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DESTINATION - THE BALTICS

 

 

Come and discover the natural and cultural riches of the Baltic States

 


 

 

For roughly 500 years in the Middle Ages, the Baltic States were under the influence of the Hanseatic League, a merchants’ guild, of which Riga was the principal eastern trading post. In 1589, although Latvia and Estonia remained in the Hanseatic League, Lithuania joined with Poland.

In 1795, after a new partition of Poland, Lithuania and the two other Baltic States became attached to Russia. They regained their independence after World War I, however in 1939, Russia and Germany signed a reciprocal treaty of non-aggression, and on this occasion the Baltic States returned to the Russian fold.

 

You can see there has been constant political change.

 

The Baltic States attained their independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In 2004, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of these states, they joined the European Union

 

The Baltic States all share a fairly similar landscape. Their western coastline is a sinuous and seemingly endless pristine beach stretching from Lithuania to Latvia and into Estonia, with beautiful resorts such as Palanga, Urmala and Parnu.
 

Forests and lakes cover a vast amount of the countryside; there are 2,800 lakes in Lithuania alone.

 

In Latvia, Gauja National Park shelters lush vegetation, lynx, wolves, and Europe’s largest beaver population, not to mention remnants of fortified castles.

 

In Estonia, Laheema National Park offers gorgeous forest, cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers.

 

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are particularly known for their splendid Baltic Sea coastline.

 

Visit the extraordinary Curonian Spit in Lithuania, a UNESCO World Heritage Site or the islet of Neringa on the Seaside Cycle Route. Or travel to Saarema, the gem of Estonian archipelago.

 

And you must visit the diverse capitals of the three Baltic nations.

 

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is the oldest capital city of Northern Europe.

The fortified, medieval old town strategically dominates the Gulf of Finland. Meandering along streets under the ramparts of the World Heritage city, winding around religious buildings and old merchants’ houses, you’ll notice Slavic, Scandinavian and Germanic influences mixing with traditional Latvian style in architecture, music and cuisine.

 

Riga, capital of Latvia, is the second largest port on the Baltic. Its Old town dates from the 13th century, when it was a Hanseatic city.

Many centuries later, Jugensstil, or Art Nouveau, took hold in Riga and today it is considered to have the preeminent collection of this style of architecture anywhere in Europe. Travel to the top of the dome at St. Peter’s church for a look at this lovely “Paris of the north”.

 

In Lithuania, the largest and most populous Baltic State, the capital is Vilnius, also founded in the 14th century.

It is truly a cultural crossroads, as you can see from the rich legacy of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and classical buildings that has earned Vilnius UNESCO World Heritage stature.

The city has been known for centuries as a place of religious tolerance and cultural melding, and ten years after independence you’ll find the city a thriving, diverse European capital

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our selection of tour products for the Baltics:

 

 

  Name Description
Old Town Square, Tallinn
2017 Baltic Capitals, Escorted

A 8-Day Escorted tour explores Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, the capitals of the three Baltic states: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, frequent departures April through September 2017

2017 Stockholm-Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg

New for 2017: Escorted, 6 departures: Stockholm-Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg, 10 Days 

Baltic Sea Coastline
Baltic Rhapsody, Private

 Our 8-Day privately guided tour takes you through the three Capitals of the Baltic states. Visit three Baltic Capital cities - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, - each highly individual in character, boasting an extraodinary wealth of historic buildings, an energetic nightlife and cultural scene

2017 Baltic Capitals & Klaipeda, Escorted

An 8-day Escorted tour visiting three Baltic Capitals and Klaipeda, Lithuanian sea port, near UNESCO-listed Curonian Spit  

Birds View Panorama of Vilnius, Lithuania
Baltic Rhapsody, Premium Series

An 8-Day private tour is an upgraded version of our classic Baltic Rhapsody tour. Added features include services of an Escort guide for car transfers Vilnius -  Riga and Riga - Tallinn. Tour of Rundale Palace, visit Latvia's Gauja National Park, with a visit to the town of Sigulda, its historical Turaida Castle, and a resort town of Parnu  

2017 Russia, Baltic Capitals & Warsaw, Escorted

A 14-day Escorted tour visits Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Warsaw. With a 6-Day extension to Warsaw, Krakow, Prague and Vienna  

tallinn_panorama_web.1
2017 Baltic Sea Capitals Tour, Escorted

A 8-day Escorted tour offers 17 departures, May through late September, 2017. Visit Tallinn, Helsinki and Imperial St. Petersburg. Also available from Riga, starting 2 days earlier