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Baltic Jewish Heritage Tour

9 days
8 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

USD
EUR

Per person:

$ 1,815.00 (double occupancy 4*)
$ 2,065.00 (single occupancy 4*)
$ 2,375.00 (double occupancy 5*)
$ 3,065.00 (single occupancy 5*)
$ 240.00 (Druskininkai supplement)

Dates:

May 15, 2020 - May 23, 2020 
Jul 17, 2020 - Jul 25, 2020 
Aug 14, 2020 - Aug 22, 2020 
Sep 04, 2020 - Sep 12, 2020 

Hotels:

Vilnius -  4* Vilnia hotel or similar
Kaunas - 4* Europa Royale hotel or similar
Riga - 4* Europa Royale hotel or similar
Tallinn - 4* L'ermitage hotel or similar

Included:

Accommodation with breakfast in centrally located 4* hotels
Transport service as per itinerary including arrival/ departure transfers
Sightseeing tours with car and English speaking guide as per itinerary
Friday nights dinner
Admission fees: Gaon Jewish State and Samuel Bakk Museum, Vilnius university, St.John‘s Bell Tower, Trakai castle, Ninth Fort Museum, Kaunas synagogue, Sugihara house, Rundale Palace, Jews of Latvia museum, Riga’s synagogue, Turaida castle, Tallinn‘s synagogue.
Vilnius & Kaunas city taxes
Info package

Optional Services:

Before the tour starts we suggest an optional trip to:

Vilnius – Valkininkai – Degsnes – Druskininkai – Vilnius

Morning departure to Lithuania's favorite SPA resort Druskininkai with a stop at Valkininkai and Degsnes towns where we learn about the life and traditions of the Lithuanian Jews.  In the 18th century, Valkininkai had one of the outstanding synagogues in Lithuania, the so-called Lita Synagogue. Lithuanian Vaad has convened in Valkininkai. Degsnes  - is a former Jewish farmer’s village.  Alongside with farming the land, the Jewish residents of Degsnes were providing care for people with mental disabilities. Later this occupation became the primary source of income for most of the village inhabitants. Continue to Lithuanian resort – Druskininkai, a birthplace of a world famous sculptor Jacque Lipchitz whose father opened one of the first resort hotels in Druskininkai. Free afternoon to relax in SPA or Druskininkai Aquapark (reservations required). Return to Vilnius in the evening.

Itinerary:

Our Jewish Heritage Baltic tour is all about the beauty of the Baltic States and the life of the Jewish people

 

Day 1  : VILNIUS

Today we begin the exciting exploration tour of the Baltic States with their rich Jewish Heritage. Arrival to Vilnius. Private transfer to the hotel upon arrival. Welcome dinner. Overnight in Vilnius (D)

Day 2  : VILNIUS

In the morning you can visit synagogue service or walk around the beautiful street of Vilnius Old Town. Later today we will take you on an Old Town tour. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was a well-known Jewish center in Europe. Jews started to settle in Vilnius in the 14th century, and by the 18th century, it became the world center of Talmudic teachings and learning, rightfully gaining the name of the Jerusalem of the North. During our tour, we will visit Gaon Jewish State Museum and learn about Jewish traditions, life, and art in Lithuania and Shoah. We will also visit Vilnius University and learn about Yiddish Institute.We will drive by Vilnius Choral Synagogue, Gediminas Castle Tower and Cathedral Square, Gothic corner and Medieval Jewish quarter with its narrow streets and small cozy courtyards, Gaon and Jewish streets, the site of now destroyed Great Vilna Synagogue, a place were Gaon of Vilna lived. Nearby is a Jewish Ghetto with a gruesome history, where 40,000 Jews were encamped in 1941-1943, Judenrat building on the Rudninku street. Overnight in Vilnius (B)

Day 3  : VILNIUS – PONAR – TRAKAI – VILNIUS

Morning departure to the ancient capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – Trakai. En route stop at Ponar Forest and Memorial to pay respect to the thousands of Jews, shot in the early days of the war – but (as proved by your visit) never forgotten. Learn about escape tunnel, which location was recently discovered.  Later continue to Trakai, famous for the medieval insular castle and heritage of karaites ethnic minority. Get to know how it is related to Judaism. Return to Vilnius. Visit Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum and Samuel Bakk art museum.  You will learn about Jewish life, art and Shoah. Drive to Vilna Gaon’s grave in the Vilna cemetery (many come here to ask for a blessing). Overnight in 4* Vilnia hotel or similar (B)

Day 4  : VILNIUS – ZIEZMARIAI – KAUNAS

Morning departure to Kaunas. En route stop at unique wooden synagogue of Ziezmariai.  Arrival to Kaunas - second largest city of the country and the capital of Lithuania between the World Wars. During the sightseeing tour of Kaunas Old Town, you will pass by castle ruins, the Town Hall Square, Cathedral and Perkunas House. Visit former Kaunas Jewish ghetto, Kaunas Choral Synagogue, striking for its black and golden colors, as well as its Children's Memorial. Learn about great things Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara has done to save around 6000 jewish people when Holokaust started. Overnight in 4* Europa Royale hotel or similar (B)

Day 5  : KAUNAS – KEDAINIAI – PAKRUOJIS - RUNDALE – RIGA

Morning visit the Ninth Fort Museum, a former death site of thousands of Jewish nationals during the World War II. Continue towards Riga (Latvia). En route stops in Kedainiai and Rundale Palace. Kedainiai is a citadel of Radzivil family, one of the most powerful nobility in late middle age Lithuania and also a town where the Vilna Gaon lived and worked and where 3 synagogues have remained. Before leaving Lithuania don‘t miss Pakruojis town. Pass by impressive manor and the oldest wooden synagogue in Lithuania, dating 1801. Now it is renovated and belongs to the library. Later trip to Rundale palace in Latvia, created by legendary architect B. Rastrelli, with Baroque rose garden. Afternoon arrival in Riga, the capital of Latvia. Accommodation in 4* Europa Royale hotel or similar (B)

Day 6  : RIGA

Get acquainted with charming Old town of Riga, while strolling through the cobble-stone, picturesque streets. Visit the chic "Art Nouveau" district, where many prominent Jewish Latvians, among them the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, once lived. Riga has one of the world's most impressive collections of authentic Art Nouveau architecture, and uniquely offers streets whose buildings are preserved almost entirely in this early 20th Century style. In the museum “Jews in Latvia” you will learn about life of Jews in this part of the world. Pass by the site of Jewish Ghetto and visit the only remaining Synagogue, which today serves as the central meeting place for the Jews of Latvia. Standing since the beginning of the 20th century, the synagogue was most likely spared from burning due to its fortunate location in the Old Town, where fires could be devastating to the surrounding buildings. Riga ghtetto and Latvian Holokaust museum. Later continue to Salaspils just outside Riga. You will hear about Nazi camp, established in 1941. During it's operation, roughly 2000 lives were taken here. Although the original camp buildings were destroyed after WWII, Salaspils was turned  into a memorial park, which reflects the history of the place. Overnight in 4* Europa Royale hotel or similar. (B)

Day 7  : RIGA – TURAIDA- PARNU – TALLINN

Drive alongside the Riga Bay to Estonia’s capital city - Tallinn. Pass by part of Gauja National park and stop at Medieval Turaida castle. Another short stop at Estonia’s resort town – Parnu. Late afternoon arrival to Tallinn.  Accommodation in 4* L'ermitage hotel or similar.  (B)

Day 8  : TALLINN

This morning, enjoy a tour of the charming city of Tallinn, rated as one of Europe's best-kept secrets by several travel and placed on UNESCO's list of  World Heritage sites. Drive to the Old Town on top of the hill, to find breathtaking views of the tiled roofs and colorful houses below. Stroll the beautifully preserved Medieval streets and become a part of Tallinn's thousands year-old history.  Walk past the impressive Alexander Nevski Cathedral to the Town Hall Square. Visit Tallinn‘s synagogue and learn about Estonian Jewish community life. Free afternoon to enjoy cafes, bars and get beautiful souvenirs. Overnight in 4* L'ermitage hotel or similar (B)

Day 9  : TALLINN

End of the tour. Private transfer to the airport.(B)