10 reasons to visit the Baltic States! Vilnius with its 1200 medieval buildings and 48 churches, the Hill of Crosses symbolizing the faith of the Lithuanians, Rundale, the Latvian Versailles of the Duke of Courland, lover of the Russian empress Anna Ivanovna, the Organ concert of the Dome Cathedral of Riga and its Art Nouveau district featuring the work of Eisenstein, one of the greatest Art Nouveau architects of the Belle Epoque, the wild nature of Gauja National Park keeping the tragic destiny of Maja, a Latvian beauty called the Rose of Turaida, the unique collection of old Soviet limousines used by apparachiks and Brejnev himself, the huge Hanseatic city walls of Tallinn and the Kadriorg Palace, gift of Peter the Great to his beloved wife Catherine the first. All of these treasures and more are within reach in this delightful program!
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival in Vilnius Arrival in Vilnius, optional transfer to Hotel Radisson Blu Astorija***** or similar, check-in, welcome meeting.
Day 2 Monday: Vilnius Vilnius is known for its more than 1.200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. The morning sightseeing tour includes a panoramic tour of the city and a walking tour of the Old Town with Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, Peter and Paul Church, St. Anne’s Church, Old University and the Gates of Dawn. The afternoon offers an optional excursion to Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with the well preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve. In the evening enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
Day 3 Tuesday: Vilnius - Riga Heading for Riga, the first stop is the Hill of Crosses, one of the most holy sites of Catholic Lithuania. After crossing into Latvia we soon reach the magnificent Rundale Palace, the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland. Following a guided tour of the palace we travel through the rolling hills of Southern Latvia to reach Riga late afternoon, check-in at Hotel Semarah Grand Poet***** or similar.
Day 4 Wednesday: 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. The evening offers an optional organ concert at the Dome Cathedral.
Day 5 Thursday: Riga After we got acquainted with Riga we have the possibility of discovering medieval Latvia. The optional tour for this morning takes us to the stunning scenery of the Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda. We listen to the medieval Latvian legend of the Rose of Turaida and see the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and of the Castle of the Knights of the Sword before we return to Riga. The afternoon offers an optional visit to the Riga Motor Museum which has an impressive collection of vintage car including a very unique collection of old Soviet limousines from the Kremlin Garage. 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 Sky***** 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 departure Optional transfer to the airport.