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

Program Number: 15520RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/26/2014 - 8/9/2014; 6/26/2015 - 7/10/2015; 7/24/2015 - 8/7/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia
Price starting at: $3,251.00 - 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 EE,  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 refrigerators or safes in standard rooms. There are no rooms with handicapped facilities available.
  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 refrigerators or hairdryers are provided in standard rooms. Most rooms have a beautiful view of the city. There are no rooms with handicapped facilities available.
  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. However, there are no refrigerators in standard rooms. There are no rooms with handicapped facilities available.
  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. However, there are no refrigerators in standard rooms. There are no rooms with handicapped facilities available.
  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 27Kaunas, LT
Kaunas LT,  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. However, there are no refrigerators in standard rooms. There are no rooms with handicapped facilities available.
  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, Lithuania,  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 2:3.00 pm - Room check-in starts. 6.00 pm: Meet in the hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Park Inn Central Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 15: 10.00 am - program officially ends. 12.00 noon - room check-out. 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: Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. If you hire a taxi at the Tallinn Airport upon arrival, please go to a taxi stand outside the arrival hall and agree on the fare in advance with the driver (expected cost: equivalent of $35, payable in euros). In order to obtain euros, a currency exchange desk is located in the airport arrival hall.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Vilnius
  Nearest city or town:  Vilnius
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  VNO
  Transportation from site: If you are not joining a group transfer, an independent taxi transfer can be arranged at the hotel. Public transportation (bus) is not recommended.
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
(Saturday, July 26)
   
 Depart From: Depart from the U.S. Overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrival in Tallinn / Arrival Transfers / Orientation meeting and introductions.
(Sunday, July 27)

Note: This program is "Active": Be prepared to carry/roll your luggage to /from the bus and upon arrival at hotels; and to walk up to 2 miles daily, including on cobblestones and up/down hills.This program is not suitable for participants with wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Group meals are fixed and may not be changed on demand. Special meal requests must be indicated on PIFs. Most restaurants cannot guarantee medically required diets, dietary supplements are recommended to bring along.



   
 Arrive To: Arrival in Tallinn. Upon arrival at the airport, look for an agent holding a Road Scholar sign. Group transfer to program hotel for all holding air tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-arranged bus group transfers. Group transfer schedules are announced in this mailing. Independently arriving participants are welcome to join the group transfer buses. In the airport arrival hall all participants must look for the arrival agent holding a Road Scholar sign. Note: travel time from the airport to the hotel is approx. 30 minutes. Meet your Group Leader at 6 pm in the hotel lobby for registrations followed by dinner.
 Afternoon: Orientation meeting at the hotel. Meet the Group Leader and fellow Road Scholars (note: this meeting may take place after dinner when all participants arrive).
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lecture / Walk in the Upper Town of Tallinn
(Monday, July 28)

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



   
 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).
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own in the city.
 Afternoon: An expert-led walk in the Upper Town of Tallinn. The Old Town is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. It has the features of a 15th-century trading town and the general look of a typical, prosperous Hanseatic city. Tallinn was founded in 1154 and, at 850 years old, is the oldest of the three Baltic capital and the historical, cultural, and political center of Estonia. Learn about the medieval history of Tallinn (a fortress city on the Gulf of Finland) as you observe its stunning skyline accented by towers, spires, and red-tiled roofs. Explore the Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the Dome Church. Learn about the history of Tallinn and its unique medieval architecture. Enjoy free time in beautiful Old Town.
 Dinner: Dinner at an Old Town the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Kadriorg palace and park / Walk through the Lower Town / Cultural event
(Tuesday, July 29)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles including on cobblestone surfaces and uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: A talk on the history of Estonia and its historical ties with Russia and Finland during a visit to the Kadriorg Palace and park.
 Lunch: Lunch in city restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Old Tallinn: an expert-led walk in the Lower Town to enjoy this charming blend of medieval tranquility and modern urban life. The medieval Old Town is a busy place with shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafes and restaurants. We shall see the Old Town Hall, called Raekoja Plats, and the Tower, both dating back to the 15th century, go inside St. Nicholas Church, and spend time in Town Hall Square and at St. Catherine's Art Center. ***Enjoy a classical concert.***
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Tallinn / Tartu transfer / City walk and lecture
(Wednesday, July 30)

Note: Expected travel time 2.5-3 hours Throughout the program you will travel on an air-conditioned motor coach; rest stops are made every 2 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast drive to Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia and an important educational center. It is famous for its long history, medieval architecture, and the well-established Tartu University founded in 1635, one of the oldest in Europe.
 Lunch: Lunch in a Tartu restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon participate in an expert-led walk in the medieval town of Tartu and a visit to Tartu University. Meet with university staff who will escort you through this prestigious school, dating from the 17th century. Learn about its history and its exciting present, in which old traditions are being revived in the new era of freedom and democracy............ Participate in a lecture on Estonian-Russian relations.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or city restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Palace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Transfer from Tartu, Estonia, to Riga, Latvia
(Thursday, July 31)

Note: Expected total travel time 4-5 hours, including a stop in Sigulda.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast travel to Riga, Latvia. Latvia is located between Estonia and Lithuania on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Pass by green fields, flatland pastures, massive forests, lakes, and villages on the way to Riga. Stop in Sigulda, Latvia's largest cross-country ski resort, near the Gauja National Park and the remains of the Turaida Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch in Sigulda, en route to Riga
 Afternoon: Afternoon arrival in Riga. Hotel check in.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant
 Evening: Free time. Consider an independent stroll in the Old Town, located close to your hotel. 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.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lecture / Walking excursion in Old Town / Art Nouveau district and Jewish Ghetto Museum
(Friday, August 1)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Participate in a discussion on: “Latvia today, the political and economic situation in Latvia, and its socio-demographic structure.” ***After the lecture, enjoy a short organ concert at the Dome cathedral***, and then join a local expert for a walk in the Old town of Riga. The Old Town 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. During a city walking excursion of the Old Town of Riga you will see many traces of this prosperity reflected in the city's layout and well-preserved medieval architecture. Explore the remains of the Livonian Castle, the magnificent 13th-century St. Mary’s Church (the Dome), St. Peters' Church, the Swedish Gate, the Large and Small Guilds.
 Lunch: Lunch in Old town.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon we continue the city exploration during a city drive, on which we see the Freedom Monument, the Old Town Hall, and the Art Nouveau architectural treasures of Riga. Your licensed escort will introduce you to the area which is regarded by specialists as the capital of Art Nouveau architecture, 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 you will see during this walk (exteriors only). ................... Later in the afternoon we drive through the former Jewish ghetto and visit the Ghetto Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Lecture on Latvian national music / museum of Occupation / Concert
(Saturday, August 2)

Note: Expected walking in Old Town up to 2 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: This morning we learn about Latvia's cultural and musical heritage, as well as its national musical instruments and traditions (presented by university staff).
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit the Museum of Latvian Occupation, featuring photographs and other items and documents related to Latvia’s struggle for independence. Free time in Old town.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Attend a special Classical Concert.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: The Hill of Crosses / Transfer from Riga to Klaipeda, Lithuania
(Sunday, August 3)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Drive to the Baltic seaport of Klaipeda. You cross the Latvian-Lithuanian border and arrive at the Hill of Crosses near the Lithuanian city of Siauliai, one of the most impressive sanctuaries in Europe. It is a truly extraordinary 'forest' of more than 100,000 crosses, which come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Among them is a monumental cross donated by Pope John Paul II on his visit in 1993. It is believed that the first group of crosses was erected here in memory of rebels killed in uprisings against tsarist rule. Later crosses were erected in memory of deportees to Siberia who never returned home. In the Soviet period, the crosses were destroyed more than once, but were put up again and again in the darkness of the night and were standing 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
(Monday, August 4)

Note: Be prepared to spend all day outside the hotel and to return in the evening.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Drive to the Curonian Spit (a UNESCO World Heritage site of cultural landscape preservation). We cross the Curonian lagoon by ferry and learn about the history and strategic importance of the unique geography of the area and enjoy the breathtaking landscape and dunes. Continue on to Nida, the municipal center, and today a spectacular fishing village and ocean resort famous for its striking maritime architecture, with many buildings protected by the state as historical and architectural treasures. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Curonian Spit, its dunes, and the waves of the Baltic Sea.
 Lunch: Lunch in a Nida restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of the fishing village of Nida and its stands with local arts and crafts on display. On the way back to Klaipeda, stop to visit the museum of famous German writer Thomas Mann, who spent many summers here.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Navalis Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Drive to Palanga, visit botanical gardens and the Amber Museum / Transfer to Kaunas
(Tuesday, August 5)

Note: Expected travel time including visits and lunch time - 6 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel in Klaipeda.
 Morning: 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'.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Kaunas
 Afternoon: If desired, consider an independent walk in the Old Town of Kaunas (a vibrant historic town and a one time capital of Lithuania) .
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant, enjoy a cooking presentation featuring local specialties.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Kaunas Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: History of Kaunas / Visit the Fort Museum / Arrival in Vilnius
(Wednesday, August 6)

Note: Expected travel time 3-4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning during an expert-led city drive learn about the history, architecture, and cultural traditions of Kaunas: 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 about the city’s rich past and its contemporary life.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Vilnius
 Afternoon: En route to Vilius stop to see the Fort Museum dedicated to victims of WWII.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or in the city.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lithuanian history and Trakai Castle / Cultural event
(Thursday, August 7)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning we learn about Lithuania as a country with over a thousand-year old history. Drive for an excursion of the historic Trakai Castle. Learn more about the history of Lithuania and the historic events associated with Trakai Castle, presented by the museum curator. Trakai was the capital of Lithuania in the middle ages. The area offers a magnificent view of more than 30 glacial lakes. The 15th-century Trakai Castle, constructed in 1406 under Grand Duke Vytautas, is strategically situated on three islands in the middle of Lake Galve. Trakai's pride is the Castle History Museum, which features many medieval objects and Lithuanian period furniture of the 18th-20th centuries.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own in Trakai
 Afternoon: Late afternoon return to Vilnius.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Cultural and social event - an evening with local residents.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Lecture / City sightseeing in Vilnius / Free time / Farewell Dinner
(Friday, August 8)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in a talk on "Lithuiania's integration into the European Union". Meet with a government official and have a Q&A session. Explore the Old Town of Vilnius during an expert-led city walk. See 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.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own in Old Town
 Afternoon: Free time in Old Town for independent museum visits: consider visits to the Amber Museum, the KGB Museum, or the Jewish Museum.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner and folklore show.
 Evening: Evening to pack
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15:
(Saturday, August 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Program ends. Transfers to airport for participants holding Road scholar issued airline tickets. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-scheduled group transfers to airport. The exact schedule to be announced 24 hours in advance.
   
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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