Let Poland and the Baltics please you with a journey through its often-overlooked history and culture.

Uncover the cultural riches and historical intrigues of four fascinating countries on a journey through Poland and the Baltic states. This 18-day highlights tour of Poland and the Baltics will get you in the know with Soviet history, inspired by the variety of architecture and cultural richness of the country, and full of as much pierogi and vodka you can manage. Let Poland please you with a journey through its urban attractions, then cross into Lithuania, before exploring the Baltic capitals of Riga and Tallinn. Encompassing both historical attractions and outings for the active, a bit of Europe both old and new, this is the trip for travellers wanting to check out a side of Europe often overlooked.


Start
Krakow, Poland
Finish
Tallinn, Estonia
Destinations
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
AMKOC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the Orwellian neighbourhood of Nowa Huta – an alternative district in Krakow that showcases the communist influence in Poland.

  • Take a guided tour of maritime Gdansk, walking through the old town and understanding how this main trading port has been important in Poland’s history.

  • Feast on Kashubian specialities with an included meal at Tawerna Mestwin – you’ll feel like you’re eating in a traditional farm cottage!

  • Tour the remnants of Wolf’s Lair – an important military headquarters during the battle for the Eastern Front.

  • Enjoy a farm stay experience and home-cooked meal on Estonia's largest and largely untouched island, Saaremaa.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Just as a heads up before you book: This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • On this trip we travel by train when in Poland, the most eco-friendly way to move between places. Trains are comfortable and fast. Please note you will have to carry your bag up and down the platforms and on and off the train. Pack light! In the Baltic States this trip involves a few long drives by private vehicle. While the drives will be broken up with stops along the way, we recommend reading the itinerary for travel time estimates. Please note that roads in northern Poland and the Baltic states are generally good, but those in rural areas can get a bit rough. If you suffer from motion sickness, consider bringing along some medication.

  • There will be a walking tour included in each city. The tours may cover a fair amount of ground, so please make sure you are happy to be on your feet for a few hours at a time.

  • While Gizycko and the nearby lakes are beautiful, they are wetlands. Mosquitos and midges can sometimes be a nuisance, so consider bringing mosquito repellent or a head net.

  • As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are going to change in Gdansk.

Itinerary

Czesc! Welcome to Poland. You will have an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, meeting your group leader and fellow travellers. Krakow is striking with contrasts: a medieval old town with a large youthful influence, renowned fine dining restaurants with food truck and casual riverside eateries, a vibrant Jewish quarter with some elegant speakeasies and hidden bars. You’ll have two full days to explore Krakow at your own pace, but if you would like to spend more time here, why not arrive a little early? After your important meeting, you'll have an option to head out with your group to dinner – your leader will know of some great options.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, begin getting to know Krakow from its relatively new history. Take a guided tour of Nowa Huta – a former communist town turned eastern Quarter of Krakow. Nowa Huta was prime Polish agricultural land but was swallowed up by the Soviet Union in an attempt to create an Orwellian settlement in contrast to the fairytale of central Krakow. An experienced tour guide will explain all the history hidden in its streets and buildings that otherwise would look like another sector of the city. In the afternoon, take a leader-led walk around the Old Town. Rynek (main square) is one of the oldest and most recognisable medieval squares in Europe. With the renaissance Cloth Hall in its centre, now home to the main market, touring the main square is a must. Later on, walk over to Jewish quarter and learn more about that part of town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Krakow - Nowa Huta Neighbourhood Tour with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, enjoy a free day in Krakow to do whatever you choose, and there is so much to see and do here, and beyond! You may wish to visit Wieliczka Salt Mines, magnificent chambers chiselled out in rock salt. There are almost 3 kilometres of meandering corridors, 800 steps to climb of which 350 have to be descended to reach the depth of 135 metres underground. Otherwise, a lot of travellers use today to visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz and Birkenau, where you can learn more about WWII and Europe's darkest days. Pre-booking is necessary to secure a place. If you would like to see some different sides of Krakow and the surrounding area, there is also the option to see what Urban Adventures can offer. From cooking classes to tailored shopping adventures, they’ve got you covered! Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Krakow-tours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Krakow - Schindler's Factory Museum Tour - PLN65
  • Krakow - Made in Krakow Shopping Urban Adventure - EUR86
  • Krakow - Home Cooked Krakow Urban Adventure - EUR65
  • Oswiecim - State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau - PLN155
  • Krakow - Food by Foot Urban Adventure - EUR73
  • Krakow - Markets and Flavors of Krakow Urban Adventure - EUR77
  • Wieliczka - Salt Mines - PLN145
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It is highly recommended that you pre-book your visit to Auschwitz before you leave home, as tickets sell out very far in advance. To do so please visit the official museum website. You can also ask your leader to help you book a time slot at the beginning of the trip, but there is no guarantee tickets will be available then. A guided visit is madatory and takes approximately 2.5 hours. A transfer to the museum can be booked on shorter notice.
Today, travel to Warsaw on a high-speed train, taking approximately 3 hours. Warsaw is a capital of Poland and has a rich history shown in its mix of Gothic, neoclassical and Soviet-era architecture, and also a new, cosmopolitan touch. This afternoon head out on a guided tour all about Polish cuisine. Being one of the lesser known European foods, you’ll learn about Poland’s signature dishes and how to make them. To wash everything down, you’ll even get the chance to test out some local vodka with an included tasting. Na zdrowie!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Warsaw - Food & Vodka Tasting Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
You’ve got a free day to enjoy the wonders of Warsaw. From many options, one worth considering is a visit to the Uprising Museum. Dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, the museum is a tribute for residents who fought and died for an independent Poland, and a free capital. It was said that Warsaw survived its own death – learn about that part of history of this city in one of the most modern museums in Europe. Otherwise, sit back in one of the many parks, stroll past the Tamka street art, or head to a local eatery for a serving of pierogi (filled dumplings).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Warsaw - Copernicus Science Center - PLN31
  • Warsaw - Palace of Science and Culture Observation Deck - PLN20
  • Warsaw - Jewish Cemetery - PLN10
  • Warsaw - Frederic Chopin Museum - PLN22
  • Warsaw - Marie Curie Museum - PLN11
  • Warsaw - National Museum - PLN20
  • Warsaw - Uprising Museum - PLN25
  • Warsaw - Ethnographic Museum - PLN12
  • Warsaw - Katyn Museum - PLN15
  • Warsaw - Royal Castle - PLN30
  • Warsaw - Natural History Museum - PLN8
  • Warsaw - Pawiak Prison Memorial - PLN10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel onwards to Gdansk aboard a high-speed train (approximately 3 hours). After check-in to your hotel, your group leader will show you around the old town on simple orientation walk. After you’ve got your bearings, enjoy the rest of your day and soak up the atmosphere of this maritime, medieval city. Tonight, if you’re struggling to find somewhere to eat, take a walk down Dlugi Targ – it’s a lot quieter at night than during the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Gdansk - European Solidarity Centre - PLN20
  • Gdansk - Oliwa Cathedral - Free
  • Gdansk - Amber Museum and Prison Tower - PLN12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, head out on a guided tour of Gdansk. This will include a visit to most iconic sites of the city: the Crane (Zuraw), an iconic trading symbol located near the National Maritime Museum. Then, visit Olowianka, an island in the middle of the Motlawa River, to learn more about Gdansk’s maritime history. In the evening, experience a traditional Polish meal at Tawerna Mestwin, serving specialties of Kashubian regional cooking (north Poland cuisine). Interiors of this place look like a traditional farm cottage and the exposed beams and dark-green walls make for a cosy atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gdansk - History Themed Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Gdansk - Kashubian Cuisine Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
With no activities planned for today, you are free to explore at your own pace. Aside from boasting some very grand architecture, Gdansk has a wealth of sites worth checking out. Pay a visit to the National Museum for a dose of fine art, follow in the footsteps of visiting royalty with a lap or two of the Royal Way, or travel a suburb over to Sopot and take a stroll along Europe's longest wooden pier. In the evening, meet with some new travellers at another welcome meeting at 6 pm to begin the next stage of your Baltics adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please feel free to attend. This is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning head out on an orientation walk with your leader and your new group members. After strolling through the city and taking in the sights, board a galleon-style ship for an old fashioned cruise on the waters of the Baltic Sea. Cruise along the peninsula of Westerplatte and get insight into the city's shipbuilding heritage and political history. See the Gdansk Shipyards, which are inexorably linked with Eastern Europe’s Solidarity movement, as well as the repair yards and the historic Wisloujscie Fortress, constructed in 1308 but rebuilt several times in the centuries since. There will be time for you to explore Westerplatte, considered to be the place where the first shots of WWII were fired. Return to Gdansk and enjoy a free evening. If you’re thirsty, think about grabbing a beer at one of the lively bars along the Elblag Canal.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gdansk - Westerplatte and Gdansk Shipyards Boat Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today involves a fair bit of driving with several interesting stops en route to break up the journey. The first stop, just a 30-minute drive out of Gdansk, is Malbork Castle. This beautifully-preserved fortress, completed in 1406, is a classic example of medieval architecture and the world's largest brick castle. Following an audio-guided tour of the castle, enjoy lunch before continuing on to Wolf`s Lair, the first military headquarters from which Hitler oversaw the fighting on the Eastern Front. You'll be shown around the site by a local guide then, following a refreshment stop, continue on to Gizycko (approximately 3.5 hours). The ‘summer capital’ of Poland, Gizycko is situated on the shore of Niegocin Lake and is considered the gateway to the Masurian Lake District. Tonight, maybe grab a well-deserved dinner at one of the local tawernas (taverns).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Malbork - Castle Visit
  • Wolf's Lair - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Wolf's Lair - Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time approximately 4 hours.
Rise and shine for a morning boat ride on Niegocin Lake, the seventh-largest lake in the country. Take a gentle cruise to ‘Love Island’ on the other side of the lake, which is filled by yellow-faced cormorants and other wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for creatures that are trickier to spot like storks, swans, deer and wolves. The Masurian Lake District contains over 2000 lakes and was a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature initiative. Head back ashore and spend the afternoon however you wish, perhaps with a swim in the lake, or a hike or cycle to one of the neighbouring villages. History buffs might want to check out Boyen Fortress, the remains of a 19th-century Prussian stronghold used as a German military intelligence service during WWII.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masurian Lakes - Boat Tour on Niegocin Lake
Optional Activities
  • Masurian Lakes - Boyen Fortress - PLN10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after breakfast, travel east into Lithuania and its capital Vilnius (approximately 2.5 hours). Settle into your hotel then join the group for a city tour led by a local guide. Pass through Cathedral Square and the Old Town, and learn about the famous Grand Duke Gediminas, the legend of Vilnius' creation and the prestigious history of Vilnius University. Continue to the painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, a famed painting of the Virgin Mary that adorns the 16th-century city gates. After the tour concludes you’re free to explore at your leisure. Consider joining the group for an optional dinner – your leader knows all the best spots to grab a bite.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vilnius - Walking Tour with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day to explore all that this lively city has to offer. There are plenty of optional activities on offer, so if you’re not sure what to choose remember that your leader is on hand to help you decide. Maybe take a hike to Gediminas Castle Tower for views over the city. Vilnius is also home to a unique bohemian neighbourhood, Uzupis, which residents declared a republic in 1997. With mixture of graffiti covered cafes and UNESCO-listed Old Town, Uzupis is a fascinating and photogenic place to wander. Historically minded travellers may be interested in an Urban Adventure that explores the Soviet Stories of Vilnius, a great way to see a different side of the city (including a Soviet-style lunch).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Vilnius - University Museum - EUR3
  • Vilnius - National Museum - EUR3
  • Vilnius - Flavours of Vilnius Urban Adventure - EUR82
  • Trakai - History Museum & Castle - EUR8
  • Vilnius - Gediminas Castle Tower - EUR5
  • Vilnius - TV Tower - EUR8
  • Vilnius - Undiscovered Vilnius Urban Adventure - EUR39
  • Vilnius - Soviet Stories of Vilnius Urban Adventure - EUR42
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Hop aboard a comfortable public bus to Riga, Latvia (approximately 4 hours). On arrival, transfer to the hotel, located a short walk from the symbolic Freedom Monument – or, as she's affectionately known to the locals, Milda. Head out on a guided walk with your leader, navigating the narrow cobbled streets to discover the significant sights of the Old Town. Visit the Central Market, which just happens to be Europe’s largest, and taste a few local specialities along the way, such s the traditional Riga Black Balsam, an herbal liqueur.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Riga - Foodie Walk with your Leader
  • Riga - Central Market Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day getting to know Riga at your own pace. Most of the Art Noveau architecture for which the city is famed is located in a part known as 'the quiet centre'. A leisurely stroll along the canal that intersects the town's central park is another popular optional outing, as is a visit to one of its many museums. The recently renovated Art Museum, located only a few minutes walk from the hotel, is particularly impressive. Perhaps take in views of the city with a drink at a rooftop cafe (your leader will be able to make some recommendations) or, if the weather is right, make the trip to the popular beach resort town of Jurmala (30 minutes by train).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Riga - Beer Spa - EUR98
  • Riga - Museum of Occupation of Latvia - Free
  • Riga - St Peter's Tower - EUR9
  • Riga - Riverboat Cruise - EUR18
  • Riga - Museum of War - Free
  • Riga - Mentzendorff's House - EUR3
  • Riga - Latvian National Museum of Art - EUR6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early for the trip to Saaremaa island, the largest island in Estonia, by private minivan and public ferry. This heavily forested island is known among Estonians as the perfect place to relax in nature, and you’ll see soon why. Arrive in the island's south by late afternoon and transfer to a local farmhouse – your accommodation for the evening. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner tonight.
Accommodation
  • Farm stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Saaremaa Island - Home-Cooked Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total travel time approximately 6 hours.
Transfer to the biggest town on the island, Kuressaare, and spend a few hours exploring. Then, hop on a public bus to the Estonian capital of Tallinn (approximately 4.5 hours). Tonight's accommodation is in Tallinn's atmospheric Old Town, which you'll get to know on an orientation walk with your leader. Tonight, why not head out with the group for an Estonian meal, then wash it down with a glass of kali, a fizzy drink made from boiled rye bread.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total travel time approximately 4.5 hours.
Your trip ends this morning after breakfast. There are no activities planned for today, though bear in mind you will have to comply with the hotel’s internal check-out rules and times. Tallinn has a lot to offer so we recommend you spend a few more days here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability.
Optional Activities
  • Tallinn - Kiek in de Kök Tower Museum - EUR10
  • Tallinn - Estonian History Museum - EUR8
  • Tallinn - City Bike Tour - EUR21
  • Tallinn - TV Tower - EUR13
  • Tallinn - City Museum - EUR6
  • Tallinn - Peter The Great Museum - EUR4
  • Tallinn - Kadriorg Palace - EUR6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Train, Private vehicle, Boat, Ferry, Public bus, Taxi

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (16 nights), Farm stay (1 night)

Included activities

  • Krakow - Nowa Huta Neighbourhood Tour with Local Guide
  • Warsaw - Food & Vodka Tasting Tour
  • Gdansk - History Themed Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Gdansk - Kashubian Cuisine Dinner
  • Gdansk - Westerplatte and Gdansk Shipyards Boat Cruise
  • Malbork - Castle Visit
  • Wolf's Lair - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Wolf's Lair - Entrance
  • Masurian Lakes - Boat Tour on Niegocin Lake
  • Vilnius - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Riga - Foodie Walk with your Leader
  • Riga - Central Market Visit
  • Saaremaa Island - Home-Cooked Dinner

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
- Day 16 Saaremaa
Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

COMBINATION TRIP
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are going to change in Gdansk.

Essential trip information

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