Explore the highlights of the Baltics, visit the lively Finnish capital, Helsinki and enjoy the treasures of St. Petersburg. This tour can also be extended to include Moscow.
Arrival in Vilnius. Private transfer from the airport. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva or similar; check-in and early evening welcome meeting with your tour escort and fellow guests.
Vilnius has over 1,200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. Morning sightseeing tour includes a panoramic tour of the city and an Old Town walking tour which includes 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. Visit the well preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve. In the evening you can enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
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 Dukes of Courland. Following a guided tour of the palace, we travel through the rolling hills of Southern Latvia to reach Riga in the late afternoon. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija or similar.
Riga, founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles. The morning walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, Swedish Gate, Three Brothers, the Large and Small Guilds and the Freedom Monument. In the afternoon there is a visit to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort, famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches. Evening organ concert at the lovely old Dome Cathedral.
Morning exploration of medieval Latvia with a tour to the stunning scenery of the Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda - here you can 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. Afternoon visit to the Riga Motor Museum, with its impressive collection of vintage cars include a very unique collection of old Soviet limousines from the Kremlin garage. In the evening you might like to enjoy the optional Latvian dinner at the stylish Restaurant Three.
The tour today continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Parnu. Here we enjoy a short tour of the resort, before we continue through the North Estonian forests to arrive in Tallinn in the early afternoon. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia or similar.
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 morning sightseeing tour takes us around the old medieval city walls and into the Old Town where we see Toompea Castle, the Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the medieval Old Town Hall and the Great Guild Hall. Afternoon excursion to Kadriorg Park and KUMU, the award winning Estonian art museum with collections of classic and contemporary fine art. In the evening, you might like to enjoy the optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Maikrahv.
Morning visit to the Lahemaa National Park where you can explore Palmse Manor, a memorial to the von Pahlen family, Sagadi Manor, Vihula Manor and the Vodka Museum. Afternoon ferry from Tallinn, through the Finnish archipelago, en route to Helsinki. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Seaside or similar.
Helsinki is truly located at the crossroads of Western and Eastern culture and this is reflected everywhere in the green and lively Finnish capital. The sightseeing tour takes us around the harbours, Senate Square, up central Mannerheim Street and by the Parliament Building, the Finlandia Hall, and the Sibelius Monument and for a visit at the famous Church-in-the-Rock. Afternoon excursion to Suomenlinna Fortress, a cultural treasure whose contstruction was started in the 18th century and is located on an island. In the evening, you might like to enjoy an optional Finnish dinner at Restaurant Salve.
Today we travel eastbound to St. Petersburg. Shortly after crossing the border into Russia, we drive through Vyborg and continue to St. Petersburg where we arrive in the late afternoon. Accommodation at Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky or similar.
St. Petersburg is an amazing city. Its imperial palaces and museums enjoy worldwide fame, while the Neva River and the many canals have deservedly given the city the title, Venice of the North. During morning sightseeing, become acquainted with all the splendours of the city: the Peter-Paul Fortress, Winter Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Church of the Bleeding Savior, the Nevsky Convent and more. Afternoon visit to Zarskoye Selo with impressive Catherine's Palace and the Amber Room, which vanished during World War II and was restored for St. Petersburg's tri-centennial celebrations. Evening visit to the Nikolaevsky Palace to seen an exciting traditional Russian folklore show, including some Russian drinks and snacks.
Morning excursion to Peterhof Palace - an uncontested masterpiece of the time of Peter the Great, with the impressive Grand Palace, Grand Cascade, Water Avenue and its wonderful parks. Afternoon visit to the world-famous, treasure filled Hermitage Art Museum - a truly wonderful way to end your exploration of this magnificent city. Tonight, you might like to join the optional Russian dinner at Restaurant Pryanosti & Radosti.
Private transfer from the hotel to the airport or railway station and end of arrangements.
Maximum Group Size: 45 persons
This tour is also offered as a 16 day tour, with an extension to Moscow. See our Baltic and Russian Explorer tour for details.