Charming Baltic cities
Join us in a trio of glorious Baltic capitals, each contrasting effervescent modernity with wonderfully preserved history, and each offering the delights of outdoor living, some of Europe’s cutting-edge cuisine and some memorable sights. Wander through compact, maritime Helsinki and after an enjoyable crossing to Estonia, discover Tallinn’s engaging charms, before heading south along the pristine coast, to complete a wonderful Baltic journey in Latvia’s cosmopolitan capital Riga.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Helsinki
Fly to Helsinki, meet your tour manager and make the transfer to your four-star waterside hotel in the heart of the city. Rest and relax on arrival, perhaps taking your first Finnish sauna at the hotel, before exploring the harbour, with its market halls. Head into the compact city in search of dinner in a vast choice of establishments. Choose from an array of traditional Scandinavian fish restaurants and some of Europe’s most exciting new eateries. Drinks can be enjoyed in a similarly wide choice of watering holes. Depending on your arrival date, enjoy the late evening light.
Day Two: Included tour of Helsinki
An included, guided excursion introduces the Finnish capital, which exudes maritime charm. See freshly landed fish in the historic Market Hall, perhaps enjoy a coffee and after a glimpse of stunning Senate Square’s great neo-Classical buildings, which doubled for Moscow’s in many a Cold War movie, take in the views of the city from the cathedral’s tower. After lunch, the afternoon is free – will it be the designer stores of the Toriquarters, the boutiques of trendy Kallio, a stroll by the water or a cruise to any of the 300 outlying islands that takes your fancy? Or join an optional excursion to exquisite Porvoo, Finland’s ancient, endlessly charming second city.
Day Three: Travel to Tallinn
Transfer to the quayside this morning to board the ferry for the two-and-a-half-hour to Estonian capital Tallinn. Upon arrival, transfer to your ultra-modern hotel close to the delightful Old Town, and enjoy your first taste of its delights. Originally a Danish stronghold built on Toompea Hill, the impossibly beautiful, UNESCO-listed heart of Tallinn is one of Europe’s most complete medieval gems. The city is no musty historical remnant, though, with vibrant café and cultural lives both thriving within the glorious setting. Another long, light evening, perhaps spent in the one of countless trendy eateries, completes a perfect day.
Day Four: Included tour of Tallinn
Today begins with a tour of Tallinn in the company of a local guide, bringing to life the major sites, including the crowning glories of onion-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Toompea Castle. After the tour, explore the city under your own steam, perhaps taking in the view from the vertiginous TV Tower, or join the optional excursion to the Maarjamae Palace, a magnificent sea-side former summer residence built by a Russian count, which now houses the fascinating Estonian History Museum. Spend a second evening enjoying Tallinn’s lively atmosphere.
Day Five: Travel to Riga
Journey south today by coach along the scenic coast, pausing for lunch at Estonia’s celebrated beach resort, Parnu, before continuing to colourful, cosmopolitan capital Riga, for three nights. After checking into the hotel, enjoy your first evening in the Baltic states’ largest city, where a host of cafes, bars and restaurants cater to all tastes and pockets.
Day Six: Included tour of Riga
A guided tour will lift the veil on fascinating Riga, a trading centre for centuries and now rushing headlong into the 21st century, with ultra-modern buildings springing up around its walled central core. Highlights include the lovingly reconstructed Dutch-influenced House of the Blackheads, Riga Castle, the beautifully restored Town Hall Square, two magnificent cathedrals and the Art Nouveau glories of the UNESCO-listed Quiet Centre district. This afternoon, join the optional excursion to the fascinating Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, a representation of 19th-century life in rural Latvia, in a beautiful forested setting, before enjoying another evening in Riga.
Day Seven: Included excursion to Gauja National Park
A final included excursion heads into the beautiful landscape of the Gauja National Park, a forested, alpine refuge for elk, European bison and brown bears, amongst other species. Highlights of a wonderful day include the ornate Livonian Order castle at Sigulda and restored Turaida Castle. You’ll return to Riga to spend a last night in the city.
Day Eight: Fly back to the UK
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK, after a wonderful ‘Baltic Cities’ tour.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.