Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Baltic Capital Cities tour
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Baltic Capital Cities

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Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 1,220 $ 153 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Vilnius - Experience the historical sights and learn about Lithuania's troubled Soviet past at the KGB Museum
  • Riga - Discover the capital of Latvia's main highlights and take in the sights, smells and tastes at Riga's huge Central Market
  • Tallinn - Explore the city's best known sights and stunning Medieval architecture on foot
  • Pakruojis Manor - Stay overnight on the estate and enjoy a traditional dinner and beer tasting

Short Description

This trip is the perfect introduction to the Baltic States. Explore the three capital cities including their Christmas Markets. Go for a cheese tasting, learn how to paint marzipan, and sample beer at Pakruojis Manor.

Vilnius - Explore the city on foot and learn about Lithuania's troubled Soviet past at the KGB Museum
Riga - Discover the old town and shop for food specialties at the huge Central Market
Tallinn - See the stunning medieval architecture and meet the white monks at the Dominican Monastery.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Vilnius
End City Tallinn
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Itinerary

Day 1 Join trip in Vilnius, Lithuania

Our trip begins in Lithuania's capital city, Vilnius. After checking in to our hotel and meeting the group, this evening is at leisure for you to enjoy your first taste of the city's vibrant cafe and restaurant scene. The majority of visitors to the Baltic States will be surprised by the quality, variety and value of food and drink on offer. The majority of food is locally sourced and part of the regions heritage is being able to forage for food and make local brews. Walking through the forests you will see locals passing the time picking mushrooms and gathering berries. There are a lot of traditional restaurants, with influences from Germany and Russia, serving locally produced dishes. There's a wide variety on the menu including soups, casseroles, salads, meat and fish dishes. Beer is locally brewed and you can find light and dark beers, filtered or unfiltered all for a reasonable price. You can also find flavoured wines such as raspberry and cherry wine and each country has its own herbal liquor which is a popular after dinner tipple.

Meals Provided : None

Day 2 Walking tour of Vilnius and visit to the KGB Museum

The Catholic influence on Vilnius is very evident from the numerous Baroque churches. By the turn of the last century, Vilnius also had an 80,000-strong Jewish community. However, by the end of World War II, it had been completely decimated. During our morning orientation walking tour of the capital, we'll visit the ancient university founded by the Jesuits - a centre of the Counter Reformation and a source of Lithuanian culture. We'll also see the cathedral and Church of the Dawn. In the newer part of Vilnius lies the main shopping street with the opera house, parliament building and a number of cafes. This afternoon we'll visit the KGB Museum, which is located in the former KGB Headquarters and has exhibits documenting the crimes that were planned and committed from this very spot during Soviet rule. The displays show how the Lithuanians fought back to re-claim their independence and we'll be able to see the inner prison cell that has been preserved in the same condition as when the headquarters closed in 1991.

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Day 3 Drive to Pakruojis Manor via Trakai Castle and Kaunas

Our first stop this morning on our full day's journey will be at Trakai Castle set on an island in Lake Galve. Trakai is the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and this splendid red brick castle dates back to the 14th century. You'll have the opportunity to go inside to view some of the interesting museum exhibits that it houses including one on pre-war Lithuania. On some departures due to functions taking place it may not be possible to go inside Trakai Castle, so instead we will make an additional stop at Rundale Palace. Built in the 18th century by Anna Empress of Russia for her lover Count Biron. The architect, Bartholomeo Rastrelli, also built the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The 138 room palace is richly decorated and is an example of the fusion of German and Russian society. We continue our drive to Kaunas where we'll have free time for lunch. Kaunas was the country's temporary capital between 1920 and 1939 when Vilnius was forcibly annexed by the Poles. Situated in the heart of Lithuania, it is often regarded as the most characteristic city in the country. Many of its buildings date back to the 17th century, when the Jesuits bought tracts of land here and built a large monastery. Some buildings are older, with impressive examples of Gothic architecture. Later this afternoon we arrive at Pakruojis Manor where we will be spending the night. The manor consists of 34 buildings including the main house, a stable block, mill and perfumery all set in a beautiful park setting, which is now a living museum that shows how the residents and staff would have lived and worked in 19th century. You'll have the opportunity to explore these historic buildings before we have a traditional dinner and an included beer tasting - all brewed on site.

Meals Provided : Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Visit the Hill of Crosses en route to Riga, Latvia; walking tour of Riga

Before leaving Lithuania we'll make a stop at the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai where a vast number of rosaries and crosses adorn a small hill. Both German and Soviet troops in the past have tried to crush this symbol of national and religious fervour, but images of the Virgin and literally thousands of crosses always reappeared despite their best efforts to destroy them. This afternoon we'll arrive in Riga, Latvia's capital, and take an orientation walking tour. Most of the important sights in Riga are concentrated in a small area, so walking is the most effective way to explore. We will take in the Freedom Monument, Gunpowder Tower, Saint Jacob's Church and the city's cathedral. Buildings have been painstakingly restored over the last twenty years and commanding Gothic structures sit adjacent to Baroque and lavish Art Nouveau architecture.

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Day 5 Visit to Riga Central Market; afternoon at leisure

This morning we'll visit Riga's huge and lively Central Market, which sells traditional produce, such as smoked fish, sauerkraut, pickled garlic and crusty cheeses. The rest of the day is free for you to discover more of the city. Riga is an old Hanseatic city on the banks of the Daugava River and is arguably the most beautiful in the Baltics. Its skyline is pierced with spires, towers and weather vanes, making the streets a joy to amble through. The Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum and Riga Castle are well worth a visit or you may choose to enjoy a long lunch in one of the many restaurants. Cheese and meat filled pastries served with wild berry preserves are popular, especially when washed down with a local beer or perhaps a glass of Riga Black Balsam, a traditional herbal liqueur - an acquired taste!

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Day 6 Drive to Tallinn, Estonia via the seaside city of Parnu

This morning we bid farewell to Latvia and head for Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. After we've crossed the border we'll make a stop in the pretty seaside town of Parnu on the Gulf of Livonia. This Baltic coast spa resort has been popular with tourists since the 1830s with people flocking to its clean sand beaches and to revitalise in the Parnu Mud Baths. After time here for lunch we'll continue our journey to Tallinn; in total today's drive takes us around five hours. With just half a million citizens, Tallinn is not a sprawling metropolis. This adds to its charm, as it is easy to explore on foot, with minimal traffic. Famed for its medieval architecture, the Old Town is one of the best preserved Hanseatic city centres in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has a huge range of restaurants, pubs and wine bars for you to choose from this evening.

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Day 7 Orientation walking tour of Tallinn; visit to the Bastion Tunnels

Less than 100 kilometres across the water from Helsinki and midway between St. Petersburg and Stockholm, Tallinn has come under several different cultural influences since the first stronghold was built in the 10th century. Linguistically and economically, Estonia's closest ties are to Finland, despite the best efforts of other nations. In 1561, as a coveted trading port, it was seized by the Swedes and held for 150 years until the Russians took over and industrialised much of the medieval town. Perched on a hill overlooking the sea, we'll explore the cobbled Old Town on foot this morning. The colourful houses of the crooked streets reflect the German, Scandinavian and Russian periods of Tallinn's history. We'll walk through the quarter where merchants once traded and take in the historical and architectural highlights. The busy town square is a hectic mix of pavement cafes and shops, dominated by the 14th century Gothic Town Hall. The pink Parliament buildings and Toompea Castle lie near the imposing deep yellow Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This afternoon we'll visit the Bastion Tunnels beneath the city. The tunnels were constructed in the 1670's and were used by the military as defensive tunnels beneath the city walls and buildings above. The tunnels lay unused for many years, but at the start of World War II they were renovated to be used as bomb shelters and then during Soviet rule they were installed with electricity, ventilation, water and telephones. During our excursion you'll get to see the tunnels still in their Medieval state and those that have been modernised in the 20th century. On some departures due to events taking place we may not be able to visit the Bastion Tunnels, so instead we will take a tour to learn about the secrets of the white monks at the Dominican Monastery. In the Middle Ages the influence of the Dominican religious order was enormous, as the monks were the confessors of the kings. We'll be met by a monk at the monastery who will give us an insight into what it would have been like in the city and to be a monk in medieval times. There is almost no electricity in the monastery, so our tour will be conducted by candle light. And, of course, we will get the chance to try the traditional monastery liqueur.

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Day 8 Trip ends in Tallinn

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Tallinn.

Meals Provided : Breakfast

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,220
Price Per Day: $ 153 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase PriceSingle Room (Optional)Departure GuaranteedAvailability 
Jul-06-2019Jul-13-2019$ 1,350$ 390Yes3 Spaces Left Reserve
Jul-27-2019Aug-03-2019$ 1,340$ 390YesSold Out Reserve
Aug-17-2019Aug-24-2019$ 1,270$ 390Yes7 Spaces Left Reserve
Sep-14-2019Sep-21-2019$ 1,340$ 390Yes7 Spaces Left Reserve
Sep-28-2019Oct-05-2019$ 1,270$ 390Yes15 Spaces Left Reserve
Oct-19-2019Oct-26-2019$ 1,220$ 390Yes15 Spaces Left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Dec-27-2019$ 1,280$ 390Yes14 Spaces Left Reserve
May-02-2020May-09-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes16 Spaces Left Reserve
May-23-2020May-30-2020$ 1,260$ 410No18 Spaces Left Reserve
Jun-13-2020Jun-20-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Jun-27-2020Jul-04-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes14 Spaces Left Reserve
Jul-04-2020Jul-11-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Jul-18-2020Jul-25-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Aug-22-2020Aug-29-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Sep-05-2020Sep-12-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Sep-12-2020Sep-19-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Oct-10-2020Oct-17-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Oct-24-2020Oct-31-2020$ 1,260$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
Dec-20-2020Dec-27-2020$ 1,320$ 410Yes18 Spaces Left Reserve
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Stride Featured in

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73 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

96%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 55
Great 11
Average 3
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.5
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

Baltic Capital Cities

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Trip of a lifetime seeing the Arctic in a week

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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Excellent

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Mohammed was excellent!

Enjoy the trip

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.

Pleasant surprise experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
It is hard to say because each outing was a pleasant surprise. The best experience was a workshop on feltmaking in Kazbegi town Georgia) where, as a group, we made the felt from scratch and created our own design. A great opportunity to discover a local craft. It is also an excellent example how this diverse group got along like a house on fire. In Armenia my fqvourite outing was the walk along the Garni river gorge with a local guide. The scenery was breathtaking.
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Guides

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Age Notes

Min. Age: 14

Trip ID#:

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Meals Included:

  • Breakfast : 7
  • Dinner : 1
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