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Cycle the Baltics

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Cycle the Baltics

Biking
·
Start: Tallinn
·
End: Vilnius

Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have few rivals when it comes to cycling in Europe

Activity
Biking
LocationEstonia, Latvia, Lithuania
Duration11 days
Start / EndTallinn / Vilnius
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Cycle the Baltics

Biking·
11 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Tallinn
·
End: Vilnius

Description

Diverse, richly historic and impossibly photogenic, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have few rivals when it comes to cycling in Europe. This region offers up one fairytale-like scene after the next. Discover a charming cultural tapestry – from the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius. Throw in some sand dunes, bird-fil...

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Itinerary

Day 1Tallinn
Tere! Welcome to Tallinn. Your cycling adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. Your leader will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have these ready. If you arrive in the city early, grab a city map and head out to explore Tallinn’s medieval old town. With its steep red roofs, spires, pastel-coloured buildings and new restaurants and bars, Estonia's capital will entertain even the most demanding! Cycle distance: none This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes.
Day 2Saaremaa
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting for the group, followed by a short test ride. Drive out of the city towards the port town of Virstu (approximately 2 hours), passing by lush farmland and forests. After crossing over by ferry to the island of Muhu, jump on your bicycle and explore this idyllic Estonian countryside at a close. Stop at the Muhu village museum in Koguva, a remarkable example of Estonian countryside architecture, to learn more about how the local people lived in the past. Then continue along Route 10 which connects Muhu and Saarema islands. The road literally cuts through the Baltic Sea, so take in views of the water on both sides as you go. Tonight, stay in a farmhouse where your hosts treat you to a delicious local dinner. Total cycling distance: – approx. 53kms/33 miles, flat with approx. 100m/330ft of elevation gain
Day 3Saaremaa
Start early with a drive to the southernmost point of Saaremaa island, the Sorve lighthouse. The route today is flat as you cycle back up the west coast, swapping between quiet roads and bike paths while enjoying frequent sweeping views out over the Baltic Sea. End our ride in Kuresaare, Saarema’s largest town that boasts one of the finest preserved medieval Episcopal Castles in the Baltics, built by the knights of the Teutonic order in the 14th century. It is also home to the Saaremaa Museum, one of the oldest and biggest museums in Estonia. You have ample time to explore the Lossipark, take a stroll down the main street, and sit down for dinner in one of the local restaurants before we drive back to our farmstay for the night. On the way back to your farmstay, stop at the Kaali craters. There are numerous legends related to the site, and evidence of it being used for ritual sacrifice. The craters are estimated to be 4000–6000 years old, and the impact with which the meteor hit the ground to form the craters is comparable to the Hiroshima bomb. Total cycling distance: – approx. 60kms/37 miles, flat with approx. 120m/390ft of elevation gain.
Day 4Parnu
Drive and ferry back to the mainland before jumping back on the bike at Virtsu harbour, cycling south through a nature reserve down to the tiny coastal village of Varbla. After lunch continue cycling through the beautiful green Estonian countryside all the way to Tostamaa before avoiding the busier traffic by driving the rest of the way to Parnu, Estonia's summer capital and a hub for beach goers, vibrant nightlife and a thriving art scene. On arrival in Parnu, head out for an orientation walk with your tour leader. Spend the remaining part of the day exploring lively Parnu at your leisure. Total cycling distance: approx. 50kms/31 miles, mostly flat with approx. 100m/330ft of elevation gain.
Day 5Ainazi
Today will be a long but very pleasant cycling day. Take the road that goes along the coast of the Baltic sea and cycle your way down to Latvia. The first village across the border – Ainazi – is your home for the night. If you still have power in your legs, take a stroll on the beach in the evening, or head out to dinner with the group to get your first taste of Latvian cuisine. Total cycling distance: approx. 36kms/22 miles, flat with approx. 50m/165ft of elevation gain.
Day 6Riga
Start the day with a short drive (approx. 70km/1hr) as we follow the busy coastline of the Gulf of Riga all the way down to Saulkrasti, passing into Latvia along the way. Staring at the iconic Saulkrasti Bicycle Museum we start riding inland all the way to Sigulda, considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Latvia, with forested valleys and the picturesque Gauja River completing the stunning scenery. From here we rejoin our support vehicle and drive the short distance (approx. 1hr) to Riga, Latvia’s cosmopolitan capital. On arrival in the city centre your leader will take you on an orientation ride past the Central Market, St Peter's Basilica, House of the Blackheads, the Swedish Gate or the Cat House. Total cycling distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 280m/920ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Jurmala & Riga
Cycle to the resort town of Jurmala today, a popular holiday destination for Latvians, 33-kilometre stretch of a white sand beach. Come back to Riga in the afternoon and enjoy the city at your leisure. Total cycling distance: approx. 48kms/30 miles, flat with approx. 110m/360ft of elevation gain.
Day 8Klaipeda
Today is a long driving day as we pass through the pretty Lithuanian countryside, breaking our journey at the famous Hill of Crosses – a quaint pilgrimage site, the origins of which remain a mystery. Afterwards, re-board your support vehicle and continue your journey to the west coast of Lithuania and the beachside resort town of Palanga (total drive approx. 280kms/4hrs). After a long drive it’s time to break out the bikes as we cycle along the dedicated bike path all the way to the former Prussian city of Klaipeda. Klaipeda used to be a member of the Hanseatic League and is the gateway to the Curonian Spit – a long and narrow sand dune peninsula separating the Curonian lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Total cycling distance: approx. 40 kms/25 miles, flat with approx. 90m/300ft of elevation gain.
Day 9Curonian Spit National Park
Spend the day exploring the unique World Heritage-listed Curonian Spit National Park by bike. This is a spectacular landscape full of beaches, sand dunes and forested areas. The peninsula is only 400 m wide in parts but 98 km long, 52 of which belong to Lithuania, while the rest is part of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. It formed only 5000 years ago by strong winds and currents which constantly change the shape of the landscape to this day. Only recently a whole village was swallowed by the inexorable sand. On your day trip, explore the tiny village of Nida and the surrounding beaches by bike. Look in the distance to see the Russian border. For lunch, perhaps try the smoked pike for which the Spit is famous. Return to Klaipeda in the evening in the support vehicle. Total cycling distance: approx. 63 kms/39 miles, mostly flat with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Day 10Vilnius
Board the support vehicle in the morning and drive east (approx. 260kms/3hrs) to the tiny lakeside hamlet of Kloniniai Mijaugonys where we start our final ride for the trip. Passing by lakes and through scenic countryside we cycle along quiet roads all the way to Trakai, the former capital of Lithuania. He highlight is definitely the impressive 14th century Trakai castle, set on a small island in the middle of Lake Galvė. After paying a brief visit, continue on in the support vehicle to Vilnius (30 km). On arrival, your leader takes you for an orientation tour that covers the old town’s highlights as well as the self-proclaimed artistic 'republic' of Uzupis, an inner-city quarter that declared symbolic independence from Lithuania in 1997. Total cycling distance: approx. 33 kms/20 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 270m/885ft of elevation gain.
Day 11Vilnius
Your cycling trip comes to an end after breakfast today. There are no more activities planned and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are multiple sights and attractions to visit during your stay in Vilnius, so it may be worth booking an extra day or two so you can fit it all in. Our reservations team will be happy to help (subject to availability). Total cycling distance: none

More info

Trip title

Cycle the Baltics

Trip code

BMXB

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Diverse, richly historic and impossibly photogenic, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have few rivals when it comes to cycling in Europe. This region offers up one fairytale-like scene after the next. Discover a charming cultural tapestry – from the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius. Throw in some sand dunes, bird-filled... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Ferry

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more

Joining point

Hotel Tallink Express

Joining point description

Hotel Tallink Express is located near the passenger port terminal of Tallinn. It is a 10-15 minute walk to the centre of the Old Town and there are plenty of eateries and shops nearby. The rooms are comfortable and modern and fitted with a tv and private en suite facilities. Wifi is available at the hotel.

Joining point instructions

Tallin Airport (TLL) is located approximately 6km from Hotel Tallink. We are happy to arrange an arrival transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days to departure. If you prefer to make your own arrangements you will find that Tallinn Airport is extremely well serviced. You can choose... Read more

Finish point

Hotel Corner

Finish point description

Hotel Corner is a modern hotel located in the centre of Vilnius, nearby to public transport and supermarkets. Each room has a private bathroom, TV and access to wifi.

Finish point instructions

Trains depart Vilnius Station frequently for Vilnius Airport. Tickets can be purchased online, on the train or at the railway station and cost EUR 0.70. The journey takes 7 minutes. The station is approximately 25 minutes walking distance from your accommodation at Vilnius Hotel Corner. Upon leaving the hotel, turn right onto “Svitrigailos g”. Turn left onto “Kauno g.” and follow the road until yo... Read more

Important information

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exception of Days 2 & 3 (Guesthouse) 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 4. On this trip we h... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

Spanning three countries, this itinerary boasts a great diversity of history, culture and landscapes

Is this trip right for you

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you l... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and m... Read more

Money matters

CURRENCY The local currency in Poland is the Zloty (PLN), however all other countries visited on this trip have now adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR). CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of y... Read more

What to take

PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. S... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless no... Read more

Transport notes

This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes. INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. For a full list of specifications and sizing charts, see: https://www.feltbicycles.c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights)
11days
€1,624per person
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May 13
Tallinn
May 23
Vilnius
€1,624
Seats left: 8
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Jun 10
Tallinn
Jun 20
Vilnius
€1,910
Seats left: 12
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Aug 5
Tallinn
Aug 15
Vilnius
€1,910
Seats left: 9
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Sep 2
Tallinn
Sep 12
Vilnius
€1,910
Seats left: 13
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