Scandinavia & Baltic Circuit

Scandinavia & Baltic Circuit

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32 Days From

$12896

$11287

Scandinavia & Baltic Circuit

32 Days Starting in Copenhagen and ending in Vilnius

Visiting: Copenhagen, Malmo / Gothenburg, Vrango Island / Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Oslo, Bergen, Norwegian Fjords, Lillehammer, Swedish Lakes, Stockholm, Stockholm / Overnight Ferry, Helsinki, Tallinn, Tallinn / Riga, Sigulda / Riga, Riga, Siauliai / Klaipeda, Curonian Spit National Park / Klaipeda, Aukstaitija National Park, Vilnius

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

AMSOC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

From:
$12896
$11287 Operator discount: -$1290 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$319 -12%

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Explore the highlights of Scandinavia before travelling south into the Baltic states on this epic 32-day adventure through northern Europe. As well as hitting the hubs of Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm, discover the lesser-known but no less fascinating cities of Riga and Klaipeda, as well as Aukstaitijia and Curonian Spit national parks. The countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are a few of the continent’s last true undiscovered secrets – the fairy-tale turrets and cobbled lanes of old Tallinn, the baroque flair of Vilnius and the poignant history of Soviet occupation are not to be missed. This really is a one-of-a-kind itinerary.

Highlights

  • Explore Copenhagen like a local and hop on a bike. There is no better way to see the major sites, as well as explore hidden corners of this beautiful city.

  • Aukstaitija National Park offers unique opportunities for both activity and relaxation. Canoe across pristine lakes, indulge in home-cooked meals and cleanse yourself in a traditional sauna.

  • Norway's fjords feature some of the most stunning scenery on Earth. Cruise past waterfalls and snow-capped peaks through the narrow Naeroyfjord

  • Discover Stockholm's maritime history at the Vasa Museum, which houses an original wooden war ship from 1628. This impressive vessel gives you a rare glimpse into the naval power Sweden was once famous for.

  • With its perfectly preserved medieval wall and watchtowers, Tallinn's quaint Old Town is a great place to explore with your small group.

  • Join a local guide and cafe-hop your way around Alingsas, a town known as the Capital of Fika (Swedish cafe and food culture). Learn of the local love affair with coffee, discover the story behind the cafe culture and, of course, treat your tastebuds to sweet Swedish delicacies.

  • Take a ferry to Vrango Island, a stunning fishing town in the Gothenburg Archipelago, and discover this rocky nature haven by kayak (summer months only).

  • Aukstaitija National Park offers unique opportunities for both action and relaxation. Kayak across pristine lakes, indulge in home-cooked meals or cleanse yourself in a traditional sauna.

  • Norway's fjords feature some of the most stunning scenery on Earth. Cruise past waterfalls and snow-capped peaks through the narrow Naeroyfjord.

  • Follow your local guide along the narrow, winding roads through genuine villages, past the typical red painted cottages and explore unique sights around Siljan lake rural settlements. You'll even get a chance to meet and mingle with the locals living in these villages.

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Copenhagen

Location: Copenhagen

Accommodation: Hotel

Welcome to Copenhagen. If you arrive early, which is highly recommended, why not visit the pastel-coloured waterfront houses in the Nyhavn area. Drop in at an industrial-chic bar for a drink or stroll around the famous Tivoli Gardens, home to the world's oldest rollercoaster. Another area worth checking out is Norrebro, a residential area known for its wide range of restaurants. Meet your group at 6 pm then head out for an optional group dinner if it takes your fancy.

Optional Activities:
-Copenhagen - Glyptotek Art Museum
-Copenhagen - National Museum of Denmark
-Copenhagen - The Round Tower
-Copenhagen - Amalienborg Palace
-Copenhagen - Christiansborg Palace
-Copenhagen - Tivoli Gardens
-Copenhagen - Botanical Garden - Free

Day 2: Copenhagen

Location: Copenhagen

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

When in Copenhagen, do as the locals do and explore the city by bike, undoubtedly the best way to explore the city's many hidden corners. The bike-friendly streets mean cycling to the city's major sites are a breeze. Venture into the Freetown of Christiania with a local guide, a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood south-east of the city centre. It is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989, and has been a source of controversy since 1971 when squatters took over a former military area. The late afternoon is free for you to further explore this Scandinavian city. Stroll along the harbour or head out to the classicist palaces of 18th century Amalienborg, to this day the main residence of the Danish Royal family. Perhaps pay a visit to Frederik's Church, also known as Marble Church, the Court House on Nytorv Square or check out the facade of the red brick town hall. Alternatively, the National Museum is not to be missed, nor is the Christiansborg Palace in the very centre of Copenhagen.

Included Activities:
-Copenhagen - Visit to Freetown Christiania with Local Guide
-Copenhagen - Bike Tour

Day 3: Malmo / Gothenburg

Location: Malmo / Gothenburg

Accommodation: Pension

Meals Included: breaksfast

A morning train ride will get us to Malmo in Sweden, via the famous Oresund Bridge that spans the strait separating Denmark and the Scandinavian Peninsula. Malmo has gone through somewhat of a transformation, or should we say revival, over the past twenty years thanks to the construction of the Oresund Bridge and the opening of Malmo University. Now, a city once reliant mainly on shipbuilding is growing steadily with architecture firms, IT companies, students and start-ups. Just under half of Malmo's population is under the age of 35, so it really now is a progressive city that knows how to have fun. Spend some time checking out the Old Town, the castle or perhaps have a glance inside Apoteket Lejonet, a 1896 pharmacy in Neo-Renaissance style. Then continue on to Gothenburg (by train or bus depending on availability at the time of booking), where you'll spend the night.

Included Activities:
-Malmo - Leader Led Walk

Day 4: Vrango Island / Gothenburg

Location: Vrango Island / Gothenburg

Accommodation: Pension

Meals Included: breaksfast

Catch an early-ish ferry from Gothenburg to Vrango Island. Vrango is the most southerly island of the Gothenburg Archipelago, with a permanent population in the low hundreds and a strong fishing industry. The island is known for its stunning beaches and protected nature reserves and you'll explore the coastline in an included kayaking activity (summer only). In the afternoon, enjoy some free time strolling around the town or maybe try an optional floating sauna, before returning to Gothenburg for a free evening. Sweden's second largest city is known as the world's most sustainable destination and is exemplary example of what a responsible tourism destination should look like.

Included Activities:
-Vrango Island - Day Trip
-Vrango Island - Island Tour with Local Guide (Oct to Apr)
-Vrango Island - Sea Kayaking (May to Sep)

Day 5: Gothenburg

Location: Gothenburg

Accommodation: Pension

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning you'll head to Alingsas, regarded as the Capital of Fika, a Swedish cafe and food culture. You'll be accompanied by a local expert to tour some of the town's best traditional cafes. You'll learn of the local love affair with coffee and discover the story behind this town's special cafe culture. And, of course, you'll also get a chance to sample Swedish cinnamon buns, biscuits, chocolate truffles, pastries and sandwiches. You'll return to Gothenburg in the late afternoon and have a little time to explore at your leisure. Perhaps visit the Göteborg City Museum, housed in the former East India Company House and built during the time when Gothenburg's role was that of a major maritime trading centre. Take in the architectural ensemble on Gustav Adolfs Torg, go shopping along the main boulevard Avenyn, check out the iconic Skansen Kronan, stroll along bohemian Långgatan street or sip a coffee in the charming Haga quarter, known for its picturesque wooden houses.

Included Activities:
-Alingsas - Guided Fika experience

Optional Activities:
-Gothenburg - Paddan Boat Tour
-Gothenburg - Fish Market Feskekörka - Free
-Gothenburg - Göteborg City Museum
-Gothenburg - World of Volvo Museum
-Gothenburg - Museum of Natural History
-Gothenburg - Aeroseum

Day 6: Oslo

Location: Oslo

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Catch a morning bus across the border to Norway's capital Oslo. Your leader will take you on an initial orientation walk so you get a first taste of this quirky, colourful city. It's definitely worthwhile to spend the afternoon perusing delicacies at Maschmanns Food Market, admiring the handiwork of glass blowers at the Hadeland Glassverk, or simply strolling along Karl Johans Gate, the main shopping strip of the city. Perhaps head to the Munch Museum to glimpse Edvard Munch's famous 19th-century painting, The Scream. In the evening say 'skal' ('cheers') to the group over dinner. Why not seek out some traditional Norwegian fare based around cod and mackerel dishes.

Included Activities:
-Oslo - Leader Led Walk

Day 7: Oslo

Location: Oslo

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today is a free day for you to enjoy all this city has to offer. You may like to roam the roof of the Olso Opera House, stroll the avenues of Vigeland Park or catch a ferry to the Viking Ship Museum. Meet your new group in the evening and perhaps head out for a drink or dinner and get to know any new travellers joining you.

Day 8: Oslo

Location: Oslo

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, follow your leader on an orientation walk in the city. Then enjoy some free time in Oslo. Maybe embark on some island hopping on Oslofjord, browse the harbour-front Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, taste local flavours at the food hall Vulkan, explore the immense Akershus Castle & Fortress, or check out the cool shops in the Grunerløkka district. There's so much to get stuck into.

Included Activities:
-Oslo - Leader-led orientation walk

Optional Activities:
-Oslo - Holmenkollen Museum
-Oslo - Fram Museum
-Oslo - Akershus Castle & Fortress
-Oslo - Island Hopping on Oslofjord
-Oslo - Museum Edvard Munch
-Oslo - Resistance Museum
-Oslo - 24 hour Transport and Sightseeing Pass
-Oslo - The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Day 9: Bergen

Location: Bergen

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today you'll leave Oslo behind and take the train across the stunning countryside of the Fjell region to Bergen. No other train ride between two cities in Europe is at a higher altitude than this one, and few can match the views passing by your window. Linking Norway's two main cities, this line takes in some spectacular scenery of lush valleys, idyllic villages, dramatic mountains and picturesque lakes as it crosses the Hardangervidda Plateau. As the trip is long and you'll arrive quite late into quirky city of Bergen, there won't be too much time to explore today (don't worry, you'll have time to explore here tomorrow). There are some great seafood restaurants in town, so possibly venture out with the group for a bite to eat this evening.

Day 10: Bergen

Location: Bergen

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

After breakfast this morning, join your leader for a ride by Fløibanen funicular. Taking you to 1.050 feet above the city in just seven minutes, it offers a bird eye prospective of the town and vistas of the deep blues of the sea. Those who want to get active can also continue following its multiple hiking trails.
You’ll have free time in the afternoon to explore however you like. Perhaps visit World Heritage Bryggen area and wander through the reconstructed medieval homes and warehouses or visit the beautifully preserved wooden Hanseatic Museum (a former trade building), and explore the old Hanseatic port area – the Hanseatic merchant confederation dominated Baltic maritime trade for 400 years from the 15th century.

Included Activities:
-Bergen - Floy Mountain Funicular round trip

Optional Activities:
-Bergen - Mt Ulriken Cable Car & Shuttle
-Bergen - Vidden Trail Hike - Free
-Bergen - Bergenhus Fortress - Free
-Bergen - Aquarium
-Bergen - Rosenkrantz Tower
-Bergen - Håkons Hall

Day 11: Norwegian Fjords

Location: Norwegian Fjords

Accommodation: Cabin

Meals Included: breaksfast

Leave Bergen after breakfast and travel by bus to the fjord region. The journey will take you through epic landscapes and remote regions, so have your camera at the ready. The typical Norwegian huts that you’ll stay in tonight are located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by steep cliff walls with a perfect view of the spectacular crystal clear Kjelsfossen waterfall falling from the top of the fjords. It's humbling to look up and consider these giant and ancient geological formations. Your accommodation is located near the village of Gudvangen.

Day 12: Norwegian Fjords

Location: Norwegian Fjords

Accommodation: Cabin

Today, take a boat trip and be captivated by the sight of crisp mountain peaks reflected in the glassy waters of Naeroyfjord, a World Heritage site. The name Naeroyfjord takes its origins from the Norse god of seafarers and the sea, Njord. The fjord itself, formed by glacial erosion of the surrounding bedrock, is 18 kilometres long and only 250 metres wide at its narrowest point, but its depth reaches up to 500 metres. Surrounding mountain peaks rise up to 1400 metres and waterfalls crash down sheer cliff faces. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy the scenery of the surrounding area. Perhaps hire bikes and cycle along the shore of the fjord, take to the waters in a kayak or take a bus to the nearby fishing village of Flam and then ride the famous railway up to Myrdal. This is one of the most picturesque (and steepest) railway journeys in the country. Alternatively, explore on foot and discover nearby waterfalls and ancient moraines. Fishing enthusiasts will love the opportunity to throw a line in the crystal waters, sit back and soak up the serenity (a fishing licence is required and costs around NOK 150).

Included Activities:
-Gudvangen - Naeroyfjord Boat Cruise

Optional Activities:
-Gudvangen - Bike Hire
-Gudvangen - Kayak Hire - Half Day
-Flam - Cog Railway
-Flam - Stegastein Lookout
-Flam - Railway Museum - Free
-Gudvangen - Hiking Options - Free

Day 13: Lillehammer

Location: Lillehammer

Accommodation: Hotel

There will be another long bus journey ahead of us after breakfast today, as you journey to the town Alpine playground of Lillehammer. Cross vast high plains, and remote valleys, and drive through the Lærdal Tunnel, the world's longest road tunnel at 24.5 km. The tunnel is divided into four sections, broken up by ‘mountain caves’. These caves are 6 kilometres apart and equipped with special lighting to help drivers concentrate by giving off the illusion of driving into daylight. Lillehammer, which held the Winter Olympics in 1994, is picturesquely situated on Lake Mjøsa. When you arrive, head out for a brief orientation walk to find your bearings in the laid-back 19th-century town centre, along the main pedestrian street of Storgata (Big Street), lined with wooden houses, boutiques and restaurants.

Day 14: Lillehammer

Location: Lillehammer

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Join an orientation walk this morning and get to know Lillehammer. Your leader will take you on an included visit to the Maihaugen Open Air Museum, home of the Garmo Stave Church, which tells the story of people in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley over the last 300 years. This brilliant museum includes timber-built farms, a town and a big residential area that gives you an insight into various eras of Norway's history. The afternoon is free for you to further explore. Perhaps conquer misty mountains on a hike. As a town famous for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, Lillehammer has a great Olympic Museum where you can hear tales of heroic feats and is also an ideal spot for many outdoor activities.

Included Activities:
-Lillehammer - Maihaugen Open Air Museum

Optional Activities:
-Lillehammer - Sigrid Undset's Home at Bjerkebæk
-Lillehammer - Hiking Options - Free
-Lillehammer - Olympic Museum

Day 15: Swedish Lakes

Location: Swedish Lakes

Accommodation: Bed and Breakfast

Meals Included: breaksfast

Travel for around five hours by private bus today and cross the border into Sweden. Head to the lakeside town Rättvik, a laidback place that encapsulates the most Swedish of Swedish landscapes, and which sits right in the middle of the Swedish lakes. Rättvik is a location steeped in history and culture that's ready to be discovered. Dalarna county is in the heart of the Sweden and is famous for the national symbol of the wooden Dala horse. Tonight, you will stay at in a peaceful setting of local B&B located 7 km outside of Rattvik.

Day 16: Swedish Lakes

Location: Swedish Lakes

Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning you'll get a chance to get under the surface of this region with a special guided village safari with local experts. You'll get to know the history behind the villages here and learn about the traditions of the area around Lake Siljan. A truly memorable experience, you'll visit a variety of villages, discover the traditional way of life and mingle with the locals. The rest of the day is free to explore the local area and its lakes. Perhaps take a leisurely historic boat trip across the lake, sink a line to partake in a little fishing, hike around the gentle rolling surrounds or enjoy local artisan shopping.

Included Activities:
-Lake Siljan - Cultural Village tour with picnic lunch

Optional Activities:
-Lake Siljan – Historic boat trip
-Lake Siljan – Canoe or SUP rental

Day 17: Stockholm

Location: Stockholm

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Leaving the Swedish lakes behind, head to the country's cultural, political and economic capital of Stockholm by train. Often referred to as the 'Venice of the North' and arguably Scandinavia 's most beautiful city, Stockholm is packed full of amazing architecture, pristine parks and clear waters. After an introductory orientation walk, use the rest of your day to settle into your accommodation and explore the area around you. You can perhaps head underground for the world’s longest art exhibition. Connecting the fourteen islands of the city and blasted through hard rocky ground, the subway (Tunnelbana) system's 100 stations are like the longest modern art exhibition in the world, featuring artwork from over 140 different artists. Enjoy the narrow cobble stone streets and the colourful merchant houses. Why not soak up the culture and try a cinnamon roll in Stockholm’s oldest café Sundbergs Konditori located on Jarntorget square, and dating from 1785.

Day 18: Stockholm

Location: Stockholm

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

After breakfast, go on an included visit to the Vasa Museum on the inner-city island of Djurgarden. The 17th-century warship, Vasa, sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage in the harbour of Stockholm and was salvaged only in 1961. As one of the most visited sights in Sweden, the Vasa Museum collection consists of the Vasa itself and all of the objects that were found within the ship. The rest of the afternoon is all yours to explore as you wish, so why not leave the city behind for a few hours and see the waterways of Stockholm on a cruise past tiny islets and along narrow waterways? Consider taking a self-guided Millennium Walking Tour of Stockholm or visit the Abba Museum. Alternatively, you can take a trip to Drottningholm Palace, the residence of the Swedish royal family. There are plenty of sights and attractions to keep you busy here in this great Scandinavian city, so plan your activities wisely. Tonight perhaps head to Stockholm's Sodermalm district, the inner-city island with the best nightlife, full of hip shops, bars and cafes. Or maybe sit down at one of the city’s top-notch restaurants, such as the latest venues opened on the cobblestoned islet of Gamla Stan, or in the cool fusion restaurants of Kungsholmen.

Included Activities:
-Stockholm - Vasa Museum

Optional Activities:
-Stockholm - Millennium Books Tour
-Stockholm - Drottningholm Palace
-Stockholm - Skansen Open Air Museum
-Stockholm - Abba Museum
-Stockholm - Fotografiska (Photography Museum)
-Stockholm - City Hall
-Stockholm - Nobel Prize Museum
-Stockholm - Nordic Museum
-Stockholm - Gröna Lund Amusement Park
-Stockholm - The Royal Palace

Day 19: Stockholm / Overnight Ferry

Location: Stockholm / Overnight Ferry

Accommodation: Overnight boat

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today is free for you to enjoy your last day in Sweden. In the evening, you'll be boarding an overnight ferry for Helsinki, Finland.

Day 20: Helsinki

Location: Helsinki

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

After your morning arrival into Helsinki's port you will take a public transport to your hotel. Discover a wealth of historical sights and gastronomic wonders in Helsinki. Apart from a short orientation walk, today is completely free and you'll be able to explore Helsinki in your own time. A few options to consider during your time here are a visit to the city's cathedral or the interesting Design Museum. Don't miss the harbour-side market and market hall from 1889 for local oddities, and make sure you take a short ferry ride to the magnificent Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, sometimes referred to as the Gibraltar of the North, a World Heritage-listed site that was once an important point of defence for the city. Surrounded by the sea, Helsinki is a modern European city that offers an endless array of options. Throughout its 450-year history, the city has often been the buffer between the east and west. This is shown in their cuisine, with a mix of root vegetables, berries and fresh fish. Perhaps head out in the evening to sample some traditional dishes at dinner with your group.

Day 21: Helsinki

Location: Helsinki

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Use your free time getting under the skin of diverse Helsinki, which combines elements of Scandinavia, the Baltics and neighbouring Russia in its character. Make sure you spend some time on senate square to see the sights surrounding it. You may want to consider purchasing the Helsinki Card – an economical way to travel on Helsinki City Transport (HKL) services, as well as free admission to the main Helsinki sights and nearly 50 museums. This evening, be sure to attend another briefing, where some new travellers may be joining you for the next stage of your adventure.

Optional Activities:
-Helsinki - Ateneum Art Museum
-Helsinki - Cathedral - Free
-Helsinki - City Museum - Free
-Helsinki - Design Museum
-Helsinki - Mannerheim Museum
-Helsinki - Open-Air Museum Seurasaari
-Helsinki - National Museum of Finland
-Helsinki - Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
-Helsinki - Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum
-Helsinki - Rock Church

Day 22: Tallinn

Location: Tallinn

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Leave Helsinki after breakfast and catch a ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Estonian capital of Tallinn (approximately 3 hours). Arrive mid-afternoon, check into your hotel and start your time here with a short orientation walk through the city. The rest of your day is then free to enjoy this exceptionally preserved medieval city and all it has to offer. Perhaps head out and enjoy some of the region's culinary specialties or stop for a drink and people watching on the main square. With its steep red roofs, spires, pastel-coloured buildings and new restaurants and bars, Estonia's capital is a real treat to explore. Seeing the vibrant streets of Tallinn now, it's difficult to fathom that Soviet occupation only ended in 1991.

Day 23: Tallinn

Location: Tallinn

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today is free to do as you wish, but an exploration of the Old Town is recommended. Located here is the last remaining gothic town hall in northern Europe, Old Thomas; the Raapteek, which has housed a pharmacy since the 15th century; and St Olaf Church, a major landmark of Tallinn. You can head towards Upper Tallinn, home to the noble families, to see amazing views of Lower Tallinn and the medieval spires of the town walls. The 13th-century Toompea Castle, where the Estonian Parliament sits, and the 19th-century orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are some of the main attractions of Upper Tallinn. Alternatively, you could head to Pirita to chill out at Tallinn's most popular beach, or visit Kadriorg Palace, a palace built by czar Peter the Great for his second wife Catherine I. Make sure you spend some time in the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace. Or perhaps head to the Kalamaja district, with it's well-preserved streets lined with colourful wooden houses.

Optional Activities:
-Tallinn - Estonian History Museum
-Tallinn - Kadriorg Palace
-Tallinn - Peter The Great Museum
-Tallinn - City Bike Tour
-Tallinn - City Museum
-Tallinn - Kiek in de Kök Tower Museum
-Tallinn - TV Tower
-Tallinn - The Estonian Maritime Museum
-Tallin - Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom

Day 24: Tallinn / Riga

Location: Tallinn / Riga

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Spend the morning in Tallinn and visit any sites you missed yesterday. Depart by bus after lunch, cross the border and arrive in the Latvian capital of Riga in the early evening. The 4-hour journey is a good chance to take a nap or relax with a podcast. Riga is renowned for its welcoming locals and a fascinating art nouveau heritage. Tonight, perhaps grab a drink at one of the many bars in the Old Town after you’ve settled into your lodgings.

Day 25: Sigulda / Riga

Location: Sigulda / Riga

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Travel by public transport to Sigulda, a pretty town with medieval history that backs onto Gauja National Park. Take the cablecar across the river to Turaida Castle, which began construction in 1214 and is made from striking red bricks. Take a guided tour and then explore the castle grounds which feature sculptures set in evergreen woodland. Take a hike along the winding Gauja River with your leader, taking in the clear air and thick Latvian forest. Return to Riga in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day as you please.

Included Activities:
-Sigulda - Gauja River Cable Car
-Sigulda - Day Trip
-Sigulda - Turaida Castle Guided Tour

Day 26: Riga

Location: Riga

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today you will finally get the chance to explore your base for the past two nights, beautiful Riga. Take an orientation tour and see the Doma Cathedral, St Peter's Basilica, House of Blackheads, the Swedish Gate, The Great Guild & Small Guild and the Cat House. There is nothing scheduled for the rest of the day, so you are free to explore at your own pace. Perhaps pay a visit to The Museum of Occupation of Latvia, which offers insight into the hardships suffered by Latvians during its occupation by, first, the Germans and, later, the Soviets. The Central Market Halls are a great place to haggle for supplies for a picnic lunch if it takes your fancy. Make sure you give the bitter but reputedly healthy Riga Black Balsam a try. The recipe is secret, but it contains rare ingredients such as Valerian, Wormwood, Black Pepper, Ginger, Gentian and Linden flower.

Optional Activities:
-Riga - Riverboat Cruise
-Riga - St Peter's Tower
-Riga - Central Market Halls - Free
-Riga - Museum of Occupation of Latvia
-Riga - Beer Spa
-Riga - Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum
-Riga - Riga Art Nouveau Center

Day 27: Siauliai / Klaipeda

Location: Siauliai / Klaipeda

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Set off by private bus after breakfast and cross the border into Lithuania. After a stop at the famous Hill of Crosses at Siauliai, continue onto the former Prussian city of Klaipeda (approximately 6 hours in total), the city of sculptures and jazz. Klaipeda used to be a member of the Hanseatic League and is the gateway to the Curonian Spit – a long and narrow sand dune peninsula separating the Curonian lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Upon arrival check into our hotel, then head out to the waterfront and explore the Old Town centre, which features 18th-century wooden buildings and other historic monuments.

Included Activities:
-Siauliai - Hill of Crosses

Day 28: Curonian Spit National Park / Klaipeda

Location: Curonian Spit National Park / Klaipeda

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today, take a day trip to explore the unique World Heritage-listed Curonian Spit National Park – the second-oldest national park in the former Soviet Union. This is a spectacular landscape full of beaches, sand dunes and forested areas. The peninsula is only 400 metres wide in parts but 98 kilometres long. It formed only 5000 years ago by strong winds and currents which constantly change the shape of the landscape to this day. Only recently a whole village was swallowed by the inexorable sand. According to legend, the spit was formed by the girl giant Neringa, who poured sand into the Baltic Sea to protect the bay from storms and create an embankment for fishermen to live. On our day trip you will explore the tiny village of Nida and the surrounding beaches by bike. Look in the distance to see the Russian border, and learn about amber, which has been mined here since the 19th century. Spot the rather unique attribute of the area, the weather vanes. Each village has its own unique design. For lunch, perhaps try the smoked pike for which the spit is famous.

Included Activities:
-Curonian Spit - Bike Ride
-Curonian Spit - Full Day Trip to the National Park

Day 29: Aukstaitija National Park

Location: Aukstaitija National Park

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

After breakfast, travel by a mix of private transport and local trains to the town of Ignalina (approximately 6 hours) and then on to Aukstaitija (pronounced owk-sty-chee-ah) National Park and the charming village of Ginuciai where our home stay is located. As one of the most delightful national parks in the Baltic states, Aukstaitija has 126 lakes, an abundance of waterways, hills and woods. Enjoy the hospitality and home-cooking of our host family for the next two days.

Day 30: Aukstaitija National Park

Location: Aukstaitija National Park

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you will take a guided kayak ride through the lakes and rivers, past villages and through forests, to an ancient pagan site on top of a hill with a wishing tree. The top affords great views across the surrounding forests and lakes. The rest of the day is free to visit some of the local attractions, such as the nearby villages that date from the 14th century and consist of traditional wooden houses and farmsteads. The 19th-century Ginuciai Watermill is another point of interest. You can hike to some glorious lookouts, do some fishing, take a swim in the lake or river rapids, or just relax. Perhaps ask our host family to fire up the sauna for the ultimate relaxation and cleansing experience.

Included Activities:
-Aukstaitija National Park - Guided Kayak Trip

Optional Activities:
-Aukstaitija National Park - Sauna
-Aukstaitija National Park - Bike Hire

Day 31: Vilnius

Location: Vilnius

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Continue your journey today by local train to the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius (approximately 4 hours). Having once been occupied by Sweden, Poland, France and Russia, each occupier has left its mark in some way on this picturesque city. Vilnius offers a different picture of the Baltics than Riga and Tallinn, but it’s every bit as interesting. On arrival, take an orientation walk with your leader that covers Cathedral Square and its free-standing belfry an the length of pedestrianised Pilies Gatve, lined by baroque churches. The rest of the day is free. A definite must is a visit to the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, previously called the Museum of Genocide Victims and better known under the name KGB Museum, as it is located in the former KGB headquarters of Vilnius. If you’d like a break from Vilnius’ historic monuments, maybe take a walk through some of the charming gardens around the city. Perhaps visit the ‘republic’ of Uzupis. This inner-city quarter declared independence from Lithuania in 1997 and has statue of Frank Zappa.

Optional Activities:
-Trakai - History Museum & Castle
-Vilnius - TV Tower
-Vilnius - Gediminas Castle Tower
-Vilnius - University Museum
-Vilnius - National Museum
-Vilnius - Museum Of Occupations And Freedom Fights

Day 32: Vilnius

Location: Vilnius

Meals Included: breaksfast

Your Baltic Experience comes to an end today. Have the time to stay on and dive deeper in Vilnius? An Urban Adventure is the perfect way to see the city through local eyes. Check out urbanadventures.com/destination/Vilnius-tours for information.

What's Included

  • Aukstaitija National Park - Guided Kayak Trip

  • Copenhagen - Bike Tour

  • Copenhagen - Visit to Freetown Christiania with Local Guide

  • Vrango Island - Island Tour with Local Guide (Oct to Apr)

  • Vrango Island - Day Trip

  • Vrango Island - Sea Kayaking (May to Sep)

  • Gudvangen - Naeroyfjord Boat Cruise

  • Lillehammer - Olympic Ski Jumping Tower & Chairlift

  • Bergen - Bergen Museum and Bryggen Guided Walk

  • Lillehammer - Maihaugen Open Air Museum

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
  • Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Included Activities

  • Copenhagen - Visit to Freetown Christiania with Local Guide
  • Copenhagen - Bike Tour
  • Vrango Island - Day Trip
  • Vrango Island - Island Tour with Local Guide (Oct to Apr)
  • Vrango Island - Sea Kayaking (May to Sep)
  • Bergen - Bergen Museum and Bryggen Guided Walk
  • Gudvangen - Naeroyfjord Boat Cruise
  • Lillehammer - Olympic Ski Jumping Tower & Chairlift
  • Lillehammer - Maihaugen Open Air Museum
  • Mora - Swedish Lakes Bicycle Tour
  • Stockholm - Vasa Museum
  • Sigulda - Gauja River Cable Car
  • Sigulda - Day Trip
  • Sigulda - Turaida Castle Guided Tour
  • Siauliai - Hill of Crosses
  • Curonian Spit - Bike Ride
  • Curonian Spit - Full Day Trip to the National Park
  • Aukstaitija National Park - Guided Kayak Trip

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. The single supplement excludes Days 15 and 16, and Days 29 and 30 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.
  • 2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for ferry tickets. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Is this trip right for you

    The areas visited on this trip can be very cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, coat and anything else that will keep you cosy.

    Scandinavia can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to optional activities, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to have the best value holiday in Scandinavia.

    Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. Occasionally bathrooms will be shared with other guests.

    On this trip we predominantly travel by public transport therefore we recommend packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations, ferry ports and hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs, and across cobblestones. Train stations often don’t have lifts available.

    There are a few long days of travel by public transport (up to 7 hours), as you'll be covering a lot of ground. Please read the Itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

    This trip is designed to give you a fair amount of free time so you can explore each destination at your own pace. We will, however, take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

Reviews of this operator

Maroochy Dazza (Google Reviewer)  

Just leaving a review to...

24-Aug-2023

Just leaving a review to share how much I enjoyed my Central America trip. I thought the guide, Aura was so knowledgeable and organised and clearly a great ambassador for Intrepid. She gave us lots of information on each region, helped us organise anything we needed and dealt with queries from passengers very well and diplomatically. She made the trip run smoothly. She was also keen to explain the Intrepid vision and how the company values making a difference to locals and is a credit to your company. I did Guatemala and beyond and thoroughly enjoyed it - very fast paced, lots to see and do and a great overview of the region. I would definitely recommend 👍

Jo Clayton (Google Reviewer)  

I recently went on an...

15-Mar-2024

I recently went on an 11 day tour of India with Intrepid and was impressed with every aspect of the tour, the tour leader and the organisation behind the scenes. I always travel alone so it was a big deal to join a tour, I didn't want to feel less independent or ferried about. I loved being part of a group and the things we saw and did on the tour, I would never have known about or seen if I had been by myself. I loved it from start to finish. Yes the overnight trains were not easy to sleep on, but I managed. Meeting locals on board was a high light for me. English is widely spoken in India and its amazing who you strike up a chat with. I had two problems on the tour - one my own fault and one hotel related. The support from Intrepid was amazing. I cannot thank them enough for going the extra mile to support me. I recommend Intrepid 100% and have gone from thinking an organised tour is for people who don't know about Lonely Planet and can't do solo stuff, to realising its a faster, better, more fun way to get to know a country truly and deeply whilst on a bit of a budget. I will book again and again with Intrepid. I loved it that much! Big thanks to tour leader Daddy H. Devender for his help on day one, and Nick in the Oz office for his fab customer care skills. Also the person who staffed the emergency whatsapp in India - you saved my sanity helping me get there a day late! THANK YOU ALL X

Nicole  

North American Adventure

12-Oct-2021

This was my first international solo trip, but I never felt “alone” - there was always someone to go shopping, hike, or grab a quick bite with. The itinerary was a great balance between organized activities, while still allowing free time for exploring. Each location was unique and charming in its own way. Spending the night in the holy city of Moulay Idriss and wandering the winding streets of Chefchaouen were especially memorable. Thank you Mustapha and Intrepid for an incredible adventure!

Alice Norton (Google Reviewer)  

I have just completed a...

29-Feb-2024

I have just completed a 12 day food tour of Vietnam, and had an amazing time. Our tour leader was great, knowledgeable and kind, who helped throughout the trip with recommendations for places on our free days, and spas. All the food we tried was delicious. It is a very fast paced tour, and Bon tried to maximise our experiences for the best.

Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

Cambodia Discovery

22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

Merouane Harkat   Uk

Explore Southern Africa

08-Mar-2024

Best trip ever was, 2 things I didn't like the black mamba stop was wasting day and village ,so 2 night I think was just wasting, I could do 2 days in Kruger, and one more night in delta

Ann  

Amazing Guatemala and beyond tour with Intrepid

13-Dec-2022

Did Guatemala and beyond trip in November 22. It was amazing, we were so well looked after by our guide Aura. She was very knowledgeable and during our bus trips she gave us the history of the 4 countries. The border crossings can be tricky but handled very well by our guide. We saw all the most interesting and beautiful places. The hotels were lovely comfortable colonial style. I will travel with intrepid again

Trustpilot
Hazel Rogers (Google Reviewer)  

I have just completed my...

06-Mar-2024

I have just completed my first trip with Intrepid to Southern Africa, and I loved every moment of it! We saw so much wildlife, stayed in some beautiful places, and learnt so much about the countries and people in a very short space of time. Our group leader, Admore, was exceptionally organised, coordinating every detail of our packed itinerary and keeping us informed along the way. The recruitment of a local group leader who can share their knowledge and fix the smallest of issues quickly really sets these trips apart, ensuring you feel safe and looked after at all times. I shall be booking my next trip soon!

RICHARD ALAN RODDY   England

Central American Journey

08-Feb-2024

Very enjoyable, good paced Tour. Tour Leader, Choko was helpful, knowledgeable and extremely informative.

Joanne W  

Wonderful Croatian tour

02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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