As anyone who has read his Outpost articles and columns knows, our Editor-at-Large for Europe, Ryan Murdock, has had some fantastic adventures in the Baltics. With this tour, you can follow in his footsteps and discover this incredible emerging region for yourself.
Once part of the (communist) Soviet Union (USSR), the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have long and storied histories, and some of it is quite tragic. Now (thankfully), they are at least democracies, having shed the repressive communist cloak in the early 1990s when the USSR was (thankfully) collapsing. (And by “shed” we mean fought for, though that’s grammatically strange to say!)
Nestled along the shores of the Baltic Sea, amid scenery that’s not unlike much of Canada, once independence returned in the 1990s, the three countries wasted no time in restoring their own languages to pre-eminence and displaying their long subjugated culture.
With centuries-old architecture mixed with Cold War-era remnants and an often untouched wilderness, these three countries offer tantalizing exploration for anyone interested in European history, 20th-century news headlines, or just a new and emerging destination.
From the capitals of Tallinn (Estonia) to Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania), all before ending in Warsaw (Poland), this seven-day tour utilizes local buses and public transport to give a real taste of life in the four former Eastern Bloc countries. There’s plenty of free time to explore on your own, or you can stick close to your experienced guide to see all four countries through their eyes.
From medieval castles to cathedrals and churches, old towns in the capitals to UNESCO World Heritage sites, café culture to modern boutique shopping and a thriving nightlife, there’s more than enough to do and explore at each stop along route.
If modern history is your thing, be sure to seek out the Stebuklas tile in Vilnius. The tile, which means miracle, marks the southern end of the longest unbroken human chain in history, when more than two million people in the three Baltic nations joined hands in 1989, along the 650-kilometre stretch between Tallinn and Vilnius, to protest the countries’ long Soviet occupation—an event many now claim marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union, and the old Eastern Bloc.
- Phone: 855.566.8660
- Length/Departs: 7 days/Mar. to Oct.
- Accommodation: Hotels
- Starting Price: approx. $1,000
- Difficulty: Easy