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Checkout Jay Way Travel 2021 in Riga, Latvia – Summer Vacations Watch Video

Jay Way Travel 2021, Summer Vacation in Riga, Latvia

This sample 10-day (9 night) itinerary covers Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, the capitals of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania respectively. Our top tour of the Baltic States, this relaxed pace itinerary will show you one of the most exciting up-and-coming regions for tourism in Europe. All three republics were occupied by the USSR, and since regaining independence have blossomed, reveling in their newfound freedom. There’s a pristine beauty to the landscape here, and the cities still feel relatively undiscovered. Anyone who enjoys beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine, and vibrant cities will find something to enjoy. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea of what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.

One of our team members in the region will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, and spacious apartments. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.

 

Day 1 – Arrival in Tallinn

When you arrive, we’ll have a driver waiting to greet you. You’ll be taken to your accommodation in the photogenic medieval Old Town of Tallinn, the Estonian capital.

Get a Bird’s-Eye View

 Suggestion to explore on your own

 

Get your bearings and a feeling for Tallinn by looking out from one of its highest vistas. The city follows the coastline, so you’re never far from the sea. From its highest points, you can catch the sunset, watch ferries coming in, and see how the old town was once two separate cities, with Tallinn sitting beneath Toompea. We’ll recommend places to eat while enjoying panoramas, or just for taking in the best views.

Day 2 – Your First Full Day in Tallinn

 

The Old Town Private Walking Tour

 Included in your vacation package price.

 

The history, culture and legends of Tallinn will come alive for you on this wonderfully informative walking tour. The entire tour is on foot, as that’s the best way to feel the cobblestoned streets of Old Town, which has earned its spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Your experienced local guide will provide an overview of the history of Tallinn and Estonia as you explore the charming historical sights of both the Lower and Upper sections of the Old Town. It’s the best way to see all the famous places in one easy tour.

 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

Baroque History: Kadriorg Palace and Park

 Suggestion to explore on your own

 

One of the more regal sites in Tallinn is Kadriorg Palace, a Baroque palace built by Peter the Great for Catherine I of Russia. Today this stately palace, surrounded by well-kept gardens, houses the Kadriorg Art Museum, with foreign art from the 16th to the 20th century. There are a number of museums in the park, including Kumu (the Estonian Art Museum), Kadriorg Art Museum and the Mikkeli Museum, as well as monuments to such cultural figures as sculptor Amandus Adamson, author F. R. Kreutzwald, and artist Jaan Koort.

 

 
 

Day 3 – Your Second Full Day in Tallinn

 

Lahemaa National Park Group Tour

 Included in your vacation package price.

 

Join us for an amazing day in the Lahemaa National Park. Explore with us the Estonian countryside that is home to towering pine forests, picturesque coastline, and mysterious bogs. Discover with us stories and places you would never stumble across on your own. You will learn about the history of Estonia and its people by visiting different places with our experienced guides. We will take you from the biggest natural waterfall in Estonia to the hidden old manor houses like Kolga or Sagadi, from mesmerizing forests to romantic little coastal villages like Altja. Bring your sense of adventure and be ready to hike through the Viru bog on a 3,5 km wooden trail over the wetland. On warm summer days the brave can swim in the bog lakes. Minimum 4 participants required for the tour to take place!

 


Activity Level : Strenuous
Duration : 9 hours

Go Bohemian in Kalamaja

 Suggestion to explore on your own

Of all the neighborhoods in Tallinn, Kalamaja is one of the most exciting. This fast-growing area between Old Town and the scenic coast is known for its hip selection of cafes, shops, restaurants and bars. Once a closed-off Soviet border zone, it has seen a renaissance of development in recent years. Seaplane Harbour, the Estonian Maritime Museum, is very modern and quite interesting. It’s just one of the things worth seeing around here.

 

Day 4 – Traveling to Riga by Bus

The vibrant capital city of Riga is next on your itinerary. We’ll have a driver pick you up at your hotel and take you to the bus station. You will be provided with tickets and seat reservations. It’s a 4.5-hour journey, and the buses are modern and luxurious, with wireless internet, free refreshments and more. If you’d prefer more comfort and flexibility, we can arrange a private transfer for an additional fee. It includes door-to-door service and the possibility of seeing sights along the way. The university town of Tartu, the coastal towns of Parnu or Haapsalu in Estonia or the castles and outdoor activity areas of Sigulda, Latvia are all en route.

 You can upgrade your transfer

 
Tallinn – Riga Private Sightseeing Transfer

 

Upgrade for an additional cost
We also offer the following excursions in Tallinn

Bog-shoe Hiking Private Tour

Strenuous4-5 hours

Coastal Cliffs and Soviet Paldiski Group Tour

Moderate7 hours

Coastal Cliffs and Soviet Paldiski Private Tour

Moderate7 hours

Forest Lakes Ice Skating Private Tour

Moderate4 hours

3 Nights in Riga

 

Riga’s story is one of resurrection. After being damaged by fighting in World War II, the city has returned to beautiful prominence after two decades of independence. Riga really has come a long way, earning UNESCO World Heritage status and being named the European Capital of Culture for 2014. This is a lovely city that takes art and culture seriously, with a packed classical music calendar and events held nightly. You’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Baltic capital. Exploring the city, you’ll have the largest market and bazaar in Europe on-hand, as well as the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. You could spend days wandering around admiring these beautiful buildings. But there’s more to do. The city is rich in museums, galleries and concert halls, so your cultural calendar will be full during your stay. And the nightlife is excellent too, with fine restaurants, boutique bars and cute cafes. Rundale and Sigulda are both gorgeous castles and palaces reachable for a day trip.

 

Day 4 – Arrival in Riga

When you arrive at the bus station, we’ll have a driver waiting to greet you and take you to your accommodation in Riga’s Old Town.

Riga From On High

 Suggestion to explore on your own

What better way to start your visit to a new city than admiring the view from above? From St. Peter’s Church in the old town, the stalinist Latvian Academy of Sciences, mountainous National Library (also known as the Mountain of Light), or the Riga Radio and TV Tower (the tallest structure in the EU), extraordinary views of Riga and even the sea are easy to find. If you’d like to accompany great views with excellent drinks, we can recommend the best rooftop bar in the city so you can kick back with cocktails.

 

Day 5 – Your First Full Day in Riga

 

Riga Private Walking Tour

 Included in your vacation package price.

 

This is one of our favorite tours of Riga. You will get churches, you will get town squares, you will get dates and numbers but you will also get ghost stories, jokes, tales, odd legends and hidden gems that many miss in the beautiful Old Riga. Your tour guide will make a point of being honest about Old Riga, showing you which parts were rebuilt by the Soviets, which parts were rebuilt after independence in 1991 and what locals think is the future of the Riga Old Town. There’s no better way to get a local’s point of view on the city.

 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

 

Artful Architecture: Art Nouveau Tour

 Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Riga’s Old Town is protected by UNESCO, in large part because of the gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings in the center. We suggest taking a look at some of them today. The style accounts for about 40% of Riga’s buildings, so there’s plenty to see. Alberta Street and the so-called Quiet Center, where the embassies are located, are great places to start. If you would prefer the company of an expert local guide to make sure you don’t miss any of the best and most impressive details, we can arrange that for you.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2-3 hours

 

Day 6 – Your Second Full Day in Riga

Escape the Big City

 Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

 

Riga has a perfect location to take day trips to the most interesting spots across the country, including sandy beaches and national parks. Starting with Jurmala, a beautiful beach town next to Riga, to the baroque palace of Rundale, one of the most impressive buildings in the region. For nature lovers, Sigulda and the Gauja National Park are not to be missed. In addition to natural beauty, these two offer a range of activities, from riding a cable car or bobsled, to poking through castles and ruins. To get off the beaten bath we suggest Kuldiga, with its narrow cobblestone streets, old buildings, and Europe’s widest waterfall.

 

 

Sigulda Private Day Tour

 Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

 

Sigulda was where tourism really began in Latvia, with locals visiting the natural beauty of the Gauja River, surrounded by medieval castles and ruins. Today the magic lives on and you have the chance to take a custom tour of the area. This tour is completely flexible for individuals or small groups. Whether you want to appreciate the area’s natural beauty or you want to step into history by visiting a former Soviet nuclear bunker or an ancient castle, it’s up to you. The choice is yours and whatever you decide on you’re sure to have a fantastic day.

 


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 7 hours

 

Kuldiga Private Day Trip

 Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Kuldiga is one of the most serene little cities in Latvia, a place where you can enjoy a tasty lunch while the river gurgles by. On this full-day excursion, your guide will pick you up at your accommodation, drive you to Kuldiga and then show you around. At the end of the day you’ll be driven back to your accommodation. This is a total change of pace from Riga and just might be the highlight of your holiday.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 8 hours

 

Jurmala Private Day Trip

 Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

 

This tour is full of contrasts. You’ll see the beautiful beach and walk vibrant streets full of bars and cafes. You’ll also see the other side of the city: quiet tree-lined streets, 100-year-old wooden mansions, Soviet-era eyesores and stunning nature reserves. Relax on the beach and take in the sun, hear tales about Jurmala’s past residents and the people who live there today. Enjoy local foods, ice cream, cakes, and drinks and mix with the many locals and foreigners who flock to the “Baltic Riviera” in the summer.

 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7 hours

 

Rundale Palace Private Day Trip

 Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

 

One of Latvia’s hidden gems is the Baroque Rundale Palace. This is one of the most stunning buildings in the Baltic States, and makes a fantastic day trip from Riga. Your guide will drive you to the palace, where you’ll have plenty of time to explore the palace and its beautiful gardens. On the way back, you’ll have the opportunity to stop in one of the nearby towns. The tour will take around six hours in total, so an early start is recommended. For more info on Rundale, read our blog post.

 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5-6 hours

 

Day 7 – Traveling to Vilnius by Private Transfer

A private driver will pick you up today for your trip to the intriguing Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Along the way there will be a couple of stops to break up the drive. First, you’ll explore the impressively decadent Rundale Palace in Latvia. After entering Lithuania, you’ll make a shorter stop at the UNESCO site known as the Hill of Crosses. Please keep in mind this is a non guided transfer and tickets to different attractions are not included! Your driver will take you to your Vilnius accommodation at the end of the journey. The vehicle used for your transfer will be a standard sedan, station wagon or minivan. We can arrange for an upgrade to a more luxurious class of vehicle for an extra fee.

 
We also offer the following excursions in Riga

Alternative Riga Private Tour

Light2-3 hours

Central Market Private Tour

Light1 hour and 30 minutes

Funky Bike Private Tour

Strenuous2-3 hours

Jewish Riga Private Driving and Walking Tour

Light5 hours

3 Nights in Vilnius

 

With one of the oldest surviving Old Town neighborhoods in Europe, as well as a collection of classic architecture from Baroque to Gothic and everything in between, Vilnius is sure to astound you. Walking around the city and marveling at the sites is a pleasure in itself, but there’s much more to do here because Vilnius is also a vibrant cultural epicenter, with concerts and art exhibitions happening regularly. There are also numerous outdoor activities and day trips to enjoy while you stay in the city. It might surprise you, but hot air balloons are a popular pastime in and around Vilnius, and the city is one of the few in Europe that allows hot air balloons to float directly over the city, so you’re guaranteed a spectacular view whether you opt for a flight over the city or nearby Trakai. There’s also a rich Jewish heritage to explore here, including the former synagogue and the larger and smaller ghetto. We’d also recommend delving into the darker areas of the city’s past and exploring the communist era and the history of the KGB in Vilnius at the KGB Museum. Don’t miss Uzupis, a bohemian neighborhood of galleries, restaurants, and cafes that doubles as a tongue-in-cheek sovereign state, complete with its own charming constitution, three-boat navy, and flags (one per season).

 

Day 7 – Arrival in Vilnius

 

Your driver will bring your directly to your accommodation in Old Town.

 

Unique Uzupis

 Suggestion to explore on your own

Take the opportunity to explore one of Vilnius’ most colorful neighborhoods, Uzupis. It goes back to 1995, when a group of artists erected a statue of Frank Zappa in the area and declared Uzupis an independent republic. Soon flags were being created and the energy of the place seemed to attract eccentrics from all over the country. Today the mayor of Vilnius actively supports the republic and often takes part in the many activities going on there. There’s plenty to do in the neighborhood, so don’t be afraid to explore, here you’re bound to find some very photogenic people and places.

 

Day 8 – Your First Full Day in Vilnius

 

Vilnius Private Walking Tour

 Included in your vacation package price.

 

You’ll have a chance to really get in touch with the vibrant culture of Vilnius, not just its history and buildings, on this enjoyable walking tour. Your guide will show you the ins and outs of the real city, regaling you with stories from the past and present. Learn more about Vilnius’ Jewish, Polish, Russian and Lithuanian heritage while discovering the city’s most impressive sites, including Old Town, the St. Stanislovas and Vladislovas cathedrals, Vilnius University, the Presidential Palace and more. It’s the perfect introduction to this charming destination.

 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

 

Soviet Vilnius and the KGB Museum

 Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Communism is an important part of Lithuania’s history, even if it was a dark time. If you’re interested in learning more about this aspect of Lithuania’s recent past, the Genocide Victims’ Museum and the KGB Museum are places you need to see. Today we recommend exploring, combined with a 3-hour private walking tour led by a local guide who will show you the main places relevant to communism. You’ll get a better idea of what it was like to live under communism as the past comes alive for you. Your guide will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

 

Day 9 – Your Second Full Day in Vilnius

 

See Another Lithuania with a Trip to Trakai

 Included in your vacation package price.

Today you’ll visit Trakai Castle, the most impressive stronghold in the Baltic States. Located on an island in a lake chain at the center of a national park, it’s easy to get a good view of the castle. For a time the de facto capital of Lithuania, Trakai’s village is now a humble place, but is unique for its inhabitants, the Karaites. Tatars brought over from Crimea 600 years ago after their fighting prowess impressed the Lithuanian king, the Karaites have their own language, architecture, and form of Judaism. Be sure to take a break from admiring their wooden homes and synagogue by enjoying their famed Kibinai meat pies. Your guide will pick you up from your accommodations, and drive you to Trakai, less than 20 miles away. Here, they’ll give you a tour of the village, before you continue to the castle. For an extra fee, we can include a boat tour to help you best admire the picturesque castle.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 4 hours

 

Get a Taste of Vilnius

 Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

The foodie scene in Vilnius isn’t as developed as you might find in some Western European capitals, but there’s plenty to sink your teeth into, running the spectrum from street food snacks to fine dining, and all of it distinctly Lithuanian. Originating from the Trakai area not too far away, kibinai, a stuffed pastry akin to a pasty, is a great on-the-go bite. Sit yourself down at one of the branches of Snekutis, a quirky pub chain, and order several dishes such as chicken Kiev (allegedly invented in Vilnius) and cepelinai (a stuffed potato dumpling) and you’ve got yourself an instant food tour. No visit to Vilnius is complete without trying saltibarsciai, a cold beet soup, available almost everywhere.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

 

Day 10 – Departure Day

Based on your flight time, we’ll have a driver meet you at your accommodation and take you to the airport.

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Additional Details

  • Jewish Travel – Program Features:Warm Destination, Pool
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    July, 2021

    27

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    August 26,2019

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