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Vilnius, Curonian Spit & Riga Explorer

Duration
6 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,980

An alluring adventure into the heart of the Baltics, you're invited to discover the wonders of Vilnius, Klaipeda and Riga on this privately-guided tour featuring medieval treasures, the Curonian Spit and Riga's Black Magic Bar.


Explore Lithuania and Latvia on this 6-day private tour through the Baltics, staying in first class accommodations.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and a cultural treasure trove within this fascinating country. Settle into your exquisitely appointed hotel, before setting out to Trakai. The medieval capital of Lithuania, this remains one of the country’s most beautiful spots, with 32 lakes including Lake Galve, where its Island Castle was built. After a delicious traditional Karaite lunch, visit the Hill of Angels on your way back to Vilnius. The following day, an old town walking tour acquaints you with the capital, including its cathedral, lower and upper castle, St Anna’s church, the Gates of Dawn, and Eastern Europe’s oldest university.

Travel on to the Curonian Spit, a popular seaside region with a decidedly gothic vibe that contains many of Lithuania’ highlights. You’ll visit the folklore rich Hill of Witches, the aptly named Spooky Dead Woods, and the somewhat more upbeat fishing town of Nida, which frequently hosts art and music events. This region is also loved for its scenic geography. The following day, visit Palanga, with its famed botanical garden and neo-Renaissance palace. Visit the Amber Museum, honouring the famous ‘Baltic gold’ in around 30,000 exhibits.

Going on to Riga, enjoy a private walking tour exploring the best of the Latvian capital over four hours. Try the country’s famous current-flavoured Black Balsam at Black Magic Bar, and marvel at the buildings that span Romantic, Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and most of all, Art Nouveau styles. You’ll also stop at the city’s historic farmer’s market, which lures over 80,000 visitors each day and offers of a delicious showcase of Latvian flavours, before transferring to the airport.


 

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
6 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,980

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Vilnius Airport to Vilnius Hotel

Duration30 Minutes

Hotel Shakespeare Boutique

The stylish Shakespeare Boutique Hotel is housed in a renovated 17th-century palace in the heart of Vilnius, 50 yards from the Cathedral Square. Other major attractions, such as the Gediminas Tower, the Presidential Palace and Vilnius University are also within a short walking distance. A leisurely 8-minute stroll across the Vilnia River takes you to the self-proclaimed "Republic" of Uzupis, a Bohemian and artistic district. It has its own anthem, constitution, president, bishop and two churches. Obviously, well worth a visit. Vilnius is said to be never asleep, and Islandijos and Vilniaus streets where much of the nightlife happens is a 15-minute walk.

The hotel, sitting in a cozy narrow red-roof street meandering into the nicest places and corners of the Old Town, is a little oasis. You are sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet you are right next door.

The public spaces of the hotel are decorated with lovely antiques, art works and books. The rooms are beautifully decorated too, each one dedicated to different famous authors and each room comes with a small library. The hotel offers outstanding cuisine in its elegant Sonnets Restaurant and serves Single Malts at the Globe Bar on the terrace. A great choice for couples of all ages.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Shakespeare Boutique

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Shakespeare Boutique



    The stylish Shakespeare Boutique Hotel is housed in a renovated 17th-century palace in the heart of Vilnius, 50 yards from the Cathedral Square. Other major attractions, such as the Gediminas Tower, the Presidential Palace and Vilnius University are also within a short walking distance. A …

    The stylish Shakespeare Boutique Hotel is housed in a renovated 17th-century palace in the heart of Vilnius, 50 yards from the Cathedral Square. Other major attractions, such as the Gediminas Tower, the Presidential Palace and Vilnius University are also within a short walking distance. A leisurely 8-minute stroll across the Vilnia River takes you to the self-proclaimed "Republic" of Uzupis, a Bohemian and artistic district. It has its own anthem, constitution, president, bishop and two churches. Obviously, well worth a visit. Vilnius is said to be never asleep, and Islandijos and Vilniaus streets where much of the nightlife happens is a 15-minute walk.

    The hotel, sitting in a cozy narrow red-roof street meandering into the nicest places and corners of the Old Town, is a little oasis. You are sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet you are right next door.

    The public spaces of the hotel are decorated with lovely antiques, art works and books. The rooms are beautifully decorated too, each one dedicated to different famous authors and each room comes with a small library. The hotel offers outstanding cuisine in its elegant Sonnets Restaurant and serves Single Malts at the Globe Bar on the terrace. A great choice for couples of all ages.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Laundry Service
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 2

Excursion to the Medieval Capital of Lithuania with Kybyn Cooking Class

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.

Duration6 Hours
Day 3

Vilnius Old Town Walking Tour

Tour starts from Hotel reception in direction to Old Town with private guide. Vilnius is known for its more than 1,200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. Visit the Vilnius Cathedral, Lower and Upper Castle with the Gediminas Tower - the symbol of the city, St. Anna's church - the 16th century masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Old University - the oldest University in Eastern Europe, the Pilies Street -- the Old Town Street with a lot of gift and souvenir shops, the Gates of Dawn with a holy image of the Virgin Mary, which is believed to have miraculous powers. Return to hotel at the end of excursion.

Duration3 Hours

Vilnius to Klaipeda - Private Transfer

Duration3 Hours

Hotel National Klaipeda

If location is your prime criteria, then look no further than the Hotel National. Set in a 19th-century building of Klaipeda's Old Town, you are steps from the city's famous Theatre Square and minutes from Old Ferry Terminal. A walk to Klaipeda Castle will take less than five minutes. Packed with bars and restaurants of all kinds, you are in the heart of town.

The hotel was established over a century ago and is one of the best-known hotels in Lithuania. The rooms are elegantly, while sparsely, furnished and its windows offer you various views on the Dane River embankment, the Old Town area with all its romantic sights or the Theatre Square. Best of all, the hotel offers soundproofed rooms overlooking the seaport and river Dane. A great choice for travellers of all ages that wish to be right in the center of the city's nightlife and in close proximity to the historic attractions.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel National Klaipeda

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel National Klaipeda



    If location is your prime criteria, then look no further than the Hotel National. Set in a 19th-century building of Klaipeda's Old Town, you are steps from the city's famous Theatre Square and minutes from Old Ferry Terminal. A walk to Klaipeda Castle will take …

    If location is your prime criteria, then look no further than the Hotel National. Set in a 19th-century building of Klaipeda's Old Town, you are steps from the city's famous Theatre Square and minutes from Old Ferry Terminal. A walk to Klaipeda Castle will take less than five minutes. Packed with bars and restaurants of all kinds, you are in the heart of town.

    The hotel was established over a century ago and is one of the best-known hotels in Lithuania. The rooms are elegantly, while sparsely, furnished and its windows offer you various views on the Dane River embankment, the Old Town area with all its romantic sights or the Theatre Square. Best of all, the hotel offers soundproofed rooms overlooking the seaport and river Dane. A great choice for travellers of all ages that wish to be right in the center of the city's nightlife and in close proximity to the historic attractions.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Free WiFi
    • Laundry Service
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 4

Excursion to Curonian Spit

Enjoy a day exploring the Curonian Spit, a unique part of Lithuania, along its golden sand dunes, blue waters and pine forests. After meeting your guide at your hotel in Klaipeda, make sure to have your camera ready because this is going to be a spectacular drive. Smiltynė, your first stop, is a hop, skip and five-minute ferry ride across the thin strait that divides Klaipeda from the Curonian Spit. From here the Curonian Spit stretches 60 miles down to the Sambian Peninsula on its Southern end. 33 miles of the peninsula belongs to Lithuania, while the rest is part of Kaliningrad across the Russian border. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an accolade which is shared by both Lithuania and Russia. Next up is Juodkrantė, well known for its atmospheric Hill of Witches. A gigantic sign by the main road leads you into a wondrous world of witches and devils hiding in the woods. Some of the 80 wooden sculptures - dating back to 1979 - are based on the pagan traditions and the Midsummer Night’s Eve festivities on the hill that are still widely celebrated in Lithuania. No sooner have you left the witches behind, you come across an area known as the Spooky Dead Woods, home to the largest colony of cormorants in Europe. The once green pine forest has sadly transformed into dead wood because the birds’ poo is deadly to the trees. Time permitting, it might be possible to follow part of the Nagliai Nature Reserve trail, the most amazing natural element of the Curonian Spit. It takes you on a quiet journey through what is called the dead dunes, a memorial to the villages hushed by the sand for eternity back in the 1600s to 1800s. The wind is constantly moving the sand creating a golden ridge across the dunes making it one of the biggest attractions on the ‘Spit’. Before reaching Nida, the quaint fishing village at the Southern end of the trip, you will pass the Thomas Mann Museum, once the famous novelist’s summer residence. For many people, Nida is the most beautiful and characteristic town of all the settlements on the Curonian Spit. Its stunning desert-like sand dunes, some of which are 60 meters high, make it the highest collection of drifting dunes in Europe. Before you start your full exploration, it’s time for lunch (not included). The idyllic surroundings and architectural heritage make Nida a memorable place to visit. The delightfully colourful and still inhabited wooden houses are a throwback to a different century, but there is also a contemporary side to Nida with cool electronica music, modern art shows and Nida Jazz Maratonas, the annual jazz festival. Not far from town is a great viewing platform atop the Parnidis Dune. As you ascend the dune, you reach the Sundial, a calendar and impressive monument built in 1995. After a day of incredible scenery and places steeped in history, it is time to return to Klaipeda. This is a perfect excursion for families with teenage children or couples of all ages.

Duration8 Hours
Day 5

Excursion to Palanga with Amber Museum

Enjoy a privately guided day that includes a trip to the seaside, a magnificent botanical park and the realization that not all that glitters is gold. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Klaipeda in the morning, followed by a short drive to the seaside resort of Palanga. Originally a small fishermen's village, it is now a vibrant resort town full of golden beaches as well as the souvenir shops, cafes, bars and the night clubs of J. Basanavicius Street. The latter is 450 meters (500 yards) long and ends at the Baltic Sea from where you can see the Palanga Bridge, possibly the town's major tourist attraction. The, perhaps, best part of the day lets you experience a stunning botanical garden with a neo-Renaissance styled palace, set between pretty ponds and Birute Hill, from which glorious views of the Baltic Sea are available. The park was designed by the famous French landscape architect and botanist Eduard Fransua Andre, who spent three summers in Palanga supervising its construction.

Today, the expansive park features fields of flowers, an oval rose garden, a terrace, flowing water bodies, beach and sand dunes that stretch into the horizon. The gorgeous palace was built by Count Tiskevicius in 1897 and now houses the famous Amber Museum. Inside, you can marvel at the Baltic version of gold: Amber. The museum contains one of the most abundant collections of amber pieces in the world, with about 30 thousand exhibits in total. Among the finest pieces are inclusions of insects and flora, trapped during prehistoric times and entombed inside the amber, as well as the largest protected Ginara block, a Solar Stone, weighing 3.5 kilograms (nearly 8 pounds). Experts claim it to be worth approximately $US 500,000.

Afterwards, you can stroll in the gardens to the beach, passing swans and other birds in the ponds. If you are interested in the history of Tiskeviciai family you can admire several authentic spaces, among them the Red Salon, Grand Salon, Countess Parlour, Blue Salon and Parlour of the Young Count. From the museum, it is a ten-minute walk to Birute Hill, surrounded by a still thriving forest of centuries-old sacred pines. Let your guide tell you about the legend of priestess Birute while savouring the splendid views at the top.

When the time is right, you'll break for lunch (not included), and your tour will conclude in the afternoon with your return to Klaipeda. This is a great day trip for travelers of all ages.

Duration6 Hours

Klaipeda to Riga - Private Transfer

Duration4 Hours

Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah

Following an extensive renovation project in 2018, the Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah is truly a design hotel reborn in the city's historic heart. It directly overlooks Bastion Hill Park and a walk to Riga's Old Town will take less than ten minutes. The Freedom Monument landmark is just a three-minute walk away.

The interior of the hotel is the brainchild of an award-winning Swedish design firm, creating an ambience that playfully blends bohemian with formal. Dramatic views in two different directions are available. You can look at the Freedom Monument, but we suggest that you choose the view across the park that, ultimately, reaches the panorama of Old Riga on the other side of the canal. This hotel is the perfect choice for travelers of all ages looking for quieter surroundings, but in good proximity to the Old Town.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstarstar

    Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah



    Following an extensive renovation project in 2018, the Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah is truly a design hotel reborn in the city's historic heart. It directly overlooks Bastion Hill Park and a walk to Riga's Old Town will take less than ten minutes. The Freedom …

    Following an extensive renovation project in 2018, the Hotel Grand Poet by Semarah is truly a design hotel reborn in the city's historic heart. It directly overlooks Bastion Hill Park and a walk to Riga's Old Town will take less than ten minutes. The Freedom Monument landmark is just a three-minute walk away.

    The interior of the hotel is the brainchild of an award-winning Swedish design firm, creating an ambience that playfully blends bohemian with formal. Dramatic views in two different directions are available. You can look at the Freedom Monument, but we suggest that you choose the view across the park that, ultimately, reaches the panorama of Old Riga on the other side of the canal. This hotel is the perfect choice for travelers of all ages looking for quieter surroundings, but in good proximity to the Old Town.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Fitness Centre
    • Free WiFi
    • Indoor Pool
    • Laundry Service
    • Meeting and Event Facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 6

Private Walking Tour with Black Magic Bar and Central Market

Enjoy a private walking tour of Riga, revolving around two amazing stops, starting with your guide picking you up from your hotel. While the distances between stops are relatively short, we suggest 10am as a good time to begin your walk. Over the course of four hours you are going to experience a marketplace so extraordinary and unique that its territory was added to Riga's existing UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. The other key visit is the Black Magic bar where you can taste Latvia's famous Black Balsam. In case you wonder, in 2018, thirty bartenders from 15 European countries participated in the Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge, creating a little buzz for both the drink and the city. A leisurely walkabout from your hotel, invariably, leads you to the Dome Square and the gorgeous cathedral, and past many other buildings, around 500 of them, that were constructed at different times in the city's history. Romantic, Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, Art Nouveau, you name it. Look for the House of Blackheads and a building known as Three Brothers to get the full historic flavour. Importantly, let your guide take you around some of the Old Town's fabulous, medieval alleyways. Try to spread your arms out on Rozena Street, the narrowest street in Riga, where you can easily reach and touch opposite walls. Ultimately, you'll get to the appropriately named Black Magic bar, located in an 18th century building. Entering through its beautiful wooden door is like stepping back in time. Handmade chocolates are displayed in apothecary jars on the countertop, while medicine bottles and clay jars containing the Riga Black Balsam, line the shelves. All this is dimly lit by candles, adding an air of mystique. The recipe was crafted in Riga in 1752 by a pharmacist named Abraham Kunze and its original purpose was purely medicinal. It blends 24 herbs and botanicals such as valerian, wormwood, black pepper and ginger. Roots, berries, grasses and buds are then added to vodka and aged in oak. The establishment also offers some fabulous confectionary, cakes and cookies and even a Black Mojito made with currant-flavoured Black Balsam. Your second key stop is under a quarter of an hour's walk away, still very close to the Old Town, on the banks of the River Daugava, next to the Central Railway Station. When it opened in 1930 it was considered the largest and most advanced marketplace in Europe. An average of 80,000 to 100,000 people shop here every day. You can buy Latvian-grown products, exotic fruit and spices, as well as many types of manufactured goods. The market includes five pavilions, each for different products, but there is also an outdoor area with numerous stalls, as well as a "Night Market" and a "Round the Clock Farmers Market". Honey still in honeycombs, flower dust, hemp butter, sand thorn syrup or fried lampreys, are among the many things that can be found here. Your lunch stop is usually, but not always, at "Silkites un Dillites", conveniently located between the Fish and Vegetable pavilions. Its name means 'Herring and Dill' and there are few things more Latvian than dill. Combined with Baltic Herring, a regional delicacy, you have a winning Latvian combination. Latvia has a strong fishing tradition and the bustling Fish Pavilion next door proves it. After lunch, your guide ensures your safe trip back to the hotel. This is a great excursion for families with teenagers or couples of all ages.

Duration4 Hours

Riga City Hotels to Airport

Duration30 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 5 nights' accommodations
  • Private airport transfers
  • Private tour to the Medieval captial of Lithuania (with Kybyn Cooking Class)
  • Private walking tour of Vilnius' old town
  • Private excursion to Curonian Spit
  • Private tour to Palanga (with Amber Museum)
  • Private walking tour of Riga (with Black Magic Bar)
  • Breakfast daily

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

DP VILTPK6DRIGLV
21 Nov 2020
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