Welcome to the Baltic
The Baltic States in Northern Europe are sandwiched between the Baltic Sea and Russia. Described as being like “three sisters”, the solidarity between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is exemplified in the forming of a 600km human chain from Vilnius to Tallinn, leading the way to independence from the Soviet Union and entry into the EU shortly after. Proud of their distinct cultures, the region is a treasure trove of history spanning from the Viking age, through to the Northern Crusades, Teutonic order and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth making this a European destination as fascinating as it is unique. Our circular route includes all three capital cities as well as national parks and charming 18th century towns, beginning and ending in Tallinn.
- Discover the dramatic tale of the Teutonic Crusades
- Venture through gorgeous national parks and Baltic scenery
- Explore Art Nouveau and Gothic architecture in three Baltic Capital Cities
- Delve into the secretive Soviet past and KGB intrigue of the region
- Enter other-worldly baroque palaces that hark back to the Russian emperors
Dates & Prices
The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .
July 17 - July 28, 2017 (12 days)
Standard Blind Price: £1899 Book Now
Discounted Sighted Price: £999 Contact us for availability
The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .
Standard Blind Price: 1749 1749 1 Place Left! Book Now
Discounted Sighted Price: 879 879 Contact us for availability
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- Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
- 3 & 4 star accommodation
- All breakfasts
- Four lunches
- Specified excursions
- Services of local guides
- Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
- Tallinn Walking Tour
- KGB Museum Tour
- Parnu and Gauja National Park
- Riga Walking Tour
- Zanid Lipke Memorial Tour
- Rundale Palace and the Hill of Crosses
- Vilnius Walking Tour
- Aukstaitija National Park
- Tartu Orientation Tour
- Tartu Botanical Gardens Tour
Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.
Monday 17th July
Arrive in Tallinn, Estonia and transfer to our city hotel for the rest of the day.
Overnight in Tallinn.
Tuesday 18th July
Begin a day of exploration with a guided tour of the medieval upper and lower town. In the upper town, discover Toompea Castle, a 9th century fortress that’s been tussled between Estonians, Danes, Swedes and the Polish before the Russians conquered and converted a crumbling wing into an 18th century baroque palace. Today, it houses the Riigikogu, otherwise known as Estonia’s Parliament. Our tour also takes in the 19th century onion-domed Orthodox Cathedral, symbolising the power the Tsar’s once held here and the more humble Lutheran Cathedral.
The afternoon shall be yours to further explore at leisure.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Tallinn.
Wednesday 19th July
Today we shall visit the Viru Hotel and the KGB Museum for a guided tour. During the Soviet era, any hotel that was appropriate for foreign visitors would also be appropriate for the KGB. Rumours abound that the KGB operated out of the Viru Hotel which turned out to be true and the rooms are now a fascinating museum that have been kept as they were during the Soviet era. Entered through a secret staircase, our guide will show us what the KGB were up to, and share stories of living in Estonia under the watchful eye of this infamous spy organisation.
The rest of the day shall be free for you to further explore. You may wish to venture a bit out of town and visit Kadriorg Palace, a baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia that now houses the Art Museum of Estonia. Also, out of town is the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour, a recently opened museum housing old submarines, icebreakers and seaplanes.
There are also plenty of historic nooks and crannies that are ripe for discovery in Tallinn’s Old Town.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Tallinn.
Thursday 20th July
Journey South to the coastal town of Parnu, known as Estonia’s Summer Capital and answer to Miami. This seaside town is a popular destination for Finns, Russians and Germans who flock here for the soft golden sands and venerated mud treatments.
Our adventure then continues as we cross the border and enter our second Baltic country, Latvia. As we head towards the capital, Riga, we’ll encounter gorgeous countryside in Gauja National Park, a hinterland of fresh green pines. Inside this forested wonderland, we’ll find evidence of the region’s Teutonic past as we visit the 13th century Turaida Castle.
Our day of exploration shall conclude in the largest capital of the Baltic States, Riga.
Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Riga.
Friday 21st July
Today we’ll discover more than 800 years of history as we explore Riga’s winding cobbled streets lined by colourful merchants’ houses and gothic spires. The old town is encircled by a water channel and is crowned by the Dome Cathedral but perhaps most celebrated of all is Riga’s Art Nouveau District.
Our tour includes Riga’s Freedom Monument, known locally as ‘Milda’, this column is topped by a copper female Liberty raised in 1935 on the spot where a statue of Tsar Peter the Great once stood. We’ll also take in Riga’s historic cathedral dating to 1211, a colourful castle and the National Opera Building.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Riga.
Saturday 22nd July
This morning shall be enjoyed at leisure before we rendezvous at the hotel and go to Zanid Lipke’s Memorial. This profound museum tells the truly inspirational story of Zanid Lipke, a Latvian man who risked everything alongside his wife and friends in an effort to save over fifty Jewish lives during WWII.
The rest of the day shall be free for further exploration. With an old town crammed with historic dwellings, shops and cafes in an array of vibrant colours, the cobbled streets are a delight to venture round. Whilst enjoying a stroll, make sure you find the ‘Three Brothers’ and ‘House of the Blackheads’. If the Art Nouveau scene is your forte, then there is also a museum that allows you to enter and explore one of these fantastically stylish buildings.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Riga.
Sunday 23rd July
Depart from Riga this morning and journey over land to Rundale Palace, a baroque jewel designed by the Italian Rastrelli, of renown for the world-famous Hermitage Palace in St. Petersburg. Built for the powerful Duke of Courland in the early 18th century the Palace was handed to a relative of Catherine the Great’s lover. Like so many other palaces, Rundale fell into decline in the 20th century and has only just completed a lengthy and expensive restoration becoming one of Latvia’s premier tourist destinations.
We shall then cross the border from Latvia into Lithuania and visit the pilgrimage site called the Hill of Crosses. Here, tens of thousands of crosses, crucifixes, statues of the Virgin Mary and rosaries have been planted on the hill. An evocative, peaceful and awe-inspiring place to visit, no one knows how the practice developed in the 19th century, but, despite Soviet demolition and attempts to stop the practice it endured in an expression of patriotism and spiritual dedication.
From here, we shall continue to Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius.
Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Vilnius.
Monday 24th July
Embark on a guided walking tour of Vilnius. We shall visit Cathedral Square, of note for its neoclassical cathedral with separate bell tower. Next, we’ll visit Presidential Palace Square, a 14th century palace that now houses the Lithuanian President before heading to Gothic Corner and the Gates of Dawn which shelters an ornate altar to the Virgin Mary. Continuing our walk, we shall enter the Jewish Ghetto, known as Vilna Ghetto. During WWII, the population of this area was 40,000 yet just two years later the population was tragically reduced to zero.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Vilnius.
Tuesday 25th July
This morning we leave Vilnius behind and journey by road to Aukstaitija National Park, a region filled with picturesque lakes and unspoilt nature. We shall visit Ladakalnis, home to 7 panoramic lakes and Ginuiciai Water Mill, the only authentic working mill left in the area.
Our journey continues to the ethnographic village of Paluse which contains a striking wooden church. We’ll also get to sample some local delicacies as we witness the baking process of Lithuania’s most important dessert called sakotis.
This evening we shall check into our hotel in the small town of Daugavpils.
Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Daugavpils.
Wednesday 26th July
This morning we journey north to Tartu. Known as Estonia’s spiritual capital, the city is home to the country’s oldest university, as well as the Supreme Court and Estonian National Museum.
Once here, we shall orient ourselves by visiting Town Hall Square, St John’s Church and the ruins of the cathedral. Filled with colourful stately buildings and wooden houses, the city truly captures the imagination with its historic character.
Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Tartu.
Thursday 27th July
Today we shall enjoy a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens of the University of Tartu where greenhouses have recreated the environments of rain forests and deserts.
This afternoon shall be free for you to enjoy at leisure. You may wish to have another wander around the Old Town or explore one of the city’s museums.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Tartu.
Friday 28th July
Today we transfer to the airport and journey home.
Breakfast and lunch included.