Celebrate the joys of winter in the Baltic States! Your first stop will be Vilnius, capital city of Lithuania, surrounded by snowy hilly forests where Baroque churches dominated the skyline for centuries. In the Old Town, you will learn about the stories of the Great Dukes of Lithuania who built up the greatest state in Europe in the 14th and 15th century and the tragic fate of Napoleon’s frozen army. Then, you will hit the Via Baltica, the road linking the three countries where Baltic people joined their hands in 1989 to defeat communism. Second on the list is Riga, capital of Latvia where the ice-fishers will welcome you. You will get mesmerized by the city rhythmic undefeated by winter. After visiting the amazing Old Town, the architect Eisenstein will present you his majestic breathtaking Art Nouveau masterpieces. Last but not least, Tallinn covered in a light white snow blanket is a maze of contrasts, medieval yet dizzyingly dynamic, small but lively at its heart. Winter winds will lead you into the Old town where cobblestones and medieval city walls bring bygone centuries to life.
Day 1 Monday: Arrival in Vilnius Arrival in Vilnius, optional transfer to Hotel Artis Centrum**** or similar, check-in, welcome meeting.
Day 2 Tuesday: Vilnius Vilnius is known for its more than 1.200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. The morning walking tour of the Old Town includes Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, 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. The evening offers an optional Lithuanian dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
Day 3 Wednesday: 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 Radisson Blu Latvija***** or similar.
Day 4 Thursday: Riga Riga, founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles and by the end of December the whole city is preparing for a vibrant New Year celebration. 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 offers an optional tour to Riga Art Nouveau district and a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum. In the evening we enjoy an entertaining and fabulous New Year Gala.
Day 5 Friday: Riga Morning at leisure. Late afternoon offers an optional excursion to the Lido Recreational Centre, a large restaurant and entertainment centre located in the largest wooden log house in Europe and surrounded by a lot of winter attractions. We enjoy a traditional Latvian dinner before going back to the hotel.
Day 6 Saturday: 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 L’Ermitage**** or similar.
Day 7 Sunday: Tallinn Tallinn is a charming blend of medieval tranquillity and modern urban life. The Old Town is magical all the year but it is at its best in the run-up to Christmas and New Year, where the magic is felt at every corner. The walking 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 Monday: Tallinn departure Optional transfer to the airport.