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The trip starts in Stockholm, you will have the afternoon free to explore the city at your own pace.
Stockholm City tour; overnight ferry to Tallinn.
After breakfast you will have a guided tour around the fascinating city of Stockholm. The tour will start in the Gamla Stan (old town) passing through the narrow streets and alleyways of the mediaeval part of the city. The afternoon is free to enjoy the city at your own pace. You can re-visit areas from the morning’s tour, or we recommend the spectacular vasa Museum, housing the 17th century war ship which sank in Stockholm harbour in 1628 before being salvaged from the mud in 1961. Or you can take one of the harbour cruises, these are a great way to see the city even in winter. You will board the overnight ferry to Tallinn at 17.30pm and enjoy dinner on board.
Arrive in Tallinn; afternoon city walking tour.
The overnight ferry will arrive in Tallinn at around 10.45am. Your luggage will be transported to the hotel whilst you enjoy a guided walking tour around Tallinn. This compact capital city dates back to as early as 1154, and was a notable settlement during the time of the Hanseatic League, much like Riga. Walking through medieval cobbled streets we will explore the Town Hall Square, Toompea Palace, and castle, the Russia Orthodox Cathedral, St Nicolas Church and a 15th century pharmacy – one of oldest in Europe. The afternoon is free for shopping at the Tallinn Christmas market; here you will find a great selection of handmade gifts, traditional Christmas decorations and delicious festive treats. Overnight in Tallinn, just outside the old town.
Morning in Tallinn; Transfer to Riga.
After breakfast you will have some free time for some shopping, or further sightseeing around Tallinn. You will then have a scenic transfer to the town of Riga and its Central Market, the largest of its kind in Eastern Europe. This is the perfect opportunity to try some local specialties including smoked sausage, caraway cheese, local fruit and Kvas the local beer made from rye bread. For the braver souls there's home-made liqueurs and vodka! Overnight in Riga where you will be staying in a historic town house in the old town.
Guided tour around Riga, afternoon at your leisure.
Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States and is most well-known for its art nouveau architecture and historic UNESCO old town, dating back to the time of the Hanseatic League. Your morning tour will take in Riga Castle, The Dome Cathedral, St Peter’s Church, the buildings of the Great and Small Guild Halls, and the Monument to Freedom. You will then have a free afternoon to enjoy the Latvian capital and its pretty Christmas market. Overnight in Riga.
Transfer to Rundale and the hill of crosses; overnight in Vilnius.
This morning you will leave Riga and head south towards Vilnius. The first stop will be at the Rundāle Palace, this palace was designed for the Duke of Courland in the 18th century by Italian architect Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace and Peterhof in St. Petersburg. Today, the palace is the most magnificent example of baroque architecture in the Baltic States. After a tour of the Palace you will have a transfer across the border into Lithuania and to the Hill of Crosses, near Siauliai. This site has become a place of pilgrimage for Catholics all over the world and an estimated one hundred thousand crosses, crucifixes, carving's and rosaries engulf the small hill. During the Soviet Occupation the site also became a symbol of the nation’s struggle for independence, so much so the communist government attempted to bulldoze the site on at least two occasions, but with no luck. Overnight in Vilnius.
Vilnius City tour and Trakai Castle.
Morning walking tour of Vilinus Old Town, the area was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and is one of the largest in Northern Europe. The tour will encompass all the main attractions including: Vilnius Cathedral and Square, The Gate of Dawn, and the city’s historic university. After lunch you will travel out of the city to Trakai, the capital of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The town is best known for its stone castle situated on a small island in the nearby lake, dating back to the early part of the 14th century. Overnight in Vilnius.
The trip ends in Vilnius.
After breakfast the trip ends in Vilnius.