See the fascinating region of the three Baltic States in an intelligent way: visit their charming capitals, listed on the UNESCO Heritage list – the Baroque Vilnius, Jugendstil Riga and Medieval Tallinn, every city has its own story to tell to the curious traveller. Don’t miss other highlights of the region – stunning castles, picturesque National Parks, magnificent palaces….
This tour shows you not only all Baltic touristic essentials in one week, but gives you a real sense for the region, showing every place from a different angle. You will taste local specialties at the Riga central market, cook together with exotic national minority Karaims, experience life in a medieval monastery in Tallinn and enjoy a lot of free time to make your own discoveries and create your own stories about the Baltic region.
Highlights: Vilnius Old Town
Upon arrival to Vilnius airport you will be transferred to your hotel and then have a free time to enjoy Vilnius Old Town on your own. This large area is a UNESCO Heritage sight renowned for its rich history and culture heritage. Walk around to admire its colorful buildings with distinguished architectural style of the original “Lithuanian” Baroque, also called the last vivid flash of Baroque in Europe.
Meet us at the hotel and join for a welcome dinner together tonight.
Highlights: Vilnius Old Town, Trakai Castle, visit of Karaim national minority, cooking lesson of a famous Karaim dish
Start the day with a walking tour to continue exploring Vilnius Old town. You will discover the largest Old Town in Eastern Europe; the guide will introduce daily life of the city by showing favorite places for locals, such as tasting different sorts of beer in a local brewery, stopping by a popular bakery for a fresh pastry or teaching how to choose the right piece of amber in the local market.
Continue visiting Trakai – a picturesque little town and a popular get-away destination for locals (28 km from Vilnius). It is situated in a scenic peninsular surrounded by five lakes. Visit a museum located in the stunning medieval Trakai castle placed in one of these islands, which is also a “must see” sight in the Baltics.
Visit the Karaims, a small Turkic-speaking ethnic community who arrived from the Black Sea to Trakai almost 700 years ago. Nowadays, it is possible to visit them and learn how to cook their most famous dish – a delicious pie called “kybyn”. So, the perfect end of this day would be cooking with locals and later tasting “kybyns” and other delicious dishes at the Karaim’s restaurant.
Meals: B +D
Highlights: The Rundale Palace, the Hill of Crosses
This morning you will depart from Vilnius and continue your journey towards the Latvian capital making stops to visit two “must see” sights in the Baltics:
The Hill of Crosses, a mystical and unique pilgrimage site with more than 100 000 crosses from all around the world on it.
The Rundale Palace, a magnificent masterpiece of baroque architecture in the Baltic States, where you will be impressed by its highly decorative interior and have an enjoyable walk in a beautiful French-style park.
Today you will have a lunch in one of the authentic taverns offering Lithuanian specialties – pink summer soups, a variety of potato and pork dishes that will be a new culinary experience. Continue to Riga in Latvia.
Meals: B + L
Highlights: Riga Old Town, Riga Central Market, Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum
This day will start with tour of Riga on foot and by bus to see the most interesting sights of this UNESCO heritage city and learn how different nationalities of Latvians, Germans, Russians, Swedes and Poles have been living here for centuries shaping the current look of Riga in their distinctive ways.
In the free time you may choose to see a new side of Riga hidden from foreigners by visiting a beloved place for Riga’s residents – The City’s Central Market; experience its friendly atmosphere and taste Latvian specialties– salt cucumbers, smoked sausages, famous bread drink “Kvas” or strong home-made liqueurs and vodka.
Afternoon tour to the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum is one of the show-pieces of Latvia’s cultural heritage, founded in 1924. Situated 10 km from Riga center in a pine forest on the banks of Jugla Lake, the museum consists of some 90 traditional rural buildings.
Dinner and overnight in Riga.
Highlights: Gauja river, panoramic trip in an aerial cable car, Turaida Castle
Today you will leave Riga to visit Latvia’s finest National Park, located in a deep valley of the Gauja river. After a short walk you will understand why this area is called “Latvian Switzerland”; it’s landscape is formed by the hills and cliffs formed by the Gauja River and comprises more than 500 monuments of archeology. Visit the most popular tourist attraction in Latvia by taking a panoramic cable car ride above the river to reach the medieval Turaida Castle – ruins of the Livonian order’s residence with an observation tower and history museum.
After the morning of impressions you will taste a traditional Latvian meal in an authentic local restaurant and later depart to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
Meals: B + L
Highlights: Tallinn Old Town, Medieval Dominical Monastery
You will join a city tour to explore Tallinn Old Town with its main historical and architectural monuments. Unlike most European cities, which have ancient buildings mixed in between modern ones; Tallinn’s Old City is complete. You leave bustling modern life behind and immerse in the Middle Age atmosphere that is soaked in its cobblestones and dim alleys, sputtering torches and secret stairways of Old Tallinn.
Continue your journey to the Middle Ages by experiencing the life of 13th century Dominical Monastery. Here a monk will take you on a mysterious walk through the dark monastery rooms in the flickering light of torches accompanied by medieval music. He will tell you about the monastic life, lost fortunes and legends related to Dominicans. You will visit the medieval “well of wishes” to taste the monastery liqueur.
Excursion continues in beautiful Flower park of the Kadriorg Palace (5km from Tallinn), which was founded by the Russian tsar Peter.
Transfer to the Tallinn airport.