Road Scholar : Home
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: Baltic Road to Independence

Program Number: 15520RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/27/2013 - 7/11/2013; 6/26/2015 - 7/10/2015; 7/24/2015 - 8/7/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia
Price starting at: $3,195.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 32; 13 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Lithuania was the first Baltic state to declare independence from the former Soviet Union, and Estonia boasts a tech-savvy population in which eight out of ten people carry cell phones. Latvia's cosmopolitan capital competes with the best of Old Europe for beauty and culture. Explore these nations of change and enduring heritage as local experts highlight the baroque city of Vilnius, Riga’s Art Nouveau district, and medieval yet high-tech Tallinn.




Highlights

• Presentation on Latvian musical traditions and instruments.
• Spend time with local residents to discuss social issues and politics.
• Led by an expert, explore the Curonian Spit and Nida, a UNESCO World Heritage site near Klaipeda, Lithuania.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on uneven terrain, standing in museums; no wheelchair facilities.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Tallinn (Estonia), 3 nights; coach to Tartu, 1 night; coach to Riga (Latvia), 3 nights; coach to Klaipeda (Lithuania), 2 nights; coach to Kaunas, 1 night; coach to Vilnius, 3 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night


Arrival Tallinn (Estonia)
3 nights
Coach to Tartu
1 night

Discussions in this bustling seaport capital focus on Estonia’s position in modern Europe. Enjoy an expert-led walk through Old Tallinn and attend a performance. During your stay in Tartu, an important educational center, visit the university library and learn how old academic traditions are being revived.



Coach to Riga (Latvia)
3 nights

During an expert-led walking excursion, explore Riga's Old Town and Art Nouveau architecture, while an organ concert at the Dome Cathedral and sampling of local cuisine round out the regional experience. At the Museum of Latvian Occupation, learn about the oppressive regimes that Latvia has endured. A lecture on modern Latvia explores the local economy, politics, and socio-demographic structure.



Coach to Klaipeda (Lithuania)
2 nights

Klaipeda is located at the base of the Curonian Spit, a thin, curved, sand-dune peninsula that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Take a ferry across the lagoon to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, including the fishing village of Nida, famous for its well-preserved, original fishermen’s architecture.



Coach to Kaunas
1 night
Coach to Vilnius
3 nights
Departure

In Kaunas, see the ruins of the 14th-century Kaunas Castle. In Vilnius, an expert on regional politics discusses Lithuania's role as a new member of the European Union. Walk through the campus of the Jesuit University of Vilnius and stop by the site of an ancient synagogue. A visit to Trakai Castle, a cultural event, and a get-together with local residents complete your experience in the Baltics.




Accommodations
Tallinn: Three-star hotel near Old Town. Tartu: Three-star hotel in heart of historic city. Riga: Award-winning four-star hotel near Old Town. Klaipeda: Four-star hotel with authentic design. Kaunas: Four-star hotel in heart of city. Vilnius: Four-star hotel on banks of Neris River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Park Inn Central Hotel
  Tallinn, Estonia 3 nights
   Palace Hotel
  Tartu, Estonia 1 night
   Avalon Hotel
  Riga, Latvia 3 nights
   Navalis Hotel
  Klaipeda, Lithuania 2 nights
   Park Inn Kaunas Hotel
  Kaunas, Lithuania 1 night
   Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
  Vilnius, Lithuania 3 nights
 Park Inn Central Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn Central is a comfortable, newly renovated, modern hotel, managed by Radisson, and situated near Old Town and the city center, within walking distance to major city sites. The hotel staff speaks English, offers 24-hour front desk service, and 24-hour security.
  Contact info: 7C, Narva mnt
Tallinn,  10117 Estonia
phone: + 372 633 9800
web: www.parkinn.com/hotel-centraltallinn
  Room amenities: Standard guest rooms are comfortable, clean and spacious with twin beds. They are air-conditioned, have baths with standard amenities and a hairdryer. Internet access is available for a fee, there is a direct-dial phone, cable TV, and a minibar. No safes in standard rooms.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a nice modern lobby, elevators, ATMs, and 245 spacious guestroom rooms with modern amenities, a restaurant, lobby bar, and a stylish cafe. It provides standard hotel services including 24-hour dry-cleaning service and free high-speed, wireless Internet access in the lobby and Internet access for a fee in standard rooms. It also has conference facilities and a small fitness area with a jacuzzi and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: approx $160 Twin Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate and you will pay the hotel directly by credit card or by cash for the additional nights. Do note that the reservation will be separate from the program reservation and it is likely that you will need to check out of the room and check back in to a different room with the group. Additional hotel nights can also be booked independently via the Internet.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Palace Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: This newly built 3-4 star hotel offers all the modern amenities and is conveniently located in the heart of historic Tartu, close to the main promenade and all tourist attractions. The hotel has 24-hour security and English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: Riia 4,
Tartu,   51004 Estonia
phone: +372 730 1200
web: www.palace.ee
  Room amenities: Tastefully decorated rooms, private facilities, bath or showers, telephones and safes. Note: rooms are not air-conditioned and no hairdryers are provided in standard rooms. Most rooms have a beautiful view of the city.
  Facility amenities: Tastefully decorated rooms with modern amenities, located on the upper floors of a business center. It has a nice lobby, a restaurant, conference rooms, and a bar. The hotel business center has internet access and conference facilities.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Avalon Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Opened in June 2007 (111 rooms), this is an award-winning 4-star hotel. The Avalon Hotel successfully blends modern design with the medieval traditions of the city's architecture. It is located in the city center and adjacent to the Old Town of Riga.
  Contact info: 70 Kaleju St.
Riga,  1050 Latvia
phone: +371 6 716 9999
web: www.hotelavalon.eu
  Room amenities: All rooms are spacious, air-conditioned and offer all standard amenities, including private baths or showers, internet service for a fee, hair dryers, satellite TV, telephone, mini bars, and safes.
  Facility amenities: The Avalon is fully air-conditioned, has a modern, tastefully designed lobby, conference facilities, a business center with Internet access, several bars, a fitness center, and a nice restaurant. It offers a wide range of standard services, employs English-speaking staff and has 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Navalis Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Klaipeda and housed in an historic building dating from 1863, this small hotel (28 rooms) is newly renovated and offers all the modern amenities and comfort. To retain the building's historical heritage, the public areas were restored preserving many authentic architectural elements, while all guest rooms have modern decor. The name of the hotel originates from the Latin word “naval” meaning “vessel”.
  Contact info: H. Mantas str. 23
Klaipeda,  LT 92234 Lithuania
phone: (+370) 46 40-42-00
web: www.navalis.lt
  Room amenities: The hotel has 28 well-appointed rooms, single, twin and suites. All rooms have a shower or bath, toilet, satellite television, telephone, mini-bar, and hair-dryer.
  Facility amenities: The Navalis has a pleasant lobby with an ATM machine, an elegant restaurant, a fitness center with a swimming pool, a lobby bar and conference facilities. The hotel employs English-speaking staff and has 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Inn Kaunas Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn Kaunas (204 rooms) is a newly-opened, comfortable, 4-star conference-style hotel. It offers all the modern amenities and is conveniently located in the heart of Kaunas, close to the main pedestrian street and all tourist attractions. The hotel has 24-hour security and English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: Donelacio 27
Kaunas,  44293 Lithuania
phone: + 370 37 306 100
web: www.parkinn.com
  Room amenities: Tastefully decorated, spacious, air-conditioned guestrooms with all the modern amenities, Internet access for a fee, mini bars, safes, and hairdryers.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a tastefully designed lobby, conference facilities, a business center with internet access, a fitness center with sauna, an excellent restaurant, and several bars. Internet access is available for a fee in standard rooms.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Blu Lietuva hotel (3-4 star ) is located on the bank of the Neris River, a short walk to the Old Town and close to major tourist and cultural sites. Built in 1980, It is a fully renovated, conference-style hotel with 291 rooms. The simple but elegant interiors reflect the spirit of modern Vilnius, and some guestrooms and bars have a stunning view of the river.
  Contact info: Konstitucijos Str. 20
Vilnius,  LT 09308 Lithuania
phone: (+370) 5-272 6272
web: www.radissonblu.com
  Room amenities: Standard rooms are not large in size but are tastefully furnished, air-conditioned, have a full bath or shower and standard amenities, including high speed Internet for a fee, TV, telephone, and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel features a nice modern lobby with an ATM, a number of soips, a fitness center, a business center offering free Internet access, several bars, and two restaurants. It is fully air-conditioned, has 24-hour security, and employs English-speaking staff.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Approximately $150 twin basis. Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate and you will pay the hotel directly by credit card or by cash for the additional nights. Do note that the reservation will be separate from the program reservation and it is likely that you will need to check out of the room and check back in to a different room with the group. Extra nights can also be reserved independently via the Internet.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2: Room check-in starts at 3:00 pm. 6:00 pm: Meet at the hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration and dinner. You will be staying at Park Inn Central Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 15: 10:00 am - program ends after breakfast. Room check-out is 12 noon. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Available if travelling within Europe
To Start of Program
  Location:  Tallinn
  Nearest city or town:  TALLINN
  Nearest airport:  TLL
  Transportation to site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for their own transportation arrangements to meet the group at the first site and to get to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. If you choose to hire a taxi at the Tallinn airport (TLL) upon arrival, please use an official taxi and reconfirm the taxi fare in advance (expected cost: equivalent of $25-35, payable in euros). There is a currency exchange desk in the arrival hall of the airport.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Vilnius
  Nearest city or town:  Vilnius
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  VNO
  Transportation from site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for getting to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. Please reserve a taxi in advance from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: US departure
(Thursday, June 27)
   
 Depart From: Depart from the U.S. Overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrival in Tallinn / Arrival Transfers / Orientation meeting
(Friday, June 28)

Note: IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE PROGRAM: walking up to 2 miles daily on cobblestone and uneven surfaces. Standing in museums can be unavoidable. No wheelchair facilities are available.Group meals are preset and cannot be changed on demand. Luggage limit: 1 pc/1 carry-on. Porters are not always available. All personal and medical expenditures must be paid directly by participants. The Group Leader is not authorized to make any payments on participants' behalf. Thank you for your cooperation.



   
 Afternoon: Arrival group transfers (2) as per schedule listed in this mailing , for all holding airline tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join group transfers. Please look for the arrival agent holding a Road Scholar sign in the airport arrival area.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
 Evening: Orientation meeting and group introductions.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lecture / Talk on historic Estonian connections / Walk in the Lower Town.
(Saturday, June 29)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles on cobblestone surfaces in Old Town and up/down hills.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: "General overview of the Baltic States. Modern Estonia as a new member of the European Union". Q&A session (presented by university staff). After the lecture drive to the historic area of Piriita to see the site of the Song Festivals; and to Kadriorg where we learn about the history of Estonia and its historical ties with Russia and Finland during a visit to the Kadriorg Palace and park.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Participate in an expert-led walk in the Lower Town of Tallinn. Tallinn was founded in 1154 and, at 850 years old, is the oldest of the three Baltic capitals and is the historical, cultural, and political center of Estonia. The Old Town, on the World Heritage List of UNESCO, has all the features of a 15th-century trading town and the general look of a typical, prosperous Hanseatic town. The medieval Old Town is a busy place with shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafes and restaurants. Explore the Old Town Hall, called Raekoja Plats, and the Tower, both dating back to the 15th century, go inside St. Nicholas Church and enjoy an organ recital. Spend time on your own in the Town Hall Square and at St. Catherine's Art Center.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own in Old Town.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Walk in Upper Town / Cultural event.
(Sunday, June 30)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles on cobblestone surfaces in Old Town and up/down hills.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an excursion to Al Maar -- an open-air museum. This visit is led by a loal expert. Return to Old Town.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own .
 Afternoon: This afternoon join a local expert for a walk in the Upper Town of Tallinn. Hear about its medieval history and unique architecture, and enjoy the stunning skyline accented by towers, spires, and red-tiled roofs. See the Toompea Castle, go inside Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Dome Church. *****Attend a cultural event***** . (a concert)
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Tallinn / Tartu transfer / Lecture
(Monday, July 1)

Note: Expected travel time 2.5 -3 hours. Throughout the itinerary we travel on an air-conditioned motorcoach with facilities on board.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, check out of the hotel. Drive to the city of Tartu, Estonia's second largest city and an important educational center. Tartu is famous for its long history, medieval architecture, and the well-established Tartu University founded in 1635, one of the oldest in Europe. Participate in a discussion on "Estonia - Russia relations, past and present", led by a university representative. Q&A.
 Lunch: Lunch.
 Afternoon: An expert-led walk in the Old Town of Tartu and a visit to Tartu University. Meet with university staff who will escort you through this prestigious school. Learn about its history and its exciting present, in which old traditions are being revived in the new era of freedom and democracy.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Palace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Transfer from Tartu, Estonia, to Riga, Latvia
(Tuesday, July 2)

Note: Expected travel time 3.5 hours



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: A motorcoach transfer to Riga, Latvia. Latvia is located between Estonia and Lithuania on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Pass by beautiful fields, flatland pastures, massive forests, lakes, and villages on the way to Riga. Stop in Sigulda, Latvia's largest ski resort, near the Gauja National Park and the Turaida Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch in a restaurant in Segulda
 Afternoon: Afternoon arrival in Riga. Riga, founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lecture / Museum of Latvian Occupation / Walking excursion in Old Town
(Wednesday, July 3)

Note: Expected walking up to 2miles, on cobblestone surfaces and up/down hills.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: “Latvia today, the political and economic situation in Latvia, and its socio-demographic structure.” After the lecture begin an expert-led city walk in the Old Town of Riga, which is a living museum of well-preserved medieval architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Riga was a major center of the Hanseatic League and prospered from its trade with Central and Eastern Europe in the 13th to 15th centuries. See many traces of Riga's Hanseatic prosperity in the city's layout and well-preserved architecture. Among medieval architectural treasures see the 13th-century St. Mary’s Church (the Dome) and St. Peter's Church.
 Lunch: Lunch in Old Town
 Afternoon: Later in the afternoon visit the Museum of Latvian Occupation, featuring many items and documents related to Latvia’s struggle for independence thoughout Latvian history. Free time in Old Town. Walk back to hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to sample local fare.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Latvian national music / Art Nouveau architecture in Riga / Cultural event
(Thursday, July 4)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles on cobblestone surfaces.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Today we learn about Latvia's cultural heritage. Attend a talk on Latvian music and national musical instruments (all presented by a university staff specialist on the subject). After the talk, drive to the Art Nouveau district of Riga: your licensed escort will introduce you to the unique architectural treasures of the late Art Nouveau style, also known as New Style ("Jugendstil" in German). Art Nouveau appeared in architecture and furniture in the 1890s. Art Nouveau buildings often have asymmetrical shapes, arches and decorative surfaces with curved designs. Nearly half of the buildings in the center of Riga were built in this flamboyant style, the most notable being the buildings of the Riga Law School and the Swedish School of Economics, which we see during this walk (see the exteriors only).
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Drive through the former Jewish area of Riga before returning to the hotel. After a short rest at the hotel, walk(10-15 minute) to a cultural event -- a classical concert . Enjoy a drink to toast the 4th of July.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Hill of Crosses / Transfer from Riga to Klaipeda, Lithuania
(Friday, July 5)

Note: Expected total travel time 5-6 hours, including stops.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Drive to the Baltic seaport of Klaipeda. We cross the Latvian-Lithuanian border and arrive at the Hill of Crosses -- one of the most impressive sanctuaries in Europe. It looks like a truly extraordinary forest of more than 100,000 crosses, which come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Among them is a monumental cross donated by Pope John Paul II on his visit here in 1993. It is believed that the first group of crosses was erected here in memory of citizens killed over a hundred years ago in rebellions against Russian rule. Later crosses were erected here during the Soviet era in memory of deportees to Siberia. In the Soviet era the crosses were destroyed more than once but were put up again and again in the darkness of night to stand tall the next morning. Today the Hill of Crosses and a new monastery nearby attract many pilgrims.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Klaipeda
 Afternoon: Arrival in Klaipeda in the late afternoon. Hotel check-in.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or city restaurant
   
Accommodations: Navalis Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Excursion to the Curonian Spit and Nida / Thomas Mann Memorial Museum
(Saturday, July 6)

Note: Be prepared for a full day excursion. Expected walking up to 2 miles on uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Drive to the Curonian Spit (a UNESCO World Heritage site of cultural landscape preservation). Crossing the Curonian lagoon by ferry, we learn about the history and strategic importance of the unique geography of the area and enjoy the breathtaking landscape and dunes. We continue on to Nida,once a small fishing village, now the municipal center and an ocean resort famous for its original maritime architecture, with many buildings protected by the state as historical and architectural treasures. See a breathtaking view of the Curonian Spit, its dunes, and the waves of the Baltic Sea.
 Lunch: Lunch in a Nida restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the fishing village of Nida and numerous stands with local arts and crafts on display. On the way back to Klaipeda, stop to visit the memorial museum of the famous German writer Thomas Mann, who spent many summers here. Upon our return to Klaipeda, have a short city drive before returning to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Navalis Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Drive to Palanga, visit the Botanical Gardens and Amber Museum / Transfer to Kaunas
(Sunday, July 7)

Note: Expected walking up to 1 mile.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel in Klaipeda.
 Morning: Hotel check-out after breakfast. This morning we first drive to Palanga, a famous summer resort in Lithuania. See the palace, constructed in 1897, which once belonged to Count Felix Tishkevich. Walk through the Botanical Garden to the Amber Museum to discover various types of amber and to learn about the extraction and processing of this 'gold of the Baltics'. Continue on to the town of Kaunas, arriving in the afternoon (expected travel time, including the visit to Palanga, about 6 hours). Hotel check-in.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Kaunas
 Afternoon: Take an independent walk in the Old Town of Kaunas (a vibrant historic town and a one-time capital of Lithuania) .
 Dinner: A special dinner at the hotel restaurant, featuring local specialties.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Kaunas Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: History of Kaunas / Visit the Fort Museum / Transfer to Vilnius / Cultural connection
(Monday, July 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, check out of the hotel. Learn about the history, architecture, and cultural traditions of Kaunas during an expert-led drive through the city: see the ruins of the 14th-century Kaunas Castle, spend time in the town square, and visit the Kaunas Cathedral and Vytautas Church, founded by Grand Duke Vytautas in the 14th century. Hear of the city’s rich past and its contemporary life.
 Lunch: Lunch in Kaunas
 Afternoon: En route to Vilnius stop to see the Fort IX Museum - a WWII memorial. Hotel check-in.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel in Vilnius.
 Evening: Evening with local families -- a cultural connection.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lithuanian history and Trakai Castle / Evening cultural event
(Tuesday, July 9)

Note: Expected walking up to 1-2 miles, on cobblestone surfaces in Old Town.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: "Lithuania's integration into the European Union". Meet with a government official and a political adviser to the PM of Lithuania. Q&A session.
 Lunch: Lunch in a restaurant in Old Town.
 Afternoon: The rest of the day is spent enjoying the Old Town of Vilnius during a city walk led by an expert. See the interiors of the Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Church of St. Anna. Walk through the Gates of Dawn and see the site of the ancient synagogue. See stunning baroque buildings dating from the Middle Ages and now beautifully restored. A special visit includes a walk through the Vlnius Jesuit University grounds and a visit to the university library dating from the 17th century. Free time in Old Town.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to sample local fare.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Trakai visit / Free time / Farewell Dinner / Performance
(Wednesday, July 10)

Note: Expected walking up to 1 mile.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Theme of the day: Lithuania, a country with a thousand-year old history. Drive for an excursion of the historic Trakai Castle, where we learn about the history of Lithuania and the historic events associated with Trakai Castle (presented by the museum curator). The 15th-century castle, constructed in 1406 under Grand Duke Vytautas, is strategically situated on three islands in the middle of Lake Galve. Trakai itself was the capital of Lithuania in the Middle Ages. The area offers a magnificent view of more than 30 glacier-made lakes. Trakai's pride is the Castle History Museum, which features many medieval objects and Lithuanian period furniture of the 18th-20th centuries.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Trakai.
 Afternoon: Retrun to Vilnius. Free time in Old Town to see favorite sites or to make independent museum visits: consider visits to the Amber Museum, the KGB Museum, or the Jewish Museum.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner
 Evening: Folklore show during the Farewell Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15:
(Thursday, July 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Program ends. Transfers to the airport for flights home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Vilnius Amber
Interesting collection of Amber for those who wish to learn more about Amber which the Baltic sea is famous for. The program staff will assist you to arrange this visit if desired. Entrance fee is additional.
  Jewish
The Museum is dedicated to the Jewish history in Lithuania featuring numerous documents and photographs related to various historic periods. Our program staff will assist with this visit if desired. Entrance fee is additional.
  Tallinn Song festivals
When program dates coincide with the Local Song and Dance Festivals then our local staff provides guidance for those participants who may wish to attend these colorful and festive events.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Woman in Amber


Author: Agate Nesaule


Description: In this American Book Award-winning memoir, Nesaule recounts the horrors she witnessed and experienced as a young girl during World War II in Latvia. A gripping testimony of survival.



Among the Russians


Author: Colin Thubron


Description: The marvelous account of a 10,000-mile journey by car from St. Petersburg and the Baltic States south to Georgia and Armenia in 1981. A gifted writer and intrepid traveler, Thubron grapples with the complexities of Russian identity in this lyrical book.



Baltic States Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A double-sided detailed map of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at a scale of 1:400,000.



Bradt Guide Baltic Cities


Author: Neil Taylor


Description: This second, expanded edition includes Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kaliningrad as well as Tartu, Liepaja, Kaunas and Klaipeda.



Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg


Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.



Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights, The Stone Castles of Latvia and Estonia


Author: Stephen Turnbull


Description: A heavily illustrated history of the medieval crusader castles of the Livonian Order (1185-1560) of Teutonic Knights in present-day Estonia and Latvia. With contemporary photos.



Culture Smart! Estonia


Author: Clare Thomson


Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Culture Smart! Lithuania


Author: Lara Belonogoff


Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe


Author: Henri Pirenne


Description: Pirenne, an important economic historian, traces the economic and social development of Western Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to the middle of the 15th century in this classic book, first published in 1936.



Estonia and the Estonians


Author: Toivo U. Raun


Description: A scholarly, comprehensive history of Estonia from prehistory to the 1990s in the Hoover Institution's "Studies of Nationalities" series.



Eyewitness Travel Guide Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Take along this compact, profusely illustrated travel guide featuring bright color photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis. With a 50-page section on where to stay and eat.



Set Sail for Murder


Author: Carolyn G. Hart


Description: Retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O' Dwyer Collins, Henrie O to her friends, joins her dear old friend Jimmy Lennox on a Baltic cruise in this seventh installment in the cozy series.



The Baltic


Author: Alan Palmer


Description: Palmer chronicles the Baltic region from the Viking era and Byzantine Empire through wars, uprisings and other political conflicts of the twentieth century, and on to modern times, where he finds a group of nations and peoples poised to emerge as some of Europe's most vital democracies. In addition to the prolific British historian's considerable learning, he provides some rather entertaining anecdotes.



The Baltic Revolution


Author: Anatol Lieven


Description: A Latvian correspondent for the London Times, Lieven weaves history, interviews and analysis into a vivid cultural portrait of post-Glasnost Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.



The Christening


Author: Denise Neuhaus


Description: This accomplished novel, set against a backdrop of the last days of the Soviet Union, follows three Estonian women in Tallinn and Stockholm.



The Dogs of Riga


Author: Henning Mankell


Description: Swedish detective Kurt Wallander travels from Ystad to Latvia on the shadowy trail of a grisly murder in this second book, steeped in Baltic ambiance.



The Letter of Marque


Author: Patrick O'Brian


Description: The 12th (and perhaps the most satisfying) of O'Brian's series combines the personal and geopolitical as Aubrey comes to Maturin's rescue in the Baltics.



The Northern Crusades


Author: Eric Christiansen


Description: The wilder-than-fiction story of the conquest and conversion of the pagan tribes of the Baltic coasts by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order from the 13th to the 15th centuries.



The Northern Wars: War, State and Society in Northeastern Europe, 1558-1721


Author: Robert I. Frost


Description: A scholarly, detailed history of the struggle over Estonia, Livonia and control of the Nordic-Baltic region during the 16th-18th centuries, a highly militarized period in the region's history.





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