Over the centuries, Lithuania and Latvia have produced an abundance of Jewish scholars and thinkers whose legacy is still immense. Besides Rabbinical greats, many Jews of Lithuanian heritage are writers (including the co-founder of this company), many are scientists and scholars and Israel’s government, from the earliest days to the present, is graced with an abiding “Litvishe” spirit. Tour Jewish Vilna and Kovno, the two sterling cities of Jewish Lithuania as well as Riga, the fascinating capital of Latvia. You will also enjoy visiting the third Baltic state, Estonia whose capital, Tallinn is a quaint medieval gem. For those with a tighter schedule, this tour presents the essence of the Baltics with a Jewish flavor.
Jewish tour to the Baltics
Vilnius – Riga – Tallinn
Vilnius, 2 nights. Stikliai Hotel
Riga, 2 nights. Grand Poet Hotel
Tallinn, 2 nights. Telegraaf Hotel
6 Breakfasts (B)
Your land tour includes:
Private arrival / departure transfers
Private touring and sightseeing
Luxury 5 Star Boutique Hotels in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn
Breakfast daily at the hotels
Complete program with insights to the Jewish history and other highlights in the Baltic countries
All taxes and fees
Your land tour does not include:
Airfare to Vilnius and back from Tallinn
Departure taxes, fuel surcharges and airport improvement fees
Porterage at airports and hotels
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Early check in/late check out
Insurance though not included is strongly
Gratuities of a purely personal nature such as laundry and valet service
Tipping to guide, driver and hotel staff
E. & O.E.
These departures are guaranteed (2 travelers minimum)
No deposits are required!
We can accommodate pre/post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.
Passport & Visa:
No visa is required for travel to the Baltics countries. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
For information or reservations please contact Janice Snider.
Day 1 Monday Vilnius (Vilna)
Upon arrival in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, meet your guide and transfer to your luxurious boutique hotel. Later begin a walking tour in the former Jewish Ghetto and Vilnius’s Old Town. Get acquainted with “Litvak” life at the Great Vilna Synagogue. Continue via Cathedral Square, historic Castle Street and the Baroque Vilnius University where a thriving Yiddish Institute is located. Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Stikliai Hotel.
Day 2 Tuesday Vilnius (Vilna)
Today continue discovering the place in the Baltics once called “the Jerusalem of Lithuania.” Vilnius boasted dozens of synagogues and Jewish schools – consequently, we call it “Vilna,” its Yiddish name. While Poland is the source of joyous Chassidism, the Litvak or “Litvishe” mentality is for the most part known for its Talmudic reasoning. First visit the only working Synagogue and explore the beautiful Vilnius Jewish Museum and Art Gallery. Visit the Ponar Forest and Memorial outside Vilnius. Amidst the rustling of the poplar leaves, feel the presence of thousands of Jews taken and immediately shot in the early days of the war. Lastly, visit the Jewish cemetery and pay respects at the Vilna Gaon’s. Above all, the Vilna Gaon personifies the Litvishe heritage; his attribute, “Gaon,” is Hebrew for sage. Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Stikliai Hotel. (B)
Day 3 Wednesday Vilnius (Vilna) – Riga
Today, a trip to Latvia‘s capital city, Riga, awaits you. Before arriving pay respects at the sites of the former Salapils Concentration Camp and the Rumbula massacre. In the afternoon tour Riga, beginning with its impressive neighborhood of renowned Art Nouveau houses. You will see the childhood home of Sir Isaiah Berlin, philosopher and Oxford professor. His commemorative plaque is appropriately engraved in Latvian, English, and Hebrew. Next check in at the hotel. Grand Poet Hotel. (B)
Day 4 Thursday Riga
Embark on a full-day tour of Jewish Riga including the Jewish Quarter and Memorial to the Great Synagogue (which was burned down). Visit the wall honoring Righteous Gentiles in order to learn the story of Jannis Lipke, who saved many Jews. Pass the building of the 19th century Jewish School en route to the Latvian Holocaust Museum in the former Riga Ghetto. Next visit the small but informative Jewish Documentation Center part of a museum exhibit on Jewish life from the 18th century to the present. This Center illustrates how the Jews played a major role among intellectual Latvian society and how their community was, nonetheless, destroyed by the Nazis. Additionally, the newest section of this museum illustrates how Jewish life was reborn after Latvian independence. The exhibit is therefore named: “The Jewish People Survived!” Cap the day with a visit to Peitav Synagogue before returning to the hotel in the late afternoon. Grand Poet Hotel. (B)
Day 5 Friday Riga – Tallinn
This morning, transfer to Estonia. Upon arrival in the capital, Tallinn visit the synagogue and Jewish Center. In the afternoon explore the charming city of Tallinn rated by many travel magazines as one of Europe’s best-kept secrets and deservedly placed on UNESCO’s list of “World Heritage” sites. Drive to the Upper Old Town located on top of a hill and enjoy vistas of the city below and the Baltic Sea beyond. Later check-in at the hotel Telegraaf Hotel. (B)
Day 6 Tallinn
This morning enjoy a walking tour of the Historic Lower Old Town. This part of Tallinn has been carefully preserved through the centuries. It is one of the finest examples of a Medieval Hanseatic town. Stroll past the Gothic Town Hall to St. Catherine‘s Passage featuring quaint old merchants’ houses. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to further explore this charming, atmospheric town. Telegraaf Hotel. (B)
Day 7 Sunday Tallinn – Home flights
Transfer to the airport for flights back to Canada/USA (B)
B=Breakfast L=Lunch LL= Light Lunch D=Dinner