Best of the Baltics
TOUR – 9 DAYS
The Baltic region typically includes three counties: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and they’ve long been under appreciated by many travelers. It’s time to change that and discover these capital cities, each a jewel in its own right. Visit Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania; Riga, the capital of Latvia, and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
- Limited to 16 guests.
- From $5,495. Prices are based on double occupancy.
- Single supplement: $999.
June 7-15, 2024
Day 1: Arrive in Vilnius, Lithuania
- Welcome to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Baroque architecture. Cobblestone streets. Great cafes, great food. Terrific shopping. Vilnius is a modern city with a small-town feel thanks to a medieval Old Town. You can walk the entire city including Uzupis, the artists’ quarter. After more than 30 years, since the end of Soviet occupation, the city is a vibrant capital beloved by visitors lucky enough to discover it
- We’ll meet for drinks and a briefing followed by a walking tour of the Old Town.
- After, we’ll enjoy a hearty welcome dinner at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant
- Hotel: The Hotel PACAI, a five-star property that is a member of Design Hotels
- Included meal: Welcome dinner at Restoranas Lokys
Day 2: Vilnius, Lithuania
- This morning, we explore Vilnius, stopping at such famous landmarks as the Town Hall, the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul
- After lunch we venture about 10 kilometers outside of town for a visit to Paneriai, the site of the mass murder of as many as 100,000 people — mostly Jews, Poles, and Russians — by Nazis and collaborators during World War II. We’ll continue to the island on nearby Lake Galbvė to tour an imposing Medieval stronghold called Trakai Castle whose foundations date to the 14th century.
- You are welcome to spend the evening at your leisure.
- Hotel: Hotel PACAI 5*
- Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 3: Vilnius to Riga, Latvia
- This morning, we offer two options:
- Option 1: Take a Soviet walking tour that includes a visit to the KGB Museum to see the cells, interrogation rooms, and execution chamber used by the military. You’ll also learn about the Resistance forces who opposed the Soviets
- Option 2: Spend the morning shopping and walking the charming streets of Vilnius
- In the afternoon, we leave Vilnius and Lithuania and head to the largest city in the Baltics, Latvia’s capital city of Riga, arriving in the afternoon. Like Vilnius, Riga also has an Old Town, but it’s also considered a cultural center thanks to its many museums and concert halls. Its wooden buildings and Art Nouveau structures are also distinctive. There’s an enormous market in Riga, and the city boasts a lively nightlife. You’ll see why it makes the “must visit” lists of many travelers
- Dinner: “Riga Black Balsam” is the national drink, the country’s version of a bittersweet aperitif that’s very strong. And, yes, it’s black. Our very cozy dinner restaurant, Balzambers, is named in its honor
- Hotel: Grand Palace Hotel 5*
- Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4: Riga, Latvia
- In the morning our guide will take us on a walking tour of Riga. You may visit the Riga Central Market, Europe’s largest market and a UNESCO Heritage Site; Saint Peter`s Church with its 120-meter steeple that dominates Riga and offers a panoramic view of the nearby Daugava River; the Freedom Monument, a memorial to soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920); the Opera House, the all-white, 300-seat home to the opera once directed by Richard Wagner; and the House of the Black Heads, a distinctive building that once housed unmarried merchants, shipowners, and foreigners in Riga
- In the afternoon, choose from the following:
- Option 1: Take a drive through the woods outside of Riga to visit one of very few remaining, fully-stocked-and-functional Soviet nuclear bunkers. It’s a fascinating look at a formerly top-secret military post hidden beneath a sanitorium where top Soviet leaders planned to hide out in the event of a nuclear war. (The sanitorium is still in operation)
- Option 2: Spend the afternoon on your own shopping and strolling through Riga at your leisure
- Hotel: The Grand Palace Hotel 5*
- Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5: Pärnu, Estonia
- This morning we head north and cross the Estonian border to the resort town of Pärnu, located on the Baltic Sea and known for its 19th century timber villas and a promenade along a sandy beach.
- The rest of the day is yours to relax on the beach, and, if you’d like, you are invited to enjoy a complimentary massage at our hotel.
- Hotel: We’re spending the night at Parnu’s only ocean front Spa Hotel: Rannahotell 4*
- Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6: Pärnu to Tallinn, Estonia
- We’ll leave Parnu in the morning and drive to Tallinn and visit Old Tallinn’s must-see landmarks including the Town Hall Square that’s been a marketplace in this trading town since the 13th century. And we can’t miss the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church considered a monumental example of Orthodox sacral architecture with its 11 bells and mosaics and icons in its interior
- Dinner: “Leib” means “black bread” in Estonian, and freshly baked bread is a hallmark of our choice for a dinner restaurant in Tallinn, Leib Restoran. It’s known by locals for simple, traditional meals using local ingredients
- Hotel: We’ll stay two nights at the Hotel Telegraaf, a five-star hotel, in an 1895 building with an indoor pool in Tallinn’s Old Town
- Meals included: Breakfast and dinner
Day 7: Tallinn, Estonia
- This morning, choose from the following:
- Option 1: Spend a Soviet-style morning exploring the old KGB prison of Patarei and enjoying the colorful buildings that line the narrow streets of Tallinn that are lined with cafes and restaurants
- Option 2: Visit the massive Tallinn Central market and stroll around Old Town
- After lunch, the late afternoon is for you to do as you wish
- Join us for a farewell dinner at the local favorite Restaurant Munga Kelder, located in a former cellar used by monks
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and farewell dinner
Day 8: Tallinn, Estonia
- Enjoy your last leisurely breakfast in Scandinavia, before starting your journey back home or onwards to your next destination.
- Meals: Breakfast.
* Restaurants and Hotels are subject to change to equal or better
THE RUDY MAXA DIFFERENCE
When you let The Original Savvy Traveler arrange your trip through Europe, you are guaranteed peace of mind. Rudy Maxa’s team provides personal service and assistance from booking all the way through your journey.
What’s included in your Tour:
- Welcome package with luggage tags
- A complimentary concierge call to prepare you for your journey
- An exclusive small group experience with a maximum of 16 guests
- All tours led by a Rudy Maxa’s Certified Tour Director, supported by local guides with expert knowledge
- All excursions and activities included per the program
- Handpicked hotels (3-5*) inspected and approved by Rudy Maxa’s Team
- Full breakfast daily, and many other meals included per the program
- All transportation included per the itinerary
- All tours, admissions, and entertainment.
- Airport meet and greet with private transfers for an additional fee