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Join the tour Jewish Heritage in the Baltics as it follows the history of the Jewish people visiting historical memorials that were left behind. This tour enables us to experience the impact of Jewish life throughout the centuries in the Baltics.
Arrival to Vilnius. Transfer to hotel. Accommodation.
Afternoon Vilnius city tour will acquaint you with city’s Old Town, included into UNESCO World Heritage list, its 16-18thcenturies main historic and architectural monuments. Discover a rich Jewish heritage walking along the narrow medieval streets of the Jewish quarter, stop at the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna, the world famous Jewish printing house “Widow and Brothers Romm”, the Ghetto territory where more than 40.000 Jews were concentrated in 1941-1943, Judenrath. Visit the Holocaust Exhibition, a branch of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum telling a tragic story of the Jewish community.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Vilnius.
Morning departure to Trakai, the ancient capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. En route stop at Paneriai Forest and Memorial to pay respect to the thousands of Jews, shot in the early days of the war, but never forgotten. A further drive to Trakai,located on a narrow peninsular and surrounded by 5 lakes. It’s famous now for its 15th century insular castle on Galve Lake and the heritage of Karaites’ ethnic minority, related to Judaism and living here for more than 600 years. On return to Vilnius, a visit to Tolerance Centre,a branch of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum , now housing also Samuel Bakk Art gallery. You will learn here about the local Jewish life, art and Shoah. At the end of the day tour, a visit to Gaon’s grave in Vilna cemetery.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Vilnius.
Morning departure to Kaunas, the second largest city and the capital of Lithuania between the two World Wars. En route short stop to visit a unique wooden synagogue of Ziezmariai. The sightseeing tour of Kaunas includes the remains of the 14th century Castle, an impressive Town Hall Square with 15-16th century merchants’ houses, a majestic Cathedral. Visit the former Jewish ghetto in Slobodka district, the Choral Synagogue, as well as its Children’s Memorial. In the Memorial Sugihara Museum learn about great things this Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara has done to save around 6000 Jewish people when Holocaust started. Transfer to hotel in Kaunas for dinner and overnight.
Morning visit to the Ninth Fort Museum, a former death site of thousands of Jewish nationals during the World War II. Continue towards Riga and stop en route in Kedainiai , a citadel of the Radzivil family, one of the most powerful in Lithuania in late Middle Ages, also a town where the Vilna Gaon lived and worked and where 3 synagogues have remained. Near the Lithuanian-Latvian border stop in Joniskis town to visit a complex of two restored Synagogues, the Red and White, both built at the end of the 19th century. Accommodation on arrival to Riga. Dinner.
During Riga City tour get acquainted with its charming Old town, UNESCO World Heritage site, 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 the authentic Art Nouveau architecture preserving almost entirely this early 20th Century style. Visit the most important historic places of Riga’s Jewish community : the Memorial to Riga Choral Synagogue, burnt to the ground by Nazis, the museum “Jews in Latvia” , the only remaining Synagogue on Peitavas street, which escaped from being burnt down during the 2nd World War and today serves as the central meeting place for the Jews of Latvia, Riga Ghetto & Holocaust Museum located in the historic area bordering the former ghetto. Later continue to Rumbula neighbourhood just outside Riga with a memorial and graves of 25 thousand Jews massacred in 1941.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight in Riga.
A pleasant morning drive alongside the Riga Bay of the Baltic Sea to Estonia’s capital city Tallinn. Pass by the one of the most picturesque landscape areas, called ‘the Latvian Switzerland’, famous for its Gauja National park and medieval 14th century powerful stone castles. Stop in Sigulda to hear a romantic local love story and visit the 13th century Turaida Castle. Another short en route stop at Estonia’s most popular Baltic Sea resort town Parnu.
On arrival to Tallinn accommodation, free time, dinner and overnigh.
Enjoy a morning tour of the charming Tallinn Old Town, rated as one of Europe’s best-kept medieval secrets and included into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage. Drive to the Upper Old Town on top of the hill, to find the 13th century churches, towers and palaces of later centuries, walk past the impressive Alexander Nevski Cathedral and finally find a platform with a breathtaking panoramic view of the tiled roofs and colorful houses down below. Stroll downhill along the beautifully preserved medieval streets to the Lower Town and its main Town Hall Square, become a part of Tallinn’s thousands-year-old history. Visit Tallinn Synagogue and the Estonian Jewish Centre. Dinner at hotel or in the Old Town restaurant. Overnight in Tallinn.
Free morning, transfer to the airport and a departure flight home.