Jump in the front seat and venture along the mysterious amber road! Once you reach the Baltic States, you will be turned into a Sherlock Holmes to find out the origin of amber. Amber, amber, the sun stone which was worth more than gold. Go back to a 50 million years journey to discover the origin of amber and the Baltic people who exploited the amber stones, tears of the sun, selling it to the ancient world. This amazing journey will take you on the shore of the Baltic sea where Teutonic knights and Hanseatic merchants competed fiercely to bring home this most valuable stone. Rich medieval cities await you to offer you a glimpse of their complex historical past. Gdansk, Klaipeda, Kaliningrad, Riga and Tallinn will impress you with a kaleidoscope of an exquisite variety of architectural styles. Ultimately, Helsinki and St-Petersburg, proud daughters of the Baltic sea will defend their modern sophisticated outlooks. A wonderful program to discover the true colors of Amber and unravel the secret corners of lovely Baltic sea cities.
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival in Gdansk Arrival in Gdansk, optional transfer to Hotel Mercure Gdansk**** or similar.
Day 2 Monday: Gdansk - Kaliningrad Like a mini-state all to itself, Gdansk has a unique feel, cultured, wealthy and cosmopolitan, that sets it apart from all other cities in Poland. During morning old town walking tour we see Dlugi Targ or Long Market, St. Mary’s Church, St. Bridget’s Church, Artus Court and Gdansk Town Hall. In the afternoon we depart to Kaliningrad, located in an enclave completely surrounded by countries of the EU. Check-in at Hotel Holiday Inn Kaliningrad**** or similar.
Day 3 Tuesday: Kaliningrad - Klaipeda While German Königsberg reveled in regal architecture and a cosmopolitan European culture, modern Kaliningrad is undeniable a Russian city. The old Prussian red-brick buildings are intermixed with Soviet blocks of flats, brand-new Orthodox churches, and glass high-rises. The morning city tour takes us around the city with Victory Square and Kant’s Island with the impressive Cathedral of Christ the Savior and we visit the lively Central Market and the fascinating Museum of Amber. In the afternoon we depart from Kaliningrad along the amazing Curonian Spit, a 100 km thin stretch of land between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon to the picturesque fishing town of Nida and further onwards to Klaipeda. Check-in at Hotel National**** or similar. The evening offers an optional Lithuanian dinner at Restaurant 19th Century.
Day 4 Wednesday: Klaipeda - Riga Klaipeda first became a part of Lithuania in 1923 and had a long history as a German town called Memel. A short sightseeing tour takes us to the Old Town with its narrow, cobblestone streets and old guild houses and we visit the Theatre Square and the Aennchen von Tharau Fountain. We now continue to the Samogitia National Park, where we enjoy a walking tour around the picturesque Lake Plateliai. After that we continue to Siauliai and Hill of Crosses, one of the holiest sites of Catholic Lithuania. We head North into Latvia and reach Riga in the afternoon. Check-in at Hotel Wellton Riverside**** or similar. The evening offers an optional organ concert at the Dome Cathedral.
Day 5 Thursday: Riga Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a true kaleidoscope of various architectural styles. The walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Swedish Gates, Three Brothers, Large and Small Guild House and the Freedom Monument. The afternoon is reserved for an optional visit to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort, famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches. In the evening enjoy an optional Latvian dinner at the stylish Restaurant Forest.
Day 6 Friday: Riga - Tallinn The tour continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Parnu. We do a short tour of the resort before we continue through the North Estonian land of forests and arrive in Tallinn early afternoon, check-in at the Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia**** or similar.
Day 7 Saturday: Tallinn Tallinn is a charming blend of medieval tranquillity and modern urban life. The medieval Old Town is a busy place in the summer with its many shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafés and restaurants. The sightseeing tour takes us around the old medieval city walls and into the Old Town where we see Toompea Castle, Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, medieval Old Town Hall and Great Guild Hall. In the afternoon an optional excursion is offered to Kadriorg Park and visit to KUMU, the award-winning new Estonian Art museum, with its collections of classic and contemporary fine art. The evening offers an optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Maikrahv.
Day 8 Sunday: Tallinn - Helsinki This day offers first an optional day excursion to Lahemaa National Park, where we visit Palmse Manor, a memorial to the von Pahlen family, and Sagadi Manor. The tour ends with a visit to the charming 16th century Vihula Manor and the Vodka Museum. After lunch break, we head back to Tallinn to take the ferry to Helsinki and enjoy a refreshing tour through the Finnish archipelago before arriving in Helsinki. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel and check-in at Hotel Glo Art**** or similar.
Day 9 Monday: Helsinki Helsinki is truly located at the crossroads of Western and Eastern culture and this is reflected everywhere in the green and lively Finnish capital. The sightseeing tour takes us around the harbours and the Senate Square with the Lutheran Cathedral, up central Mannerheim Street and by the Parliament Building, the Finlandia Hall, and the Sibelius Monument and for a visit at the famous Church-in-the-Rock. The afternoon offers an optional excursion to Suomenlinna Fortress, a cultural treasure which construction was started in the 18th century as a sea fortress. Located on an island, fortress is a unique attraction for visitors.
Day 10 Tuesday: Helsinki - St. Petersburg Today we continue eastbound to St. Petersburg. Shortly after crossing the border into Russia we arrive in Vyborg, where we take time for a short sightseeing tour and a photo-stop at Vyborg Castle. In the late afternoon we arrive in St. Petersburg and check-in at Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky**** or similar.
Day 11 Wednesday: St. Petersburg St. Petersburg is an amazing city. Its imperial palaces and museums enjoy worldwide fame, while the Neva River and the many canals have deservedly given the city the title of Venice of the North. During the morning sightseeing tour we get acquainted with all the splendours of the city: the Peter-Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Church of the Bleeding Savior, the Nevsky Convent and much more. The afternoon offers an optional excursion to Zarskoye Selo with the impressive Catherine’s Palace and the Amber Room, which vanished during World War II and was restored for St. Petersburg’s tri-centennial celebrations. In the evening enjoy an optional visit to the Nikolaevsky Palace with an exciting Russian folklore show and Russian „champagne” and snacks.
Day 12 Thursday: St. Petersburg The morning is reserved for an optional visit to Peterhof, an uncontested masterpiece of the time of Peter the Great, with the impressive Grand Palace, Grand Cascade and Water Avenue and its wonderful parks. In the afternoon, an optional visit to the world-famous Hermitage Art Museum is offered. In the evening enjoy an optional Russian dinner at Restaurant Pryanosti & Radosti.
Day 13 Friday: St. Petersburg Optional transfer to the airport.