Vilnius: Trakai Castle Half Day Tour
- 6 Hours
- 6 Hours
- On request
Discover the city that was Lithuania’s medieval capital at the end of the 14th century, when it was the largest country in Europe, on this private tour to Trakai. It’s a visually delightful place and home to the Karaite people, an ethnic minority with Turkic roots that brought their traditional cuisine from the Crimea, a taste of which is part of today’s experience.
Your day starts with your guide picking you up at your hotel in Vilnius for the short 45-minute drive. You’ll soon realize that three colors sum up the gorgeous national park that protects the city and its peninsula: the green of the forests, the blue of its 32 lakes and the red of the bricks with which Trakai’s famous Island Castle was built. The castle, surrounded by Lake Galvė, has 20 islands, and it is magnificent. The construction of the castle was started by Grand Duke Kęstutis of Lithuania, and completed by his son Vytautas in 1409; for a long time, the majestic castle served as a royal residence for the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. While its structure appears to be simple, it was considered a masterpiece of medieval defensive architecture and was the only castle built on water in Eastern Europe. You can enjoy walking around the ancient castle grounds and admire its austere interior or the many intriguing items on display in its museum. The close to 400,000 exhibits include collections of coins, medals, ancient maps, hunting trophies, dress jewelry, and valuable oil paintings.
The promised taste of traditional cuisine follows at a legendary restaurant, The Old Kybyn Inn. Open since 1979, it continues to cherish old Karaite traditions, especially the baking of Kybyns. Stuffed with anything from chopped mutton, beef, pork, mushrooms, vegetables and even chocolate this dish has retained its popularity since one of the Grand Dukes brought Karaites from the Crimea some 600 years ago. The restaurant was the first to get certification by the Culinary Heritage Fund for the authenticity of its recipes for Karaite bins. The fun part of this trip is when you fold and plait Lithuanian dough in the workshop to create your Kybyn, gaining an understanding of the somewhat curious cooking process.
After lunch, and before you return to Vilnius, you can enjoy a magnificent view over a landscape filled with forests and lakes, the majestic Trakai castle and other gems from the Hill of Angels. This area hosts over 40 magnificent sky-greeting wooden angels of all sizes as well as the oak road crosses with sculptures of saints on them. The oak angel sculptures were created by Lithuanian and foreign artists, joined in 2017 by the Angel of Librarians, which was made from metal. Today, the Hill of Angels is also referred to as the Path of the Millennium Signs, a place to enjoy the scenic beauty and appreciate the spirituality in the air. This is a great trip for families or couples of all ages.
Duration: 6 Hours
Departs: 10 a.m. - Returns: 4 p.m.