Winter holiday in Stockholm & the Baltics

“An eight day cultural tour of Stockholm, travelling along the Baltic coast of Estonia and Latvia, and finishing in Lithuania. Staying in hotels and one overnight boat trip to Tallinn.”

Highlights

Stockholm | Tallinn | Parnu | Riga | Rundale Palace | War and Peace locations | Vilnius | Tragai Castle

Description of Winter holiday in Stockholm & the Baltics

Have yourself a very merry build up to Christmas on this beautiful Baltic winter holiday, starting in Stockholm, taking a ferry over the Baltic to Estonia and then following this great sea’s coast down through Estonia, Latvia and then through inland Lithuania.

While some people like to do Europe’s Christmas markets fleetingly, this is a week of festive, cultural and fascinating city tours with plenty of markets thrown into the mix. Starting in Stockholm where, as well as its archipelagic beauty, contemporary culture and capital city elegance, its museums and galleries make a fine cultural start to our tour.

Taking an overnight ferry to Tallinn across the Baltic, we have a day and a half to familiarise ourselves with its fairytale-like Old Town , with Gothic spires, horses and carts, pedestrianised medieval squares and artisan crafts. There are plenty of crafts on offer in Parnu too, Estonia’s old seaside resort town, with the biggest market in Eastern Europe for some serious stocking up on Christmas presents.

From Estonia, the smallest country in the Baltics to Latvia where the capital, Riga is the largest metropolis in the Baltics. A port town it has a very pretty, ancient centre, famous for its wooden buildings, cobbled streets, Gothic architecture and superb central market. Before wrapping up with a traditional hot toddy in one of its plethora of cafes, we take a guided tour of Riga Castle, The Dome Cathedral, St Peter’s Church, Great and Small Guild Halls and many more.

Heading further south into Lithuania, much favoured for locations in the recent award winning War and Peace series, and the last stop on this Baltic trip, we enjoy time in its capital city Vilnius. This UNESCO World Heritage site is not only famous for its ancient Cathedral and Square but also for a tile that marks where a 650km human chain linked the city to Tallinn in protest against Soviet occupation. Marked "stebuklas" meaning miracle, its exact location is a secret, but it is somewhere between the cathedral and the cathedral tower. This independent strength is something you will feel throughout the Baltic States, although you will have time to discover many of its secrets too.



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Date
Price
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29 Nov 2020
£1349
including UK flights
8 spaces left
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06 Dec 2020
£1349
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Dec 2020 departure
20 Dec 2020
£1449
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Dec 2020 departure
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
You will spend 6 nights in locally run hotels, all in good locations and some with sustainability certification (Konventa Seta in Riga). The hotels use locally produced ingredients wherever possible for breakfast and picnic meals- this is usually a combination of fresh bread, cheeses, meats, fruit and vegetables. Where meals are provided, the food will often be typical of the region; however we do encourage clients to use authentic, small restaurants and cafes as well. Your guide will be able to recommend or take you to some traditional restaurants, selling sauerkraut, borsch, veal and fish dishes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft and Culture:
There are several cultural stops on our trip, including guided tours around Stockholm, Tallinn and Vilnius, Riga Castle, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Monument to Freedom, Rundale Palace, Hill of Crosses and Trakai Castle. Our entry fees to these places go towards their maintenance and using local souvenir shops and cafes which surround them, the community benefits from our presence. In terms of local crafts, the Christmas markets are a definite highlight at this time of year. At Tallinn Christmas market clients can purchase handmade gifts, decorations and mulled wine. Riga Central Market offers Latvian specialties like smoked sausage, caraway cheese, local fruit and Kvas- the local beer made from rye bread.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides are local to the Baltics and in exchange for their insider’s knowledge and passion for the area, we ensure they are paid and treated fairly. You will also find that those working in the hotels and museums are locals as it is a natural requirement for those in the tourist industry to speak all three Baltic languages. Our support of locally staffed businesses helps to provide alternative employment opportunities in areas which are sometimes quite rural. The economy and local community therefore benefits.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 20 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

1 Reviews of Winter holiday in Stockholm & the Baltics

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 13 Jan 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Tallinn Estonia. Beautiful city with an amazing medieval section and Christmas market.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go a bit early and spend some extra time in Stockholm.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It benefited local people from us dining in the smaller restaurants and shopping in the markets. We had a full size tour bus but only 20 people so our carbon
footprint was a little bigger than needed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Awesome trip! An extra day in both Riga and Vilnius would have been nice. There is so much driving between the 3 major cities that you only get 1 full day in Latvia and Lithuania.

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