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Cycling the Baltics Highlights: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Cycling the Baltics Highlights: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Overview

Despite their geographical proximity, the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have many cultural and geographical particularities, and exploring them on a single bike trip is an adventure of a lifetime. During this 9-days tour, you will ride from Tallinn, Estonia, in the north, through Latvia and on to Lithuania in the south, enjoying a great variety of towns, villages, and landscapes excellent feel for the different characters of these distinctive countries. To enrich your experience, we have added a guided city tour in Tallinn and Riga’s capital cities, making this adventure a perfect combination of cycling and cultural exploration.

The tour is fully supported, meaning that there will be a minivan with a bike trailer accompanying you all the time (except Jurmala and the Curonian Spit), so in case you get tired or need any kind of assistance, you can call the driver at any time and get the help and support you need. This way, you can enjoy the trip to the fullest, whether you are a keen cyclist or a beginner enthusiast.

This trip takes 9 days to complete; if you have more time, we highly recommend our 11-day cycling itinerary in the Baltics.

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tallinn

Individual arrival in Tallinn. Depending on your arrival time, you will have the rest of the day for attending a guided city tour (starting at 18:00) and exploring the old town on your own.

Day 2: Tallinn – National Park Lahemaa | 53 km

Today you meet with your driver, and after a bus transfer, you shall begin your first bicycle trip through National Park Lahemaa, which is one of the last unspoiled regions of the Baltic coast.

  • Cycling for the day: 53 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 90 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Sagadi or similar

Day 3: Along Lake Peipsi to Tartu | 50 km

Morning transfer by bus to Mustvee, where you start a pleasant bicycle trip along Peipsi Lake shore to Varnja. After finishing your cycling trip for the day, the minibus will take you to Tartu, a famous university town.

  • Cycling for the day: 50 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 160 km
  • Accommodation: Dorpat or similar

Day 4: Through the „Estonian Switzerland“ to Sigulda | 28 km

After a transfer to Otepää, a lovely place with many lakes, you will start your cycling through the so-called „Estonian Switzerland“ and have the chance to admire the environment. Transfer to the hotel in Sigulda, the most popular resort in Latvia.                                                  

  • Cycling for the day: 28 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 235 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Sigulda or similar

Day 5: Gauja National Park – Riga | 17 km

Today you cycle through Gauja National Park to Ragana, enjoying en route spectacular views of the Gauja River valley with Gutmana Cave, medieval castles in Sigulda & Turaida, and the oldest church in Latvia (1205 AD). Afternoon transfer to Riga, the Latvian capital, where you will get on a guided tour of the charming Old Town.                             

  • Cycling for the day: 17 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 50 km
  • Accommodation: Avalon or similar

Day 6: Riga & Jurmala Seaside Resort | 35 km

Today is a free day to explore Riga on your own or take a ride on a bicycle path to Jurmala, a renowned Latvian seaside resort known for its long, white, sand beaches, mineral waters and mud with healing properties. In the evening you can take a local train back to Riga.

  • Cycling for the day: 35 km
  • Return ride by train: approx. 25 km
  • Accommodation: Avalon or similar

Day 7: Hill of Crosses & Lithuanian Seaside Cycle Route | 42 km

A minibus transfer will take you to the Lithuanian Seaside, stopping en route at the Hill of Crosses, a remarkable site of thousands of crosses on two small hills. Begin your cycle ride to Klaipėda on a beautiful bicycle path lying along the Baltic Coast in the Seaside Regional Park. En route stop in Palanga, the renowned Lithuanian sea resort (Botanical Park & Amber Museum).

  • Cycling for the day: 42 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 290 km
  • Accommodation: Old Mill Hotel or similar

Day 8: Curonian Spit National Park | 57 km

After breakfast, you cross the lagoon by ferry and start cycling on an asphalt bike path taking you along the Curonian Spit to Nida, the most beautiful resort in Lithuania famous for impressive sand dunes, the Amber Gallery, etc. En route, you can visit the Hill of Witches, watch a colony of grey herons and cormorants, explore the “Dead” sand dunes on foot, swim in the Baltic Sea or, simply relax on the golden beaches. Transfer back to Klaipėda and optional dinner at the hotel.

Day 9: Departure

Individual departure after breakfast.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming 3-star and 4-star hotels, some of them with pools and spa facilities. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Hestia Ilmarine, Hotel Sagadi, Dorpat, Hotel Sigulda, Avalon, Old Mill Hotel

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included each day. For lunch and dinner, you will have many choices of restaurants and grocery stores all along the way. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you can ask the local hosts about the best places to eat around.

Difficulty & terrain

We grade this trip as Easy to Moderate, with routes ranging from 20 to 57 km per day, mainly on low traffic roads and cycle paths (read more about difficulty grades). Have in mind that the itinerary offers a lot of flexibility, faster riders can cycle more kilometres on some sections like Day 2 (more detours on the circular route in Lahemaa national park), Day 3 (extra distance towards Tartu) and Day 6 (exploring Jurmala Resort), and the less experienced can rent an E-bike or skip the hard sections by getting on the escorting minivan. So the trip is suitable for everybody wanting to explore the Baltics on a bike, whether experienced or a novice.

When to go

The tour can depart each Wednesday between late May and early September. Individual departures on other days are also possible for groups of more than 4 people (upon request). Weather is best in July and August; still, accommodation availability is limited in these months, so better book well in advance. The climate is slightly continental, with cold winters and mild, moderately rainy summers. Winter temperatures are cold, with average highs around 0 °C (32 °F), while in summer, the maximum temperatures range around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F). In the summer, the temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night. Typically, August is a bit rainier than June and July.

Getting there

Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Estonia is available here, on Latvia here, and on Lithuania here.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Tallinn airport. Alternative airports: Vilnius airport, and Kaunas airport.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 8 overnight stays in double/twin en-suite rooms (3 and 4-star hotels, some with spa facilities)
  • 8 breakfasts (on Days 2-9)
  • Transfers as per itinerary by air-conditioned minibus
  • Luggage transport as per itinerary
  • Guided tours in Tallinn and Riga (any entrance fees are payable individually)
  • Individual information package (one per room): city guides, maps, programme and route description (electronic copy sent by email in advance and a hard copy provided at first hotel)
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Optional extra nights before or after the tour
  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)
  • Helmet rental

Bike Rental

In case you would like to rent a bike from us, we can offer you our standard hybrid bikes equipped with 24-speed Shimano derailleur gears or our E-bikes with Bosch driving system, 7-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears. Both options come equipped with a waterproof back pannier and handlebar bag with a plastic cover for GPS/smartphone.

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