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Vilnius Jewish Heritage Tour

5 days
4 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

Per person in USD:

$ 1,290.00 (double occupancy)
$ 1,890.00 (single occupancy)

Dates:

ALL YEAR ROUND

Included:

4 nights at 4* centrally located hotel in Vilnius
Buffet breakfast daily
Roundtrip airport - hotel transfers
Transportation by minivan with a/c
English speaking tour guide-escort
Meeting at Jewish community center in Vilnius
Excursions as per itinerary
Entrances to Vilnius University and Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church in Vilnius, Jewish State museum , Synagogue, , Trakai Castle and Karaite museum in Trakai, 9th Fort in Kaunas, Ciurlionis Museum

Highlights & Experience:

 

Vilnius Jewish Ghetto
Jewish Museum
Ponar Forest and Memorial
Taharat Hakodesh Synagogue
Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius
Vilna Gaon
Slobodka Yeshiva
9 fort Memorial
Kaunas Old City
A. Mapu - Hebrew writer
Lea Goldberg
Trakai Castle
Karaites in Lithuania

Itinerary:

Day 1  : Vilnius

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

Day 2  : Vilnius

After breakfast meet our local guide experienced in the Jewish Heritage of Vilnius. Tour the historical old town of Vilnius - capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years. The tour includes St. Peter and St. 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. John's Church. The old Jewish quarter: narrow streets and courtyards of the middle-age Ghetto; the Great Vilna Synagogue and the shulhoyf; Vilna Gaon - the great Jewish scholar; Vilna - a center of the struggle between mitnagdim and hasidim; the famous Jewish sculptor Mordekhai Antokolski; the territory of the Large Ghetto; the courtyard of the Judenrat; the fight of the Ghetto prisoners against the Nazis. 

Day 3  : Vilnius –Paneriai-Trakai- Vilnius (70 km)

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to the only functioning Vilna Synagogue. Meeting at the Jewish Community Center, than visit to the Jewish State Museum and  the  Jewish cemeteries of Vilna, their past and present; the grave of the Vilna Gaon and of other prominent Jewish figures. Afternoon trip 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 fortifications 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- Vilnius ( 200 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 a stop at Zezmariai (Zhezhmer), where a remarkable Jewish community settled before the war; an example of survived wooden Synagogue. Arrival in Kaunas, 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. Visit the  house, where Chiune Sugihara lived and issued transit visas, that  saved 2300 Jewish people . Walking tour in Old town of Kaunas:  ruins of the Kaunas Castle, Town Hall Square with its impressive monuments, visit to the Cathedral, walking along the old town with original old architecture and pedestrian Laisvės Avenue, now housing cozy cafes, bars and souvenir shops. The house where Leah Goldberg, the prominent Israeli poetess, lived. The Art Gallery of M. K. Ciurlionis, the outstanding Lithuanian painter and composer, the Devil’s Museum with hundreds statues of devils. A walk in the Old Town with its Catholic churches, narrow streets and cobbled squares, cosy cafes and art galleries. On the way back to Vilnius, visit the country life open-air museum in Rumsiskes representing Lithuania’s major ethnographic regions’ 18-19 century way of life, architecture, traditions and crafts.

Day 5  : Vilnius

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.