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CULTURAL and NATURAL TREASURES OF THE BALTIC STATES
Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania
Start and end in Tallinn, Estonia
 
  16 days/15 nights



Day 1   Tallinn
Arrival to the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. A person from HansaTravel is welcoming you at the airport. Transfer to your centrally located hotel. Check in for 3 nights.

Day 2   Tallinn

Breakfast. Two hour private walking tour in the medieval Old Town of Tallinn, the best preserved old town in Northern Europe. You will have an experienced and professional English speaking tour guide who is welcoming you at the reception of your hotel at 10:00
  
Day 3   Tallinn

Breakfast. You may use your 24h Tallinn Card to visit museums, use public transport or Hop-on-Hop-off buses to get to know the rest of Tallinn. According your interests I could recommend different museums and places to visit. For expample our Maritime Seaplane museum is very unique and modern museum. If you were interested in art and architecture then KUMU museum in Kadriorg is the right place to go. Underground Bastion tunnels in the Old Town are also quite interesting. These tunnels were used as shelters by local people during the pomming in 1944. Our History museum and Occupation museum give a good overview of Esotnian history. Recently renovated TV-tower has also played a big role in shaping Estonian history in 1991. Song Festival grounds in Pirita, Open Air Museum in Rocca al Mare and Kadriorg park are also attracting both local people as well tourists.

Day 4   Tallinn (2 hour drive) Haapsalu (1,5 hour ferry trip) Hiiumaa island
Breakfast. You will meet a person from car rental company at the reception of your hotel at 9:00. After signing car rental documents you are free to departure to Estonian second largest islands - Hiiumaa. on your way a very nice and romantic town with wooden houses is inviting you to visit and see the charm of Haapsalu. It is located by a sea and just 15min drive before the port of Rohuküla where you are suppose to take a ferry to Hiiumaa. Haapsalu is famous for its episcopal castle, Old Town, Kurhaus, fine knitted scarfs and seaside promenade. Take time to enjoy coffee/tea and fresh pastries at some romantic cafe, f.ex Müüriääre cafe.

Afternoon ferry takes you to
Hiiumaa island where you can find yourself in the middle of unspoiled nature. Hiiumaa was formed millions of years ago as a result of meteorite explosion. Nowadays 75% of the land is covered with forest. You are more than welcome to enjoy the peaceful spirit of Hiiumaas sleepy villages and long sandy beaches. You can either stay in a small and rustic farm house or in a guesthouse with all modern facilites.

Day 5   Hiiumaa island

This day is free to discover the magic of Hiiumaa island. I recommend to drive around the island and visit capital Kärdla, different lighthouses (f.ex. Kõpu, Ristna, Tahkuna) and search for secret  bunkers used by Russians during second WW. Different museums that are kindly presenting Hiiumaa culture, everyday life and history are also waiting for your visit.


Day 6   Hiiumaa
island (30min drive + 45 ferry trip) Saaremaa island
Early morning departure to the largest islands in the Baltics - Saaremaa island. Ferry trip lasts about 45 minutes.


The Estonian Island of Saaremaa from VisitSaaremaa on Vimeo.


The island is known as a good recreation place with unique nature and a lot of sights. Saaremaa has retained its uniqueness due to its location and insulation. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs, beautiful national costumes and dialectal language are still used. Junipers, dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are considered the symbols of Saaremaa. On your way to Kuressaare town I recommend to visit Angla windmills, Kaali meteorite crater, Saksa farmshop.
14:00-17:00 Private guided walking tour in Kuressaare. The tour includes also visit to the hist
orical bishop castle dating from the 13th century. You will meet your tour guide at the reception of your hotel at 14:00. After the tour Check-in to a 4*SPA-hotel in Kuressaare for one night.

Day 7 Kuressaare (1 hour drive) Muhu island (30 min ferry trip + 1 hour drive) Pärnu

Breakfast and check out. Departure to the summer capital of Estonia - Pärnu. There is a tiny and romantic island Muhu on your way to the mainland. It truly feels as if time rests there. Muhu is an island that has developed over the centuries at its own pace, its traditions are well known all over Estonia and the famous Muhu patterns are a refined expression of folk-art. In terms of tourism, Muhu has remained rather untainted so far. After lunch in Muhu island you will visit the fishing village of Koguva. This village has kept its traditional sights dating from the 16th century: wooden houses with roofs of reed and stone walls supporting age-old boats. Muhu is also full of private homes and locals are happy to show you their garden. Just let me know and I will book a visit.
Ferry takes you to the mainland from Muhu island and within 1 hourd drive you will arrive to Pärnu.
Pärnu is a West-Estonian resort with well-established traditions that has held the title of ’s summer capital and heart-warming town for over ten years. Pärnu is also a former Hanseatic town. During the sunny summer period, the beautiful, sandy beaches that invite both baskers and bathers become the heart of Pärnu. In autumn and winter periood the town is quite quiet and therefore gives a perfect opportunity for a romantic holiday. You may take a stroll through many parks and admire rustic wooden houses. Beautiful nature, as attractive as the beach, can also be found throughout Pärnu County, which boasts a 242 km coastline.
I recommend to stay at the historical Art Deco style boutique hotel Ammende Villa. For dining I recommend Supelsaksad cafe or Ammende restaurant.

Day 8   Pärnu (2,5 hour drive) Riga

Breakfast and check out. Departure to the capital of Latvia, Riga. If you don`t mind walking in nature then Rannametsa-Tolkuse bog trail on your way to Riga is a nice place to strech your legs. It is located only 30min drive from Pärnu near Häädemeeste. The trail allows you to see how most of Esotnian mainland looks like.
Afternoon arrival to Riga. Check-in to a centrally located hotel for 2 nights.


Day 9   Riga
Breakfast. Two hour private walking excursion in the Old Town of Riga. You will meet your guide at the reception of your hotel at 10:00.
Eight hundred years have shaped the city’s unique appearance and rich traditions. Riga has unique values due to its rather intact medieval architecture and that of later periods, the urban structure, the richness and quality of Art Noveau architecture and the 19-th century wooden architecture of the city. Inscribing the historic centre of Riga on the World Heritage List of UNESCO recognized it.



Day 10   Riga (2h) Hill of Crosses (2,5h) Kaunas (1h) Trakai (30min) Vilnius
Breakfast and check out. Departure to the capital of Lithuania. On your way visit two main attractions in Lithuania - the Hill of Crosses and Trakai castle.
The Hill of Crosses is the Lithuanian national pilgrimage center. Standing upon a small hill are many hundreds of thousands of crosses that represent Christian devotion and a memorial to Lithuanian national identity.

Trakai– a small town 28 km from Vilnius, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, located in a picturesque lakeside area is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. The historical part of the town conserved the ruins of Peninsula Castle, the authentic heritage of small ethnic group Karaites and of course the top must see site – the famous insular Castle on the lake, the original gothic style architectural monument from the end of the XIV century, a historical Museum of Trakai nowaday.
Arrival to Vilnius around 18:00. Check-in to a centrally located hotel for 2 nights.
 

Day 11   Vilnius
Breakfast. Two hours walking/driving city group tour in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. Vilnius is one of the largest Baroque cities north of the Alps, being the Baltic variation of the combination of Parisian spirit and Roman architecture.

During the tour you can see the symbols of the town: Gediminas Avenue until you reach the Parliament; you will see KGB Museum, Lukiskiu Square and learn about the street history; Barricades near Parliament; Green Bridge; St Peter and Paul's Church (stop and visit); Vilnius University, President Palace; St Anne's Church and Bernardine's Church; Amber Gallery (stop and visit); The Hill of Subacius (panorama view); The Gates of Dawn (stop); Russian Church of the Holy Spirit; Town Hall Square; Rudininku Street, Pylimo Street, Islandijos Street, Totoriu Street and return back to Cathedral Square.

Day 12   Vilnius (3 hour drive) Rundale Palace (2 hour drive) Sigulda
Breakfast and check-out. Departure back to Latvia, to the center of Gauja National Park - Sigulda. On your way visit famous Rundale palace.
Rundāle Palace is one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo art in Latvia. It was built between 1736 and 1740 as a summer residence of Duke Ernst Johann of Courland.
If you wish to be carried away by history, Sigulda is the right place. Since the time when the tribes of Balts and Livs fought with the German crusaders, Sigulda has boasted of exciting legends and mighty castles, which are situated in the distance of a cannon shot from each other. A great part of Sigulda area includes the Gauja National Park. It was established in 1973 in order to protect the flora and fauna biodiversity. If you want to get closer to nature, the Gauja National Park offers exciting routes with a variety of travelling modes. You can explore the NP either today or tomorrow morning before departing to Estonia. Overnight in Sigulda



Day 13   Gauja National Park (2,5 hour drive) South Estonia
(2 hour drive) Tartu
Breakfast and check-out. Departure to Estonia, to the University town called Tartu. If you are interested in castles and history then Turaida castle might be interesting visit for you.
Turaida Museum Reserve is known for its beautiful surroundings and history. The name Turaida means “God’s garden” in the language of the ancient inhabitants, the Livonians. Visitors of Turaida Museum Reserve can familiarise themselves with the more striking elements of medieval castle-building while taking a walk along the castle ramparts. The museum contains Dainas Hill a garden of sculptures dedicated to Latvian folklore. It was created to honour Krišjānis Barons, the most distinguished collector of folk songs.

Continue to South Estonia which is known as the highest area in the Baltics but still only 318m above the sea level (Big Egghill in Haanja).  Check-in to a centrally located boutique hotel Antonius in Tartu.
 

Day 14   Tartu (30min drive) Old Believers by  lake Peipsi (3h drive) Vihula manor
Breakfast. Spend a morning discovering and exploring Tartu. Visit the university, Toome Hill Park with its monuments, bridges, St John`s church and Town Hall square.

 

Tartu is a university town and a city of youth! The time-honoured university, museum-rich and Hanseatic city of Tartu lies on the banks of the River Emajõgi. The capital of sothern Estonia is the second largest city in the country ( but the largest in terms of student population!) and the oldest in the Baltic States. Tartu is a modern city with a rich historical heritage and culture.

It is the cradle of the Estonian Song Festival, Estonian theatre and the Estonian state; Tartu is the intellectual capital of Estonia where national awareness and the culture of Estonia was born.


Continue to Vihula manor which is located in Lahemaa National Park. To make the journey memorable visit a region whos people have their own culture and habits. They are called Russian Old Believers and are most known for cooking delicious smoked fish and for growing very strong onions. First stop on your way is Alatskivi castle. This castle do not belong to the Old Believers but is nicely renovated and invites visitors to take a look. Next visit to Kolkja museum where you will be introduced to the local culture and people. Continue along the Peipsi lake up North and visit small villages such as Mustvee, Avinurme, Rakvere


 Day 15   Lahemaa National Park (about 3 h drive) Tallinn

Breakfast and check-out. Spend a day discovering the magic and beauty of Lahemaa National Park. Visit Sagadi and/or Palmse manor;small romantic villages Altja, Käsmu and Võsu and take a walk at Viru bog trail. Afternoon arrival to Tallinn. Check-in to a centrally located hotel for one night.
A person from car rental company will come and takes the rental car from your hotel. You will meet him at 17:00 at the reception of your hotel.

Day 16   Tallinn

Breakfast and check-out. Transfer to the airport. Departure flight


Tour price from EUR 1165 /person in low season*
Tour price from EUR 1395 /person in high season** includes:
  • Accommodation for 15 nights at centrally located 4*hotels in twin/double room
  • 15 x breakfast
  • Usage of a rental car (Toyota Auris or similar) for 12 days
  • Private 2h walking tours in the Old Towns of Tallinn and Riga by a local English speaking tour guide
  • Private 3h walking tour in Kuressaare (Saaremaa island) by  a local English speaking tour guide
  • 2h walking/driving group tour in Vilnius by a local English speaking tour guide
  • Ferry tickets to Hiiumaa island; to Saaremaa island; to the mainland of Estonia
  • Airport transfers
NB! Flight tickets and entrance tickets to museums, palaces, castles not included to the price!
* low season from October - April
** high season from May - September

Our tour coordinator will kindly answer all your questions regarding the tour (f.ex. recommended accommoadtion name list; booking and paying conditions etc.). We can also arrange a tailor made tour that would meet all your needs and interests. Transfer either by a rental car (no driver) or by Merzedes Benz E-class or Merzedes Benz Viano minibus (with English speaking tour guide-driver)

Contact Helen Allikmae: info[at]hansatravel.ee Ph. +372 5333914