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St Petersburg and the Baltic States

12 days from £3850 per person

With its proximity to the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, St Petersburg can easily be combined with the capitals of these three neighbouring nations – all of which have strong historical links to the Russian Federation. Starting in Lithuania, explore Vilnius, home of Europe’s largest baroque old town, then travel north to Riga, capital of Latvia, with its 15th century centre and Art Nouveau architecture. Cross into Estonia, spending time in Tallinn’s UNESCO protected old town, then catch a train to St Petersburg to spend four nights soaking in the culture of this regal city.

Route: Vilnius – Riga – Tallinn – St Petersburg

Itinerary Highlights

Explore the stream of historical sites and outstanding neoclassic and baroque architecture as you discover Vilnius, Lithuania’s alluring capital.

Amble along the cobbled streets of Riga’s medieval old town, spotting the gothic spires and soaking up the distinct Latvian atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city.

Enjoy visiting some of St Petersburg’s finest museums, wander along the city’s elegant streets, admire impressive architecture and pass by Italian-style canals.

Itinerary: St Petersburg and the Baltic States

This morning depart the UK on the morning Finnair flight to Vilnius which stops en-route in Helsinki. Boasting Europe’s largest baroque old town – a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site – the captivating city of Vilnius combines old world charm and exceptional religious architecture with some of the finest museums and galleries in the Baltic region. (N)
Accommodation in Vilnius: Narutis Hotel (or similar)
Today explore Vilnius with your guide. Visit the Museum of Genocide Victims which is housed in the former KGB building and illuminates Soviet Union’s role in post war Lithuania. From here continue to the classical Vilnius Cathedral, pass the Royal Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania then ascend Gediminas Hill for panoramic views of the city. Descending the hill, visits can be made to the Museum of Applied Arts or the excellent National Museum of Lithuania. In the afternoon travel outside of the city to the 15th century Trakai Castle which is set on an island in the middle of Lake Galve. (B)
Accommodation in Vilnius: Narutis Hotel (or similar)
Drive north towards the Latvian border stopping en-route to visit the ‘Hill of Crosses’, an important pilgrimage site. Following lunch, cross into Latvia and visit Rundale – a major 18th century baroque palace built for the Dukes of Courland. From here continue on to Riga. Set either side of the Daugava River, Riga combines a 15th century old town, medieval churches and cobbled streets with Art Nouveau architectural treasures, excellent restaurants and large open parks. (B)
Accommodation in Riga: Grand Palace Hotel (or similar)
Starting the day at the lavish Ratslaukums, Town Hall Square, visit the marvellous Blackhead’s House built in 1344 then continue to the bustling Central Market which has been in operation for 700 years. No stay in Riga is complete without an exploration of the city’s places of worship and visit two of the finest – the gothic St Peter’s Church and the enormous Dome Cathedral. End the day with a stroll along Pilsetas Kanals, Riga’s historic moat, and the atmospheric lanes of the medieval old town. (B)
Accommodation in Riga: Grand Palace Hotel (or similar)
Leaving Riga cross the border into Estonia stopping en-route to visit the pretty coastal town of Parnu. Continuing by road to Tallinn and your accommodation located right in the heart of the capital’s UNESCO protected historic district. Despite damage sustained during the Second World War and the subsequent stagnation experienced under the USSR, Tallinn has retained much of its medieval charm. The old town has changed little since its construction in the 15th century and the narrow cobbled lanes and street-side cafes exude a distinctly European flavour. (B)
Accommodation in Tallin: Telegraaf Hotel (or similar)
Dominating the city’s central square, the gothic 14th century Town Hall is one of the few surviving buildings of its kind left in Europe. At the heart of Tallinn’s affairs the views over the old town from the tower’s summit are superb as are the building’s elaborate interiors. From the square, walk to the 13th century Dome Church ‘Toomkirik’ – Estonia’s oldest church – then on to the quintessentially Russian Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral, before spending the remainder of the day exploring Tallinn’s old town. (B)
Accommodation in Tallin: Telegraaf Hotel (or similar)
This morning visit the Kadriorg Palace, built for Peter the Great and his wife Catherine during the early 1700s. Baroque in style, this grand palace was designed by the Italian architect Niccolo Michetti and sits within vast, beautifully kept, gardens. Home of the Estonian president, part of the complex houses the Foreign Art Museum with excellent collections of Dutch, German and Italian prints, sculptures and paintings as well as numerous Russian works from the 18th to 20th centuries. (B)
Accommodation in Tallin: Telegraaf Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast take the train to Russia and St Petersburg arriving during the afternoon. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, beautiful St Petersburg is Russia’s grandest city. With its canals, bridges, opulent palaces, world-class galleries and museums much of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. At vanguard of Russian history since its inception, St Petersburg is the jewel in the country’s crown. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
Forming part of the spectacular Winter Palace, today visit the Hermitage Museum. Here one of the most magnificent collections of Western European art in the world is housed in 365 rooms in a vast complex of palaces. Leaving the Hermitage continue towards the gold dome of the lavish St Isaac’s Cathedral and, after visiting, wander the grand streets and picturesque canals. End the day at the Peter and Paul Fortress. The oldest structure in the city, the fortress is best known for the gilded spire of its cathedral and for holding political prisoners including Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s sibling Alexander and Trotsky. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
This morning drive south from the city to the town of Pushkin, site of the grand imperial estate of Tsarskoe Selo, or ‘Tsar’s Village’. A vast complex of palaces, parks and lakes, the highlight is the Catherine Palace – a vast baroque home designed by Rastrelli and given by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine in the mid-18th century. Returning to St Petersburg, spend the afternoon at the Yusupov Palace – one of the city’s finest. Built during the 1740s, this opulent palace even has its own theatre. It was also in a cellar here that the murder of Rasputin was planned. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
Today travel west to the palace at Peterhof. Overlooking the Gulf of Finland, Peterhof was the former summer residence of the tsars and is comparable in scale and grandeur to the Palace of Versailles. Famed for its stunning gravity-powered fountains, explore the sumptuous Grand Palace, Peter the Great’s retreat ‘Monplaisir’, and the Marly Palace. Returning to St Petersburg, the remainder of your afternoon is free to further explore the city. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
After a morning at leisure, you will be met and transferred to St Petersburg Airport for the afternoon Finnair flight to the UK which stops en-route in Helsinki. A boat ride on the city’s canals can also be arranged prior to your homeward flight. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Russia Holiday Review

Everything went splendidly many thanks. The three guides - Natalia, Natasha Petrovna and Amelia -  and drivers - Mischa, Nikita and Dmitri - were beyond excellent and the local guides ditto. Both hotels were first class in their different ways and ideally located.

IC - Russia - September 2016

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