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The Baltics is a great destination for culture and nature lovers.
Vilnius Old Town and in 30 minutes, a world of serene nature, a land of five lakes with little islands in Trakai.
Aukstaitija National Park with 126 lakes among the hills with centuries-old pines and oaks. The Curonian Spit, a home for high dunes, blue flag beaches, pine woods. Feel the charm of this pearl of the Baltics, an adornment of the seacoast, our Lithuanian Sakhara. In half an hour from Riga there’s Jurmala with white sand beaches and a fresh Baltic sea breeze. Kemeri National Park is also nearby with lakes, bogs and forests created eight thousand years ago. Tallinn’s defence walls with towers “Fat Margaret” or “Tall Herman” and in an hour Lahemaa National Park with rivers, streams and waterfalls.
Arrival to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Transfer to hotel for accommodation. Overnight in Vilnius.
Vilnius is known for its more than 1,200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. The morning sightseeing tour includes a panoramic tour of the city and a walking tour of the Old Town with Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, Peter and Paul Church, St. Anne’s Church, Old University and the Gates of Dawn.
Afternoon pleasant 28 km drive to the historic town TRAKAI, the ancient Lithuanian capital amidst five picturesque lakes, famous for its 15th century Gothic Castle on the island, now housing History Museum. Trakai is also known as the capital of Lithuanian Karaites, the ethnic Turkic minority brought from the Crimea, living here for over 600 years. Overnight in Vilnius.
After breakfast 100 km drive to AUKSTAITIJA NATIONAL PARK. More than 70 % of its area is covered by centuries-old pines and oaks. 126 lakes are scatted among the lakes and hills, many of them interconnected by rivulets and streams – a paradise for water tourism. Lithuania’s highest hills are here, so we call this area the Highland, though the highest hill is only 295 m. One of the most famous sights in the Park is Ladakalnis (Ice) hill from which 6 lakes can be seen. There are 116 villages in the park. You will visit the Lithuanian Museum of Ancient Beekeeping, Ginuciai village with its 19th century watermill and make a pleasant stop to taste the most famous Lithuanian tree cake ‘Shakotis’. Its name means ‘branched tree’ due to its shape. Made of butter, eggs, flour and sugar, it’s baked on a rotating spit over an open fire. An amazing process to watch and taste afterwards.
After 1-hour drive (85 km) from the Park we reach a small Lithuanian town ANYKSCIAI with the history starting in the mid-15th century and famous today for the Narrow-gauge railway museum.
The newest local attraction is the Treetop Walking Path located in the famous Anyksciai Pinewood. It is the only treetop path in Eastern Europe, in the level of the tree crowns and it lasts for 300 m, evenly going up to 21 m high. Return for overnight to Vilnius.
Morning drive to the Baltic seacoast, will take you to Lithuania’s only seaport Klaipeda where after 5-minutes’ ferry crossing of the Curonian Lagoon you’ll reach the world of sand dunes, covered by the green carpet of mountain pine woods, fresh salty Baltic winds, the CURONIAN SPIT NATIONAL PARK, UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in Europe. We stop in Juodkrante which boasts of its Hill of Witches, A further drive to our main destination, the largest town on the spit – Nida. Enjoy a great panorama, Lithuania’s Sahara, from the highest sand dune Parnidis, also created by drifting sand and sea winds, rising 52 m above sea level. Visit the Amber Gallery and hear the story about amber, our Lithuanian gold stone. After an impressive day at the Curonian Spit, the gem of the Lithuanian seacoast, overnight in Palanga, the most popular Lithuanian sea resort.
Morning tour of PALANGA, the summer capital in Lithuania, famous for its 18 km long beaches of white sand and a refreshing scent of pine woods and iodine. Palanga boasts of its Botanical Park and Amber Museum, attracting also with a beautiful rose garden on the southern side and classical music concerts on the terrace in summer time.
A further drive to Riga, en route stopping at the HILL OF CROSSES, the Lithuanian symbol of the deep religious faith. The hill looks like a forest of crosses, looking like nothing else on earth. Though many of them are memorials to the deceased, others are simple expressions of faith and hope. Accommodation on arrival to Jurmala.
Morning tour of RIGA, the capital of Latvia. Discover the history of the 13th and later centuries in Riga Old Town, UNESCO World Heritage site. A magnificent Dome Church founded in 1211, the largest in the Baltics, famous with its organ concerts, St.Jacob’s Church maintaining its 13th century form , the round Powder Tower – a 14th century original and the only survivor of the 18 city wall towers, a row of the 15th century houses known as the Three brothers. Admire the most beautiful 123 m high St.Peter’s Church tower, a stunning exterior of the Blackheads’ House, one of city’s most important highlights. Leaving Old Town’s cobbled confined streets, you reach the centre of Riga with a picturesque winding water canal and perfect series of parks and boulevards laid out in the 19th century. Explore Riga’s historic centre and its Art Nouveau architecture, the largest collection of the 19th-20th century art nouveau buildings in the whole Europe with their intricate building facades with carvings of flowers, ornate doorways and windows.
Afternoon tour to the KEMERI NATIONAL PARK, one of Latvia’s most impressive natural treasures, combining different protected areas- lakes, bogs, forests.The park is home to a wide range of fauna including rare birds like the black stork, deer, elk, foxes, wolves, wild cattle and horses. The Great Kemeri Bog or Moorland is one of the most impressive blogland’s in Latvia offering the experience of nature in its nearly virgin state. Kemeri National Park has many natural sulphur springs. Mineral water and mud used at a local health resort for digestive and skin treatments. Return to Jurmala for overnight.
After breakfast a morning departure to Tallinn the capital of Estonia. A first stop in Gauja Nationalpark, called the Latvian Switzerland. A visit to Turaida Castle to experience a genuine atmosphere of the Middle Ages listening to romantic legends, admiring the ruins of the 13th c. Knights’ Castle, the mysterious sandstone grottoes on the river bank. A futher drive north to Tallinn. En rout a short stop in Pärnu. This medieval city has an easygoing and romantic flair to it. Being largest resort in Estonia, Pärnu is also a home to a variety of spas from large water parks to more intimate and historical bath houses. Accommodation at hotel and overnight in Tallinn.
Morning tour of the Old Tallinn (UNESCO), the medieval Hanseatic town, boasting the Dominican St.Catherine’s Monastery, the 600-year-old Gothic Town Hall, the 159 m high Oleviste Church, a powerful Russian Orthodox St. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral. The Toompea Hill offers breathtaking views over the Old Town and the Baltic Sea. A visit to St. Catherine’s passage with active workshops. Afternoon tour to Kadriorg Palace and park. A stop to see Tallinn Song Festival Grounds where every 5 years a traditional Estonian song festival takes place. A further drive to Pirita to visit yachting centre, that was built for 1980 Olympics, and ruins of an old monastery of St. Bridget.
Afternoon tour to the Open-Air ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM ROCCA AL MARE. The whole country is represented here: The Western, Northern, Southern Estonia and the Islands. Over 70 buildings show all aspects of the Estonian rural architecture, mostly dating from the 19th century. Overnight in Tallinn.
Full day tour to LAHEMAA, the national park, one hour‘s drive from Tallinn, a wildlife reserve with interesting ethnographic monuments and ladscapes of different types. Lahemaa means ‘land of bays’ as it’s landscape is rich in peninsulars and bays. There cross 7 rivers and a great number of small streams forming waterfalls and cascades, 3 large lakes and 150 springs.
The way of life of typical Baltic-German rich families can be seen while visiting the Sagadi Manor House built in 1750 and
the most impressive manor house Palmse Manor dating back to the 1740. Both of manors are examples of a superb 18-19th c.c. manorial architecture. Return to Tallinn for overnight.
Departure transfer to the Airport.