Winter Self-drive Baltics
Self-drive

Winter experience in the Baltics

  • 12 days / 11 nights
  • Tallinn - Sagadi - Mustvee - Tartu - Riga - Rundale - Paluse - Trakai - Vilnius
  • November - March

Program

DAY 1 : ARRIVAL IN TALLINN

Welcome to Tallinn! Pick up your rental car at the Tallinn airport and check into the hotel.

Overnight: Tallinn at St. Barbara*** or similar.

DAY 2: DISCOVER TALLINN 

On a guided walking tour of Tallinn you will explore a well-preserved medieval center known as the Old Town. You will visit many historic sites including Toompea Castle, a stately baroque castle which today houses the Parliament of Estonia, the 13th century Dome Church, the Russian Revival Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and many more.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight: Tallinn at St. Barbara*** or similar.

DAY 3: LAHEMAA NATIONAL PARK | TALLINN – SAGADI (DRIVE ~85 KM, HIKE ~7 KM)

After breakfast, drive to a scenic coastline northeast of Tallinn. Lahemaa National Park is considered one of the last unspoiled regions of the Baltic coastline. To see the beauty of the park join a guided snowshoeing tour and explore the surrounding wilderness. The snowshoes take us to places where it is otherwise impossible to go. To get the full outdoor experience on the tour, hot tea and snacks made on the campfire will warm you up.

Meals included: Breakfast, light lunch – snacks and hot tee

Overnight: Lahemaa National Park at Sagadi Manor hotel*** or similar.

DAY 4: ALONG THE LAKE PEIPUS | SAGADI – MUSTVEE – TARTU (DRIVE ~170 KM)

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and afterwards drive along the shore of Lake Peipus, which is the fifth-largest lake in Europe. It is also the largest transboundary lake on the continent, as it shares borders with both Estonia and Russia. The old traditions are still alive and honoured by the Old Believers living on the shore of Lake Peipus. At the Old Believers Museum, a tea ceremony is waiting for you. The ceremony will be led by an instructor wearing a headscarf required by local customs.

In the late afternoon, arrive in Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia. Join a Tartu Old Town walking tour. Enjoy the historic streets, Town Hall Square with the statue of Kissing Students, St. John’s Church with its many terracotta sculptures, and Tartu University, which was founded in 1632.

Meals included: Breakfast, tea and snacks at the Old Believers Museum

Overnight: Tartu at Lydia hotel**** or similar.

DAY 5: DOG SLED TOUR | TARTU

After breakfast, join a dog sled tour and enjoy the wide open space of a natural landscape in a primeval manner in Järvselja forests and Peipsiveere Nature Reserve. At lunch time sit at a fireplace and enjoy the food prepared on the fire. Afterwards, get on your dog sled and continue through the ancient forests and untouched places. Late afternoon, return back to Tartu.

Meals included: Breakfast, tea and snacks at the Old Believers Museum

Overnight: Tartu at Lydia hotel**** or similar.

DAY 6: GAUJA NATIONAL PARK | TARTU –  RIGA (DRIVE ~260 KM)

In the morning, drive to Latvia and the heart of the Gauja National Park and Sigulda town, also known as the Little Switzerland of Latvia. In Sigulda you’ll visit the bobsleigh track and go for a Soft bob ride. On the ride you’ll slide down 16 turns and over 1200m. This activity promises to deliver an adrenaline-fuelled experience that will last long in the memory.

After drive to Riga, the largest of three Baltic capitals, and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight: Riga at AC Hotel Riga by Marriott**** or similar.

DAY 7: DISCOVER RIGA 

Today is reserved for Riga. Take a guided walking tour to see the Art Nouveau most famous buildings on the streets of Alberta and Elizabeth, as well as the Old Town with Riga’s Castle and the Three Brothers houses, oldest dwellings in the city.

Make a visit to the Riga Central Market, one of the largest covered markets in Europe. Taste smoked meat, pickled vegetables, Latvian bread, seasonal treats, and more. The market opened in 1930, and it consists of five former Zeppelin airship hangars.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight: Riga at AC Hotel Riga by Marriott**** or similar.

DAY 8: AUKŠTAITIJA NATIONAL PARK | RIGA – RUNDALE – PALŪŠE (DRIVE ~315 KM)

After breakfast drive to Rundale Palace and on a guided tour immerse yourself in Latvia’s most beautiful palace.  The Rundale Palace is like a time capsule of the 18th-century, a beautifully preserved and restored Baroque architecture ensemble. It is built by Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who also created for the Russian tsars Winter and Tsarskoye Selo Palaces.

After, drive to Aukštaitija National Park, which is the oldest national park and has preserved its pristine nature. Hundreds of lakes are covering its land. After, continue to Palūše. Before steering in your accommodation, stop at Palūše wooden church that is one of the oldest praying houses in Lithuania.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight:  Palūše in Tiki Inn guest house or similar.

DAY 9: BIKE TOUR IN AUKŠTAITIJA NATIONAL PARK & TRADITIONAL SAUNA

In the morning you will join a guided fat – bike tour. A fat-bike allows you to get through otherwise impassable woodland areas, such as muddy off-road, iced and snowy hills, and swampy terrain. On the tour you‘ll discover authentic cultural heritage sites, dense forests, and beautiful lakes. After the tour you will relax in the heat of the traditional sauna and taste some sauna-special tea, brewed with local herbs and enjoy your delicious hot lunch cooked over open fire.

Meals included: Breakfast, and lunch

Overnight:  Palūše in Tiki Inn guest house or similar.

DAY 10: TRAKAI ISLAND CASTLE / VILNIUS – TRAKAI – VILNIUS (DRIVE ~110 KM)

After breakfast, drive from Paluše to Trakai. Join a guided snowshoeing tour. The tour will bring you around the medieval Trakai Castle, the landmark of the area. Afterwards you will visit this impressive gothic fortification, built in the second half of the 14th century out of red brick and stone. Next, continue to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. You will continue to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight: Vilnius at Hotel Vilnia**** or similar.

DAY 11: CITY TOUR OF VILNIUS 

Spend the morning on a guided walking tour of the Old Town, the medieval heart of Vilnius. The highlight of Vilnius is the Cathedral Square. 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 grand dukes of Lithuania and even King Alexander of Poland.

On the tour you will see the Gediminas Tower, the 15th-century St. Anne’s Church, Vilnius University, the oldest university in the Baltics, the Gate of Dawn, and the city’s medieval defensive fortification, built around a chapel that remains a major catholic pilgrimage site in Lithuania.  Free time in the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight: Vilnius at Hotel Vilnia**** or similar.

DAY 12: DEPARTURE

On the departure day, drop off the rental car at the Vilnius airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour map

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Price in double occupancy

Two persons travelling is 1650 EUR per person.

Included
  • 9 overnights per program in centrally located 3-star / 4-star hotels with breakfast;
  • 2 overnights in Palūše guest house with breakfast;
  • VW Polo car rental for 12 days;
  • Walking tours in Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, and Vilnius
  • Tea ceremony at Lake Peipus;
  • Snowshoeing tour in Lahemaa National Park and Trakai;
  • Dog sled tour in Järvselja forests and Peipsiveere Nature Reserve;
  • Rundale Palace guided tour;
  • Guided fat – bike tour in Aukštaitija National Park.
Not included
  • Any meals or drinks not mentioned in program;
  • Gratitudes.
How to dress

In winter, temperatures often drop well below zero degrees Celsius. Please, dress accordingly to the weather forecast! Due to very changeable weather, layering is the key to enjoying the tour. Any warm and comfortable shoes are good enough for this tour.

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Baltic nature travel
5.0
Based on 11 reviews
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Sheila Dunk
Sheila Dunk
2022-06-04T01:33:30+0000
Absolutely brilliant day out with Valdis, we didn’t stop talking from the moment he picked me up. He was knowledgeable... about the area, answered all my questions about Latvia and was just delightful to be with.The area of the hike was stunning, we got some good spots for views and pictures, the weather was beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the day. The hike isn’t difficult, plenty of ups and downs and with a decent level of fitness anyone can do this hike.read more
Betti Sewell
Betti Sewell
2020-11-28T17:19:37+0000
The hike was beautiful and Valdis was relaxed, helpful and informative. Highly recommended.
Chris Palin
Chris Palin
2020-11-15T07:39:38+0000
Had a great experience with Valdis. The hike was really interesting with lots of points of interest including an... abandoned bob sleigh track. A great guide, fantastic day out.10 out of 10 I would definitely recommend to anybodyread more
Elisa Bozzotto
Elisa Bozzotto
2020-10-31T21:30:28+0000
I love the atmosphere in the group and the offered trails. They show a part of the countryside that is still not yet... well know but definitely worth seeing. With woods that look like the one from a fairy story book and really good company it's definitely a suggested tou experience for the lovers of outdoors activities..The guide is super available and offer explanations and curiosity. Particularly useful is the description of how to reach the starting point with public transport (even with the specific schedule time). So I definitely recommend it 😉read more
Lina Kulikauskaite
Lina Kulikauskaite
2020-10-31T18:04:12+0000
Nicely chosen trail 🍂🌲very friendly and supportive guide. Had a lot of fun! Looking forward for next trip 👣📸
Kristīna Kļimoviča
Kristīna Kļimoviča
2020-10-05T05:49:53+0000
I am very grateful to Valdis for leading our hike through the Gauja National Park near Sigulda. It was the perfect... combination of the city sightseeing and enjoying nature. Valdis made stops at the most remarkable objects both in the city and in nature and told the most important things, which were neither too much nor too little. He really took good care of the group. Thank you for this day! Highly recommended!read more
Victor Papin
Victor Papin
2020-10-04T15:43:17+0000
Great welcoming & service, great hike.
Oskars Ikstens
Oskars Ikstens
2018-04-27T12:18:35+0000
Zane Kurševa
Zane Kurševa
2018-04-22T14:12:43+0000
Armīns Maslovskis
Armīns Maslovskis
2018-04-22T13:39:50+0000
Liene Lote Čemme
Liene Lote Čemme
2018-03-01T14:27:46+0000
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