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Eastern Europe Explorer Tour-21 days / 20 nights

Tour Itinerary:

Krakow – Warsaw – Bialystok – Vilnius – Riga – Tallinn – Helsinki – St. Petersburg – Moscow

 

Day 1 (Tuesday):  Arrive in Krakow

Upon arrival in Krakow you will be transferred to the Hotel Q Plus Krakow Centrum**** and have a welcome meeting with the tour group.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Krakow

For many years Krakow was the royal capital of Poland, with many traditions and cultural nuances that will be explored in the morning’s sightseeing tour which will cover the Old Town, including St. Mary’s Church, the Jagiellonian University, the Cloth Halls, and the Wawel Castle and Cathedral. Later in the afternoon there is the opportunity to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine with tunnels up to 327 meters underground. To finish the evening, there is an optional Polish dinner available at Restaurant Hawelka.

Day 3 (Thursday): Krakow to Warsaw

After leaving Krakow you will visit Czestochowa, known as the spiritual epicentre of Poland, home to the Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna. Upon arrival in Warsaw you will check in to the Hotel Radisson Blu Sobieski****.

After leaving Krakow you will visit Czestochowa, known as the spiritual epicentre of Poland, home to the Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna. Upon arrival in Warsaw you will check in to the Hotel Mercure Centrum Warsaw****.

Day 4 (Friday): Warsaw

The sightseeing tour in this post-war city will journey through the Old Town and the Royal Route, visiting the Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral, the Old Town Market Square and the Barbican. Later in the day you will have the option to take a trip to the magnificent Royal Lazienki Park and the Palace on the Water, before retreating to a traditional dinner experience at the Restaurant Dawne Smaki.

Day 5 (Saturday): Warsaw to Bialystok

Today we continue through the well forested Eastern Poland to Podlasie region and Bialowieza. The forest there represents the ancient forest that once covered all Europe. We will visit Bialowieza National Park and its famous European Bison Show Reserve. After light stroll along nature trails of the forest, we continue to Biaylistok where we check in at Hotel Ibis Styles Bialystok*** or similar. In the late afternoon we visit Bialystok and its landmark Branicki Palace.

Day 6 (Sunday): Bialystok to Vilnius

We depart from Bialystok heading to Vilnius through attractive resort towns into Lithuania. We do a stop in Kaunas, the former capital of Lithuania, to admire the beautiful Old Town and the elegant white Baroque Town Hall before we arrive in the late afternoon to Vilnius. Check in at Hotel Radisson Blu Lietuva **** or similar.

Day 7 (Monday): Vilnius

Vilnius is a city steeped in history and architectural relics, and the morning sightseeing tour of the city and Old Town will cover a multitude of these including: Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, Peter and Paul Church, Old University, the Gates of Dawn and St. Anne’s Church. After lunch the tour offers the option to travel to the island of Trakai in Lake Galve, the medieval capital of Lithuania, to see the beautiful Trakai Castle. After some recuperation, you may attend a classic folklore dinner at the Restaurant Belmontas if desired.

Day 8 (Tuesday):  Vilnius to Riga

En route to Riga, the tour will stop at the holy site of the Hill of Crosses before crossing the border into Latvia for a guided tour of the phenomenal Rundale Palace where the Duke of Courland used to spend his summers. After the picturesque drive through Southern Latvia, you will check in at Hotel Wellton Riverside**** in the late afternoon.

Day 9 (Wednesday): Riga

Riga, founded in 1201, is the largest capital in the Baltic States and offers a myriad of architectural interest among the historical sights. During a walking tour of the Old Town you will see Riga Castle, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gate, the Three Brothers, the Large and Small Guilds and the Freedom Monument. After a revitalising local lunch, there is an optional trip to Jurmala, the beachside town with stunning wooden architecture and a dynamic atmosphere, before an organ concert in the beautiful Dome Cathedral.

Day 10 (Thursday): Riga

In the morning there is an optional tour to Gauja National Park and Sigulda town, which embodies the medieval history of Latvia. The tour will detail the national legend of the Rose of Turaida, as well as offering a guided tour of the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and the Castle of the Knights of the Sword. Back in Riga, there is the possibility to visit the Ethnographical Open Air Museum, a vast exposition of life in 18th Century Latvia, and later in the evening an optional traditional dinner at the Restaurant Forest.

Day 11 (Friday): Riga to Tallinn

After driving along the scenic coast you will arrive in the Estonian town of Parnu and spend the remainder of the day exploring the forests en route to Tallinn, before checking into the Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia****.

Day 12 (Saturday): Tallinn

The vibrant nature of Tallinn combines the medieval history with its more modern and urban side. The sightseeing tour will allow you to explore the Old Town and its shops, markets, food scene and art galleries as well as Toompea Castle, Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the medieval Old Town Hall and the Great Guild Hall. After an active morning, there is an optional trip available to Kadriorg Park and the classical and contemporary art museum, KUMU. The final night offers a medieval dinner experience at Restaurant Maikrahv to bring the trip to an authentic and delicious close.

Day 13 (Sunday): Tallinn to Helsinki

Today you will travel to Helsinki via hydrofoil through the delightful Finnish Archipelago. Upon arrival you will check in to the Hotel Radisson Blu Seaside**** and have time to explore the city in the afternoon.

Day 14 (Monday): Helsinki

Helsinki epitomises a merging of Western and Eastern European culture. The sightseeing tour encompasses the harbours, Senate Square and the Lutheran Cathedral, central Mannerheim Streets, the Parliament building, Finlandia Hall, Sibelius Monument and the Church-in-the-Rock. Later in the afternoon it is possible to take a trip to the 18th century Suomenlinna Fortress which is located in the Finnish Archipelago.

Day 15 (Tuesday): Helsinki to St. Petersburg

Today will mainly be dedicated to the journey from Helsinki across the Russian border, with a short stop in Vyborg with time for sightseeing at the castle before arriving in St. Petersburg and checking in at Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky****.

Day 16 (Wednesday): St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is an infamously beautiful and historical city, with palaces, museums and natural sights such as the Neva River and canals, often being compared to the city of Venice. On the first morning in this city there will be a vast sightseeing tour to include the main attractions: the Peter-Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Church of the Bleeding Savior, the Nevsky Convent, and more. There is also an optional excursion to Tsarskoye Selo which includes Catherine’s Palace and the restored Amber Room. In the evening after a full day of cultural immersion, there is the possibility to visit the Nikolaevsky Palace to enjoy a traditional Russian folklore show and local champagne and food.

Day 17 (Thursday): St. Petersburg

The final full day in St. Petersburg is the perfect opportunity to visit Peterhof where the Grand Palace, Grand Cascade, Water Avenue and the stunning parks are located. There is also an optional excursion to the incredible Hermitage Art Museum before enjoying dinner at the Restaurant Pryanosti & Radosti.

Day 18 (Friday): St. Petersburg to Moscow

Before heading to Moscow via the Sapsan high-speed train, there is an optional early channel cruise in St. Petersburg; a great send off to this magical city. Once on the train you will be treated to the vast Russian landscapes around the River Volga. Upon arrival in Moscow in the evening you will check in to the Hotel Azimut Smolenskaya****.

Before heading to Moscow via the Sapsan high-speed train, there is an optional early channel cruise in St. Petersburg; a great send off to this magical city. Once on the train you will be treated to the vast Russian landscapes around the River Volga. Upon arrival in Moscow in the evening you will check in to the Hotel Park Inn Sadu****.

Day 19 (Saturday): Moscow

The Russian Capital is home to the Kremlin, as well as many exquisite domed cathedrals, and the sightseeing tour will include highlights of this dynamic city such as the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Theatre Square with the Bolshoi Theatre, Sparrow Hills with Moscow University, and the Kremlin grounds. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the Moscow Metro and learn about its historical stations on the Ring-Line, in addition to a guided promenade through the pedestrian-only Arbat Street. To end the evening you can embark on a river cruise upon the White Flotilla to see these magical sights by night.

Day 20 (Sunday): Moscow

On the final full day there is the option to take an excursion to the small town of Sergiev Posad to visit Russia’s most important monastery, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, which is considered the spiritual heart of the Russian Orthodox Church. To conclude this dynamic tour you will have the opportunity to experience the Old Russian Circus.

Day 21 (Monday): Departure from Moscow

You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.

Package Includes:

  • Airport transfers in Krakow and Moscow
  • 20 overnights at centrally located 4 star hotels
  • 20 x buffet breakfast
  • Welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice
  • Personalized welcome package
  • Entrances to Wawel Castle in Krakow, Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw and Old University in Vilnius, Rundale Palace, medieval Great Guild Hall in Tallinn, Church-in-the Rock in Helsinki, Peter-Paul-Fortress in St. Petersburg and Moscow Kremlin
  • Service of English speaking tour escort on all tours
  • Service of 1st class motor coaches or 1st class minivans throughout the itinerary
  • Ferry Tallinn – Helsinki
  • Sapsan high-speed train St. Petersburg – Moscow
  • Portage at hotels and railway stations
  • Service and VAT
  • QUIETVOX audio communication system in use throughout the Finnish and Russian part of the tour
  • 24 hour emergency service
  • ATOL protection