Helsinki, Tallinn & Riga
Save up to £50 per person on selected 2020
departures when booked on or before 31/05/2019
Discover three shining stars of the Nordic and Baltic regions, beginning in progressive before exploring Finland, Estonia and Latvia by rail and coach.
From London Gatwick, board your flight to Helsinki, arriving mid-afternoon. Following check-in at your hotel, you have some free time to begin exploring the eclectic Finnish capital. Situated on an archipelago surrounded by a number of smaller islands, Helsinki has many nooks and crannies to delve into, many of which are connected by regular ferry services.
Set out on a guided city tour this morning on foot. Throughout your holiday, guides will make use of audio headsets, allowing you to hear their insightful commentary from wherever in the group you are.
The stylish and beautiful port-city of Helsinki is the world's second most northerly capital (after Reykjavik, in Iceland). It regards itself as a city where East meets West, having been heavily influenced by both cultures over the centuries, and is filled with nature thanks to its many public parks and open spaces. As you walk the compact streets, you'll see evidence of 450 years of history in the architecture of its buildings, from the avant-garde to the Byzantine. Some of the sights you'll see include, Senate Square, the city's three cathedrals, the Government Palace, Temppeliaukio Church, and Helsinki Market Square, overlooked by the Presidential Palace. This afternoon you are at leisure
Continue your Baltic adventures today with a journey to Tallinn, beginning with a coach transfer to the ferry terminal. Then sail across the Gulf of Finland to the capital city of Estonia, your base for the next three nights
Setting out on a guided walking tour this morning, soak up the city's landmarks and attractions across both the Upper and Lower Towns. Tallinn is filled with pretty churches and charming cobbled streets, and its central, Old Town district (Toompea) is surrounded by historic and wonderfully preserved defensive walls. Toompea is the oldest part of Tallinn and is often referred to as the 'most attractive part' of the city. Throughout its history, this area has been home to the top echelons of society, including aristocrats, top politicians and the city's wealthiest residents.
However, many locals will point to Lower Tallinn when asked to name their favourite part of the city. This area known as All-Linn, is arguably as beautiful as Toompea - the limestone buildings and terracotta-tiled roofs have a real charm, and this the vibe here is markedly more vibrant. Landmarks of interest you'll see include, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the 15th century Town Hall, and 18th century Kadriorg Castle
Today you are free to look around independently. Perhaps return to the Old Town and visit the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads, the only preserved Renaissance building in Tallinn. Another option is the unusually named "Kiek in de Kök", which means "Peek into the kitchen". This historic tower is believed to have acquired its name due to its height, which allowed those in the tower to see through the windows of the surrounding buildings. It houses a permanent exhibition of Tallinn's military history and also serves as an entrance to the Bastion Tunnels, a network of hidden tunnels built in the 17th century during Swedish rule.
Transfer by coach to the station then join the train for Valga, travelling in First Class. On arrival you are driven into Riga, the capital of Latvia, enjoying scenic stops along the way at rural Sigulda and Turaida Castle.
Embark on a guided walking tour this morning, uncovering Riga's history - both ancient and modern. Marvel at a skyline filled with church steeples, wander broad avenues, and admire majestic Art Nouveau palaces. Riga is, above all, famous for its spectacular Art Nouveau architecture, and there is no other European city with so many buildings featuring that particular 19th century style.
See the city's stunning opera house and stop at several of Latvia's oldest and most prized houses of worship, including Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's Church. Following your group tour, spend your afternoon exploring at your own pace. You may like to stop off at the Freedom Monument (known as 'Milda' to Rigans). This 138- foot tall statue, a symbol of Latvia's freedom and independence, sits gracefully between the Old Town and the city and the tower's honour guard changes shifts every hour, on the hour
After a final breakfast, check out and transfer to Riga airport for your afternoon flight back to Gatwick, where your tour draws to a close.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Discover three shining stars of the Nordic and Baltic regions