Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Turreted castles peer through forest canopies, old town cobblestones wind through Gothic architecture, a Baroque Palace stands proudly in landscaped gardens: explore Gauja National Park and Turaida Castle, and walk the Galve Lake bridge on this inspiring Baltic journey.
Fly to Vilnius where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night.
A treat is in store today as you are introduced to this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a walking tour which starts in the Old Town. Here you'll find a maze of beautiful winding narrow streets which boast a variety of architectural styles from Gothic to Baroque. Some of the sightseeing highlights include the Cathedral, St Anne's Church, the Gate of Dawn with its chapel and the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There'll also be time to take in the Market Square, a striking meeting point in the middle of the city. After lunch in Vilnius, depart for Sigulda in Latvia for one night.
Located in the heart of the Gauja National Park, Rigulda is home to a selection medieval castles and is set amidst some mesmerising scenery made up of elegant hills, valleys and dramatic cliffs, which has inspired its comparison to Switzerland. Next is a sightseeing tour of Turaida Castle before departing for Tallinn for one night, but not before a short stop in Parnu, a colourful Estonian coastal town.
Today it's all about discovering medieval Tallinn, another fascinating city on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Known as 'museum' town, Tallinn has preserved many features of the 15th century trading city that it started life as and shows off many fine and well-preserved buildings, including the Hanseatic Merchant houses at its heart. Key sights on your tour today include the Dome Hill, the Dome Cathedral, the Town Hall and St Nicholas' Church. Lunch at a city centre restaurant is followed by a visit to the Kadriorg Art Museum which is home to an array of wonderful pieces of art. This former palace was built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great.
After breakfast it's time to leave Tallinn for the Latvian capital of Riga for two nights, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is spent on a sightseeing tour of this, one of the biggest capitals in the Baltic States. Riga, situated on the mouth of the Daugava once belonged to the Hanseatic League, a powerful economic and political alliance formed in the 14th century. Today the city is known for its Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture with stunning examples seemingly everywhere you turn. Your tour highlights include the Old Town, university, opera and the charming cathedral.
Today starts with a drive to Jurmala, famous for its wonderful Art Nouveau wooden architecture and Blue Flag beaches on a quite stunning part of coast stretching for 20 miles. Between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River, Jurmala is the largest resort town in the Baltics and has gained a reputation as a health spa. Lunch in the city centre is followed by a visit to the Museum of Ethnography before returning to Riga.
Leave Riga en route to Rundale, a city famous for its splendid Baroque Palace built in 1736-1767 as the summer residence of the Duke Ernst Johann of Courland. The Palace was regarded as the Latvian counterpart to the Versailles in France and the Sans Souci in Germany. Next stop is Siauliai for lunch. This is an important religious centre and home to the pilgrimage site, the Hill of Crosses which is on the UNESCO Heritage list. Over the centuries, not only crosses but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. It's estimated that there are nearly 200,000 crosses on the mountain. The day ends in Vilnius for your final night.
This morning depart for the peaceful small town of Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A sightseeing tour of this absolutely amazing location is included and you can marvel at the lakeside setting and the red brick castle on Galve Lake; a sight you won't quickly forget. The castle museum of Trakai offers an exhibition of the history of Lithuania and its prehistoric origins. As you go through the castle's main gates it will feel like entering a fairytale with a spectacular view of the picturesque surrounding area. Hear about the fascinating stories and legends that bring this ancient site alive. Lunch is in the city centre before you're transferred to the airport and your flight to the UK.
Accommodation as stated or similar standard.
see comments above .......
comments as in item 1......
Excellent value for money all things considered
Too much travelling time not enough free time. most days did not arrive at Hotels until 1900 !
Considering costs of hotels and flights this was very good value
The only negative comment we can make is that there was too much food. Like others on the Tour, we would have preferred not to have the mid-day meal but to be left to our own devices to sample real local snacks. Otherwise ALL Excellent - except the Sigulda Aparjods hotel - this hotel was a health and safety nightmare - there were dark stairs and corridors with uneven floors - an accident waiting to happen - and it did for one of our Group Overall we had a fabulous week - Thank you
Thought local guide in Latvia tried to give too much detail when time was limited on a site. At one site she was left with only 4 people listening to her - the other 15 decided to explore themselves (and saw far more). Tour guide said porterage was not available at one hotel, but failed to mention if it was at any other hotels. I don't normally use portarage but it left a guy on crutches having to manage his case at all the hotels.
Very good overall. The hotel in Vilnius was not as in our info and there was no forewarning of this. Service was very slow on both nights and the room not up to the standard of other hotels we stayed in. I don't think this was good enough. On a more positive note our guide for the week was excellent.
Excellent, conscientious and well informed guide, Megele. Only negative comment is that the dining room service in Neringa hotel in Vilnius was not up to the standard of the other hotels - in that it was so slow.
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