• 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
lecturer in art history and architecture
Depart London Gatwick 1205 on Easyjet, arriving Tallinn 1655. Continue to Hotel Vana Wiru for three nights.
Morning: Pirita Convent in Bay of Tallinn, Palmse Manor (German manor house) and Lahemaa National Park (extensive tracts of pine forest). Afternoon: Rocca al Mare (open-air museum). Evening lecture.
Morning visits in Tallinn: Toompea Hill (including 13th century St Mary’s Cathedral and neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral), Kadriorg Palace (Baroque summer residence of Peter I, Old Masters collection), Gothic Basilica of St Nicholas (15th century ‘Dance of Death’ frieze). Afternoon: 15th century town hall, Church of the Holy Spirit, St Olav’s Church, St Catherine’s (former Dominican monastery – exterior). 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 museum. Overnight at Hotel London.
Morning: Nõo Church, Otepää Church, Lake Pühajärve and Sangaste Manor (English Gothic Revival). Afternoon: Cēsis (Livonian Order’s formal capital, home to ruins of the castle of the Livonian Order and early Gothic Church of St John). Continue to Riga for four nights at Hotel Gutenbergs.
Morning: Riga Market (1930s airship hangars), Jelgava Palace (museum and crypt with tombs of dukes of Courland), Mežotne Manor House and 18th century Rundāle Palace (by Rastrelli). Afternoon: Bauska (church and castle). Free evening.
Visits in Riga: Freedom Monument, Swedish Gate, St Jacob’s Church, medieval cathedral, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, House of the Blackheads (exterior) and churches of St Peter and St John.
Morning: Art Nouveau district of Riga including Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum (artist’s converted apartment) and Latvian Fine Art Museum. Afternoon: Riga Synagogue and Mentzendorff House (17th-18th century interiors).
Transfer to Courland (Kurzeme) via Jūrmala (resort with turn-of-the-century villas, Dubulti Church). Courland: Jaunmoku Manor, Kandava (Lutheran church), Sabile (Lutheran church) and Kuldīga (Courland’s best-preserved town). Overnight at Hotel Piena Muiža Berghof, 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 at Hotel Kaunas.
Kaunas: synagogue, cathedral, Vytautas and Jesuit churches, St George’s Church and view of Kaunas Castle ruins, St Michael’s Church, MK Čiurlionis National Art Museum and Mykolaš Žilinskas Art Museum. Transfer to Vilnius via former Camaldolese monastery of Pažaislis, for three nights at Hotel Artis.
Vilnius: walking tour including President’s Office (exterior), university (founded in 1579) with Church of St John (exterior),
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 and Gates of Dawn (one of Vilnius’s original city gates).
Morning: Antakalnis (Church of St Peter and St Paul), 15th century Trakai Castle (island castle once the capital of the Lithuanian state), Karaite Kenesa (prayer house) and museum. Afternoon: Vilnius Picture Gallery (housed in the Chodkievicius Mansion), Church of St Michael.
Depart Vilnius 1330 on Air Baltic via Riga, arriving Gatwick 1640.
7 Jun — 20 Jul 2020
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An incredible knowledge but down to earth with it.
Please note that this tour has a full itinerary, involving some long days with a significant amount of coach travel. Many visits will be made on foot, and surfaces can be uneven and cobbled, so a good level of fitness is required.
Cost of £2950 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four lunches, eleven dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £380.
Own flight reduction: £250.