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Self Drive Latvia & Lithuania in 14 days

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Latvia

Trip Length

14 days

Availability

April - September
Created by

Self Drive Latvia & Lithuania in 14 days

Visit two of the Baltic states at your own pace with this self-drive itinerary. As you explore Latvia and Lithuania taking in the old town districts, Gothic cathedrals and historical sites. Enjoy a combined walking and self driving tour of Riga and Lithuania's most significant sights. Sandwiched as the middle Baltic State is Latvia. A magical land known for its coast of beaches, fishing villages and lush, green countryside. It’s an unspoiled, sleepy wilderness with a juxtaposed, full-of-beans capital city. The Baltic’s most bustling and cosmopolitan city has something of a reputation for being a party starter – and there’s no smoke without fire. Lithuania is the first country to leave the USSR rightly wanted to stand on its own two feet – and indeed it does. It’s a land that’s long been squabbled over – which is palpable in its art and architecture, and eclectic sights and attractions. No surprise really, being slap bang in the centre of Europe. Like – the actual centre.

Description

Visit two of the Baltic states at your own pace with this self-drive itinerary. As you explore Latvia and Lithuania taking in the old town districts, Gothic cathedrals and historical sites. Enjoy a combined walking and self driving tour of Riga and Lithuania's most significant sights. Sandwiched as the middle Baltic State is Latvia. A magical land known for its coast of beaches, fishing villages and lush, green countryside. It’s an unspoiled, sleepy wilderness with a juxtaposed, full-of-beans capital city. The Baltic’s most bustling and cosmopolitan city has something of a reputation for being a party starter – and there’s no smoke without fire. Lithuania is the first country to leave the USSR rightly wanted to stand on its own two feet – and indeed it does. It’s a land that’s long been squabbled over – which is palpable in its art and architecture, and eclectic sights and attractions. No surprise really, being slap bang in the centre of Europe. Like – the actual centre.

Itinerary

Day 1

Get settled in Riga

Arrival in Riga, check-in the hotel.

Welcome package with all the tour documents awaits you at the reception.

The Baltic’s most bustling and cosmopolitan city has something of a reputation for being a party starter. If you’re looking to let your hair down on your trip – search no further than here. But don’t let that fool you – Riga is beautiful in its own right. Famous for its wooden and art-nouveau buildings, it’s an intriguing mix of the old and the new that makes it an incredibly popular travel destination.

Welcome to the Baltics

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 2

Discover Riga’s old town, Art Nouveau & visit the Central market

Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles. During a guided walking tour, we will see the Art Nouveau most famous buildings on the streets of Alberta and Elizabeth.

The old town with Riga’s Castle and the Three Brother's houses, which were built between the late 1400s and mid-1600s and are the oldest dwellings in the city.

At lunchtime make a visit to the Riga Central Market. To try, such as smoked meats, pickled vegetables, Latvian bread, seasonal treats, and more. The market opened in 1930 and consists of five former Zeppelin airship hangars and is one of the largest covered markets in Europe.

Visit the Oldest Dwellings in the City

Activities

  • Walking Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 3

Ancient Traditions

In the morning we will make a visit to the Latvian Ethnographic Open-air Museum. During the tour we will learn about the Latvian farmer’s life. We will have a degustation (light lunch) of local food like cottage cheese, house made bread and honey.

In the afternoon visit to a household named “Carpenter’s workshop” to learn about the local wood sculpting traditions. Here we get to know typical Latvian trees, work along with experienced craftsmen, try out traditional toys and games.

As well as enjoy a very special tea recipe brewed in a bonfire house. In the evening relax in a cozy guesthouse with sauna access. A local sauna master invites you to a sauna to restore the balance of our mind and body.

We will stay overnight in a cozy guest house, and enjoy the tranquility that brings Latvian forest.

Local Wood Sculpting Experience

Activities

  • Carpenter Workshop
  • Sauna

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 4

Latvia’s splendid coast

Explore starting from the Old town to Art Nouveau and later get ready to drive. Nearby Riga is Latvia’s most famous resort town Jurmala that stretches 30 km along the seaside.

Take a break from the city on the sandy Jurmala beach. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the pine first dunes without any rush. Do a self-guided bike tour and explore Jurmala.

In the mid-19th-century holiday makers began escaping the city to relax in Jurmala and it developed as a resort, often called the ‘’Northern Riviera”.

You will cycle along a pine-covered dune, see the expressive wooden architecture, modern villas, and endless sandy beaches. Stop for a swim at one of the 11established swimming places.

Cycle along a Pine-Covered Dune

Activities

  • Swimming

Optional Activities

  • Bike Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 5

Latvia’s flavors

Drive from the splendour of Jurmala to the former resort of Kemeri to discover the Kemeri National Park.

The town Kemeri once was one of the most popular resorts in the whole Soviet Union nowadays, and has retained its charm in the old historical buildings.

Kemeris is known for its Sulfur water springs and large bog territories. A wooden board trail leads you through the bog and on the viewing tower you can see impressive landscapes.

After a good walk in Kemeri you will drive to Sabile. Sabile has its own flavors, famous for its wines and ciders.

Near Sabile is Pedvale Art Park where the sculpture Ojars Arvids Feldbergs has been creating art since 1991 and covers more than 100 hectares.

Sulfur Water Springs

Activities

  • Historical Buildings

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 6

Most most romantic town in Latvia

Kuldiga is an architectural gem.

Have a guided walking tour to see the Romantic blend of architecture, small winding streets and channels.

The heart of the town is the Venta River and the Ventas Rumba, Europe's widest Waterfall. As one would expect from a sleepy town such as Kuldiga, there isn’t really a huge amount of things to do. Instead, this is a place that should be explored slowly, with walks along pretty cobblestone streets, lazy afternoons along the river, and cooling dips in the frigid waters of the Venta waterfall. However, it was the perfect stop on your Latvia road trip. Colourful houses lined with windows offering glimpses into local lives, flowers wild and cherished proudly hung from every door, shadows and light calling as you explore the streets.

An Architectural Gem

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 7

City with its own character

Next stop is the coastal city Liepaja.

Liepaja, Latvia’s third-largest city, doesn’t see nearly the amount of foreign tourism that it deserves, in some ways this is a backroads and byway experience. Situated along the Baltic coast about 60 kilometres north of the Lithuanian border, Liepaja is a charming city boasting an interesting history, numerous lush parks and open-air markets, and one of the best beaches the Baltic States have to offer.

A vibrant city with its own character, the city has proclaimed that it is the city where the wind is born.

Liepaja is a proud port city with an artistic soul. It is known for its musicians and has created a valley of fame where many famous Latvian bands and musicians have placed their hand prints. Catch the Liepāja wind on a Sail boat tour.

The captain will bring you comfortably around the Baltic Sea water.

Catch the Liepāja Wind on a Sail boat

Activities

  • Sail Boat Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 8

Along the Baltic amber way

In the morning you'll leave Liepāja on a 1-hour drive south along the Baltic Sea coast and to Palanga, Lithuania ́s most popular seaside resort town.

Besides its wide beaches, you will visit Palanga Amber Museum. Located in a 19th-century palace, it features a collection of about 28,000 amber pieces, many of which contain insects, spiders, and plants.

Afterward, you'll continue to Klaipeda to do a guided walking tour in the port city Klaipėda. Before the check in you'll embark on the Klaipeda sightseeing tour. It begins in Klaipėda's Old Town, known for its old cobblestone streets lined with medieval guild houses.

You'll then visit landmarks like Theatre Square and the Ann from Tharau Fountain, which is dedicated to Simon Dach, a famous German poet born in Klaipėda and which features a sculpture of his muse, Ann. Afterward you'll take a ferry to the Curonian Spit, a long, thin sand spit that runs 62 miles (100 km) between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon.

Dotting this narrow strip of land are sleepy fishing villages, isolated pine forests, and endless sand dunes.

Sleepy Fishing Villages

Activities

  • Guided Walking Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 9

Self-guided biking tour of the Curonian Spit

In the morning you'll do a self- guided bike tour from Nida to Joudkrante.

On this route you will see several dunes and visit the Hill of Witches, located at the lagoon side village of Juodkrantė.

Despite the spooky name, this landmark is a collection of wooden sculptures atop a forested sand dune.

There are over 80 sculptures here done by local artists that depict themes of paganism and Lithuanian folklore. After that, you'll return to Nida.

To stroll around the town, enjoy local fish restaurants, and try different kinds of smoked fishes.

Themes of Paganism and Lithuanian Folklore.

Activities

  • Bike Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 10

Hike the Lake Plateliai in Samagitia National park

From nida the tour continues to the Samogitia National Park in Lithuanian is called Žemaitija” (lowlands), to do a guided hiking tour around the picturesque Lake Plateliai and Lithuania’s marshlands. After that you'll head east to Siauliai.

Just north of this city lies the Hill of Crosses, one of the holiest Catholic sites in Lithuania. Pilgrims have been leaving crosses on this small rural hill since 1830 when the site was a pivotal landmark in Lithuania's resistance against Russian aggressors.

In the intervening years, the arrival of pilgrims has been so regular that today the hill has over 100,000 crosses, crucifixes, and statues of the Virgin Mary. After touring the Hill of Crosses, you'll return to town and check into your hotel.

Crosses, crucifixes, and Statues of the Virgin Mary.

Activities

  • Guided Hiking Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 11

From Siaulai to Kaunas

In the morning, you'll leave Siauliai and return to Vilnius. On the way, you'll stop at a couple of historic villages.

The first, Naisiai, has a famous public park featuring wooden sculptures of Lithuanian pagan gods. There are trails here that you can hike and which afford great views of the artwork and surrounding nature.

After visiting Naisai, you'll continue on to Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania. Upon arrival, a guided walking tour takes you around the Old Town and visit landmarks like Town Hall Square and the House of Perkūnas, a Gothic merchant house that dates to the 15th century.

You'll of course also visit Kaunas Castle, a Gothic fortress built on a hill overlooking the Nemunas River and which dates to the middle of the 14th century.

Gothic Merchant House

Optional Activities

  • Hiking Trails

Accommodation

4*Hotel including breakfast

Day 12

Exploring Ancient Lithuania

After breakfast, drive from Kaunas to Vilnius. En route, you'll stop in the village Kernavė, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating to the 13th century when it was the medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

The area is also an archaeological site, as here there are ruins of ancient human settlements dating back to 9000 BCE. Afterward, you'll head to Trakai.

Here to do a guided kayak tour around the medieval Trakai Castle, the star landmark of the area. Afterwards you'll visit this handsome fortification, which was built in the latter half of the 14th century out of red brick and stone and is done in the Gothic style.

Next, continue to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Activities

  • Kayak Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including Breakfast

Day 13

City Tour of Vilnius

Spend the morning on a guided walking tour of Old Town, the medieval heart of Vilnius. The highlight of Vilnius is the Cathedral square. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1783 and sitting on the expansive Cathedral Square, this is Lithuania's premier Roman-Catholic church.

Moreover, its mausoleum is the final resting place of some notable figures throughout history including grand dukes of Lithuania and even King Alexander of Poland.

We see on the tour the Gediminas Tower, the 15th-century St. Anne's Church and enter the Baroque gem; Vilnius University, which, having been founded in 1579, is the oldest university in the Baltics; and the Gate of Dawn, the city's medieval defensive fortification, which was built around a chapel that remains a major catholic pilgrimage site in Lithuania.

The Highlight of Vilnius is the Cathedral Square.

Activities

  • Walking Tour

Accommodation

4* Hotel including breakfast

Day 14

Enjoy Vilnius

Enjoy your final day in the Baltics and transfer to the airport.

Places you should definitely see include Vilnius Cathedral, Vilnius University, Gediminas Tower (with spectacular views from the top), Pilies Street, lovely Literatu Street, Bernardine ensemble, and the bohemian Uzupis district.

The best of Vilnius is in the Old Town. You’ll see a blend of modern and medieval architecture here. The city centre is relatively flat so wandering the streets is easy to navigate on foot. Start at Vilnius Cathedral. The impressive Roman Catholic cathedral stands on an old pagan temple site. Out the front, the Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral casts an imposing figure over Gedimino pr., one of the main thoroughfares of the city.

What's Included

Flights

International flights can be arranged on request

Ground Transport

Car hire and airport transfers on arrival and departure days

Excluded

Fuel for the car● Safety deposit for the rental cars ● Parking fees● Entrances fees and tickets.

Meals

Breakfast daily

Accommodation

4* Hotel accommodation for 13 nights

Created by
Valdis Ceics

If you are the type of person that seeks for adventures we have the solution for you. On our Group Tours, Private Tours or Independent Tours I will bring you into nature, explore the local culture and traditions. Join my trips or come with your own adventure idea, and we will make it happen. Experience nature, explore the local culture and traditions of the Baltics. With over 7 years experience in planning, leading, and guiding tours I decided to become an entrepreneur and Travel Creator sharing my passion for the outdoors, adventure and create travel experiences that shares great emotions, knowledge, and understanding of culture and history.

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