Be prepared to be impressed and join this lovely 10 days program to discover the Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St-Petersburg! Four great cities thriving today, each defending its identity and heritage of exceptional value. Riga to start with is the Art Nouveau capital of Europe, boasting 800 buildings some built up by one of the most renowned architect of his time: Michael Eisenstein. Then Tallinn awaits you with medieval walls, its Danish flags, its cute narrow passage ways and its old gothic town hall built in 1404! After that, Helsinki will show you its secret corners of the sea fortress of Suomenlinna or the acoustics of the Church-in-the-Rock. And it is not all! You have to keep some energy to explore St-Petersburg, the three-centennial city built by none other than the czar Peter the Great himself. The beauty of the imperial palaces, canals and streets will leave you speechless!
Day 1 Wednesday: Arrival in Riga Arrival in Riga, optional transfer to Hotel Wellton Riverside**** or similar, check-in, welcome meeting.
Day 2 Thursday: Riga Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles. The walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gate, the Three Brothers, the Large and Small Guilds 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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. The evening offers optional Finnish dinner at Restaurant Salve.
Day 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 Friday: St. Petersburg departure Optional transfer to the airport.