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Lithuania & Latvia: the Baltics

Ancient and modern history unfurl before you as you explore two contrasting countries on this Baltic bike tour. The eclectic capitals of Lithuania and Latvia frame your discoveries, as you venture from the storied Curonian Spit—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and along the Baltic coast into a bucolic countryside. Along the way, you’ll probe each distinctive culture as you explore the Amber Museum and an amber craftsman’s workshop, delight in colorful Baltic villages, embark on guided walking tours of parks and cities, cruise the canals of Riga’s Old Town, and discover the lasting influences of the Soviet era at a former missile site. Special meals including an authentic Lithuanian barbecue and overnights at some of the region’s finest accommodations round out this amazing experience.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the Curonian Spit, the natural boundary between mainland Lithuania and Russia—and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Delve into Lithuania’s amber industry on a tour of the Amber Museum, housed in a palace and at an amber artisan’s workshop.
  • Tour the Cold War Museum, located in a former underground missile site.
  • Enjoy a canal cruise through the historic heart of Riga.
  • Stay in 4- and 5-star hotels, including the only member of “The Leading Hotels of the World” in Latvia.

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas. You will encounter traffic, especially in urban areas. Some of the bike paths are unpaved and the terrain can lack shelter from the wind. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who need assistance.

  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 27|
  • Biking: 1 - 3 hr|
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Airport car service for arrival and departure Check
One night in Vilnius, Lithuania, and one night in Riga, Latvia, in conveniently located 5-star hotels with daily breakfast Check
6 nights in 4- & 5-star hotels Check Check
13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Fri, May 20 to Sun, May 29 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Vilnius right by having a VBT representative greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania

Prior to breakfast, please place your luggage outside your rooms (no later than 7:30 a.m.) so it can be loaded onto the bus. After an included breakfast, meet your local VBT driver in the hotel lobby at 8:15 a.m. for transportation (approximately four hours) to your hotel in the city of Klaipeda, where you meet your VBT trip leaders.

Departing Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius, you journey approximately four hours to your hotel in the city of Klaipeda. You arrive at approximately 12:30 p.m. Meet your trip leaders, who provide a quick introduction to the day’s schedule. A local guide leads you on a short walking tour to help you get better acquainted with Klaipeda’s medieval Old Town, a delightful warren of streets lined with half-timbered houses and Scandinavian-style architecture. Later, join your trip leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session. Your Baltic bike tour officially begins with a warm-up ride that traverses the charms of Klaipeda and delivers you into the countryside.

This evening, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception and dinner.

Today’s Ride Choice:

Afternoon: Warm-up Loop – 24 km (14.5 miles)

What to Expect: Follow a gentle loop from your hotel out of the town center of Klaipeda. Your route traces the river Danes and crosses the pine forests bordering the Baltic Sea. The bike path may become busy at times with local weekend cyclists.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 km (14.5 miles)
Accommodation: National Hotel, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you cycle to the city’s port and embark a ferry for a 10-minute cruise to Curonian Spit National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today’s ride follows a scenic designated bike path just a short distance from the Baltic shore.

An easy asphalt bike path spans the entire Curonian Spit, a narrow strip of land separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon. Interestingly, the southern half of the spit belongs to Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast territory, a tiny portion of which lies just south of Lithuania. You cycle through the Nagliai Natural Reserve, renowned for its Grey Dunes. These “Dead Dunes,” as they are also known, are far from dead; they are the highest drifting sand dunes in Europe, towering up to 200 feet in some places. Marvel at their heights as you ride among rare plants and pass through four villages excavated from sand. The fragrance of coastal pine forests accompanies you as you cycle into several charming fishing villages.

Your destination is Nida, the spit’s best-known little enclave. Pause here to savor the flavors of the Baltic Sea during an included lunch of local specialties. After, you meet a local craftsman and learn how he creates jewelry from Baltic amber. The fossilized tree resin here is among the most prized in the world, and Lithuania is a leading producer. Watch as your skilled artisan-host fashions pieces from the gemstone.

After, you head to a nearby pier to begin your exciting journey back to Klaipeda. Your captain welcomes you aboard his speedboat for an invigorating hour-and-a-half cruise in the Curonian Lagoon. As you trace the length of the spit that you just rode along, take in spectacular views of soaring sand dunes, colorful fishing villages and sea birds taking wing along the coast. The lagoon’s tranquil waters are part of a migratory route for millions of birds each year.

This evening, enjoy dinner on your own in one of Klaipeda’s numerous restaurants close to your hotel.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Klaipeda to Juodkrante – 25 km (15 miles) | Juodkrante to Nida – 32.7 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride is an easy one with little elevation gain. You have the choice of varying distances – either to the fishing village of Juodkrante or all the way to Nida. From your hotel, you cycle to the port to ferry across the Curonian Lagoon. Then you follow a designated bike path through the pine forests of Curonian Spit National Park. An asphalt bike path winds through the forest close to the beach before rejoining the streets that lead you to the village of Nida.

Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 58 km (15 – 34 miles)
Accommodation: Klaipeda, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, you leave Klaipeda behind and cycle north to the seaside resort town of Palanga. With its miles of bike routes, Palanga is a haven for cyclists.

En route, you ride through Birute Park, one of the most picturesque and best-preserved parks in northern Europe. The park was the vison of Count Feliks Tyszkiewicz, who also built his palace here in 1897. Today, the Count’s palace is home to Lithuania’s Amber Museum. During an included tour, your guide introduces you to the formation of amber, the extraction process, and the gemstone’s historical significance. The museum houses one of the largest collections of unique amber objects, including the Sun Stone—at 6.6 pounds, it is one of the largest pieces of amber in the world.

Afterward, explore Lithuania’s prime summer resort town of Palanga, admiring its sand beaches, dunes, and aromatic pine forests. Once a fishing village and source of amber, Palanga was transformed into a health resort during the 19th century. Today, it is an artistic and cultural center. With its numerous international cafés, Palanga’s main street, J. Basanaviciaus Street, is a perfect place for lunch on your own.

Later this afternoon, you leave the Baltic coast and travel an hour inland through Lithuania’s rural agricultural landscapes. Your destination is the Samogitian Highlands and Žemaitija National Park. The ethnographic region of Samogitia (Žemaitija) boasts a proud cultural heritage dating to the pagan era.

Here, you settle into your lakeside boutique-style resort. Your small group will have almost exclusive access to its four-star amenities, including the soothing spa.

This evening, gather with your fellow travelers and trip leaders for an included dinner at the resort.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Klaipeda to Palanga – 28 km (17 miles)
Afternoon: Palanga to Sventoji – 14 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: Ride out of the city of Klaipeda on designated bike paths along the city’s streets and sidewalks. The bike routes to Palanga also trace designated bike paths, following country roads with some traffic. In Palanga, you ride mostly on designated paved bike paths that pass through coastal pine forests and Birute Park. The afternoon ride offers a very similar pleasant ride all the way to Sventoji. Today’s ride poses very little elevation gain.

Cumulative Distance Range: 28 – 42 km (17 – 25 miles)
Accommodation: SALA Plateliai Resort, Paežeres Rudaiciu, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty Lithuanian breakfast, enjoy another lovely morning ride through the Žemaitija region all the way to one of the most important sites for Catholic pilgrimage in Baltics, Žemaiciu Kalvarija. Today’s scenic route traces country roads to the highlands of the park, passing through some of the most beautiful villages of quaint Baltic architecture you’ll see on your tour. Keep your eyes open for the many stork nests that dot this magical landscape.

Soon, you pause with your travel mates for lunch at a manor farm, a delicious and educational experience. Here in the heart of Žemaitija, you learn about Lithuanian cuisine, folklore, and history. With this well-rounded repast and tasty meal, you gain a deep knowledge of Žemaitija National Park from your hosts.

After, you pedal mostly downhill back to your lakeside resort, where the rest of the afternoon is free for you to spend at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll take advantage of the spa or row one of the resort’s canoes or kayaks out onto the lake.

This evening (weather permitting), enjoy a traditional outdoor Lithuanian barbecue dinner on the resort’s patio as the sun dips below the horizon.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Sala resort to Žemaiciu Kalvarija – 19 km (11.4 miles) | Žemaiciu Kalvarija to Plateliai Manor and Sala – 30 km (18 miles)

What to Expect: Your route today begins on the bike path in front of your resort. After a short stretch, you leave the paved bike path and follow scenic, two-lane country roads, mostly uphill, through small villages and past stunning scenery. With rolling hills and winding roads, the traffic here is slow and minimal. The return follows the same route, offering wonderful descents. As always, there will be a support vehicle for the uphill climbs. This will be the most challenging ride of the tour—but also one of the most rewarding.

Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 49 km (11 – 29 miles)
Accommodation: SALA Plateliai Resort, Paežeres Rudaiciu, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin today’s ride on Žemaitija National Park’s easy lakeside bike path, located right in front of your hotel. The park was established in 1991 to preserve the unique landscape and cultural heritage of this region of northwest Lithuania. Lakes cover more than seven percent of its territory, and you will cycle around the largest of them, Lake Plateliai. Pass through the picturesque village of Plateliai before stopping at one of the village’s typical 100-year-old wooden houses with its sloping Samogitian roof. Then cycle a flat, easy route to the Cold War Museum, a former, top-secret, Soviet underground missile site. Here, you will have an included walking tour that introduces you to the Soviet Union’s nuclear arms mission during the Cold War era.

Back at the resort, gather with your group for a lakeside picnic lunch of fresh, local favorites.

You then set off for the second Baltic country on your tour: Latvia. Breaking up the afternoon’s three-hour drive is a stop at the historic pilgrimage site of the Hill of Crosses, a mound in northern Lithuania blanketed with crosses adorned with statues, rosaries, and icons. Dating to at least the mid-19th century, this eerie site has been subjected to many efforts to demolish it—including a 1961 Soviet attempt that destroyed more than 5,000 crosses. Yet, this pilgrimage site has been rebuilt numerous times and even expanded. Today, the exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put the count at well over 100,000. In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the site and declared it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice.

Later in the afternoon, you arrive in Riga, Latvia’s scenic capital and Baltic port. Your five-star “Leading Hotel of the World” is ideally set within Riga’s Old Town. After settling into your accommodations, join a local guide for a walking tour of the city.

Dinner is on your own tonight at one of the many renowned restaurants in Riga.

Today’s Ride Choice:

Morning: Loop Ride around Lake Plateliai – 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Žemaitija National Park’s bike path around Lake Plateliai is paved except for approximately 1.2 miles (2 km) of packed dirt (though a paved-road option is also available if you prefer to avoid that stretch). Today’s ride is an easy one with very little elevation gain.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 km (15 miles)
Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, join a local guide for a short walk through Riga and a cruise on the lovely canal flowing through the town center. Your boat crosses the Daugava River, where you join a bike route to Latvia’s Baltic resort town of Jurmala, an enticing setting of sea and sand. Originally a cluster of fishing villages, this seaside oasis grew over two centuries to embrace an eclectic architectural mix. During the Soviet era, it was a favorite summer get-away for high-level Communist Party officials such as Brezhnev and Khrushchev. Today, it is a resort for the Baltic countries and Russia’s rich and famous—as witnessed by its luxurious and very expensive villas. You will have ample time to explore the town’s romantic wooden houses, Art Nouveau architecture, and beautiful beaches. You might even want to join the locals who cycle on the packed-sand bike trail that follows the edge of the Gulf of Riga. After free time in Jurmala, either cycle or get a ride with us back to Riga.

This evening, join your fellow travelers and trip leaders for a joyous reception and farewell dinner in your hotel’s elegant dining room.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Riga to Jurmala – 24 km (15 miles)
Afternoon: Jurmala to Riga – 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today, you follow designated bike paths along city streets and sidewalks and paved paths through the seaside forests of Jurmala. During the summer months, the bike path can become crowded with cyclists and pedestrians. You will also have the opportunity to cycle with the locals on packed-sand next to the water’s edge, depending on weather conditions and how crowded the beach is.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 45 km (15 – 27 miles)
Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

VBT Air Package guests:
After breakfast, spend the day exploring Riga. VBT provides you with city information that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Riga. Perhaps you’ll browse the Central Market, stroll the tranquil park surrounding the Freedom Monument, or admire the Art Nouveau architecture along Albert Street.

Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast

VBT Post-Trip Extension guests:

After breakfast, travel to the Riga airport for your flight to Tallinn. Upon arrival at the Tallinn airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. (Please note: Also make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.)

After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign and who will transport you to your Tallinn hotel (travel time is approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic).

Please note: The hotel check-in time is 2:00 p.m., so your room may not be available until that time. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

After checking in, you have free time to explore Tallinn. VBT provides you with city information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Tallinn.

The capital of Estonia, Tallinn offers you the chance to step back in time in its exceptionally well-preserved Old Town. Dating to its heyday as a member of the Hanseatic League, Tallinn’s Old Town is well deserving of its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Its distinct Upper and Lower Towns each offer a wealth of attractions to explore. You might start in the Lower Town, where you can find the 600-year-old Town Hall and the Town Hall Pharmacy, one of the oldest functioning pharmacies on the continent.

Accommodation: Schlössle Hotel, Tallinn, Estonia
Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Riga airport will be provided (an approximately 30-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Lithuania & Latvia: the Baltics 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Sun, May 22 to Sat, May 28 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

Meet your local VBT driver at 8:15 a.m. in the lobby of the Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius (Universiteto g. 14, LT-01122 Vilnius, Lithuania, telephone +370 522 01100). If you are late, please contact the hotel to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT trip leaders.

Departing Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius, you journey approximately four hours to your hotel in the city of Klaipeda. You arrive at approximately 12:30 p.m. Meet your trip leaders, who provide a quick introduction to the day’s schedule. A local guide leads you on a short walking tour to help you get better acquainted with Klaipeda’s medieval Old Town, a delightful warren of streets lined with half-timbered houses and Scandinavian-style architecture. Later, join your trip leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session. Your Baltic bike tour officially begins with a warm-up ride that traverses the charms of Klaipeda and delivers you into the countryside.

This evening, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception and dinner.

Today’s Ride Choice:

Afternoon: Warm-up Loop – 24 km (14.5 miles)

What to Expect: Follow a gentle loop from your hotel out of the town center of Klaipeda. Your route traces the river Danes and crosses the pine forests bordering the Baltic Sea. The bike path may become busy at times with local weekend cyclists.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 km (14.5 miles)
Accommodation: National Hotel, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Included Meals: Dinner

After breakfast, you cycle to the city’s port and embark a ferry for a 10-minute cruise to Curonian Spit National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today’s ride follows a scenic designated bike path just a short distance from the Baltic shore.

An easy asphalt bike path spans the entire Curonian Spit, a narrow strip of land separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon. Interestingly, the southern half of the spit belongs to Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast territory, a tiny portion of which lies just south of Lithuania. You cycle through the Nagliai Natural Reserve, renowned for its Grey Dunes. These “Dead Dunes,” as they are also known, are far from dead; they are the highest drifting sand dunes in Europe, towering up to 200 feet in some places. Marvel at their heights as you ride among rare plants and pass through four villages excavated from sand. The fragrance of coastal pine forests accompanies you as you cycle into several charming fishing villages.

Your destination is Nida, the spit’s best-known little enclave. Pause here to savor the flavors of the Baltic Sea during an included lunch of local specialties. After, you meet a local craftsman and learn how he creates jewelry from Baltic amber. The fossilized tree resin here is among the most prized in the world, and Lithuania is a leading producer. Watch as your skilled artisan-host fashions pieces from the gemstone.

After, you head to a nearby pier to begin your exciting journey back to Klaipeda. Your captain welcomes you aboard his speedboat for an invigorating hour-and-a-half cruise in the Curonian Lagoon. As you trace the length of the spit that you just rode along, take in spectacular views of soaring sand dunes, colorful fishing villages and sea birds taking wing along the coast. The lagoon’s tranquil waters are part of a migratory route for millions of birds each year.

This evening, enjoy dinner on your own in one of Klaipeda’s numerous restaurants close to your hotel.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Klaipeda to Juodkrante – 25 km (15 miles) | Juodkrante to Nida – 32.7 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride is an easy one with little elevation gain. You have the choice of varying distances – either to the fishing village of Juodkrante or all the way to Nida. From your hotel, you cycle to the port to ferry across the Curonian Lagoon. Then you follow a designated bike path through the pine forests of Curonian Spit National Park. An asphalt bike path winds through the forest close to the beach before rejoining the streets that lead you to the village of Nida.

Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 58 km (15 – 34 miles)
Accommodation: Klaipeda, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, you leave Klaipeda behind and cycle north to the seaside resort town of Palanga. With its miles of bike routes, Palanga is a haven for cyclists.

En route, you ride through Birute Park, one of the most picturesque and best-preserved parks in northern Europe. The park was the vison of Count Feliks Tyszkiewicz, who also built his palace here in 1897. Today, the Count’s palace is home to Lithuania’s Amber Museum. During an included tour, your guide introduces you to the formation of amber, the extraction process, and the gemstone’s historical significance. The museum houses one of the largest collections of unique amber objects, including the Sun Stone—at 6.6 pounds, it is one of the largest pieces of amber in the world.

Afterward, explore Lithuania’s prime summer resort town of Palanga, admiring its sand beaches, dunes, and aromatic pine forests. Once a fishing village and source of amber, Palanga was transformed into a health resort during the 19th century. Today, it is an artistic and cultural center. With its numerous international cafés, Palanga’s main street, J. Basanaviciaus Street, is a perfect place for lunch on your own.

Later this afternoon, you leave the Baltic coast and travel an hour inland through Lithuania’s rural agricultural landscapes. Your destination is the Samogitian Highlands and Žemaitija National Park. The ethnographic region of Samogitia (Žemaitija) boasts a proud cultural heritage dating to the pagan era.

Here, you settle into your lakeside boutique-style resort. Your small group will have almost exclusive access to its four-star amenities, including the soothing spa.

This evening, gather with your fellow travelers and trip leaders for an included dinner at the resort.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Klaipeda to Palanga – 28 km (17 miles)
Afternoon: Palanga to Sventoji – 14 km (8 miles)

What to Expect: Ride out of the city of Klaipeda on designated bike paths along the city’s streets and sidewalks. The bike routes to Palanga also trace designated bike paths, following country roads with some traffic. In Palanga, you ride mostly on designated paved bike paths that pass through coastal pine forests and Birute Park. The afternoon ride offers a very similar pleasant ride all the way to Sventoji. Today’s ride poses very little elevation gain.

Cumulative Distance Range: 28 – 42 km (17 – 25 miles)
Accommodation: SALA Plateliai Resort, Paežeres Rudaiciu, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty Lithuanian breakfast, enjoy another lovely morning ride through the Žemaitija region all the way to one of the most important sites for Catholic pilgrimage in Baltics, Žemaiciu Kalvarija. Today’s scenic route traces country roads to the highlands of the park, passing through some of the most beautiful villages of quaint Baltic architecture you’ll see on your tour. Keep your eyes open for the many stork nests that dot this magical landscape.

Soon, you pause with your travel mates for lunch at a manor farm, a delicious and educational experience. Here in the heart of Žemaitija, you learn about Lithuanian cuisine, folklore, and history. With this well-rounded repast and tasty meal, you gain a deep knowledge of Žemaitija National Park from your hosts.

After, you pedal mostly downhill back to your lakeside resort, where the rest of the afternoon is free for you to spend at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll take advantage of the spa or row one of the resort’s canoes or kayaks out onto the lake.

This evening (weather permitting), enjoy a traditional outdoor Lithuanian barbecue dinner on the resort’s patio as the sun dips below the horizon.

Today’s Ride Choice:

Morning: Sala resort to Žemaiciu Kalvarija – 19 km (11.4 miles) | Žemaiciu Kalvarija to Plateliai Manor and Sala – 30 km (18 miles)

What to Expect: Your route today begins on the bike path in front of your resort. After a short stretch, you leave the paved bike path and follow scenic, two-lane country roads, mostly uphill, through small villages and past stunning scenery. With rolling hills and winding roads, the traffic here is slow and minimal. The return follows the same route, offering wonderful descents. As always, there will be a support vehicle for the uphill climbs. This will be the most challenging ride of the tour—but also one of the most rewarding.

Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 49 km (11 – 29 miles)
Accommodation: SALA Plateliai Resort, Paežeres Rudaiciu, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin today’s ride on Žemaitija National Park’s easy lakeside bike path, located right in front of your hotel. The park was established in 1991 to preserve the unique landscape and cultural heritage of this region of northwest Lithuania. Lakes cover more than seven percent of its territory, and you will cycle around the largest of them, Lake Plateliai. Pass through the picturesque village of Plateliai before stopping at one of the village’s typical 100-year-old wooden houses with its sloping Samogitian roof. Then cycle a flat, easy route to the Cold War Museum, a former, top-secret, Soviet underground missile site. Here, you will have an included walking tour that introduces you to the Soviet Union’s nuclear arms mission during the Cold War era.

Back at the resort, gather with your group for a lakeside picnic lunch of fresh, local favorites.

You then set off for the second Baltic country on your tour: Latvia. Breaking up the afternoon’s three-hour drive is a stop at the historic pilgrimage site of the Hill of Crosses, a mound in northern Lithuania blanketed with crosses adorned with statues, rosaries, and icons. Dating to at least the mid-19th century, this eerie site has been subjected to many efforts to demolish it—including a 1961 Soviet attempt that destroyed more than 5,000 crosses. Yet, this pilgrimage site has been rebuilt numerous times and even expanded. Today, the exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put the count at well over 100,000. In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the site and declared it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice.

Later in the afternoon, you arrive in Riga, Latvia’s scenic capital and Baltic port. Your five-star “Leading Hotel of the World” is ideally set within Riga’s Old Town. After settling into your accommodations, join a local guide for a walking tour of the city.

Dinner is on your own tonight at one of the many renowned restaurants in Riga.

Today’s Ride Choice:

Morning: Loop Ride around Lake Plateliai – 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Žemaitija National Park’s bike path around Lake Plateliai is paved except for approximately 1.2 miles (2 km) of packed dirt (though a paved-road option is also available if you prefer to avoid that stretch). Today’s ride is an easy one with very little elevation gain.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 km (15 miles)
Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, join a local guide for a short walk through Riga and a cruise on the lovely canal flowing through the town center. Your boat crosses the Daugava River, where you join a bike route to Latvia’s Baltic resort town of Jurmala, an enticing setting of sea and sand. Originally a cluster of fishing villages, this seaside oasis grew over two centuries to embrace an eclectic architectural mix. During the Soviet era, it was a favorite summer get-away for high-level Communist Party officials such as Brezhnev and Khrushchev. Today, it is a resort for the Baltic countries and Russia’s rich and famous—as witnessed by its luxurious and very expensive villas. You will have ample time to explore the town’s romantic wooden houses, Art Nouveau architecture, and beautiful beaches. You might even want to join the locals who cycle on the packed-sand bike trail that follows the edge of the Gulf of Riga. After free time in Jurmala, either cycle or get a ride with us back to Riga.

This evening, join your fellow travelers and trip leaders for a joyous reception and farewell dinner in your hotel’s elegant dining room.

Today’s Ride Choices:

Morning: Riga to Jurmala – 24 km (15 miles)
Afternoon: Jurmala to Riga – 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today, you follow designated bike paths along city streets and sidewalks and paved paths through the seaside forests of Jurmala. During the summer months, the bike path can become crowded with cyclists and pedestrians. You will also have the opportunity to cycle with the locals on packed-sand next to the water’s edge, depending on weather conditions and how crowded the beach is.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 45 km (15 – 27 miles)
Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, your tour ends. Hotel check-out time is 11:00 a.m.

Accommodation: Grand Palace Hotel, Riga, Latvia
Included Meals: Breakfast

Lithuania & Latvia: the Baltics 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2022

2022 Pre-Trip Extension - Vilnius

2 Nights From $245 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the 5-star Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Vilnius right by having a VBT representative greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2022

2022 Post-Trip Extension - Tallinn & Helsinki

3 Nights From $795 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $445

  • Flight from Riga to Tallin
  • 2 nights in Tallinn at the Schlössle Hotel & 2 nights in Helsinki’s Hotel Haven*
  • Ferry service from Tallinn to Helsinki
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Schlössle Hotel, Tallinn
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, meet your VBT representative, who will escort you to Tallinn’s port for transportation by ferry across the Baltic Sea from Estonia to Finland (approximately two hours). Exact details of today’s departure time will be given to you by your trip leaders while on tour.

Arrive at the ferry docks of Helsinki’s “West Harbor,” around midday. Upon disembarkation, you are met by a VBT representative, who will transport you to your harbor-side hotel. Your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., but the hotel can store your luggage until your room is ready. Your VBT city information will help you make the most of your time in Finland’s historic, neoclassical capital dotted with Art Nouveau buildings. Visit the impressive Helsinki Cathedral and browse the collections of the National Museum. Peruse the local goods and produce at Market Square, or stop by the distinctive Temppeliaukio Kirkko, or Rock Church, sculpted from a block of underground granite.

Accommodation: Hotel Haven, Helsinki
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, meet your VBT representative, who will escort you to Tallinn’s port for transportation by ferry across the Baltic Sea from Estonia to Finland (approximately two hours). Exact details of today’s departure time will be given to you by your trip leaders while on tour.

Arrive at the ferry docks of Helsinki’s “West Harbor,” around midday. Upon disembarkation, you are met by a VBT representative, who will transport you to your harbor-side hotel. Your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., but the hotel can store your luggage until your room is ready. Your VBT city information will help you make the most of your time in Finland’s historic, neoclassical capital dotted with Art Nouveau buildings. Visit the impressive Helsinki Cathedral and browse the collections of the National Museum. Peruse the local goods and produce at Market Square, or stop by the distinctive Temppeliaukio Kirkko, or Rock Church, sculpted from a block of underground granite.

Accommodation: Hotel Haven, Helsinki
Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Hotel Haven, Helsinki
Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Helsinki airport will be provided (an approximate 30-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $595

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $395

Fri, May 20 - Sun, May 29, 2022

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Sun, Jul 17 - Sat, Jul 23, 2022

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Fri, Aug 5 - Sun, Aug 14, 2022

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Fri, Sep 2 - Sun, Sep 11, 2022

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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