Baltic States tour: Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, 7 nights

  • Day 1: Vilnius (arrival)

    • Arrival to Vilnius
    • Transfer to hotel
  • Day 2: Vilnius - Trakai - Vilnius

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Panoramic tour of Vilnius
    • Discovering republic Uzupis
    • Visit of the University
    • Free time for lunch
    • Excursion to Trakai and visit of the Castle
    • Return to Vilnius
  • Day 3: Vilnius – Kaunas – Siauliai – Rundale – Riga

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Departure to Kaunas
    • Panoramic tour of Kaunas
    • Free time for lunch
    • Visit of the «Cross Hill» in Siauliai
    • Departure to Rundale
    • Visit of Rundale Palace
    • Arrival to Riga
  • Day 4: Riga

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Panoramic tour of Riga
    • Visit of the Cathedral of Riga
    • Visit of the Saint-Peter Church
    • Visit of Riga Central Market
    • Free time for lunch
    • Visit of the Art Nouveau district of Riga
    • Visit of Jurmala
    • Return to Riga
  • Day 5: Riga – Sigulda – Turaida – Gutmanis – Parnu – Tallinn

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Departure to Sigulda
    • Visit of the Gauja Park
    • Panoramic visit of Sigulda
    • Visit of the Castle of Turaida
    • Visit of the Caves of Gutmanis
    • Free time for lunch
    •  Panoramic visit of Parnu
    • Arrival to Tallinn
  • Day 6: Tallinn

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • City tour of Tallinn
    • Visit of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    • Visit of the Lutheran Cathedral
    • Free time for lunch
    • Visit of Kadriorg
    • Visit of the Castle of Kadriorg
  • Day 7: Tallinn

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Visit of the National Park of Lahemaa
    • Visit of Sagadi Mansion
    • Free time for lunch
    • Visit of open-air Museum «Rocca-al-Mare»
  • Day 8: Tallinn (departure)

    • Breakfast at the hotel
    • Transfer to airport

DETAILED PROGRAM

Day 1 – Sunday: Vilnius (arrival)

Arrival in Vilnius

Transfer to the hotel

Day 2 – Monday: Vilnius – Trakai – Vilnius

Breakfast at the hotel

Panoramic tour of Vilnius. A bus tour of the modern city, and a foot tour of the historical castle. Founded in 1323 by the Grand Duke Gediminas, the city has been a crossroads of the main roads and a commercial centre By this road were passing the merchants from Hansa town and different invaders that occupied the country during its long history: Germans, Poland’s, Russians, Swedes… Vilnius also was the General Headquarters of the French army of Napoleon in his attempt to occupy Russia. This multicultural influence has affected both the architecture of the city, with its facades in gothic, renaissance, neoclassical styles and the diversity of it Churches. The bulb-cupolas of the Orthodox Churches alternate with high spires and colonnades of the Catholic and Protestant Churches in the city landscape. The historical centre of Vilnius was designated as UNESCO World Heritage site. During the visit we will admire some Art nouveau buildings in the Gediminas Avenue and the Synagogue, the centre of the Jewish community of Vilnius, flourishing in the past. In the course of our promenade through the splendid historical centre, we will see the Cathedral of Vilnius, the Peter and Paul Church, the St. Ana Church and that of St Nicolas, the most ancient of Lithuania. The Dawn Gates and the neighbouring orthodox cathedral are also interesting.

Discovering republic Uzupis. Beyond the river not far from the city center you will find announced “independent republic” for local inhabitants, mostly artists. Their independence celebration day is 1st April. It was inhabited mostly of Jewish till the World War II. Their houses were neglected afterwards and during the times of Soviet occupation only strays and social outcasts inhabited this place. After restoring independence to Lithuania artists occupied this place again, restored the buildings and gave fresh creative urge to this district, now sworn brother to Montmartre. Now it is full of cafes, art galleries and shops. The statement of constitution of Uzupis is the “right to be happy!”

Visit of the University founded in 1568 by Polish Jesuits, an important cultural centre in the Baltic Sea, where we will admire its historical halls and beautiful frescoes which decorate its arches. The entire complex of the University buildings occupies a whole district in old city and divided on 12 inside courts built during the last four centuries. On the main one, we can find Saint-John’s church (Sv. Iono) initially built in 1387, in Gothic style, and then rebuilt in the 18th century in Lithuanian Baroque style. Primarily Baroque style was used during construction of the University. The initiative of the foundation was on the Jesuits King Stephan Bathory’s.

Free time for lunch

Excursion to Trakai and visit of the Castle. Trakai, located in some kilometres from Vilnius was announced as a national park no only because of the natural beauty of its lakes and forests but also because of the historical importance of that place. It was the seat of the Grand Dukedom of Lithuania and the capital of the country during the middle ages. The imposing castle is a splendid building from 13th century, placed on a small island in the middle of an idyllic lake, the waters of which reflect the silhouette of its high walls in red brick and its slender towers. Around the lake the firs and birch tree forests of the National Trakai park raise.

Return to Vilnius

Day 3 – Tuesday: Vilnius – Kaunas – Siauliai – Rundale – Riga

Breakfast at the hotel

Departure to Kaunas

Panoramic tour of Kaunas. This endless rival of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania during the period of internal wars and the city of the rich history is located in the confluent of the two major rivers of Lithuania, Neris and Nemunas, close to the Kaunas lake, the city flourished due to its important fluvial harbour and its strategical position in the crossroads of commercial important roads, and it was a part of the Hanseatic League. Due to this strategic position the city was almost destroyed several times. However, the city had been constantly restoring and remained a large number of ancient monuments. Kaunas has an important Jewish past, a community which before the World War II constituted a fourth part of the whole population of the city. Today Kaunas is considered to be a friendly student city with beautiful architecture and museums. During the panoramic visit we will be admiring the Castle of the 14th century, the Government Square and the magnificent Churches among which the Neo-Byzantine Church of St. Miguel Archangel, the Resurrection Church with its wonderful views of the city and the Cathedral, the biggest gothic edifice of Lithuania.

Departure to Siauliai

Free time for lunch

Visit of the “Cross Hill” in Siauliai where the pilgrims have come to lay their crosses and rosaries since 14th century, as a sign of religious and national identity, in spite of the destruction of this place in numerous opportunities by the foreign occupiers. The number of crucifixes nowadays goes up to more than 50.000, from tiny crosses to the colossal crucifixes devoted to the martyrs or heroes of national independence. This place was visited by pope Jean Paul II in 1993.

Departure to Rundale

Visit of Rundale Palace constructed in 1740 by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the main architect of Saint-Petersburg, by request of the Duke of Curlandia, Ernest Johann Von Biron, in the beautiful baroque style of Italian inspiration. The Duke was the favourite lover of tsarina Anna Ioannovna and because of it he produced a big influence in all the subjects of the State of Russia. He wanted to construct a summer residence in keeping with his growing power. After the death of the tsarina, the Duke was arrested and exiled in Russia. Having passed through the hands of the family Shuvalov of St. Petersburg and then by Soviet authorities, the palace was profoundly restored and nowadays it is used by the latish authorities to house the most important visitors of the country and heads of the foreign states. It is necessary to point out the Golden Living room, the White Living room and the Big Gallery, as well as the private rooms of Dukes, all that in beautiful Rococo style. The set is surrounded by beautiful gardens of French style.

Arrival to Riga

Day 4 – Wednesday: Riga

Breakfast at the hotel

Panoramic tour of Riga, the biggest and the most cosmopolitan of the Baltic three capitals. Situated on the bank of the river Daugava or Dvina, in 10 km from the Baltic Sea, Riga was founded by the archbishop of Bremen Albert Von Buxhoeveden, arrived in 1201 at the head of an army to convert the Baltic tribes to Christianity by force. By its annexation by the Tsar Peter the Great in 1721, Riga experienced a great economic development, converting into the third city of importance of the Russian Empire, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. After a short period of independence between 1920 and 1940, Riga was joined to the Soviet Union, along with the three Baltic republics. A capital of the independent Lithuania from 1991, the city restored its ancient splendour and for this it was declared Heritage of the humanity by the UNESCO. We will make a panoramic tour on foot in the historical centre. Its perfectly preserved paved streets contain medieval atmosphere, characteristic of this city. We will admire the magnificent edifices of the rich merchants of the Hansa Town, an ancient Nunnery and the Holy Spirit Hospital, and some of the most ancient civil buildings of the city, such as the famous house of “Three Sisters” or house of “Black Heads”, the seat of the famous brotherhood of captains and hanseatic merchants. One of the city’s central square, Town Hall Square, in the Middle Ages was not only the market square, but also the administrative center of the city. We will enjoy external views of the Riga Castle, built in 1330, the one of a few most well-preserved castles in Northern Europe. The residence of the President and the Museum of the Latvian History are located here.

Visit of the Cathedral of Riga the biggest of the Baltic countries, gothic pearl constructed in 1211 near the river Daugava. Dedicated to the protestant cult, its austere interior gives an impression of solidity: some of its walls measure more than 2 meters of thickness. It is famous due to its spectacular organ, greatest in Europe inaugurated in 1844 (4 keyboards and more than 6.700 pipes).

Visit of the Saint-Peter Church, beautiful construction in gothic style (1209). It was carefully renovated after fire damages due to the bombs during World War II.

Visit of Riga Central Market. It is the largest market in the Baltic States and one of the biggest markets on the European continent. Inaugurated in 1930, the market with its five pavilions in the centre of Riga has become the largest construction project in the pre-war Latvia. The main function of the Central market has not changed ever since – it is still the widest and the most popular shopping and trading place in Latvia. In pavilions and at the market’s open area farmers from all over the country offer their products – vegetables, berries, fruit, meat and dairy products, as well as other agricultural products… pleasure for senses!

Free time for lunch

Visit of the Art Nouveau district of Riga, the biggest collection of Art nouveau buildings in the world, with its characteristic facades of snaky lines and rich decoration. Its construction started between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, although the most famous buildings are perfect examples of the characteristic Jugendstil style of civil wars. In year 1997, UNESCO classified 475 hectares of the Riga center in its list of the Humanity World Heritage. The protected area embraces the historical heart of the city and the surrounding districts on right bank of Daugava.

Visit of Jurmala, the largest resort city in the Baltic States is well-known for its natural treasures – the mild climate, sea, healthy air, curative mud and mineral water. The attraction of Jurmala hides in its almost 33 km long white sandy beaches, the large pine forest and the natural border of the city – the river Lielupe. More than 3.500 traditional wooden houses used to be considered as place of summer vacation for Riga’s elite. Most of these residences are classified as national monument.

Return to Riga

Day 5 – Thursday: Riga – Sigulda – Turaida – Gutmanis – Parnu – Tallinn

Breakfast at the hotel

Departure to Sigulda

Excursion in the Gauja valley and visit of Sigulda and Turaida. Departure in the direction of the National park of the Gauja valley, one of the most beautiful places of Northern Europe, with its rivers and streams, soft hills, thick forests and very nice caves. The Finno-Ugrian tribes of the Livonians came to the valley in the XI century, starting the construction of numerous castles and wooden fortifications such as Satesele, Turaida y Kubesele.

Visit of the Gauja Park, founded in 1973 to protect the exceptional beauty of the region. A panoramic tour of Sigulda, a precious city, located in the centre of the valley. On the other bank of the Gauja river is the village of Turaida.

Panoramic visit of Sigulda beautiful city located in the center of the valley. On the other side of the Gauja river is the village of Turaida.

Visit of the Castle of Turaida, constructed in 1214, survived numerous wars, fires and destructions. We will also visit the wooden Vidzeme church and the Livonian graveyard, where is the tomb of Maija, “Rose of Turaida”, a legend character.

Visit of the Caves of Gutmanis, where the most famous legends of the history of Livonians take place. We will be able to admire some of the cave paintings that decorating the walls.

Free time for lunch

Departure to Parnu

Panoramic visit of Parnu. Situated in 130 km from Tallinn in the mouth of the ParnuRiver, on the shore of the Baltic sea, it is known as “summer capital” of Estonia because of the great liveliness that reigns in the city during the summer period, thanks to the numerous visitors attracted by its sand beaches and beautiful forests that surround it. The city has 750 years of history and hanseatic past.

Arrival to Tallinn

Day 6 – Friday: Tallinn

Breakfast at the hotel

City tour of Tallinn. Although there is a mentioning of the city from the second millennium of AC, the city was officially founded in 1219 by the Danish invaders that explain its name that in Estonian means “Danish city”. They were followed by the Teutonic horsemen of German origin, whose descendants formed the main part of the population till the XIX century. In spite of the fact that it was a part of Sweden from 1561 and a part of Russia from 1710, the main part of the population remained of the German origin, that influenced both the architecture and the religion, mostly Lutheran. After the independence, returned in 1991, the city has been reconstructed and nowadays is one of the most beautiful European capitals. We will admire the medieval ancient castle, declared as Heritage of the Humanity by the UNESCO, divided in three parts: Toompea, or the “Cathedral Hill”; the Old City and the City Estonia.

Visit of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The large, richly decorated Orthodox Church, in mixed historicist style, was built on Toompea Hill in 1900, when Estonia was part of the Russian tsarist empire. The architect of the church was Mikhail Preobrazhenski from St. Petersburg. The church is dedicated to the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavitz Nevsky, who led the famous Ice Battle on the banks of Lake Peipsi on 5th April, 1242 and halted the Germans’ eastward advance. Before the building of the cathedral, there was a garden on the same site, in front of Toompea Castle, with a memorial to Martin Luther. The well-maintained cathedral is the grandest sacred Orthodox structure in Tallinn. The church’s bell towers hold Tallinn’s most powerful church bell ensemble, consisting of 11 bells, including the largest in Tallinn, weighing 15 tonnes. You can hear the entire bell ensemble playing before church services. The interior, decorated with mosaics and icons, is well worth a visit.

Visit of the Lutheran Cathedral (also known as Dome Church or St. Mary’s Cathedral). The oldest cathedral in Tallinn. In the early 13th century there was a wooden church on the spot of the cathedral. Later building was constantly rebuilt, it reflected on its architecture which represents mix of Gothic, Baroque and more subsequent styles. The cathedral was the burial place of the noble and famous persons; here kings and generals were buried. The Cathedral’s floor is paved with tombstones; the oldest ones are dated from 8th century. Magnificent carved wooden altar inside the cathedral is a synthesis of architecture, sculpture and painting. Cathedral is also famous for its organ, which was placed here in 1878, but still has a unique sound.

Free time for lunch

Visit of Kadriorg. No doubt about the interest of the place: it must be seen. Located to short distance of the center of Tallin, the place is divided into a gorgeous park and several buildings: the imposing Palace of Kadriorg (XVIII century), old residence of Tsar Peter the Great I; the Palace of Weizenberg, current presidential palace and numerous villas and mansions of the local middle-class, constructed in its majority in XIX century and principles of the XX century. The park offers footpaths and splendid gardens, decorated with numerous statues and furrowed by streams and channels. There are also some of the most important museums of Estonia, such as «Kumu», the greatest and most complete museum of art of the country, and the «Mikkel» museum (collections of Russian icons and Chinese porcelains).

Visit of the Castle of Kadriorg. After the victory of the Russian troops of Peter the Great I on Sweden, Russia annexed Estonia in 1710. In 1718 Tsar Peter the Great order to Italian architect Nicolo Michetti the construction of this gorgeous Castle of baroque style, in the center of a park of French inspiration, with the intention of becoming a sumptuous villa where to spend time in summer, far from the agitation of Saint-Petersburg. The palace was named Catherinenthal, Kadriorg in Estonian, which means “Valley of Catherine”, in honour of his wife Catherine I. Nowadays the building is a museum where we can admire collections exhibited in sumptuous halls, as well as its gorgeous outer architecture and the harmony of its gardens. Last but not least, the house from which the Tsar looked at the progression of works still exists.

Day 7 – Saturday: Tallinn

Breakfast at the hotel

Visit of the National Park of Lahemaa. Peninsula located 80 km far away of Tallin Lahemaa is a place of exceptional beauty. It was the first national park in the Soviet Union, in 1971, and from the independence of Estonia it has been put even but persistence in the conservation of this splendid example of coastal Baltic Sea landscape: the dense forests of firs and birches alternate with clear of high grass and salt marshes, with beautiful rocky strange beaches and pink granite formation In the coastal zone of the park is the colorful fishermen town of Kasmu, as well as sumptuous villas and mansions built by Tallin and Saint-Petersburg aristocracy.

Visit of Sagadi Mansion. Located in the exceptional natural frame of the National Park Lahemaa, the Sagadi Mansion is composed of the Museum of the Forest and the Center of Interpretation of the Nature. Moreover, it will be possible to see numerous furniture of time. The place belonged from 1687 to 1919 to the family Von Fock, of German origin like most of the Estonian nobility. In year 1749, Johann Ernest Von Fock initiated the construction of this palace of Baroque style and Rococo decoration, that has been enlarged throughout the centuries with new dependencies and pavilions. The set is not only used as a museum but also as a place fort events and receptions.

Free time for lunch

Museum “Rocca-al-Mare“. Visit of the Ethnographic open-air a splendid reconstitution of Estonian village, located in a nice forest near the Baltic Sea coast. An open-air museum which includes 72 small houses and typical wind and water mills that allows the visitor to discover the country life in Estonia during XVIII and XIX centuries.

Day 8 – Sunday: Tallinn (departure)

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer to airport

HOTELS

3*

Vilnius

  • Panorama
  • or similar

Riga

  • Karavella
  • or similar

Tallinn

  • Metropol
  • or similar

4*

Vilnius

  • Novotel
  • or similar

Riga

  • Radisson Blu
  • or similar

Tallinn

  • Meriton Grand
  • or similar