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Day 1: Arrival Krakow
Arrival in Krakow, transfer from airport to Hotel Park Inn or similar, check-in, welcome meeting.
Day 2: Krakow CITY SIGHTSEEING & WIELICZKA SALT MINE
For half a millennium Krakow was the royal capital of Poland and for centuries the city walls have guarded its traditions and secrets. The morning sightseeing tour takes us to the Old Town with the St. Mary’s Church, the Jagiellonian University, the Cloth Halls and Wawel with the Wawel Castle and the Wawel Cathedral. Afternoon excursion to the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine, an amazing labyrinth of tunnels going down as far as 327m. Tonight is an optional Polish dinner at Restaurant Hawelka.
Day 3: Krakow-Warsaw JASNA GORA MONASTERY & THE BLACK MADONNA
We leave for Czestochowa, the spiritual heart of Poland, where we visit the Jasna Gora Monastery with the Black Madonna. Through the flat low-laying plain of Central Poland we reach Warsaw in the early afternoon. Check-in at Hotel Mercure Centrum or similar. Remainder of afternoon free.
Day 4: Warsaw: SIGHTSEEING TOUR AND PALACE ON THE WATER
Warsaw is essentially a post-war city with a meticulously reconstructed Old Town. The morning sightseeing tour includes the Royal Route and the Old Town with the Royal Castle, St John’s Cathedral, the Old Town Market Square and the Barbican. In the afternoon you will visit Royal Lazienki Park with it's Palace on the Water. The evening offers an optional Polish dinner at Restaurant Bazyliszek.
Day 5: Warsaw-Mragowo FORESTS AND LAKES, BAROQUE CHURCH
We continue through well-forested Northern Poland into the Masurian Lakeland, a myriad of post glacial lakes representing some of the most beautiful nature in the whole of Poland. Afternoon excursion to the Masurian Lakeland visits the quaint town of Ketrzyn, the beautiful Baroque church in Swieta Lipka and the town of Gizycko, surrounded by lakes. In the late afternoon we check-in at Hotel Mercure Mrongovai Resort & Spa or similar.
Day 6: Mragowo-Vilnius LAKE LANDS AND RESORT TOWNS
Today we continue along the eastern fringe of the Masurian Lakeland with endless blue lakes and attractive resort towns into Lithuania. We do a stop in Kaunas, the former capital of Lithuania, to admire the beautiful Old Town and the elegant white Baroque Town Hall before we arrive in the late afternoon to Vilnius. Check in at Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva or similar.
Day 7: Vilnius OLD TOWN & TRAKAI CASTLE
Vilnius is known for having over 1,200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. Morning sightseeing 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 excursion to Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with the well preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve. In the evening enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
Day 8: Vilnius-Riga HILL OF CROSSES & RUNDALE PALACE
Heading for Riga, the first stop is the Hills of Crosses, one of the most holy sites of Catholic Lithuania. After crossing into Latvia we soon reach the magnificent Rundale Palace, the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland. Following a guided tour of the palace we travel through the rolling hills of Southern Latvia to reach Riga late afternoon, check-in at Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija or similar.
Day 9: Riga MEDIEVAL LATVIA, SIGULDA & ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM
Before we get acquainted with Riga we have the possibility of discovering medieval Latvia. Morning sightseeing takes us to the stunning Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda. We listen to the medieval Latvian legend of the Rose of Turaida, and see the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and of the Castle of the Knights of the Sword before we return to Riga. Afternoon visit to the Ethnographical Open Air Museum, a spacious exposition of 18th Century country life. Evening organ concert at the lovely old Dome Cathedral.
Day 10: Riga OLD TOWN & JURMALA SEA RESORT
Riga founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert is the largest of the 3 Baltic capitals and boasts a true kaleidoscope of various architectural styles. The walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Swedish Gates, Three Brothers, Large and Small Guild House and the Freedom Monument. Afternoon visit to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort, famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches. In the evening enjoy an optional Latvian dinner at stylish, Restaurant Forest.
Day 11: Riga-Tallinn LAND OF FORESTS AND PARNU SUMMER RESORT
The tour continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Parnu. We do a short tour of the resort before we continue through the North Estonian land of forests and arrive in Tallinn early afternoon, check-in at Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia or similar.
Day 12: Tallinn OLD TOWN EXPLORATION, KADRIOG PARK AND KUMU ART MUSEUM
Tallinn is a charming blend of medieval tranquillity and modern urban life. The medieval Old Town is a busy place in the summer with its many shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafés and restaurants. The sightseeing tour takes us around the old medieval city walls and into the Old Town where we see Toompea Castle, Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, medieval Old Town Hall and Great Guild Hall. Afternoon excursion to Kadriorg Park and visit to KUMU, the award-winning new Estonian art museum, with its collections of classic and contemporary fine art. Tonight has an optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Peppersack.
Day 13: Tallinn Departure
Transfer from hotel to the airport.
Departures: 27 Jun; 11, 25 Jul; 01, 08, 15 Aug 2017
Includes: 12 overnights at centrally located 4 star hotels, including buffet breakfast; Welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice; Personalized welcome package; Entrances to Wawel Castle in Krakow, Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw, Old University in Vilnius, Rundale Palace, St. Peter’s Church and Tower in Riga and medieval Great Guild Hall in Tallinn; 3-hour excursion to the Royal Lazienki Park and visit to Palace on the Water; 3-hour excursion to Trakai and visit to Trakai Castle; Transfer airport to Hotel Park Inn Krakow (Day1 only); 4-hour excursion to Wieliczka Salt Mine; 3-hour excursion to the Open Air Museum; Organ concert at the Dome Cathedral; 4-hour excursion to Jurmala; 4-hour excursion to Gauja National Park; 3-hour excursion to Kadriorg Park and visit to KUMU; Transfer Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia to airport (Day 13 only); Service of English speaking tour escort on all tours; Service of 1st class motor coaches or 1st class minivans throughout the itinerary; Portage at hotels
Excludes (Optional): Polish dinner at Restaurant Hawelka; Polish dinner at Restaurant Podwale; Folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas; Latvian dinner at Restaurant Forest; Medieval dinner at Restaurant Peppersack; Half board at hotels (12 x 3 course dinners with coffee/tea)
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