• Explore the culturally rich capitals of the Baltics – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia
• Wander the cobbled streets of Tallinn, brimming with historical and architectural interest
• Discover the tranquility of Estonia’s oldest university town, Tartu
Alex Koller, PhD
lecturer in art history and architecture
Depart London Gatwick 1205 on Easyjet, arriving Tallinn 1655. Transfer to hotel for three nights.
Morning visits in Tallinn: Toompea Hill (including 13th century St Mary’s Cathedral and neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral), 15th century town hall, Gothic Basilica of St Nicholas (15th century Dance of Death frieze), St Catherine’s (former Dominican monastery). Afternoon: Church of Holy Spirit, St Olav’s Church, Kadriorg Palace (Baroque summer residence of Peter I, Old Masters collection), Rocca al Mare (open-air museum). Evening lecture.
Morning: Pirita Convent in Bay of Tallinn, Lahemaa National Park (extensive tracts of pine forest) with traditional Estonian lunch in Altja. Afternoon: Palmse (German manor house). Free evening.
Transfer to Tartu via Kose Church, 13th century Paide Castle and Põltsamaa (castle and church). Afternoon: Tartu University (founded in 1632) including Brick Gothic cathedral housing University of Tartu Museum. Overnight stay.
Transfer to Riga via Nõo Church, Otepää Church, Lake Pühajärve and Sangaste Manor (English Gothic Revival). Afternoon: Cēsis (the Livonian Order’s former capital, home to ruins of the castle of the Livonian Order and early Gothic Church of St John). Four nights’ stay.
Morning: Riga market (1930s airship hangars), Mežotne Manor House (exterior), Jelgava Palace (museum and crypt with tombs of dukes of Courland). Afternoon: 18th century Rundāle Palace (by Rastrelli), Bauska (church, castle). Free evening.
Walking tour of old Riga including Freedom Monument, Swedish Gate, St Jacob’s Church, medieval cathedral, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, House of the Blackheads (exterior).
Morning: Art Nouveau district of Riga including Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum (artist’s converted apartment) and national art gallery. Afternoon: Mentzendorff House (17th-18th century interiors) and synagogue.
Transfer to Courland (Kurzeme) via Jūrmala (resort with turn-of-the-century villas, Dubulti Church). Courland: Jaunmoku Manor, Kandava (Lutheran church), Sabile and Kuldīga (Courland’s best-preserved town). Overnight stay in Kalna Muiža.
Transfer to Žemaitija area of Lithuania: Žemaičiu Kalvarija (pilgrimage site), Telšiai (cathedral), Šiauliai (cathedral and Hill of Crosses). Continue to Kaunas for overnight stay.
Kaunas: synagogue, St Michael’s (former Orthodox cathedral), MK Čiurlionis National Art Museum, Mykolaš Žilinskas Art Museum, St Gertrude’s Church, Vytautas and Jesuit churches, Kaunas Castle ruins, St George’s Church and cathedral. Transfer to Vilnius (Lithuania) via former Camaldolese monastery of Pažaislis, for three nights.
Vilnius: walking tour including President’s Office (exterior), university (founded in 1579) with Church of St Johns, St Anne’s Church, Church of St Francis and St Bernardine, Upper Castle (Gediminas tower), cathedral (tour of crypt). Afternoon: Baroque churches of Vilnius including Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Carmelite Church of St Teresa, Gates of Dawn (one of Vilnius’ original city gates).
Morning: excursion to 15th century Trakai Castle (island castle once the capital of the Lithuanian state), Karaite Kenesa (prayer house) and museum, Antakalnis (Church of St Peter and St Paul). Afternoon: Vilnius Picture Gallery (housed in the Chodkievicius Mansion), Church of St Michael.
Depart Vilnius 1330 on Air Baltic via Riga, arriving Gatwick 1725.
23 Jun — 6 Jul 2019
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Cost of £2795 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four lunches, eleven dinners with water and coffee, excursions & admissions.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £375.