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Jewish Heritage Baltic Tour

8 days
7 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

Per person in USD:

$ 2,900.00 (double occupancy)
$ 3,600.00 (single occupancy)

Dates:

ALL YEAR ROUND

Included:

 

3 nights in Vilnius
1 night in Kaunas
3 nights in Riga
Buffet breakfast daily
Airport - hotel transfers
Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
English speaking tour escort
Excursions as per itinerary
Meeting at Jewish community center in Vilnius
Entrances to Vilnius University and Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church in Vilnius, Jewish State museum , Synagogue, Trakai Castle, Karaite museum in Trakai, 9th Fort in Kaunas, Rundale Palace, Dom Church, Synagogue and gallery of Art Nouveau in Riga.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1  : VILNIUS

Arrival at Vilnius airport. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. 

Day 2  : VILNIUS

After breakfast you will meet our tour guide experienced in the Jewish Heritage of the Baltic countries. Morning city tour of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years. The tour includes: Sts.Peter and Paul’s Church, Gediminas Castle, Cathedral Square, St.Anne’s and Bernardines’ Churches, the Gates of Dawn with the holy image of the Virgin Mary, Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, Town Hall Square and Vilnius University (founded in 1579) with St. Johns’ Church. Afternonn visit to the only functioning Vilna Synagogue. Walking tour to the old Jewish quarter: narrow streets and courtyards, the Great Vilna Synagogue and Shulhoyf, the courtyard of Judenrat. 

Day 3  : VILNIUS- PANERIAI- TRAKAI-VILNIUS ( 70 km)

Breakfast at hotel. Visit to the Jewish State Museum and meeting at the Jewish Community Center. Afternoon trip to to the Ponar Forest near Vilnius, where more than 100.000 people, mostly Jewish, were murdered by the Nazis. Continue to Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, nestled in a picturesque region of lakes, forests and hills. Visit to Trakai Castle, a spectacular complex of the 14th century defensive fortifi cations erected on an island in the Lake Galve and to the Karaite Museum telling the story of this small ethnic group confessing Judaism, brought by Duke Vytautas the Great from the Crimea 600 years ago. Return to Vilnius. 

Day 4  : VILNIUS-KAUNAS (100 km)

After breakfast a trip to Kaunas (Kovna), the second largest city of Lithuania and the interim capital of the country between the two world wars. En route stop at Zezmariai (Zhezhmer), where a remarkable Jewish community settled before the war; an example of survived wooden Synagogue. Arrival in Kaunas Sightseeing includes ruins of the Kaunas Castle, Town Hall Square with its impressive monuments. Visiting Slobodka, the Jewish suburb of Kaunas and the ghetto during World War II, the Old Jewish cemetery, the 9th Fort - death sites of thousands of Jews from Lithuania and other countries. 

Day 5  : KAUNAS- KEDAINIAI - SIAULIAI -HILL OF CROSSES – JONISHKIS - RUNDALE - BAUSKA - RIGA (340 km)

After breakfast departure to Riga, the capital of Latvia. En route a short visit to Kedainiai, a citadel of Radzivil family, one of the most powerful nobility in late middle age Lithuania and also a town where the Vilna Gaon lived and worked and where 3 synagogues have remained. Visit the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai, a symbol of Lithuanians’ resistance against foreign rule, with more than 250.000 crosses. A short stop in Jonishkis - an example of pre-war shtetl in Lithuania. Stopover in Rundale. Visit to Rundale Palace of the 18th century, a beautiful late Baroque palace in Latvia. It is a splendid example of the early work of famous Italian architect F. B. Rastrelli. Drive to Riga through Bauska (Boisk) the place where Rav Cook is coming from. Arrival in Riga and hotel check-in

Day 6  : RIGA

After breakfast combined driving and walking tour encompasses the most significant sights of Riga: driving along the central boulevards of Riga, enjoying the view of the City Canal Parks, the Bastion Hill, the Powder Tower, the Latvian National Theatre, the Fine Arts Museum, the Freedom Monument, University of Latvia, Latvian National Opera House and the Daugava River. During the walking part of the tour you will enjoy the beauty of the ancient Hanseatic City: picturesque streets of the Old Town, the Dome Cathedral, the Church of St.Peter, the old Guild Houses, the Swedish Gate, St.Jacob’s Church, the Parliament House, Old Riga Castle. Afternonn the tour of Jewish Riga including Jewish quarter, memorial for the burnt Great Synagogue of Riga, Jewish school founded in 19 c. by Rav dr. Max Liliental, the Synagogue, the museum “Jews in Latvia”, Jewish community centre. Visit to Rumbula and Bikierniki Memorials, where Nazis murdered thousands of Jews from Latvia, Germany and Czechoslovakia. Salaspils - the memorial site of a concentration camp. 

Day 7  : RIGA

After breakfast morning visit of the Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) districkt and the biggest gallery of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) architecture by Russian-Jewish architect Mikhail Eisenstein. Afternoon at leisure in Riga. Enjoy shopping or walking along the narrow streets of Riga Old Town. 

Day 8  : RIGA

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Riga airport. End of the tour.

Notes:

 

At a special request we will arrange a Jewish roots tour exploring your personal family history. You will visit the State Historical Archive, obtain copies of original record and visit shtetls of your choice exploring the past of your ancestors. A car, driver and guide/interpreter will be pre-arranged for you. You will spend the night in the nearest city offering hotel accommodations. Visits to Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus are possible during this time.