LITHUANIA, LATVIA AND ESTONIA
The Baltic States are in the northeastern region of Europe containing the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. These countries work together on many intergovernmental organisations. Despite sharing geographic proximity and many cultural, historical, and ethnic similarities, each country displays unique characteristics.
The Baltic states played an important role in the amber trade times. The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber. Amber traders collected the amber from the Baltic Coast and moved it to Southern Europe, originally to the ancient Greeks. The Amber Routes were used between 1900 BC and 300 BC and are the earliest roads in Europe! Join us as we follow the route through the Baltics.
Lithuania and Latvia languages are some of the oldest languages in Europe. Ethnic heritage has had an influence over the languages spoken in each country. Native individuals of Lithuania and Latvia are Baltic people, whereas the native peoples of Estonia are known as Finnic and Finns people.
“Follow in the footsteps of the book smugglers who transported Lithuanian language books, printed in the Latin alphabet, into Lithuanian-speaking areas of the Russian Empire."
The Lithuanian people are very proud of their language and when they were part of Russia, the Lithuanian language was prohibited leading to the rise in book smugglers. In 2004, UNESCO recognised book smuggling as a unique and unprecedented phenomenon in the world
One of the most famous book-smugglers
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Latvians are still very much pagans at heart and worship nature by jumping over bonfires on Midsummer Eve. Many surnames are about birds, animals, or trees. Latvia is a very green place with over half its territory is covered by forest. Discover the many faces of Riga and be in awe of the 800 Art Nouveau buildings. With over 1 million folk songs, Latvians love to sing, enjoy a traditional concert. The country also boasts one of the world’s most northerly vineyards.
Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals. It boasts a true kaleidoscope of various architectural styles. The best way to see the city is on a walking tour, with a passionate experienced local, of the Old Town, Riga Castle, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gates, and the Freedom Monument. We will also visit the building of the Brotherhood of Blackheads which is one of the most iconic buildings of Old Riga (Vecrīga).
Kaunas city, the once temporary city of Lithuania, is known as the Art Deco Hub. Vilnius' (the capital now) medieval Old Town is UNESCO-listed and is one of Eastern Europe’s biggest and most well preserved. Lithuania is famous for its lakes, Karaim and Tartar dishes, and the beautiful Trakai Castle located on a small island surrounded by a beautiful lake, a historical national park.
Explore Central Vilnius University Library, founded in 1570 by the Jesuits, and one of their reading rooms, decorated in 1803 with the portraits of the 12 most prominent figures in antiquity art and science. The University Library is the oldest and one of the largest academic libraries in Lithuania.
Vilnius University Library holds 5.4 million documents on shelves measuring 166 kilometres (103 mi) in length. It contains some of the oldest manuscripts and engravings in Lithuania and Eastern Europe.
Wild nature meets medieval cities. It is the most northerly of the three Baltic states. Discover delicious and fresh Nordic fusion cuisine. Relax with a great ol’ Estonian sauna. This 800-year-old custom is as refreshing and invigorating, and UNESCO-listed.
Explore Tallinn, the capital and most populous city of Estonia on a private walking tour through the most beautiful parts of the Old Town and nearby Kalamaja quarter. You will hear exciting stories about Estonian history and the country today.
Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend an afternoon wandering around its medieval streets and look up to its spires. Visit some ancient churches and noble merchants' houses.
The first traces of hunter-fisherman community migrations have been unearthed by archeologists and are about 5,000 years old.
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SAMPLE ITINERARY INSPIRED BY CLIO
This authentic tour in the beautiful Baltics is rich in history, culture, and nature will leave you wanting more! Experience centuries of well-preserved architectural churches, palaces, museums, and town halls. Meet friendly and welcoming locals. Take part in a baking class. Try local traditional food, as well as food with a modern-day twist, and delicacies.
There is so much to see and do, you will truly experience the ambiance of the Baltics. We will start in Vilnius, a historical city with 48 churches, green parks, and an impressive Old Town with cobblestone streets. We will then move on to colourful Riga with cosy beer cellars and cafes, historical monuments like the Dome Cathedral, then onto the charming Tallinn with all secrets, stories, and legends. There is an option to travel further to Helsinki.
STOP ONE AND TWO
Enjoy an introduction to Lithuania and its culture and history from early ages to nowadays. Visit impressive Gothic and Baroque churches, our Cathedral, Presidential Palace, Vilnius University, and Jewish Quarter. You will pass through the old Medieval City Gate. We will also learn about the Jewish influences in the city. Visit the KGB museum.
Explore, using all your senses, the oldest Vilnius food market – Hales market where you will have an opportunity to meet local food producers and sellers, ask them questions, and bring home the real flavour of Lithuania.
Visit the quirkiest and most vibrant area of Vilnius – Uzupis republic. It is home to bohemian people, who declared their independence and have their constitution – take your passport to get a stamp!
Go on a sightseeing tour to the former capital of Lithuania, Trakai (20 miles) away. The stunning, red brick 14th-century castle is situated on an island in the middle of Galves Lake. The castle now houses the History Museum.
STOP THREE AND FOUR
En route you will visit the Hill of Crosses, a famous hill with more than a thousand crosses. You will also make a visit to the splendid 18th century Rundale Palace, the former residence of the Duke of Kurland.
Riga city tour. The Old Town will delight you with the very colourful, restored merchants' residences, the cosy beer cellars, and cafes, historical monuments like the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, the Powder Tower, and much more. View the masterpieces of early 20th century Art Nouveau architecture throughout the tour.
Visit the 13th century Knight's Castle and the mysterious Gutmana Cave, which is linked to a romantic medieval love legend
STOP FIVE AND SIX
En route, you will visit the Ethnographical Open Air Museum in the outskirts of Riga where you can see traditional Latvian rural buildings, the oldest dating back to the 17th century. View the coastal line of the Baltic Sea along the way and take a brief sightseeing tour of the Estonian seaside town of Parnu.
Tallinn city tour, visiting the medieval Upper and Lower town. Today you can enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure, or you can choose the optional tour to Kadriorg Park & Palace, which was founded in 1721 by the Russian Emperor Peter the Great, as a gift for his wife Catherine II to use as a summer residence.
Helsinki - Capital of Finland
Helsinki is an optional Addition- a 2-hour cruise to Helsinki where you can explore the design capital of Scandinavia, it won the World Design Capital for 2012. Visit The Fortress of Suomenlinna (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and one of Finlands most popular sights. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the market square, and learn about its vibrant culture.
The Beautiful Baltics
We can tailor-make your travel experiences for you and your desires. We provide experiences for individuals, groups, families, friends, academics, and history buffs (beginners or experts).
We proudly collaborate with historians, archaeologists, locals, experts, and academics to ensure that your needs are met.
“I cannot praise ArchaeoMuse enough. Lucy and Antonio worked tirelessly to tailor make our Y7 trip to the Bay of Naples; such a wonderful experience for pupils and staff.”