BALTIC SECRETS

Explore the rich culture and nature of the Baltics. In 10 days, you will visit some of the oldest National Parks in Europe, sandy beaches, romantic old towns, castles and manors, but also remnants of more recent, communistic times in the form of brutalist architecture, KGB museums and secret bunkers.

DURATION:
10 DAYS/ 9 NIGHTS

DEPARTURE:
DAILY FROM 15.05-15.09 2021

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Day 1: Riga
On your first day, you will have the time to explore the Latvian capital of Riga, at the mouth of the river Daugava. Go for an afternoon or evening walk through the Old Town and the Jugendstil quarter and admire the Swedish gate, the old city wall, the House of the Blackheads and the Freedom Monument.

Day 2 & Day 3: Tallinn
Today, you will drive north to Estonia. We recommend a stop at the cozy coastal town of Pärnu, where you can enjoy a traditional lunch at the promenade while looking out over the beautiful sandy beach. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Tallinn. The booming capital of Estonia is characterized by contrasts. Visit the unique, medieval Old Town with beautiful old buildings and mysterious narrow streets. Admire the view over the Old Town from the top of the Toompea hill and visit the KGB Museum on the top floor of Sokos Hotel Viru, from where guests and personnel were being spied on by the state security.

Day 4 & 5: Tartu
After leaving Tallinn and travelling towards Tartu, we recommend a detour via Lahemaa National Park, roughly 60 km east of the city. The park includes the peninsulas and bays of the northern coast of Estonia (Lahemaa means „the land of the bays“). Visit the traditional Palmse county estate and discover the varied nature. The university city of Tartu is roughly a 2,5 hour drive from Lahemaa.

Day 6: Sigulda
From Tartu, you will drive to Gauja National Park. Here we recommend a stop at Cesis Castle and a stop in Ligatne, where – in the middle of the 90.000 hectares – a former Soviet bunker is hidden. What appears to be a normal building at first glance is actually the entrance to a 2000 square meter world lying in a depth of 9 meters. The bunker was built to house the Soviet elite in the event of a nuclear war. Embark on a journey through time and explore the dark concrete corridors and rooms on a guided tour. From Ligatne, you will drive to Sigulda, where you will stay the night, before continuing to Vilnius the next day.

Day 7 & 8: Vilnius
On the road to Vilnius, we recommend a stop at Rundale Palace in Bauska, also known as “Versailles of the Baltic States”. In the afternoon, you will arrive in the university city of Vilnius, where the baroque Old Town, the Gothic St. Anna Church and the Cathedral are some of the interesting sites this city has to offer.

Day 9: Riga
Before driving back to Latvia, visit Trakai Castle not far from Vilnius. A detour to the second largest city of Lithuania, Kaunas, is also worthwhile.

Day 10: Home
A tip before you travel to the airport and fly home: visit the Petri Church. From the tower you can enjoy a stunning view over the Old Town of Riga.

Saaremaa
Extend your stay with 2 extra nights on Saaremaa, just outside the coast of Estonia. Take the bike and explore the island known for its characteristic windmills, visit the famous Kaali crater and stay in a historical boutique hotel in the middle of Kuressaare.

Drive-self and extend your stay
DFDS offers daily departure from Kiel to Klaipeda with the comfortable ferries MS Regina and MS Victoria. Contact Nordic Tours for more information about driving in the Baltics in your own car and extending your stay with an extra night in Klaipeda, at the coast of the Baltic Sea.