Explore the Baltic capitals and see the very best of the Scandinavian cities, on this fully escorted holiday. Fly into the Polish capital of Warsaw and take a tour of the city, seeing the old town and visiting the famous sights such as the Chopin Monument. We then cross the border into Lithuania, and visit its capital Vilnius, before travelling into Latvia, where we arrive in the historic capital city of Riga. Take a tour of the famous sights from the Blackheads House to Riga Castle. It’s then onto the stunning Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea. Continuing, we take a tour of Scandinavia, where we pass the Finnish capital of Helsinki, sail into Sweden’s Stockholm and take a tour of the Danish capital of Copenhagen before returning home.
You will spend two nights at the 4-star Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw, or similar; two nights at the 3-star Hotel Karolina, or similar, in Vilnius; one night at the 3-star Brigita, or similar, in Riga; two nights at the 3-star Hotel City Portus or Hotel Susi in Tallinn; overnight on the cruise ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm in a two-berth cabin; overnight in a minimum 3-star hotel in Stockholm area; and two nights at the 3-star Quality Airport Dan Hotel, or similar, in Copenhagen.
Fly to Warsaw, where you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Warsaw
This morning we travel to the centre of Warsaw where we have an optional sightseeing tour, which will introduce you to this beautiful capital. You will see the 'Royal Route' with its aristocratic residences, statues and historic churches before visiting the Old Town, the Castle Square, the Barbican and such historical sites as the Ghetto Memorial, the Chopin Monument and the Belvedere Palace. Our local guide will provide an informative commentary, and reveal many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities that have shaped the often-tragic history of this fascinating city. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
We depart our hotel early this morning as we continue our journey east through the beautiful Polish countryside and cross the border to Lithuania. Owing much to the rich cultural currents of central Europe, Lithuania once shared an empire with neighbouring Poland that stretched from the Baltic Sea almost to the Black Sea. We reach Vilnius this evening and our hotel where we stay for the next two nights.
Day 4 Vilnius
Today you will have the full day to discover the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. This morning we have an included walking tour through this cosmopolitan city, which lately has been praised as the ‘New Prague’. The Baroque Old Town area is one of the largest in Europe and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. The buildings and monuments have been built over many centuries and there are examples of architecture from various styles and eras. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to join our optional visit to Trakai Castle. Accompanied by a local guide, we travel to the old Lithuanian capital of Trakai and its picture postcard Island Castle, one of the most visited historical-architectural monuments in Lithuania. The painstaking restored redbrick gothic castle is perched atop an island on Lake Galve. It is believed to date from around 1400, when Vytautas, Lithuania’s Grand Duke of the time, needed stronger defences than the nearby peninsula castle afforded. A footbridge links it to the shore and a moat separates the triangular outer courtyard moat from the main tower with its cavernous central court and a range of galleries, halls and rooms. Some house the Trakai History Museum which charts the history of the castle.
We depart our hotel early this morning as we travel north to the Latvian coastal capital of Riga, famed for its bewitching skyline of castle turrets and church steeples. We reach Riga late this afternoon for an overnight stay.
Day 6 Riga
We spend time in the beautiful city of Riga. A bustling centre of the arts and the largest city in the Baltics, our optional guided walking tour will reveal many of the sights of Riga, including the Melngalvju house or Blackheads house, as it is more commonly known. We also see Riga Castle originally built in 1330 and now the residence of the Latvian President. Once known as ‘small Paris’, the city of Riga is a delightful mixture of medieval ambience and a modern cosmopolitan metropolis. This afternoon we continue our journey north to Estonia. The most northerly of the three former Soviet Baltic republics, it is a country of great scenic beauty with many forests, lakes and islands. We reach Tallinn this evening for a two-night stay.
Day 7 Tallinn
Spend today exploring Tallinn located on the north-eastern extremity of Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Tallinn’s Old Town is exceedingly pretty, with a jumble of medieval walls and turrets, needling spires and winding cobbled streets. This morning our included walking tour will introduce you to many of the sights, including the eye-catching medieval and baroque architecture, the Town Hall, one of the oldest in Europe, St Nicholas Church, Toompea Palace and the old city walls. This afternoon is at leisure to explore the sights independently.
Day 8 Helsinki
We have an early start this morning as we leave Tallinn and travel by ferry to the Finnish capital of Helsinki, the ‘White City of the North’. Centred around the harbour and market square, you will have free time to explore Helsinki, a lively city full of vivid colours, exciting smells and beautiful buildings. We join the overnight ferry to Stockholm where our accommodation will be in two berth cabins. It may be worth packing an overnight bag for this evening.
Day 9 Stockholm
We disembark in Stockholm this morning after breakfast on board the ferry. We spend the day in the Swedish capital which is built on 14 islands and enjoys a stunning location by the Baltic Sea. Beautiful buildings, a picturesque Old Town (Gamla Stan) and endless greenery and parkland, together with the magnificent views across the sea. Enjoy free time to explore at your leisure before we continue to our hotel in the Stockholm area for an overnight stay.
We leave our hotel and continue past Sodertalje and through the wooded hills of Kolmarden, once notorious in Sweden for its bandits and highwaymen. We cross the Gota Canal and eventually reach Lake Vattern, the second largest lake in Sweden. Driving south alongside the lake we pass through Granna and Jonkoping at the southern end of the lake. From here our journey takes us past Varnamo and Ljungby and into the port of Helsingborg. Here we board the ferry for the short crossing to Denmark and the port of Helsingor, one of the country’s oldest towns and the setting for Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ (the ferry time will be advised by your coach crew). Rejoining the coach we drive the short distance to the capital city of Copenhagen, Denmark for a two night stay in the area.
Day 11 Copenhagen
After breakfast why not enjoy our included sightseeing tour of Copenhagen. Denmark is the oldest Kingdom of the world, and as the capital, Copenhagen has many fascinating landmarks and beautiful architectural masterpieces, which are largely connected to the Danish throne and the royal family. Right in the centre of the city there are four Royal Palaces of which Amalienborg is the residence of Queen Margrethe ll. We will also see ‘Den Lille Havfrue’ or ‘Little Mermaid’, sculptured by Edvard Eriksen; the statue is famous for being the inspiration for Hans Christian Andersen’s beautiful fairy tale.
Transfer to Copenhagen airport for your return flight to the U.K.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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