Best of Lithuania
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN VILNIUS
Welcome to the capital of Lithuania! Like many European capitals, Vilnius has a rich history. This city, located on the banks of the Neris River, dates to the 14th century, and in its heyday was a melting pot of cultures. People flocked here from as near as Poland and as far as Eurasia, many coming to attend Vilnius University. Founded in the 16th century, it was one of the premier learning institutions in Europe. Over the next few centuries, Lithuania was conquered by everyone from Napoleon to Hitler, and it fell under Russian rule after the WWII until it seceded from the Soviet Union in 1990.
DAY 2: VILNIUS
On the guided walking tour of the Old Town you will see the medieval heart of Vilnius. The highlights of Vilnius are Cathedral Square and Vilnius University’s historical complex. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1783. It is Lithuania’s premier Roman-Catholic church. Moreover, its mausoleum is the final resting place for some notable figures throughout history, including the grand dukes of Lithuania and even King Alexander of Poland. On the tour, you will also see the Gediminas Tower, the 15th-century St. Anne’s Church, the Gate of Dawn, and many more landmarks of Vilnius. At the end of the tour you will enter the Vilnius University historical complex, the oldest university in the Baltics.
In the afternoon you will go out of Vilnius to the medieval capital of Lithuania – Trakai. It is situated on a peninsula on Lake Galvė. This village, home to about 5,000 people, is as much a scenic national park as it is a town. Here, amid the unspoiled woodlands and lake islands, rises medieval Trakai Castle, the star landmark of the area. You will visit this handsome fortification, which was built in the latter half of the 14th century out of red brick and stone, and is done in the Gothic style.
In the evening have a Cepelinas culinary master class and a traditional Lithuanian dinner. The traditional dish of Lithuania is called cepelinas. It is a delicious big potato pie filled with meat, cottage cheese or mushrooms. Try with your own hands to make the cepelinas!
DAY 3: FROM VILNIUS TO KAUNAS – STOP IN KERNAVE
In the morning, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for the 1.5-hour drive west from Vilnius to Kaunas. En route, you will stop in the village Kernavė and visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating to the 13th century when it was the medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The area is also an archaeological site, as there are ruins of ancient human settlements dating to 9000 BCE.
After visiting Kernavė, you will continue on to Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania. Upon arrival, join a guided walking tour around Old Town and visit such landmarks as Town Hall Square and the House of Perkunas, a Gothic merchant house that dates to the 15th century. You will of course also visit Kaunas Castle, a Gothic fortress built on a hill overlooking the Nemunas River which dates to the middle of the 14th century.
DAY 4: FROM KAUNAS TO KLAIPEDA – STOP IN PALANGA
In the morning you will leave Kaunas on a 2.5-hour drive west to the Lithuania coast and Palanga, Lithuania´s most popular seaside resort town. Besides its wide beaches, Palanga is known for its Amber Museum, which you will visit too. Located in a 19th-century palace, it features a collection of about 28,000 amber pieces, many of which contain insects, spiders, and plants.
Afterward, you will continue south to the port city Klaipėda. Upon arrival, you will check into your hotel and then embark on a guided walking tour. It begins in Klaipėda’s Old Town, known for its old cobblestone streets lined with medieval guild houses. You will then visit Theatre Square and the Ann from Tharau Fountain. The fountain is dedicated to Simon Dach, a famous German poet born in Klaipėda, and it features a sculpture of his muse Ann.
DAY 5: FROM KLAIPEDA TO NIDA
In the morning you will leave from Klaipėda and head south along the Curonian Spit, a long, thin sandspit that runs 62 miles (100 km) between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. On this narrow strip of land one can find sleepy fishing villages, isolated pine forests, and endless sand dunes.
The first stop on this route will be at the Hill of Witches, located at the lagoonside village of Juodkrantė. Despite the spooky name, this landmark is actually a collection of wooden sculptures atop a forested sand dune. There are over 80 sculptures created by local artists that depict themes of paganism and Lithuanian folklore.
After that, you will continue south towards the border with the Russian province of Kaliningrad. Here you will stop at another resort town, Nida. It is a popular summer vacation spot and home to high coastal sand dunes and Thomas Mann’s summer house.
DAY 6: NIDA
A free day in Nida, you will be enjoying the sandy beaches at the peaceful summer resort on your own pace.
DAY 7: FROM NIDA TO ŠIAULIAI – VISIT THE HILL OF CROSSES
From Klaipėda, you will head east to Siauliai. Just north of this city lies the Hill of Crosses, one of the holiest Catholic sites in Lithuania. Pilgrims have been leaving crosses on this small rural hill since 1830 when the site was a pivotal landmark in Lithuania’s resistance against Russian aggressors. In the intervening years, the arrival of pilgrims has been so regular that today the hill has over 100,000 crosses, crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary.
DAY 8: SIAULIAI – NAISAI – STELMUZE – SIAULIAI
After breakfast, visit the village Naisia. It is known for a park featuring wooden sculptures of Lithuanian pagan gods. On a walk you will see the artwork and surrounding nature.
The next village you will visit is Stelmuze. It is the home of the oldest tree in Europe, the Stelmuze Oak. There are many ancient legends regarding this tree, one of which being that there is treasure buried under its roots. Another is that the tree is actually hollow, and you can enter it and descend to the underworld.
DAY 9: FROM ŠIAULIAI TO VILNIUS – STOP AT AUKŠTAITIJA NATIONAL PARK
In the morning, you will leave Šiauliai. On the way to Vilnius, you will visit Aukštaitija National Park. It is the oldest national park in Lithuania and hundreds of lakes are covering its land. You will visit the village Palūšė and its iconic wooden church from the early 18th century.
DAY 10: DEPARTURE FROM VILNIUS
After breakfast, at the appropriate time, you will transfer to the airport for your flight home. This concludes your grand Baltic adventure. Until next time!
Price in double occupancy
- In 4-star hotels for 2 persons traveling is 2370 EUR per
- In 3-star hotels for 2 persons traveling is 2180 EUR per person.
- In 4-star hotels for 4 persons traveling is 1510 EUR per person.
- In 3-star hotels for 4 persons traveling is 1320 EUR per person.
- In 4-star hotels for 6 persons traveling is 1220 EUR per person.
- In 3-star hotels for 6 persons traveling is 1030 EUR per person.
- In 4-star hotels for 8 persons traveling is 1080 EUR per person.
- In 3-star hotels for 8 persons traveling is 890 EUR per person.
Single supplement in 4-star hotels – 570 EUR
Single supplement in 3-star hotels – 420 EUR
- 9 overnights in centrally located hotels with breakfast;
- English speaking driver and tour leader throughout the program;
- Transportation in a private car or a minivan per program;
- Walking tour in Vilnius, Trakai, Kaunas and Klaipeda;
- Cepelinas culinary master class and a traditional Lithuanian dinner;
- The Curonian Spit sightseeing tour;
- Entrances in Vilnius University historical complex, Trakai Castle, Kaunas Castle, Amber museum and Thomas Mann’s summer house.
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