Fly to Helsinki, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. Rest and relax, and perhaps enjoy your first Finnish sauna at the hotel, before exploring the harbour and its market halls. Later, head into the compact city in search of dinner and (depending on your arrival date) to enjoy a long, sunlit evening. Choose from an array of traditional Scandinavian fish specialists and some of Europe’s most exciting new restaurants.
An included, guided excursion introduces the Finnish capital, today. See freshly landed fish in the historic Market Hall, see stunning Senate Square’s great neo-Classical buildings and take in the views of the city from the cathedral’s tower. You'll then have the afternoon free. Will it be the designer stores of the Toriquarters, the boutiques of trendy Kallio, a stroll by the water or a cruise to one of Helsinki's 300 outlying islands that takes your fancy? Alternatively join our optional afternoon excursion to Porvoo, Finland’s ancient, endlessly charming, second city.
Transfer to the quayside this morning to board the ferry for the two-and-a-half-hour to the Estonian capital, Tallinn. Originally a Danish stronghold built on Toompea Hill, the impossibly beautiful, UNESCO-listed heart of Tallinn is one of Europe’s most complete medieval gems. The city is no musty historical remnant, though, with vibrant cafés and modern culture both thriving within the glorious setting. Another long, light evening, perhaps spent in the one of countless trendy eateries, completes a perfect day.
Today begins with a tour of Tallinn in the company of a local guide, who will bring to life the major sites, including the onion-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Toompea Castle. After the tour, explore the city under your own steam, perhaps taking in the view from the TV Tower, or join our optional excursion to the Maarjamae Palace. This magnificent sea-side summer retreat was built by a Russian count, and now houses the fascinating Estonian History Museum.
Journey south by coach along the scenic coast, today, pausing for lunch at Estonia’s celebrated beach resort, Parnu, before continuing to colourful, cosmopolitan capital Riga. After checking in to your hotel, enjoy your first evening in the Baltic states’ largest city, where a host of cafes, bars and restaurants cater for all tastes.
A guided tour will lift the veil on fascinating Riga, today. A trading centre for centuries Riga is now rushing headlong into the 21st Century, and ultra-modern buildings are springing up around its walled central core. Highlights here include the lovingly reconstructed Dutch-influenced House of the Blackheads, Riga Castle, the beautifully restored Town Hall Square, two magnificent cathedrals and the Art Nouveau glories of the Quiet Centre district. This afternoon, why not join our optional excursion to the fascinating Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, a representation of 19th-century life in rural Latvia, in a beautiful forested setting, before enjoying another evening in Riga?
Your final included excursion take you into the beautiful landscape of the Gauja National Park, a forested, alpine refuge for elk, European bison and brown bears. Highlights of your day here will include ornate Sigulda Castle (once the headquarters of the Livonian Order, an offshoot of the Teutonic Knights who once fought crusades and defended Church interests across Northern Europe) and restored Turaida Castle.
Transfer to the airport to check in for your flight back to the UK, after a wonderful Baltic Cities tour.
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
This offer applies to new bookings on air-inclusive holidays and river cruise only made between 14th and 18th February 2019 (inclusive) only. Prices shown when booking do not include the discount. The discount will be applied to your booking once the promo code (VAL10) has been entered and will be confirmed before purchase. The discount applies to your final holiday price at the time of booking (excluding holiday insurance if selected). This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.