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The Signature Tour option includes all of the above as well as:
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Explore a magnificent corner of Europe that is rich with history. Atmospheric towns full of diverse architecture and an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The countries bordering the Baltic Sea have managed to remain slightly under the radar when it comes to busy tourist spots in Europe, yet those who visit these Baltic beauties are richly rewarded.
Helsinki is where we spend the first three nights of this tour. A leafy landscape that’s typical of Scandinavia plus the modern development that began for the 1952 Olympic Games creates a lively hub of culture, education and industry thriving at the centre of Helsinki today.
It's hardly surprising that most Finns have visited Estonia when you see how simple the Tallink Ferry makes hopping across the Gulf seem. With Helsinki being in the south of Finland, and Tallinn, the Estonian capital, in the north of the country, the two cities essentially face each other, although they are very much of a contrast.
South of Tallinn we find the city known as Estonia’s cultural capital – Tartu. A perfect pit stop when travelling through the forests towards Latvia. This pretty city is firmly focused on the intellectual, as home to the National University of Estonia and a variety of important museums.
From Helsinki just north of the Baltics to Riga, our southernmost stop, this tour rakes in four cities across a trio of countries on the cusp of where Russia and Europe collide. Accompanied by an expert guide, you will discover the very best on offer from this hidden gem corner of Europe made up of Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
Fly to Helsinki and transfer to your hotel, where you'll stay in the four-star Scandic Grand Marina.
Helsinki is a beautiful, bustling capital city – an idyllic archipelago nestled on the Gulf of Finland and boasting over 300 islands. Surrounded by lush forests and vast, picturesque parks, both Central Park and Kaivopuisto Park offer stunning views overlooking the sea, just two of the city’s tranquil spots that provide us with an uplifting breath of fresh air.
Our morning tour takes us around many of Helsinki’s highlights, including its striking Railway Station and the sculptural Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes. During the afternoon, we’re free to explore the city’s vastly varied sights
Perhaps there is no better way to fully appreciate the heritage of Finland than through the music of Jean Sibelius. With its perfect acoustics, the Baroque-style ballroom of the Balder Hall is the perfect venue for a magical live performance in these beautiful and historic surroundings.
Today, prepare to be transported back in time as we take a short ferry ride from the mainland to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Suomenlinna Fortress. Despite a tumultuous history, the fortress is now the epitome of peace and tranquillity. Our expert guide will bring the fort’s history back to life as we explore Suomenlinna’s four bastions, as well as a wealth of other attractions within the fortress walls, including deep and eerie connecting tunnels, a turquoise-topped dual use church/lighthouse, the ominous canons, lakes, gardens and even a beach. Outside of the crumbling fortress walls, we meander through the cobbled streets, across connecting bridges and in between old wooden buildings now home to quaint restaurants and artists’ workshops.
In the afternoon you’ll have some free time where you may choose to head back to Helsinki or stay on Suomenlinna.
Today, we leave Finland in our wake and cross the Gulf from Scandinavia to Estonia. We dock in the port of Tallinn and drive east along the coast until we arrive at picturesque Kadriorg Palace. Built in the 18th century by Russian Emperor Peter the Great as a gift to his wife Catherine, this sweeping confection of a building now houses one of the country’s best art collections. Here, we take a guided tour of its intricate interior, taking in the exquisite and mesmerising ceiling in the main hall, as well as the impressive manicured gardens and fountains that the palace overlooks. After this most regal outing we continue to Tallinn to settle into our hotel before heading out for dinner in a local restaurant.
You will stay for two nights at the four-star Nordic Forum Hotel.
Estonia’s capital Tallinn is, quite simply, a time warp. Its fairy tale UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, a rabbit-warren of atmospheric streets neatly situated below an impressive hilltop Upper Town, offers endless discovery: an ancient castle, a pastel-coloured baroque Parliament building, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. As you enter Tallinn’s Old Town through its landmark 14th century Viru Gate, you’re immediately struck by the heady fragrance of fresh blooms from the plethora of flower shops that line the road ahead. Sitting in the shadows of the church steeples, castle walls and grand cathedrals you’ll happen across a hotchpotch of winding streets and alleyways, colourful buildings and traditional traders. Stroll through Catherine’s Passage, an atmospheric hidden alleyway lined with all manner of artists’ workshops. Once we’ve enjoyed our morning walking tour of the upper and lower Old Town with a local guide, there’s time to seek out various local treasures, wander through the shadows of the city walls, or maybe just a short stop to sip a coffee and watch the world go by.
As you wander mingle with the locals at the bustling Baltic Station Market and sample a selection of local delicacies, what better way to experience to experience the aromas and distinctive flavours which are typical to Estonia.
The craft beers of Tallinn are gaining in popularity and later this afternoon you’ll visit a boutique brewery in the heart of the city. In these unique surroundings discover secrets of the brewing process which date back to the 16th century and later enjoy a delicious selection of the finest local beers as you reflect on an entertaining and insightful visit.
After breakfast we continue our tour to Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city and its cultural capital, home to the country’s most renowned university. On our arrival we’ll have time to enjoy lunch and explore the picturesque city centre. The Old Town Square is the perfect place to people watch and take in the views of the Emajogi River, the Kissing Students Fountain, the pretty pink Town Hall and the curious Leaning House – home to the Tartu Art Museum. Not only has that, but the medieval St John’s Church, boasted some of the best views over the Old Town from its belfry. We set off again mid-afternoon on our journey to Riga, capital of Latvia, where we’ll settle into our hotel before heading out for the evening to sample some local cuisine in a nearby restaurant.
You will stay in either the four-star Radisson Blu Ridzene, the four-star Radisson Blu Elizabete or the four-star Wellton Hotel and Spa.
Today, we visit beautiful Riga, largest of the Baltic State cities. Situated at the mouth of the River Daugava, this charming, cosmopolitan city offers a real mix of architectural styles. Spires of dark, gothic churches tower above the shadowy cobblestone streets below.
During our morning walking tour, we explore these hidden delights and the medieval maze that makes up the Old Town, including the striking foliage-covered Powder Tower - home to the Latvian War Museum, and the central Dome Square - the heart of seven atmospheric streets. Stand on the marked spot on the square and you can see all three golden cockerels on top of the Old Town church spires.
During the afternoon, you’re free to explore the city as you wish, a stroll through Riga’s famously vast Central Market, five pavilions of old Zeppelin hangars so iconic that it’s included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, along with the city’s Old Town.
After breakfast it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the beauty of the Baltics and take the transfer for the flight home.
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:
Included excursions are: tour of Helsinki; guided visit of Suomenlinna Fortress; ferry crossing from Helsinki to Tallinn; visit to Kadriorg Park; guided tours of Tallinn and Riga
Along with your experienced and knowledgeable tour manager and local experts, you’ll discover so much on our award-winning Classic tours, offering the best value for money way for you to explore the world.
Our tour managers have been rated as the best in the business for their knowledge and experience and will go above and beyond to ensure every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly – so all you need to worry about is your packing.
Immerse yourself in the romantic music of Sibelius at a live performance in Helsinki, mingle with the locals as you savour delicious local specialities on a street food walk in Tallinn and taste a selection of delicious local craft beers on an entertaining visit to one of Estonia’s renowned boutique breweries.
What's extra on this tour?
This Signature Tour includes everything from the Classic Tour as well as the following:
What makes Signature Tours different?
Signature Tours give you the option to experience more and are available on over 40 of our European and Worldwide itineraries. Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group of 25 or fewer guests, with up to three enhanced experiences included to help make your holiday truly exceptional. Find out more
On a range of tours we are delighted to offer the option to travel in a small group of up to 25 people.
You’ll enjoy the same sociable atmosphere of a typical Riviera Travel holiday - but with a smaller number of travellers and a touch more exclusivity.
Available across our range of UK, European and select Worldwide tours; just look out for the icon on holiday pages.
UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter Finland, Estonia or Latvia however must have a valid passport. For the most up-to-date passport and visa information visit:
We are unable to accept responsibility if you are unable to travel because you have not complied with any passport/entry/immigration requirements.
Inbound flights from Riga to Manchester with Finnair will connect in Helsinki.
All other flights are direct. Please contact us if you would like timings and/or further information on the connecting flights. All flight details will be listed in your booking confirmation.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitabilty of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport or train station||First hotel location||Transfer time||Final hotel location||Departure airport or train station||Transfer time|
|Helsinki Airport||Helsinki||40 mins||Riga||Riga Airport||25 mins|
A very enjoyable holiday. Hotels comfortable, all offered a substantial breakfast. The three included meals were excellent and gave an opportunity to chat with our fellow travellers. During the 8 day holiday there is one day trav...
Stephen & Ann Barry
This was our first holiday with Riviera and we are both very impressed. The hotels chosen in the three cities were excellent, the local guides chosen were first class and the schedule left lots of time 'to do our own thing'. Our ...