Culture & Cuisine of the Baltics

Touring with emphasis on cultural & culinary experiences
11 days
Jun - Aug
Itinerary
General Prices
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This unique tour offers a combination of modern culinary experiences together with an introduction to the rich, cultural heritage of the Baltic. Enjoy the heritage highlights of the historic cities of Tallinn, Tartu, Daugavpils, and Vilnius, visit small local producers specialising in organic food and beverages based on traditional and new cuisines, stay at boutique 4 star hotels and lovely manor houses and more.

Day 1 Arrival Tallinn
Arrival in Tallinn, and optional transfer to Hotel Santa Barbara (or similar); check-in and early evening welcome meeting with your tour leader and fellow travellers.

Day 2 Tallinn- Vihula: City Sightseeing, Lahemaa National Park
The Estonian capital 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 morning 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. After leaving Tallinn we reach the Lahemaa National Park in the early afternoon, and check-in at Hotel Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa - a charming 16th Century estate located in the heart of the park. Enjoy dinner tonight at the Kaval-Ants Tavern- a genuine Estonian countryside meal in the rustic ambience of the restaurant's old ice-cellar.  

Day 3 Vihula - Tartu: Lahemaa National Park
After breakfast, we visit the Lahemaa National Park with its wide stretches of beautiful untouched nature and many charming manor houses. Enjoy a delightful walking tour through the park (2 hours duration) to visit the impressive Manor House in Palmse, a testament to the industrious von Pahlen family. Then continue to Tartu, the University Town, where Estonian gained its statehood. We see the charming Old Town and the University founded in 1632. Check in at Hotel London (or similar).

Day 4 Tartu - Marciena: Valmiera
Departing from Tartu, we head south and soon reach Valmiera, a Hanseatic town founded in the 14th Century, when the Livonian Order build a castle here. We enjoy a short tour of the town and a visit to the small private Valmiermuiza Brewery, where we are introduced to the secrets of beer brewing and invited to sample the produce. The day continues with a visit to a farm to try the local delicious organic cheese, then late in the afternoon we arrive at Hotel Marciena Manor, a picturesque and romantic estate in the middle of Latvia. This evening enjoy a BBQ dinner at the Manor.

Day 5 Marciena - Daugavpils
Leaving Marciena our first stop is in Aglona, where we visit Aglona Basilica built in late baroque style, and  a ceramics workshop, an important part of Latgalian culture- Latgalians were one of the original Baltic tribes. From here we continue to Daugavpils, the 2nd largest city in Latvia, for a tour of the historical centre which includes a visit to the 19th century Daugavpils Fortress and the Mark Rothko Art Center, the only place in Europe where the original masterpieces of this famous founder of abstract expressionism can be seen. Just outside the city is the lovely Sventes Manor where we spend the night. Tonight an optional Latgalian dinner at Restaurant Art Hub is offered.

Day 6 Daugavpils - Vilnius
Today we continue south into Lithuania. Around midday we arrive at Aukstatija National Park, with its many lakes, rivulets and streams scattered between forests and hills. We explore the park on a gentle 20-km bike ride through the scenic landscapes, and visit the town of Paluse with its famous wooden church. Late in the afternoon, we head towards Vilnius. Upon arrival we check in at Hotel Artis (or similar).

Day 7 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. The afternoon is free  for you to explore more of this baroque jewel on your own. In the evening an optional Zeppelins master class and traditional Lithuanian dinner at Restaurant Senoji Trobele is available.

Day 8 Vilnius- Liepaja
From Vilnius we continue towards Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, where we visit the well-preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve. We continue through the hilly landscapes of Lithuania to Klaipeda- a short sightseeing tour here takes us to the Old Town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and old guild houses, and to Theater Square and the Aennchen von Tharau Fountain. Along the coast, we continue into Latvia, to the coastal town of Liepaja. Check in at Hotel Kolumbs (or similar). Tonight, you might like to join an optional casual dinner at a café right on the wide, sandy beach.

Day 9 Liepaja: Old Town Walk and Jurmala
Liepaja takes its name from the numerous lime trees in the city and we start the day with a short stroll in the Old Town with its Trinity Church & Jurmala Park, and the former Naval Port area with its famous  Orthodox Cathedral. Afterwards, we drive through the lands of the former Duchy of Courland to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches. Here we enjoy an easy walking tour on the sandy beaches (2 hours duration), before we continue on to reach Riga late in the afternoon. Accommodation at Hotel Astor (or similar).

Day 10 Riga City Sightseeing and Farewell Dinner
Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three 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. The afternoon is reserved for an optional visit to one of the largest markets in Europe, Riga Central Market, where you can learn about Latvian cuisine and organic food and sample some specialities, such as black bread, local vegetables, fresh fish, countryside sausages and much more. In the evening, enjoy a Latvian farewell dinner at the stylish Restaurant Forest with traditional Latvian specialties, topped off with a shot of Riga Black Balsam.

Day 11 Departure
Arrangements end with check out after breakfast. You can add an optional transfer to the airport if you wish.

2018 departures:  June 17, July 08 and 22; August 12
 

Maximum Group Size 16 persons

Includes: 10 overnights at centrally located 3-4 star hotels and manor houses including buffet breakfast, welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice, personalised welcome package, Estonian dinner at Restaurant Kaval-Ants Tavern, BBQ dinner at Marciena Manor, 3 course Latvian farewell dinner with black balsam at Restaurant Forest, entrances to Palmse Manor, Valmiermuiza Brewery, organic cheese sampling at a local farm, Aglona Basilica, ceramics show-room in Aglona, Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils, Old University in Vilnius, and Trinity Church in Liepaja, Bike and helmet rental for biking programme on Day 6; services of English speaking tour escort; transport in 1st class motor coaches or 1st class minivans throughout the itinerary, portage at hotels.

Excludes:  optional private arrival and departure transfers, optional visit to Riga Central market, optional special dinners being Latgalian dinner at Restaurant Art Hub, Zeppelinas masterclass and Lithuanian dinner at Restaurant Senoji Trobele, casual dinner on the beach in Liepaja, visit to Riga Central market, half board at hotels (10 x 3 course dinners with coffee/tea).

                                        Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 1649.00
Single AUD$ 2146.00

Includes: 10 overnights at centrally located 3-4 star hotels and manor houses including buffet breakfast, welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice, personalised welcome package, Estonian dinner at Restaurant Kaval-Ants Tavern, BBQ dinner at Marciena Manor, 3 course Latvian farewell dinner with black balsam at Restaurant Forest, entrances to Palmse Manor, Valmiermuiza Brewery, organic cheese sampling at a local farm, Aglona Basilica, ceramics show-room in Aglona, Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils, Old University in Vilnius, and Trinity Church in Liepaja, Bike and helmet rental for biking programme on Day 6; services of English speaking tour escort; transport in 1st class motor coaches or 1st class minivans throughout the itinerary, portage at hotels.
Please note the price may vary according to your dates of travel.

 

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