Exact dates yet to be confirmed (July 2014, depending on ferry timetables), but please contact us to pre-register your interest in this tour.
This two week tour of the Baltic States takes you on an amazing journey through, historical, cultural and scenic delights, visiting the beautiful capital cities of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as the less explored countryside of these fascinating, former Eastern bloc countries. The journey to and from the Baltics includes driving through Denmark, and a small part of Germany, and very short visit to Finland as well.The tour will drive across Denmark and Germany before taking an overnight ferry from Kiel across the Baltic Sea to Klaipeda in Lithuania. Visit the Curonian Spit before crossing the country to visit the capital, the beautiful Baroque city of Vilnius, for two nights. Travel north to Latvia and Riga for two nights. The tour will then go to Sigulda and the Gauja National Park, and north to Estonia and the pretty beach resort of Parnu for one night. Continue onto Virtsu where we shall take a ferry to the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu for a two night stay. Back to the mainland and onto the capital, Tallinn for two nights. Our return journey will be by ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, with a few hours in Helsinki, then another (overnight) ferry from Helsinki to Rostock in Germany. After a final night in Germany, drive to Esbjerg, Denmark for the return crossing to Harwich, England.
Click image to enlarge – Baltics section only
All the hotels are individual and unique and, overall, are of an extremely high standard, often in stunning buildings and locations. Due to the nature and age of these hotels the rooms vary from charmingly comfortable to the utmost luxury. We have hand-picked the accommodation for their unique atmosphere and style.
All accommodation includes breakfast. Suitable parking is, of course, a feature of each hotel, but it is not always undercover.
*Itinerary may be subject to change without notice*
All UK vehicles will meet in Harwich. Leave Harwich at 18.00 for an overnight sailing to Esbjerg, Denmark. Dinner is included on board, as is breakfast tomorrow morning.
Arrive in Esbjerg at 13.00 and drive south into Germany to Kiel. Catch an evening ferry from Kiel (20.00), which will take us across the Baltic Sea to Lithuania. The ferry journey is 21 hours so plenty of time to relax and read a great book. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included on the crossing.
Arrive at 6pm in the coastal resort of Klaipeda, just at the top of the beautiful Curonian Spit – the most exotic natural wonderland in the Baltics. The Spit is a National Park and has fabulous long beaches. Stay for two nights in a lovely hotel in Klaipeda, with underground parking. Dinner is included.
Drive along the border with Kaliningrad, heading east for Vilnius. Visit the Rumsiskes open-air museum, which has 150 original buildings from all over the country.Then visit Trakai, a major medieval fortress, surrounded by a lake, just to the west of Vilnius. Stay in Vilnius for two nights in a gorgeous boutique hotel, with a gated courtyard for parking.
Explore the beautiful Baroque city of Vilnius and its Old Town; an inviting warren of cobbled alleyways and Byzantine churches. The city has a laidback charm and atmosphere that draws you in and it is easily explored on foot. Vilnius can and quite rightly does claim to contain the finest examples of baroque architecture north of Rome, and this alone is reason enough to visit. But if that isn’t enough, there are parks and there are rivers and there are museums that rival the best in western Europe. Other surprises to be found are a few remaining Soviet curiosities, a miracle or two, occasional naked monks and an angel on skates.
Head north into Latvia. Just to the south of Riga take time to visit one of Latvia’s architectural wonders, the stupendous 18th-century Rundale Palace, a huge Baroque palace of aristocratic excess, and veritable ‘Versailles of the north’. Continue on to Riga, capital of Latvia. Stay for two nights in a wonderful, historic, luxury hotel with secure courtyard parking. Dinner is included.
Explore Riga, a boisterous, mercantile city, that was once part of the Hanseatic League. The city has a rich collection of Art Nouveau architecture, Baroque churches, cobbled squares and idiosyncratic museums. The Old Town is a compact network of narrow streets and medieval merchant houses, dotted with Gothic spires and fairytale turrets. Most of the buildings are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Museum of Latvian Occupation is extremely interesting. There is also a motor museum featuring Latvian and Soviet transport history.
Drive up to the Gauja National Park, a wonderfully unspoilt and forested area where the river carves through steep cliffs. Explore the Gauja River area, including Turaida Castle and the nineteenth-century aristocratic seat of Krimulda, both sitting on the cliff top above the river. Then head north along the coast and into Estonia. Arrive in the beach-side resort of Parnu, which is blessed with a glorious white-sand beach, and has a really charming old centre with delightful wooden houses. Stay in a century-old merchant’s grand villa, now a truly exquisite and stylish, Russian Art Noveau hotel, restored to the highest quality. Dinner is included.
Leave Parnu behind and drive across lovely countryside to the coast. From here take the ferry to the island of Muhu. Stay for the next two nights on the southern tip of the island in one of Estonia’s most charming manor houses, now an exquisite, five-star hotel situated at the sea edge. There is a spa, private cinema, and renowned restaurant, as well as a number of activities to keep you amused. Dinner is included.
Take the opportunity to explore Muhu and the neighbouring, larger island of Saaremaa, reached by a causeway. For Estonians, these islands epitomise the nation’s natural beauty more than any other place. See the Bishop’s Castle in Kuressaare, or the Angla windmills, or the meteor crater. Or, if you prefer, spend the day relaxing at the manor. Boat rental, mountain bikes, water skiing, fishing, and riding can all be arranged, or pamper yourself in the spa.
Leave Muhu and take the ferry back to the mainland. It is only about two hours drive to Tallinn, the capital. Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in northern Europe and is a really beautiful place. The Old Town’s maze of paved alleys, turrets, slender steeples, and proud merchant houses look like they are from a fairy tale. Stay for two nights in one of Tallinn’s best hotels, a fabulous five star hotel that used to be the Estonian Telegraph exchange, in the heart of the Old Town, with a spa, pool – and secure courtyard/underground parking. Dinner is included.
Spend the day discovering the delights of Tallinn; a fascinating combination of quaint medieval old town, and gleaming, glass-fronted new metropolis. Visit Kadriorg, a leafy park laid out by Peter the Great, with a palace at its centre, and home of the finest art museum in the Baltics. There will be a private guided tour (groups only) for about 90 minutes in the morning, to really discover the city and its quirks.
Leave Tallinn and Estonia by ferry at 2pm on the short crossing (2 hours) to Helsinki, Finland. Spend a couple of hours exploring Helsinki and maybe having dinner, and then take the overnight ferry to Rostock, Germany at 21.00.
The day will be spent crossing the Baltic Sea, so enjoy time to relax. Arrive in Rostock, Germany at 11pm and stay in a nearby luxury hotel in the centre of town (with underground parking). Dinner is included on the ferry.
Spend an hour or so in Rostock before driving up through Denmark and spend the day discovering the small villages in the southern part of the country, such as the pretty town of Ribe. The ferry departs from Esbjerg at 18.45. Dinner is included on board.
Arrive Harwich at midday and depart for home.
Duration: 16 nights
Mileage: 1,330 miles – 875 miles in the Baltic States and 430 miles in Germany and Denmark
€TBC per person – based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room and cabin travelling from the UK
€TBC per person – based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room and cabin travelling and joining the tour at Kiel, Germany
- An extensively researched and carefully designed itinerary to optimise your trip
- Tour participation
- All accommodation for 16 nights for two people sharing a twin or double room
- Breakfast every morning & dinner on 10 evenings. You will be able to dine at restaurants of your choice on other nights.
- Return crossing from Harwich, England to Esbjerg, Denmark for a car & two people (with sea view cabin)
- One-way crossing from Kiel, Germany to Klaipeda, Lithuania for a car & two people (with sea view cabin)
- One-way crossing from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland for a car & two people (day time 2 hour crossing)
- One-way crossing from Helsinki, Finland to Rostock, Germany for a car & two people (with sea view cabin)
- Tour book – includes a brief history of the countries to be visited, emergency details, maps and directions, accommodation information, and a very detailed, tailored account of sights and visits for each day. The book effectively eliminates the need for any other guide books
- Arrangement and reservation of optional activities (entry not included)
- Event regalia – there will be a rally plaque for each car.
- European and Baltic States road maps
- A professional hard-back photo book of the tour (from photos taken on the trip)
What’s not included
- Evening meals (unless stated – 10 included) and all lunches
- Entry into attractions and activities
- Personal travel and medical insurance
- We strongly suggest and recommend you have European breakdown cover, and ensure you are covered for the countries to be visited. The RAC and Green Flag both cover the Baltics but the AA do not.
- All drinks are extra to accommodate individual preferences.
- This tour is only open to classic, vintage and sports cars of any age.
- Each person must have a passport (and any necessary visas for non-EU passport holders) valid for Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland and any other countries you may visit to participate on the tour.
- All passports must be valid for six months after the end of the tour.
- You will also need your vehicle registration documents, driving licence (a photo-card licence or international permit is best), and an international insurance green card.
- Please check with your travel and motor insurers that you are covered for travel in the required countries.
- You are also required to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fluorescent jacket, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
- The most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, relish individual, character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers.