Explore the highlights of both Poland and the Baltics.
Arrival in Krakow and private transfer from the airport to Hotel Q Plus Krakow Centrum or similar; check-in and early evening welcome meeting.
For half a millennium, Krakow was the royal capital of Poland and for centuries the city walls have guarded its traditions and secrets. Morning sightseeing takes us to the Old Town with St. Mary's Church, the Jagiellonian University, Cloth Halls and Wawel with Wawel Castle and Cathedral. Afternoon excursion to fabulous Wieliczka Salt Mine, an amazing labyrinth of tunnels going down to 327m. Tonight, you may wish to enjoy an optional Polish dinner at Restaurant Hawelka.
We leave for Czestochowa, the spiritual heart of Poland, where we visit 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 Radisson Blu Sobieski or similar. The remainder of the afternoon is free.
Warsaw is essentially a post-war city with a meticulously reconstructed Old Town. The morning sightseeing tour includes the Royal Route and Old Town with Royal Castle, St. John's Cathedral, Market Square and Barbican. Afternoon visit to Royal Lazienki Park with it's Palace on the Water. The evening offers an optional Polish dinner at Restaurant Dawne Smaki.
Today we continue through the well forested Eastern Poland to Podlasie region and Bialowieza. The forest there represents the ancient forest that once covered all Europe. We will visit Bialowieza National Park and its famous European Bison Show Reserve. After light stroll along nature trails of the forest, we continue to Biaylstok where we check in at Hotel Ibis Styles Bialystok or similar. In the late afternoon we visit Bialystok and its landmark Branicki Palace.
We depart from Bialystok heading to Vilnius through 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.
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, perhaps enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
Heading for Riga, the first stop is the exceptional Hill of Crosses, one of the most holy sites of Catholic Lithuania. After crossing into Latvia we soon reach 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, late afternoon. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija or similar.
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, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, Swedish Gates, Three Brothers, Large and Small Guild Houses and the Freedom Monument. Afternoon visit to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort, famous for wooden architecture and sandy beaches. Evening organ concert at the lovely old Dome Cathedral.
Before we become acquainted with Riga, we discover medieval Latvia. Morning sightseeing takes us to the stunning Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda. Listen to the medieval Latvian legend of the Rose of Turaida and see the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and Castle of the Knights of the Sword, before we return to Riga. Afternoon visit to the Riga Motor Museum which has an impressive collection of vintage cars including a very unique collection of old Soviet limousines from the Kremlin Garage. In the evening you may wish to join the optional Latvian dinner at stylish, Restaurant Three.
The tour today continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Parnu. We enjoy a short tour of the resort before we continue through a North Estonian land of 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. Old Town is a busy place in summer with its many shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafés and restaurants. The sightseeing tour takes us around the medieval city walls and into the Old Town to see Toompea Castle, Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the 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 a final optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Maikrahv.
Private transfer from the hotel to the airport and end of arrangements.
Maximum Group Size: 45 persons