Jewish Baltic tour – Lita/Latvia 8 days

Jewish Baltic tour  – Lithuania/Latvia 8 days


Day 1/  Sunday/  Vilnius

Arrival  to Vilnius (capital of Lithuania). Nowadays Vilnius is a modern European city, a political, economical,cultural, educational, trade centre of the Republic, the biggest town in the country with a population of about 550 000. Transfer to the hotel for accommodation.

Day 2/ Monday/ Vilnius

Breakfast at the hotel.

Sightseeing tour of Vilnius. The Cathedral square, the Old Vilnius  University,  Presidential Palace, St. Anne’s and St. Peter and Paul’s Churches. Walk along medieval pedestrian street in the heart of the Old City, Amber Museum, City Hall Square and the “Gate of Dawn”. Walking in the medieval Jewish Quarter of Vilnius, called Lithuanian Jerusalem. Medieval Ghetto streets and Vilna Gaon’s house; the Great Synagogue spot, butcher street. The Big Ghetto and the story of the resistance. Judenrat office, hiding place in the cellar, Ghetto theatre and the only active Vilnius Synagogue.

Overnight in Vilnius.



Day 3/ Tuesday/  Vilnius – Trakai – Vilnius

Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure to Trakai via Paneriai (Ponar).

The picturesque Trakai national park with pine forests and lakes, and the ancient Lithuanian capital – the residence of Grand Dukes of the country. Visit to the 15th century insular castle hosted the museum of Lithuanian history nowadays. The history of this region includes the story of the small ethnic group Karaites, brought by Vytautas the Great from Crimea 600 years ago. Trakai is famous with Special Karaites dish –  Kibinai (meat stuffed pastry. Trakai Castle visit. Uzutrakis Park.

Departure back to Vilnius. Overnight in Vilnius.


Day 4/ Wednesday/ Vilnius – Kaunas

Departure to Kaunas via Žiežmariai. Visit Žiežmariai Synagogue – one of a Handful of Surviving Wooden Synagogues in Europe.

Futher drive to Kaunas. Visit Lithuanian Open Air Museum – Rumsiskes. The Open-Air Museum of Lithuania is one of the largest ethnographic open-air museums in Europe that stretches across the area of 195 ha. The museum was established on the picturesque shores of Kaunas Lagoon in Rumšiškės in 1966. The exhibitions at the museum are intended to introduce the ethnographic regions of Lithuania.

Visiting charming Old city with of Kaunas: L. Zamenhof and A. Mapu streets; Slobodka – Jewish suburb of Kaunas and the ghetto during WWII, the Old Jewish cemetery. See the building of the famous Slobodka Yeshiva founded by Rabbi Nathan Zvi Finkel. The Musar movement and the influence of R’ Israel Salanter on Slobodka Yeshiva. The personality of Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Spector, after whom was named RIETS, part of Yeshiva University in New York. On the way visits to Kovna Choral Synagogue and the Children’s Memorial in its courtyard, Golda Mayer school and Chiune Sugihara house – museum, a Japanese consul in Kaunas in 1940, who issued several thousand lifesaving visas for the Jewish refugees from Poland and definitely IX forth.

Overnight in Kaunas.



Day 5/ Thursday/Kaunas – Siauliai – Rundale – Riga

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Riga.

Stop at Seduva in which is developing a unique Lithuanian Jewish Culture and  Heritage project “Lost Shtetl”. Visiting Siauliai. Etrance to Chaimas Frenkelis Villa in Siauliai. Chaimas Frenkelis was a Jew.. Having learned a little about skin processing and saved five thousand roubles of the Tzarist Russia in the then Šiauliai suburb, nearly the swamp, bought the land with small dwellings and founded the leather processing unit. Soon the unit grew into one of the largest tanneries of the Tzarist Russia. This way Šiauliai became well-known town.

Continueto Hill of Crosses – near Siauliai, where the Pope John Paul II held the most highly attended mass in the country during his visit to Lithuania in 1993. It is believed that the first crosses were placed here just after the 1831 uprising, and today the hill is home to thousands of all different sizes and colours. Interspersed amongst the crosses are traditional Lithuanian koplytstulpis – wooden figures – and magnificent stone statues of Christ. It is a unique example of Christianity in Lithuania, revealing the creation of Catholic believers, who took those thousands of crosses into one place. Next stop is at Rundale Palace, a beautiful example of the Italian baroque, built by famous architect Rastrielli. The Palace built for favourite of Jekaterina II Count Biron reminds you of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Continue to Riga. Accommodation at the hotel.

Overnight in Riga.



Day 6/ Friday /  Riga

Breakfast at the hotel.

City tour of Riga, including the OldTown, the Dome Cathedral built in 1211 and its extraordinary organ with 6781 pipes. The Great and Small Guilds houses and economical history of the city, the Swedish gate and the Beer-brewers street, Cats’s house and the superstitious legend, the “Three Brothers” – architectural development example, the House of the “Blackheads” – single merchants guild, St. Peter church and its tower. The outstanding collection of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) architecture in the streets of Riga. Visit to the biggest Central market in the Baltics located in 5 huge hangars; continue to “Maskavas forstadt” a former suburb of Riga developed by foreign merchants coming to trade on the Market. Later on this are became a house for the first Jewish settlement in the area of Riga. Memorial – ruins of the Great Synagogue. Wall of Righteous among the Nations. Jewish School founded in the 19th cent. Ghetto territory – the Small Ghetto and Reich’s Juden Ghetto. Synagogue on Moscow street, Hospital Bikur Holim, Old Jewish Cemetery. Visit to Rumbula – Memorials where Nazis murdered thousands of Jews from Latvia, Germany and Czechoslovakia

Overnight in Riga.



Day 7/ Saturday/ Riga

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day for leisure.

Overnight in Riga.



Day 8/ Sunday/ Riga – Sigulda – Riga/ departure day

Breakfast at the hotel.Departure to Sigulda.  Sigulda, a small town in Gauja National Park, which is sometimes called “Latvian Switzerland”. A visit to Turaidas Castle where, located is the grave of Turaidas Rose, a Latvian maiden who chose to die rather than give in to the wishes of a filthy nobleman. Gutmanis Cave visit. Back to Riga.

Departure to airport.