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Discover the Baltics

from $1,879.00

Visit three countries in twelve days, through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely
    1/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 20
All about the Discover the Baltics.

On this trip, we explore the highlights of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in under two weeks. The countryside, national parks and coastal areas of these countries are both varied and stunning, adding a touch of wilderness to the history and culture of the cities and towns that we visit as we journey from Tallinn to Vilnius. With street art, sculpture, incredible architecture and fascinating historical sites, this trip will undoubtedly satisfy your cultural hunger. However, the wild and open settings and picturesque landscapes will also feed your imagination.

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
* 11 nights hotels all ensuite
* All transport (by bus and ferry) and listed activities (optional day walks and city walking tours)
* Tour leader throughout. Group normally 6 to 20, 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

  • Discover three countries in twelve days
  • Visit stunning national parks, castles and museums
  • Explore the magnificent Trakai Castle
  1. Day 1 Start Tallinn.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital. Those travelling on the group flights will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel (approx. 25-30 mins). This evening we will have a welcome briefing with our leader. The evening is free to explore Tallinn, an optional welcome group meal will be organised.*Comfortable Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Tallinn guided tour and free time to explore this fascinating city at your own pace.

    Today we will explore the vibrant city of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital and largest city. The Old Town, framed by old city walls, is full of architectural gems. In the morning we will have a guided tour of the city taking in some of the main attractions like the Toompea palace and castle, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Dome church and the St. Nicholas church. We then have a free afternoon to explore the picturesque old town. Unlike most European cities, Tallinn’s old town is completely free from modern buildings. You can leave modern life behind as you explore the cobblestone alleys with spluttering torches and secret stairways; the old town holds new surprises around every corner, even for its old residents. We overnight in Tallinn’s old town.*Comfortable Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Explore the pine forests and sandy beaches of Lahemaa N.P. before a guided tour around Tartu City.

    In the morning, we leave Tallinn and start the journey to Tartu stopping off at the Lahemaa National Park, the largest in Estonia. The park is a popular tourist destination due to its untouched sandy beaches, waterfalls, cascades and mossy pine forests, and it offers a variety of cultural sights like Palmse Manor and the 400 year old fisherman’s village of Altja. After lunch, we transfer to Tartu for a guided tour. Tartu is Estonia’s second largest town and the capital of Southern Estonia and is rich with Estonian culture offering festivals, concerts and theatre exhibitions. We spend the night in a hotel in the centre of Tartu.*Comfortable Hotel*

  4. Day 4 Tour of Cesis and the Gauja N.P.

    Cesis is an old town with a long history and is now known as a centre of art and culture. Situated on the Gauja River valley, its old town is one of the finest in Latvia. Its cobbled streets have retained a timeless appearance since the middle ages as the fine buildings have kept their red-tiled roofs and restored their facades, making this a charming place to while away some time. The city is famed for its Medieval castle, a partly preserved fortification which has been knocked down and rebuilt in various forms. We will visit the castle and the museum in the morning and take a guided tour of the buildings. We then transfer to the Gauja National Park where we will enjoy a guided walk, and here we will visit the Turaida castle and its adjoining sculpture gardens before making our way to Riga, the Latvian capital. There will also be the option to take the cable car (7 euros paid locally) across the Gauja river so we can then walk down to the Gutmanis caves. **Hotel PK Riga**

  5. Day 5 Guided tour of Riga Old Town; free afternoon to explore at your own pace.

    This morning the magnificent old town of Riga awaits! We will have a guided tour of the city to discover its winding alleys, elegant boulevards and 800 renovated art nouveau buildings. We then have a free afternoon to soak up the charming and romantic atmosphere of the city and enjoy a relaxing lunch before exploring some of the town’s great shops. *Hotel PK Riga*

  6. Day 6 Explore the seaside town of Jurmala.

    In the morning we transfer from Riga to Jurmala. Jurmala is the largest seaside and spa resort in the Baltic States and is known for its unique natural resources such as its healing mineral waters, pine forests and sand dunes. The town is also famous for its unique wooden Art Nouveau architecture. After exploring the town we will transfer back to Riga for the night. Those who wish to stay a little longer in Jurmala can do, a local train back to Riga costs between 2-4EUR per person. *Comfortable Hotel*

  7. Day 7 Explore Rundale Palace, the Hill of Crosses and the port of Klaipeda.

    Firstly we visit Rundale palace which was designed for the Duke of Courland in the 18th century by Italian architect Rastrelli, who also designed the winter palace in St. Petersburg. Today, the palace is the most magnificent piece of architecture in the Baltic States. We then cross the border to Lithuania and have some time to explore the famous Hill of Crosses before transferring to Klaipeda Port for a short tour around the small old town. The tour is a perfect chance to explore the old town with its reconstructed merchant houses and the remains of Klaipeda Castle. We spend the night in the centre of Klaipeda – the hotel is a ten minute walk from the Castle and other attractions.*Comfortable Hotel*

  8. Day 8 Transfer to the Curonian Spit and explore the sand dunes.

    We start the day with a short ferry ride across the lagoon to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO world heritage site situated between the Curonian lagoon and the Baltic Sea. Here we have the day to explore the largest drifting sand dunes in Europe. There will also be a visit to the Hill of Witches and an excursion to the Lithuanian sea resort of Nida to climb the Great Dune for the spectacular views. We transfer back to Klaipeda where we spend the night.*Comfortable Hotel*

  9. Day 9 Visit the Plokstine Cold War Museum; city tour around Kaunas.

    We transfer to the Plokstine forest and visit the Cold War Museum located in the former Soviet Union’s complex of ballistic missile launch. Today, this secret base is open to the public. We can view the internal control facility and see former missiles as well as listen to expositions about the five decades of the Cold war, one of the most famous and dangerous military conflicts in human history. We then travel to the town of Kaunas, and here we take a walking tour around the beautiful old town. The old town of Kaunas has a collection of important monuments like the 13th century castle, the old town hall, the Cathedral Basilica and the church of St. Francis Xavier. We stay overnight in Kaunas.*Comfortable Hotel*

  10. Day 10 Visit the Pazaislis monastery and Trakai Castle.

    The first stop is the Church and Monastery of Pazaislis to see one of the most wonderful Baroque architectural masterpieces in north-eastern Europe. The monastery is located on the picturesque bank of the Kaunas lagoon. We then stop in Trakai, the former capital of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Here we will go on a tour around the incredible 14th century castle. Situated on a small island in the middle of the lake, it is known as the town on the water. We then transfer to Vilnius where we stay the night.*Comfortable Hotel*

  11. Day 11 Guided tour of Vilnius; free time to explore.

    Today we have the whole day to explore Vilnius. There is a guided tour of the city in the morning and then plenty of time to explore the city at your own pace. The city was developed around its Town Hall and there is a great deal of diverse architecture to explore. There are many narrow streets which lead to intimate courtyards, in addition to the larger landmarks of the castle complex, Cathedral square and the Royal Palace. There are also plenty of museums to while away some hours. We overnight in Vilnius.*Comfortable Hotel*

  12. Day 12 End Vilnius.

    End Vilnius.**

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Where you stay

Hotels

There are some fantastic hotels on this trip. All are 3 or 4-star rated and ideally located for access to the key sights. A real highlight is the hotel in Kaunas where you have access to the pool and sauna.

Eating and Drinking

There will be buffet breakfasts in the hotels offering plenty of choice including cold meats, cheese, eggs, bread, jams, juice and coffee.

Lunches will be a mixture of picnics bought from local shops and cafe stops.

Dinners will be taken in the hotel restaurants or out in local 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 – in Lithuania this is also served cold). Dumplings are also very popular and in Trakai, large baked dumplings called kibinai are traditionally served and are very good.

This is quite a busy itinerary based around sightseeing and exploring the Baltic States. There is a fair amount of walking around towns, cities and parks, but these are all on good paths – mainly wooden boarded – so you will just need a pair of good sneakers to be comfortable. The walks are suitable for anyone with a reasonable fitness. In order to visit all the highlights of the countries there are some long bus journeys. The trip is graded leisurely.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Excellent Baltic Tour

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great culture tour, very varied with city tours and history together with village life. Completely different.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Evelin Balta was an excellent tour guide and very attentive, going out of his way to make sure all the group enjoyed their holiday.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Weather was good and only needed rain mac for one day. Nice and warm for this time of year. There is a swimming pool in Hotel Park Lakeside, Ohrid but it is very cold and you have to pay extra for your sun bed, so make sure you swim and relax around the lake. Make sure you visit Bunk Art 2 in Tirana, an excellent museum, very interesting some of the group said. It was a shame i didnt have time to visit, so an extra day may be advisable at the end of your trip.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Small group and lovely leisurely tour. Most of the group were retired, but you still need to be fit to walk on the city tours.

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Travels in the Baltics

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights rather than inspirations: Art Nouveau architecture in Riga 'New Town' - stunning buildings Cold War missile base in Lithuania - recent history, very unusual The Coronian Spit kilometres of white sand and a cormorant colony Tart(Estonai) u and Vilnius(Lithuania) Universities campuses
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He (Simonas) was very sociable and approachable. He sang Lithuanian traditional songs on the minibus, in public places. Very unusual and a insight into the musical tradition of the country. Unfortunately there was no group introduction session which might have helped cohesion, as he was unable to arrive until the morning of the first day and we went straight into a tour of Tallinn. He had a slight tendency to shoot off ahead of the group - slower individuals found it hard to keep up sometimes. He should have checked everyone was there when crossing busy roads in cities. Though some of the group often wandered off so hard to keep tabs on them, Local guides were generally excellent though the one in Tallinn was less so. Drivers also good.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe go a day early or stay a day later so that you can see a bit more of either Tallinn or Vilnius. Some days were quite long and tiring It was more expensive than I had imagined (but cheaper than the UK) On the whole this is a good introduction to the Baltic States
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels in Klaipeda and Vilnius were very noisy and their black out curtains were ineffective Some of the venues for group evening meals were disappointing and the food was not very good. One or two places cloud be left out e.g. a cave in Lithuania, Amber workshop and wind vane workshop on Coronian Spit.

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Beautiful Baltics

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Should I ever be lucky enough to own a palace, I would like to decorate it like Rudland Palace, one of the many beautiful places we visited. I really like the rococo stucco decorations. I was also inspired by all the public art, especially the sculptures I saw in all sorts of random places.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolita, our group leader was fantastic, Nothing was too much trouble for her and she did everything she could to make sure everyone had a good time and a hassle free trip.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    During our city stays, there was plenty of free time so read your guidebook in advance to come up with a plan of how to make the best use of your time, The food in all three countries was excellent and good value although vegetarians might struggle to find much variety. On the other hand, chocoholics will do well. Luckily, we did a lot of walking to make up for all the great food.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I very much enjoyed this tour. As well as seeing some amazing sights and paddling in the Baltic sea (it was way to cold for swimming), I learnt a lot about the three countries, especially their turbulent history. I would definitely recommend this tour and would like to go back to and see more of Riga, Vilnius and Talinn.

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Wonderful experience

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights it is hard to pick just one. However, the tour of the Cold War Museum is memorable. Memorable not inspirational, as that was such a frightening time in recent history and frightening to think we have not learnt from it.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader had an excellent knowledge and love of the history and culture of the Baltics. Vaida was very well organised, friendly, helpful and nothing was too much trouble for her
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The free time to explore further in different cities after having done a walking tour with the group is very valuable as each of us has different interests
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vaida, our guide, is young and enthusiastic and encourages group members to enjoy all opportunities

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Brilliant Trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way that these countries have come together and shaken off the horrors of the past. Only 30 years since they became independent of the Soviet Union yet they feel like fully developed European countries. The roads are excellent, the hotels comfortable and we ate some fabulous meals, both traditional and world wide. And so clean - barely any litter at all. Before the trip I imagined these countries might be a bit grim and Soviet-like still. Absolutely none of it.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We had an excellent group leader. Vaida travelled with us the whole way, facilitating tours, hotels and meals. Occasionally she would conduct the tours herself, particularly when we got to her native Lithuania.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a full on trip. There are some early starts in order to cover the miles. The tours involve quite a lot of walking (on some pretty bumpy cobbled streets in the old towns) and standing. Some of the older buildings involve climbing up steep, tight staircases though these are optional. The weather was exactly like the UK.

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