In the morning we will have some free time to explore Tallinn. Tallinn is a fascinating historical city with many sites to explore. We recommend strolling through the streets of the Old Town to Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square), the square is surrounded by elaborate merchant houses and is the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. Historically it served as a market and meeting place. If you find the round stone with a compass rose in the middle of the square you will be able to see the 5 church spires of the old town. The Cathedral of Saint Mary, St. Alexander Nevsky and St. Olav's Church have long characterised the skyline of the old town and are well worth a visit, as are the old town walls.
After a bus transfer out of the city we will begin our first ride through National Park Lahemaa. The Park, one of the last unspoilt regions of the Baltic coast, extends over 700 square kilometers. It's nature is rich and unique. Here you will cycle through thick woods, marshes and lakes. Above all, the coastline is what makes this area unique. It is also a rich environment for wildlife, moose and wild boars roam and over 220 species of bird can be spotted. Our accommodation for the evening is situated in the National Park itself in a comfortable guesthouse.
Ride Approx. 50km. (Bus journey approx. 1 hour 15 mins)
This morning we will begin with a bus transfer before we start cycling along the shore of Peipsi lake - one of the biggest European lakes, which divides Estonia and Russia. The lake has dictated the lives of those that surround its shores for centuries and has been a source of food and power. It is now a popular local holiday destination. The views around the shore are spectacular and you can enjoy these from one of the cafes along its shores. The banks of the lake make for an ideal lunch spot and here you can try a specific regional speciality. We will end our ride in Varnja, close to the lake side and then transfer to Tartu, the second-biggest city of Estonia. This is a fantastic city, less touristy than Tallinn but with just as much to explore, it is a lovely place to spend an evening.
Ride Approx. 55km. (Bus journey approx. 2 hours 30 mins in total).
Today we cycle through the more undulating scenery of the so called Estonian Switzerland. The area offers a fantastic backdrop to our ride. The elevations in the ride will be up to 280m. At the end of our ride we are transferred by bus to Cesis, crossing our first boarder into Latvia. The former Hansa-city, proudly looking back at it’s 800 years of history, lies in the centre of the National Park Gauja. This National Park was founded in 1973 and is the oldest and largest national park in Latvia, known for the sandstone cliffs that characterise the park and the Gauja river, from which the park takes it name.
Ride Approx. 45km (Bus journey approx. 1 hour 15 min in total).
Today we have a day off the bike to explore the fascinating town of Cesis and city of Riga. Cesis is built on the banks of the Gauja river and was constructed in tiers overlooking the water and the surrounding national park. There is a great deal to see here including the first stone castle built in Latvia which was constructed in 1206 by German crusaders. The castle is undoubedtly Cesis most famous site, however, there is much more to see. You can wander the narrow and cobbled streets of the Old Town which have been preserved in layout and appearance since the Middle Ages. We will then transfer by bus to Riga, the capital of Latvia. There, another magnificent Old Town awaits us. With over 800 renovated Art Nouveau buildings, elegant boulevards, and small, curvy alleys, the Latvian capital offers a charming atmosphere. We will spend the night in this glorious city so you will have plenty of time to enjoy all it has to offer.
(Bus journey approx. 1 hour 45 mins).
Our journey today will start in Riga, passing through Lielupa on the Baltic coast. Our route will mainly follow a specific cycle track along the beach offering us plenty of opportunities for a dip in the sea and also for very relaxed cycling where we really can just enjoy the setting. It really is an unforgettable experience. We will end the day in Liepaja, known as the city 'where the wind was born', due to the sea breeze that often blows through the town. The town is famous for its artistic culture and many bustling markets so you will have plenty to enjoy.
Ride Approx. 42km (Bus journey approx. 3.5 hours).
After breakfast we leave Latvia and ride directly to Lithuania. We begin our ride in Sventoji on a beautiful cycle route to Klaipeda, which lies along the Baltic Coast. On the way we pass Palanga. Palanga is the traditional bucket and spade seaside town, with a long stretch of sandy beach it is a really fun place to stop, have a wander around, a dip in the sea, and see one of the most favoured seaside towns among Lithuanians. It is one of those places that is held closely to the heart of the nation, not for its high-brow culture but for the holiday memories it gives to so many. There are numerous cafes to sit and enjoy the atmosphere and have some lunch before we set off again for our final destination of Klaipeda. Our hotel is close to the Old Town, so a good spot from which to explore. If you want to explore a little further than the old town then there is a sculpture park north-east of the river. It is a serene spot with some really interesting sculptures.
Ride Approx. 40km (Bus journey approx. 1 hour).
A short bus transfer will take us to the ferry port, from here we cross the lagoon and reach the 68-kilometer long Curonian Spit. The high dunes (up to 60 meters) running along the spit have encouraged the local people to refer to the area as the 'Lithuanian Sahara'. During our ride we will make a stop in Juodkrante and admire the bizarre wooden carvings on what is known as Witch Hill. The sculpture park was started in 1979 and now has more than 70 wooden carvings representing characters of Lithuanian folktale and legend. We will then continue along the spit with the Baltic Sea extending far into the distance. Our journey will end in Nida, known as town of retreat and an artists resort. It was home and inspiration for two summers to the author Thomas Mann and its affluent feel and tranquility encourages the feeling that you are on a holiday within a holiday.
Ride Approx. 54km (no bus transfer today).
Our journey will start with a ferry crossing of the Curonian Lagoon, taking approximately 2 hours. The Lagoon is over 20 km wide, which makes seeing the opposite shore with a naked eye difficult. We reach the mainland close to the Minija river and begin our ride through Lithuania Minor towards Sakuciai and Silute. Our destination is Kaunas – the former capital of Lithuania. It is worth taking some time to stroll the streets of the town, like so many of the towns we have already visited it has an interesting Old Town waiting for your discovery.
Ride Approx. 40km (Bus journey approx. 3.5 hours and 2 hours by ferry).
Today there are many highlights, from the spectacular rolling countryside to architectural gems. By bike we will arrive at Galve Lake where the magical and famous gothic Trakai castle sits, as if floating on its own island in the middle of the lake. It is a truly magical place. After some time to walk around (or the opportunity to take an optional guided tour), we will leave by bus to reach our final destination, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Once again it's Old Town will stun the spectator with the beauty and variety of Baroque and Classical buildings, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994. Our accommodation is well located so you can easily explore the town.
Ride Approx. 31km (Bus journey approx. 1 hour 30 mins).