beach. It’s a really fun place to stop, have a wander around, a dip in the sea, and see one of the most favoured seaside towns among Lithuanians. We will visit the Palanga Botanical Gardens and manor house which is now home to the amber museum. There are numerous cafes to sit and enjoy the atmosphere and have some lunch before we set off again for our final destination of Klaipeda, our base for two nights. Our hotel is close to the Old Town, so a good spot from which to explore.*Amberton Hotel Klaipeda or similar *

  8. Day 8 Transfer to the Curonian Spit N.P; explore by bike.

    We transfer to Nida (approx. 1.5h including the ferry ride), known as the town of retreat, and an artist’s resort. It was home and inspiration for two summers to the author Thomas Mann and its affluent feel and tranquillity encourages the feeling that you are on a holiday within a holiday. From here we explore the 68km long Curonian Spit. The high dunes (up to 60m) running along the spit have encouraged the local people to refer to the area as the ’Lithuanian Sahara’. During our ride we will make a stop in Juodkrante and admire the bizarre wooden carvings on what is known as Witch Hill. The sculpture park was started in 1979 and now has more than 70 wooden carvings representing characters of Lithuanian folktale and legend. We will then continue along the spit with the Baltic Sea extending far into the distance. We finish the ride at the ferry port, and from here we take the ferry across the lagoon then transfer back to the hotel in Klaipeda for the night.*Amberton Hotel Klaipeda or similar*

  9. Day 9 Transfer to Kintai village; cycle to Vente Cape and Silute; transfer to Vilnius.

    We start the day with a bus transfer to Kintai village (approx. 45mins), and from here we cycle through dense green forests and beautiful meadows to Vente Cape. There is a lot of wildlife at Vente Cape as it is a popular resting place for birds on their migration, and it’s home to one of the first bird ringing stations in Europe. We will visit the 11m high lighthouse which offers breathtaking views of the lagoon and golden sand dunes of the Curonian Split; the lighthouse is a fascinating place, built in 1863 when the cape was still part of Germany. We continue cycling to the town of Silute where we get on the bus and transfer to Vilnius (approx. 4h).*Panorama Hotel or similar *

  10. Day 10 Transfer to Trakai; cycle around town and visit Trakai Castle; return to Vilnius.

    After breakfast, we transfer by bus to the small village of Semeliskes(approx. 1h). From here we have a picturesque ride over undulating terrain to Galve Lake. Here the magical and famous Trakai Castle sits, as if floating on its own island in the middle of the lake – it’s a truly magical place. We will explore the surrounding areas of the lake and visit the Castle before transferring back to Vilnius for the night.*Panorama Hotel or similar*

  11. Day 11 End Vilnius.

    We have a free morning in Vilnius before the trip ends here.

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Where you stay

Hotels

10 nights in 3-star hotels, all with en suite facilities in good locations. There are some fantastic hotels on this trip, including two nights in a converted distillery set in the magnificent grounds of the Lahemaa National Park.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Breakfast: These will be taken in the hotels. In most places, these will be buffet style and will offer plenty of choice including cold meat, cheese, eggs, bread, jams and juice. Lunches: On many of the days due to our remote rides there will be the option to buy a picnic from the hotel or get supplies on the way – we can then chose a spot on our ride to stop for a break. This means we can be flexible and chose the best views for lunch. On some of the days there will be opportunities to buy lunches in cafes in the towns that we go through such as Palanga. Dinners: These will be taken in the hotels or in restaurants and will be hearty meals. Cuisine in this area is often centred around pork, veal, fish, potatoes, sauerkraut and soups such as borsch (beetroot soup with meat, in Lithuania this is also served cold). In Trakai, Kibinai are very popular, these are large savoury baked pastries traditionally filled with lamb or beef and are very good.

Average daily distance: 45km (28 miles)

9 days cycling with full vehicle support

Our cycling routes follow mainly quiet backroads, paths through national parks and coastal cycle tracks. There are some undulating sections, so a moderate level of fitness is required, though the majority of the route is flat. As we are covering a large area there are bus transfers on most of the cycling days, this enables us to cover the distances to see all the highlights and use the bikes to cover the best bits.

Please note that before reaching the cities, the leader will give you information on their history and places of interest and will guide you into town, however, they are not allowed to give you a guided tour of the city once you are there due to restrictions of tour leaders, only official city guides are allowed to do this. You will have the choice of wandering around the cities at your own pace, or you can pay locally for a guide. We will leave this up to you.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

Cycling through the Baltics

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The places we visited could only have been found through local knowledge. The smoked salmon lunch was excellent and every member of the tour party commented on this lunch for days afterwards. The tour around Vilnius was also excellent.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very good and knowledgeable on the history of all 3 countries visited. He was enthusiastic and helpful throughout the trip.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

Baltic by bike

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Constitution posted for all to see in every language.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was very knowledgeable about the history of all the countries visited. He was willing to answer questions. On longer bus journeys he found ways to keep us amused. Andreas treated all the group members with respect and ensured that the cycling was accessible to all. He took us to some zany places to eat and explained all about the foods etc.. In all he was great!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have clothes for all weathers! Be prepared to try different foods. Always laugh at Andreas jokes!!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hope you like castles.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Easy Cycling in the Sunny Baltics

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day spent on the Curonian Spit starting with a walk up Hill of the Witches (forest area with wooden sculptures depicting creatures from Lithuanian fairy tales – expertly brought to life by our group leader), then a walk up to giant stone sundial by Nida with view across the sand dunes to Russian territory, then cycle back to lunch stop at fishermans' house for freshly smoked fish and home made apple juice all eaten in his garden. Whilst this felt like a long day by the time we finally reached the afternoon cafe/beer stop near ferry to Klaipeda the landscape around the sand dunes with birds and flowers on this sunny day was just wonderful.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Andruis was very keen to ensure we would get to experience a good balance between cycling and the local culture and cuisine. Everyday we got printed paper maps and description of our route, so we could cycle to pre-agreed points at our own pace. A big thank you also has to go to our driver Arthur who ensured we were well hydrated, didn't get lost at key junctions and efficiently got the bikes in/out of the trailer and set up everyday. At each city/town Andrius offered orientation walks and optional group dinners. In consultation with the group we changed the programme in both Riga and Vilnius. In Riga this gave us a free afternoon in the city after the cycle out to Jumala whilst in Vilnius we did a city cycling tour then visited Trakai castle by bus. Along the way Andrius provided little extras such as strawberries, water melon, etc to keep us 'sweet' and the couple of long transfers were broken up by extra stops and onboard entertainment. We had many excellent food stops and recommendations for cafe/cake and evening meals at each overnight location – since Andrius is a pescetarian/vegetarian there were always good non meat options available.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It pays to do some cycle rides before the trip so you will still feel fresh by second half of the week and continue to enjoy the longer days in the saddle. Apply midge repellent BEFORE getting out of the bus for first cycle ride & around Palmse especially. Don't bother booking a private transfer with Exodus in Tallin or Vilnius – airport taxi in Tallin should be
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Too many food highlights to list them all but they included lots of good salmon/smoked fish throughout the trip plus Onion Pie in Kivi Koerts/Alatskivi, Cafe Weber in Tartu, Lido Vērmanītis for lunch in Riga, Lukys (Bear) restaurant for final night in Vilnius.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

A great way to explore three Countries

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The coastal scenery was very interesting, especially the cycle along the Curonian Spit in Lithuania with its high dunes and woodland built to protect the landscape. The lunch spot was also excellent with smoked fish of all sorts to enjoy.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    If you get Andrius as your group leader you've struck gold as he's one of the best guides I've ever experienced - informative, great organiser, great sense of humour, relaxed in approach to leading and goes the extra mile to make the trip a fantastic time.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in late Spring or Summer take anti-mossie spray as you will get bitten when stopping in the forests during breaks. Having the latest cycle clothing isn't necessary but padded shorts will of course protect a delicate part of the body! Unless it gets exceptionally hot you only need one water bottle as the support vehicle provides regular fill-ups with water during stops. The recommended spending money is about right unless you plan to buy lots of wine/beer etc. As you'll be in plenty of towns and cities getting money from cash machines isn't a problem so I wouldn't take lots of cash and many of the restaurants will take visa etc.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation is fine but in a couple of locations fairly basic. If you like quiet locations you'll enjoy staying at the at the old distillery at Hotel Palmse as long as you don't mind the water which is a bit sulfurous and therefore smells a bit but still perfectly safe.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Great way to visit three countries with long histories and appreciate their cities and countryside

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the 2 days of cycling in the Lahemaa National Park, Estonia right at the start of the holiday. Beautiful coastal, woodland and farming scenery, quiet roads and cycle trails, and a stay on a historic mansion in the country.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius was the consummate host, cheerful, welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to ensure everyone on the trip got the best out of their holiday. His stories about the histories of the 3 countries and of growing up during a time of massive change as they regained independence brought the realities of life alive. His suggestions as to where to stop for meals, and where to eat in the evening were (with one exception) excellent, while his mini-tours of the 3 capitals and Tartu were informative and really helpful, allowing people to orientate and thereafter explore themselves. He also gave the group options as to routes so we had an excellent city cycling tour of Vilnius rather than a less interesting route.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good insect repellent (and anti-histamine) as Baltic mosquitoes and other biting insects are voracious. None of the hotels where we stayed have sink plugs, so carry a universal one. Make sure you have cash in low denomination notes. A number of the places where we stopped only accepted cash. Cash is available from ATMs in the cities. Take some fruit or bread,from the breakfast buffet, in your pannier in case you need an energy boost.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
August 24, 2019
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$2,149.00
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September 11, 2019
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