Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
Baltic Explorer Group Tour

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Baltic Explorer Tour – a 14 day Small Group Tour.

Suffering under both German and later Soviet occupation, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union the once more independent states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were enthusiastic proponents of the European project and have since joined the NATO alliance.

The miserable grey of Soviet conformity has gone, in some cases quite literally as new paints and colours arrived from the west to once more embellish traditional wooden houses.

The capitals of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius once subdued under communist authoritarianism are now lively cultural hubs, hives of economic activity, eager to further progress and expand.

This Baltic group tour travels by land and sea to explore three different countries with diverse national characteristics which not only share a seashore but also a major segment of their contemporary history.

Explore the enchanting States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Undiscovered Destinations small group Baltic tour. We start in cosmopolitan Helsinki before moving on to explore the magnificently preserved old towns of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.

The Baltic group tour also gets off the beaten track to see some areas of outstanding beauty away from the capitals including national parks and the stunning Curonian Spit. A great example of one of the places we explore is Lithuania’s third-largest city , Klaipeda. A mix of old and new, this former Prussian capital (when it was named Memel) has retained a distinct German flavour in the architecture of its heavily cobbled Old Town and one remaining tower of its red-brick castle. It’s also a vital sea link for cargo and passenger ferries between Lithuania, Scandinavia and beyond.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Begin your Baltic group tour when you arrive in Helsinki and transfer to the hotel accommodation. Depending upon arrival schedules there may be time to explore the city, or simply relax after the journey. The Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Baltic tour briefing takes place this evening or tomorrow morning at breakfast. Overnight at Hotel Scandic Kaisaniemi or similar. No meals are included today.

This morning we explore some of Helsinki’s key sights, including the Market Square and Market Hall, the Uspenski Orthodox Church, Senate Square and Cathedral, the Church in the Rock, and Sibelius Park. The afternoon will be free until transfers leave for the port and the ferry to Tallinn. An Estonian guide will be present on the ferry, ready to answer any questions. On arrival in Tallinn transfer to hotel accommodation. Overnight at Hotel Bern or similar (B) 

Please note: We recommend having an evening meal on the ferry. Luggage will be taken care of, so you can just take essentials and enjoy the ride.

This morning we explore Tallinn, visiting Pirita and Saint Briggita’s convent ruins, Kadriorg Park and Palace, and Russalka Monument. A guided walk takes in the mediaeval city walls of the upper city of Toompea and Toompea Castle, Aleksander Nevsky Orthodox Church, Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the lower city, including the Town Hall Square, the House of the Brotherhood of Black Heads, Fat Margarita Tower and Viru Gates. The afternoon is free to further explore independently or just relax in the city centre. Overnight at Hotel Bern or similar (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

Today we drive to Lahemaa National Park and take a walk on the Viru Bog nature trail, 3.5km of boardwalk which passes through a forest and marsh environment. We’ll learn about the park’s flora and fauna and climb a viewing tower which allows an elevated perspective on the landscape. Later we visit the beautiful 18th century manor of Palmse which contains remarkable period furniture and clothing. We have lunch at the manor’s restaurant and afterwards take a stroll in the grounds. The day’s last visit is the historic fishing village of Altja, first mentioned in the mid-15th century, now containing many reconstructed traditional buildings. Afterwards we return to Tallinn. Overnight Hotel Bern or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

There’s an early start this morning for the drive to Parnu, a coastal city of Estonia famous for its beautiful scenery and white sand beaches. After a short stop in Parnu we continue south, following the Baltic Sea coast towards Latvia. Crossing the seamless EU border into Latvia, at the seaside town of Dunte we visit the 18th century former home of Hieronymus Karl Friedrich von Münchhausen. Known for his exaggerated after dinner tales of war time exploits, he provided the inspiration for Rudolph Erich Raspe’s fictional fantasist, Baron Munchausen. We take one of the museum’s short walking trails and learn about the history. Later we continue to Saulkrasti and walk on the fine stretch of beach, admiring the natural dunes. Afterwards we continue to Latvia’s capital, Riga. Overnight at Hotel Semarah Metropole or similar. (BL)

This morning we explore Riga, first visiting the Art Nouveau district and its fascinating museum. Later we head to the city’s Old Town, taking in the National Opera House, the Freedom Monument, the big and small guildhalls, Riga Cathedral, Riga Castle, the mediaeval Three Brothers houses, Saint Jacobs’s church, the renovated house of the Brotherhood of the Black Heads, and Saint Peter’s church. The afternoon is free to further explore Riga independently, perhaps staying in the Old Town or even taking a cruise on the Daugava River for good views of the city. Overnight Hotel Semarah Metropole or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

The first stop of our Baltic tour today is Riga’s atmospheric central market, Europe’s largest, where fresh produce together with arts and crafts fill one of the city’s most notable structures, a UNESCO World Heritage Site constructed from former German Zeppelin hangars. Afterwards we travel inland to the picturesque green valleys of Gauja River National Park, sometimes called North Switzerland. We visit the workshop of a master amber craftsman who will explain how to determine real amber and talk us through his unique family collection of amber. Afterwards we drive to the town of Sigulda and visit the mediaeval castle of Turaida, Gutman’s Cave and Sigulda Castle’s ruins. Later we return to Riga. Overnight Semarah Metropole Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

After breakfast we take a drive on the left bank of the Daugava River to see the old-style wooden houses and cross the Shroud Bridge to visit Kipsala Island. From Riga, we drive a short distance to Ragaciems, a fishing village situated on the Gulf of Riga coast beyond Jurmala. Here there’s the opportunity to see traditional architecture and chat with local fishermen. Afterwards we continue to Lake Kanieris, a site of special scientific interest, where we take a stroll on the boardwalk and visit a birdwatching tower. At lunchtime we visit a nearby traditional smokehouse and enjoy a tasting experience. Later we drive to the summer resort of Jurmala where white sand beaches once attracted holidaying Soviet leaders such as Nikita Krushchev and Leonid Breshnev. Today the town’s authentic wooden houses have achieved UNESCO World Heritage status. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the resort, making use of the hotel’s excellent spa facilities. Overnight at Jurmala Spa Hotel or similar. (BL) 

Please note. On occasions the tour may return to Riga on Day 8.

Please note: In respect of the smokehouse visit, kindly advise at the time of booking of any fish or seafood allergies.

(Approximate driving time: four to five-hours)

This morning we drive southwest, crossing into Lithuania, and aiming for the coastal town of Klaipeda. En route we stop at the Hill of Crosses whose origins lie in the 1831 and 1863 uprising against the Russian Empire. The number of crosses is estimated at over 100,000 and is a remarkable sight. After a picnic lunch we continue to Klaipeda and check-in to hotel accommodation. Later, a city tour visits the Old Town with its interesting neo-gothic and fachwerk half-timbered architecture. If time allows, we call in at the Blacksmith Museum which has a particularly interesting local story.  Overnight Old Mill Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

Today we take a short ferry ride to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Curonian Spit. After taking a short stroll on the sands to admire the Baltic Sea coast we visit the ‘Hill of Witches’, featured in several local folk tales. Afterwards we drive to a site where a huge colony of black cormorants has taken up residence in a stretch of pine forest, before continuing to the Parnida dune for spectacular views of the lagoon and, beyond the forest, to the Baltic Sea. Later we visit the Thomas Mann Museum, a former summer residence of the famous German writer and Nobel Prize Laureate. Travelling to Nida, close to the Russia frontier, we explore the town and take a short boat tour on the Curonian lagoon to admire the dunes. Finally, we visit the Great Dune for expansive panoramic views. Those that wish may walk back to Nida, taking about 40-minutes, and meet up with our car before taking the ferry back to Klaipeda. Overnight Old Mill Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: five-hours)

After breakfast we leave Klaipeda and drive across the border into Lithuania, travelling to Palanga where we visit the Botanical Garden and tour the magnificent Amber museum, notable for specimens that encapsulate insects and even lizards! After a picnic lunch we continue to Vilnius and check-in to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore independently. Overnight at Hotel City Gate or similar. (BL)

This morning we explore the city of Vilnius. Highlights include Peter and Paul Church, the Old Town and Cathedral Square, Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Castle and Tower, Gediminas Statue and Saint Anne’s Church. We also walk up Subacius Hill for a panoramic view of Vilnius. Finally, we visit the Dawn Gate, one of the most important symbols of Vilnius. The afternoon is free to explore independently, perhaps looking around the fascinating Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, also known as the KGB Museum. Overnight at Hotel City Gate or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: one-hour)

It’s a short journey from Vilnius to Trakai Castle, a picture-postcard mediaeval castle located on an island on Lake Galve. After crossing the drawbridge and moat, we take a tour of the painstakingly restored castle, through the many halls and rooms that chart its history. Afterwards we return to Vilnius where there’s free time for final exploring or shopping for souvenirs. Overnight at Hotel City Gate or similar. (B)

The Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Baltic group tour ends today after breakfast when airport transfers depart to meet onward flights. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This Baltic group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 3 travellers.

Flights into Helsinki and back from Vilnius from London start from around £200 per person – please contact us for a quotation and advice on best routes

If you wish to do the extension to St Petersburg then flights from Vilnius to St Petersburg start from around £100 per person.

We know that for many of our destinations flying cannot be avoided. But we believe that for some of our tours, taking the train is a practical, affordable and most of all a very enjoyable alternative. Even flying in just one direction will have a very positive benefit on the environment. To compare the emissions for your next trip take a look at this easy to use emissions calculator –

One-way fares from London to Helsinki to join the Baltic group tour by train and ferry or vice versa start at £150.

Please note that the journey will normally involve overnight stops in Hamburg and Stockholm. The cost of accommodation is not included. We can book a wide choice of hotels and will be pleased to provide further details.

For a quote to travel from a European city other than London please contact us. We will advise you of the options, including routes and fares.

Contact us for further details about how we can help you plan the perfect environmentally friendly addition to your holiday. As well as train tickets, we can arrange stopovers along the way, including hotels and guided tours.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier or located in the city center.

Extra night accommodation for the Baltic group tour pre tour in Helsinki (central location) costs from £58 per person per night sharing a twin/double room and £95 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - Baltic Explorer Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation on twin/double share (unless single supplement paid)
  • Services of English speaking guides
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees where mentioned)
  • Helsinki – Tallinn ferry ticket
  • All ground transport on tour

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas if applicable
  • Meals not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips

This trip was so well thought out as are all the trips I’ve taken with you before with excellent guides, good accommodation and really comfortable transport.


Patricia Smith, UK