Lithuania Latvia Estonia

Lithuania Latvia Estonia

Lithuania Latvia Estonia Jewish tours
Jewish tours of Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn

This is an essential and rich journey for the sophisticated Jewish traveler. Come with us to former Jewish Homelands, where Torah was studied, great Jewish thoughts were put to paper, and the sound of Yiddish caressed the villages. You will encounter still-viable Jewish communities, gaining first-hand experience of the influential extent of centuries of Jewish life in these countries. You will also delight in some of Europe’s little known pearls (Medieval Tallinn in Estonia is cited on many current lists as one of Europe’s most exciting cities). Consider bringing your children or grandchildren to join the chain of history – it is a Moment of Heritage.

Tour Information
Jewish tours to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Helsinki – Tallinn – Riga -Kovno – Vilna.
Helsinki, 2 nights.
Tallinn, 2 nights.
Riga, 3 nights.
Vilnius, 3 nights.
Pre/Post Tours:
We can accommodate pre or post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.
Passport and Visa:
No visa is required for this tour. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.


Day 01 Sunday Departure USA

Departure on your flights to Helsinki.

Day 02 Monday Arrival to Helsinki

Arrival in Helsinki Vantaa airport. Upon arrival, you are welcomed and transferred to your hotel in the center of Helsinki. Remainder of day at leisure. Dinner. Hotel.

Day 03 Tuesday Helsinki – Tallinn

Breakfast, followed by a full day of sightseeing in Finland’s proud capital. Pass Finlandia Hall, where the Helsinki treaty was signed, the Parliament, and Finland’s Historic Museum, en route to the very unusual Temple or “Rock” Church, hewn out of solid granite. Continue down Esplanada Avenue, arriving at the colorful Open Market on the harbor, featuring fresh fruits, vegetables and the fine local crafts of Finland. Later, visit the Helsinki Jewish Community Center and the Slavic-style Synagogue. Enjoy Lunch at the Center before paying respects to the Jewish soldiers of Finland, who battled during WWII. In the afternoon, drive to the Pier for the Hydrofoil, which will carry you across the Baltic in high style. Upon arrival in Tallinn, a short transfer takes you to your beautiful hotel.

Day 04 Wednesday Tallinn

Breakfast. This morning, enjoy a tour of the charming city of Tallinn, Estonia, rated by several travel magazines as one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, and placed on UNESCO’s list of “World Heritage” sites. Drive to the Old Town on top of a hill, to find breathtaking views of the tiled roofs and colorful houses below. Stroll the beautifully preserved Medieval streets and become a part of Tallinn’s thousand year-old history. Walk past the impressive Alexander Nevski Cathedral to the Town Hall Square. Continue to the intimate Tallinn Jewish Center for coffee, tea, and cake, before entering the lively Lower Town. Free time to browse and relax before driving to the Kadriorg Palace, built by Peter the Great of Russia, now the home of the President of Estonia. In the evening, enjoy Dinner. Hotel.

Day 05 Thursday Tallinn – Riga

Breakfast. Leave Tallinn by coach and drive south towards the resort town of Parnu, beautifully situated on the shores of the Baltic. Continue along the coast as you head towards the border to the Republic of Latvia. Upon arrival in Riga, visit the small but informative Jewish Documentation Center, part of a museum which exhibits Jewish Life from the 18th Century to the present. This Center vividly illustrates how the Jews played a major role among intellectual Latvian society, and how their magnificent community was nonetheless cruelly destroyed during the Holocaust. The newest historic section of this museum illustrates how Jewish Life in Latvia was reborn after its independence; the exhibit is named: “The Jewish People Survived!” On this uplifting note, continue to the hotel located on the banks of the River Daugava. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner. Hotel.

Day 06 Friday Riga

Breakfast. Enjoy the pleasing vista of historic Riga across the river, as you embark on a full day of sightseeing. Visit the only remaining Synagogue, which today serves as the central meeting place for the Jews of Latvia. Standing since the beginning of the 20th century, the synagogue was most likely spared from burning due to its fortunate location in the Old Town, where fires could be devastating to the surrounding buildings. Continue to the outskirts of town for a visit to the well-maintained, Russian-inspired Jewish Cemetery. Later, a moving visit to the Memorial to the victims of the Nazis. At this site, obscured by dense forest, the Nazis herded thousand of victims to be executed and buried in the anonymity of mass graves. Jews were brought from as far away as Austria and Germany; many Latvians and Russians were killed at this site as well. The current monument was unveiled only in 2001, and it illustrates the persistent Jewish soul and its refusal to be forgotten. Back in the city, stop at the site of the Jewish Ghetto, where only small traces remain of the brave Jewish life within. A short stroll takes you to the ruins of the Chorale Synagogue, cruelly torched by the Nazis as the entire congregation prayed inside. Later, visit the chic “Art Nouveau” District, where many prominent Jewish Latvians, among them the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, once lived. Riga has one of the world’s most impressive collections of authentic Art Nouveau architecture, and uniquely offers streets whose buildings are preserved almost entirely in this early 20th Century style. Dinner. Hotel.

Day 07 Saturday Riga

Breakfast. A full day at leisure to browse the charming town of Riga, or take a pre-arranged excursion to ancestral homes, villages, or towns.Hotel.

Day 08 Sunday Riga – Kaunas (Kovno) – Vilnius (Vilna)

Breakfast. Depart Riga this morning, heading for the border of the Republic of Lithuania (Lita), where Jews lived for hundreds of years. Continue along roads along which flash images of “shtetls” and golden fields of grain, ready to be harvested. Now, visit the notorious Ninth Fort, where Jews were imprisoned overnight, only to be executed in the surrounding open fields the next morning. Visit the Museum within the fort, and pay respects at the memorials on the open grounds which surround it. Continue to the center of Kaunas (Kovno) for a visit to the beautiful Chorale Synagogue, striking for its black and golden colors, as well as its Children’s Memorial. Enjoy Lunch with members of the small Kaunas Jewish community. Later, pass the house where the poet Leah Goldberg once lived, and visit the area that once contained the vibrant Jewish Ghetto, ultimately incinerated by the Nazis. Stand at the spot where the members of the Kaunas Ghetto once lined up and waited as Nazi officers assigned their fate. A short drive away, relax in the Old Town with its historic feel. In the afternoon, drive to Vilnius (Vilna) and our hotel.

Day 09 Monday Vilnius (Vilna)

Breakfast. A full day tour in the town once known as the “Jerusalem of the North,” the town where Jewish scholars met, Yiddish Theaters abounded, and Vilnius Jewish life enriched Lithuanian history. Drive to the Ponar Forest to pay respects at the site where the Nazis murdered more than 100,000 Jews. Later, visit the large and well-maintained Jewish Cemetery, where many of Vilna’s famous personalities are buried, such as the Great Vilna Gaon (Sage) and many other brilliant Lithuanian rabbis and scholars. From here, visit the small and compelling Jewish Museum, which excellently documents the strength of Jewish cultural influence in Lithuania. Continue to the Great Vilna Synagogue to meet with members of the small Jewish Community. Lunch will be served during the tour. See the “Cheap Houses,” made to shelter the Jewish poor. Later this afternoon, walk in the former Jewish Ghetto just next to the hotel, which bears only scant visible traces of its past Jewish influence. Hotel.

Day 10 Tuesday Vilnius (Vilna)

Breakfast. A full day at leisure to browse the colorful and pleasant Vilnius town, or take prearranged excursion to ancestral homes, villages, or towns. Farewell Dinner. Hotel.

Day 11 Wednesday Flight to USA

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for the connecting flights back to the USA.

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