Arrival in Vilnius. Accommodation in hotel in Vilnius.
Afternoon city tour of Vilnius Old Town, a UNESCO Heritage site highlights the main attractions of the Old Town with its endless church domes, steeples and gloriously restored buildings. The tour begins at the Cathedral Square dominated by the Cathedral itself, Royal Palace and Gediminas Castle, the principle landmark of Vilnius, then via the President’s Palace to Vilnius University and up along Pilies street to the Gates of Dawn.
Day 2: Full day tour to Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest town and the capital of pre-war Lithuania. Touring Kaunas shows off the main architectural and historic sites of the Old Town: Town Hall Square, the Jesuit Church, the 14th century Cathedral, Vytautas Church, Perkunas (Thunder) House, courtyard of the Theological Seminary and the ruins of Kaunas Castle. Later in the afternoon, visit to Ciurlionis Picture Gallery conserving and exhibiting works of the famous Lithuanian artist, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, who painted and composed music at the turn of 20th century. The tour ends with a visit to the original Devils’ Museum displaying a collection of sculptures and carvings of devils collected by the Lithuanian painter Antanas Zmuidzinavicius who launched a museum now housing several thousand devil figurines both localy made and from all over the world.
Day 3: Morning tour to Trakai, the ancient capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to visit the 15th century island Trakai Castle now housing a museum of local history and a vast collection of objects d’art including furniture, ceramics, snuff boxes, pipes, etc.
An afternoon tour of Vilnius features places related to the country’s recent history: the KGB Museum - a place where thousands of Lithuanians were interrogated before being deported to Siberia during the Soviet times and the Parliament building, a symbolic beginning of Lithuania’s courageous fight for freedom in 1991.
Day 4: Departure for Riga with an en route stop at the Hill of Crosses, a unique place of national pride and pilgrimage, and, after crossing the border into Latvia visit the impressive Baroque Rundale Palace created by B. Rastrelli. Professionally renovated palace interiors are decorated with authentic 18th century furniture, paintings and china. The most impressive are the Golden Hall, the White Hall, and the bedroom of the Duke of Courland, Johan Ernst Biron. Overnight in Riga.
Day 5: Walking tour of Riga Old Town encompasses the most significant sights of this medieval town: the Dome Cathedral, the Church of St. Peter, the old Guild Houses, the Swedish Gate, the architectural ensemble comprising the Three Brothers, St. Jacob’s Church, the Parliament House, Old Riga Castle, the Powder Tower, the Latvian National Theatre, the Art Nouveau buildings from the beginning of 20th century.
The afternoon is free to explore Riga on your own.
Day 6: Drive alongside Riga Bay on the way to Tallinn, Estonia with an en route stop at Gauja National Park. The tour enables one to experience a genuine scent of the Middle Ages, a time of romantic legends, castles and heroic figures by visiting the ruins of 13th century Turaida Castle, and a local History Museum, viewing “the garden of Gods” from 30 meter high fortification tower, walking to the sandstone grottoes on the ancient river bank. Overnight stay in Tallinn.
Day 7: Morning tour shows off the historical Old Town of Tallinn: Catherine’s Valley Park and Palace, the Song Festival Amphitheatre, the traditional “Old Songs Festival” venue for the past 120 years. You’ll see Tallinn’s most important attractions: Toompea Hill and the Parliament building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tall Hermann, Kiek in de Kok and Dome Cathedral. The tour ends in Town Hall Square with a view of the Town Hall, a Gothic masterpiece of 13th – 14th centuries.
Afternoon tour takes you to the Rocca-al-Mare Ethnographic Museum boasting a fine collection of 17th - 19th century rural architecture from all over the Estonia. Farmhouses, country pubs, windmills, and chapels will be on display and furnished according to the fashion of the period.
Day 8: Departure.