Cycling in Estonian Countryside

Cycle the Baltics

11 days
from
£1,169
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Traveller ratings
4.3 / 5 from 58 reviews >
Trip code: 
MVB
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

Discover the best of the Baltics by bike

Crossing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, this ride will take you on a journey of discovery through historic cities, untouched wilderness and along breathtaking coastline. Our trip will start in Tallinn where the fairytale architectural style sets an enchanting scene. This will feature throughout the trip as we journey through Tartu, Riga, Trakai and Vilnius. Between the architectural highlights, we will also enjoy some of the best cycling this region has to offer, through beautiful national parks and along idyllic coastal paths.

Highlights

  • Cycle in the Baltic states through three countries
  • Explore three fascinating capital cities
  • Visit the fairytale Trakai castle

Key information

  • 9 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 80% tarmac roads, 20% gravel paths
  • Group normally 6 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 10 nights hotels, all en suite 

 

  • Countries visited: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • Local bike hire 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

9

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Leisurely: 10-13km/6-8miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 80% tarmac, 20% cycle paths, gravel and coastal tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 230.0km/18.0miles
Day 355.0km/34.0miles
Day 456.0km/34.0miles
Day 548.0km/29.0miles
Day 639.0km/24.0miles
Day 743.0km/26.0miles
Day 863.0km/39.0miles
Day 937.0km/22.0miles
Day 1025.0km/15.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we stay at locally run hotels of good locations that employ local staff. When meals are provided, local ingredients are used wherever possible otherwise, there are plenty of opportunities to try a range of local delicacies at local restaurants and cafes recommended by our local guides. Purchasing fresh smoked fish is a good way to support local fishermen and their business. We are enthusiastic about exploring the culture of each of the three countries on our route with visits to a number of historical sites where the profits generated by entrance fees, souvenirs and local handicrafts sold benefits the surrounding communities. On entering the Curonian Spit, we have to pay ecological fees for our vehicle where the money goes to support the municipality of the area. Water is especially important for cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to not cause too much waste from single use plastic bottles. Hence, we provide large water containers so that clients can refill their reusable water bottles.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Tallinn; transfer to hotel.

    On arrival, there should be some time to explore Tallinn. Tallinn is a fascinating historical city with many sites to explore. We recommend strolling through the streets of the Old Town to Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square); the square historically served as a market and meeting place and is surrounded by elaborate merchant houses – the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. If you find the round stone with a compass rose in the middle of the square you will be able to see the 5 church spires of the old town. The Cathedral of Saint Mary, St. Alexander Nevsky and St. Olav's Church have long characterised the skyline of the old town and are well worth a visit, as are the old town walls.

    Braavo Hotel or similar 

  • Day 2

    Explore Tallinn; transfer to the Lahemaa N.P. for a scenic ride.

    This morning there is some free time to further explore Estonia's capital (timings will be confirmed by the guide in the welcome briefing). In the afternoon we leave Tallin behind and drive out of the city (approx. 1h), we will begin our first ride through National Park Lahemaa. The park, one of the last unspoilt regions of the Baltic Coast, extends over 700 square kilometres. Its nature is rich and unique. Here you will cycle through thick woods, marshes and lakes. Above all, the coastline is what makes this area so distinctive. It is also a rich environment for wildlife with moose and wild boar, although difficult to spot, and over 220 species of bird – keep your eyes open! Our accommodation for the evening is situated in the national park itself and is in a spectacular setting in the grounds of an old distillery.

    Park Hotel Palmse or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Full day riding through Lahemaa N.P.

    Today we have a full day to explore the largest national park in Estonia and one of the biggest in Europe. We will embark on a circular route taking in as many of the parks wonderful attractions as possible. Starting from Palmse Hotel (the former park manor house), we will pass Sagadi manor, the 400 year old fisherman’s village of Altja, the popular seaside resort of Vosu, and Kasmu village which is home to the fisherman’s museum. We finish the loop cycling back through Estonian forests and meadows until we arrive at the hotel.

    Park Hotel Palmse or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Peipsi and cycle along the shore of the lake; transfer to Tartu.

    We start the day with a bus transfer to the shore of Peipsi Lake (approx. 1.5h), then start cycling from the 17th Century fisherman’s village of Mustvee. From here we pass through ancient towns and churches. Following an old Russian tradition, villages in Peipsi only have one street. Because of this, the shore of Peipsi Lake is one long street with lots of small settlements dotted along it. We continue cycling into Varnja and then transfer to Tartu (approx. 30min).

    Tartu Hotel or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle through 'Estonian Switzerland' to Otepaa; transfer to Riga.

    After breakfast, we have a 40km transfer to Otepaa. This area is known as ‘Estonian Switzerland’ because of its stunning scenery and pine forests. As you would expect, there are a few hills on today’s ride, though nothing too steep and challenging with the gradient not going above 7%. Once over the hills, we cycle through beautiful forest and meadows and past Lake Puhajarve on our way to Sangaste town. We will visit the park and castle in Sangaste – walking up the castle tower gives us a great view over Otepaa and the surrounding green natural areas. After visiting the castle we continue cycling to Valga city, and from here we transfer by bus to Riga (approx. 2.5h), our base for the next two nights.

    Ibis Centre Riga or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Cycle to Jurmala; transfer to Riga for the night.

    Our journey today will start in the bustling town Riga, Latvia’s largest town and capital city. The city has a mediaeval old town which is famous for its wooden buildings and art nouveau architecture. We will then follow the cycle paths to the beautiful town of Jurmala, which is famous for its incredible wooden buildings and 19th Century Russian villas. Jurmala is also one of Latvia’s largest seaside resorts – it has a 33km stretch of white sandy beach for us to explore on our bikes. There will be plenty of time to have a swim in the sea before we transfer back to Riga for the night.

    Ibis Centre Riga 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Sventoji; cycle to Klaipeda.

    After breakfast, we leave Latvia and transfer directly to Lithuania (approx. 4h). We begin our ride in Sventoji on a beautiful cycle route to Klaipeda, which lies along the Baltic Coast. On the way we pass Palanga, a traditional bucket and spade seaside town with a long stretch of sandy beach. It's a really fun place to stop, have a wander around, a dip in the sea, and see one of the most favoured seaside towns among Lithuanians. We will visit the Palanga Botanical Gardens and manor house which is now home to the amber museum. There are numerous cafes to sit and enjoy the atmosphere and have some lunch before we set off again for our final destination of Klaipeda, our base for two nights. Our hotel is close to the Old Town, so a good spot from which to explore.

    Amberton Hotel Klaipeda or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer to the Curonian Spit N.P; explore by bike.

    We transfer to Nida (approx. 1.5h including the ferry ride), known as the town of retreat, and an artist’s resort. It was home and inspiration for two summers to the author Thomas Mann and its affluent feel and tranquillity encourages the feeling that you are on a holiday within a holiday. From here we explore the 68km long Curonian Spit. The high dunes (up to 60m) running along the spit have encouraged the local people to refer to the area as the 'Lithuanian Sahara'. During our ride we will make a stop in Juodkrante and admire the bizarre wooden carvings on what is known as Witch Hill. The sculpture park was started in 1979 and now has more than 70 wooden carvings representing characters of Lithuanian folktale and legend. We will then continue along the spit with the Baltic Sea extending far into the distance. We finish the ride at the ferry port, and from here we take the ferry across the lagoon then transfer back to the hotel in Klaipeda for the night.

    Amberton Hotel Klaipeda or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Transfer to Kintai village; cycle to Vente Cape and Silute; transfer to Vilnius.

    We start the day with a bus transfer to Kintai village (approx. 45mins), and from here we cycle through dense green forests and beautiful meadows to Vente Cape. There is a lot of wildlife at Vente Cape as it is a popular resting place for birds on their migration, and it's home to one of the first bird ringing stations in Europe. We will visit the 11m high lighthouse which offers breathtaking views of the lagoon and golden sand dunes of the Curonian Split; the lighthouse is a fascinating place, built in 1863 when the cape was still part of Germany. We continue cycling to the town of Silute where we get on the bus and transfer to Vilnius (approx. 4h).

    Panorama Hotel or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Transfer to Trakai; cycle around town and visit Trakai Castle; return to Vilnius.

    After breakfast, we transfer by bus to the small village of Semeliskes(approx. 1h). From here we have a picturesque ride over undulating terrain to Galve Lake. Here the magical and famous Trakai Castle sits, as if floating on its own island in the middle of the lake – it’s a truly magical place. We will explore the surrounding areas of the lake and visit the Castle before transferring back to Vilnius for the night.

    Panorama Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    End Vilnius.

    We have a free morning in Vilnius before the trip ends here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Breakfast: These will be taken in the hotels. In most places, these will be buffet style and will offer plenty of choice including cold meat, cheese, eggs, bread, jams and juice. Lunches: On many of the days due to our remote rides there will be the option to buy a picnic from the hotel or get supplies on the way – we can then chose a spot on our ride to stop for a break. This means we can be flexible and chose the best views for lunch. On some of the days there will be opportunities to buy lunches in cafes in the towns that we go through such as Palanga. Dinners: These will be taken in the hotels or in restaurants and will be hearty meals. Cuisine in this area is often centred around pork, veal, fish, potatoes, sauerkraut and soups such as borsch (beetroot soup with meat, in Lithuania this is also served cold). In Trakai, Kibinai are very popular, these are large savoury baked pastries traditionally filled with lamb or beef and are very good.

Weather

The climate is largely influenced by the Baltic Sea. The summers are warm with temperatures from 20 to 30 degrees celcius. In the evenings the temperatures will not drop too much. There is little rain in the summer but of course it is always a possibility so it is best to be prepared. The days will be long, with up to 19 hours of daylight. In spring and autumn there is the possibility of light rain. Estonia is the furthest north and therefore the coldest, although the temperature range described applies. Lithuania is the furthest south, which makes it the warmest country of the three. Estonia is often described as more Scandinavian than the other two countries.

Estonia

Is this trip for you?

Average daily distance: 45km (28 miles)

9 days cycling with full vehicle support 

Our cycling routes follow mainly quiet backroads, paths through national parks and coastal cycle tracks. There are some undulating sections, so a moderate level of fitness is required, though the majority of the route is flat. As we are covering a large area there are bus transfers on most of the cycling days, this enables us to cover the distances to see all the highlights and use the bikes to cover the best bits.

Please note that before reaching the cities, the leader will give you information on their history and places of interest and will guide you into town, however, they are not allowed to give you a guided tour of the city once you are there due to restrictions of tour leaders, only official city guides are allowed to do this. You will have the choice of wandering around the cities at your own pace, or you can pay locally for a guide. We will leave this up to you.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

10 nights in 2-3-star hotels, all with en suite facilities in a great locations, including two nights in a converted distillery set in the magnificent grounds of the Lahemaa National Park.

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2019
    Catriona Griffin

    The Baltics

    If you are after some easy cycling in three very interesting countries, this is the trip for you. It is a good mix of each country's scenery, rich history and lovely capital cities. The cycling is relatively easy with most days cycling on flat, quiet roads and bike paths. There are a couple of undulating hills here and there but nothing too taxing so this trip is well within the capabilities of a new cyclist or someone wanting a relaxed trip. Each day is well paced with plenty of rest stops. The bikes were solid and comfortable and we were provided with pannier bags for carrying essentials.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to experience the history of the three countries was really the highlight for me. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been through a lot in the past centuries and you get to see and hear about all the invasions, rulers and quirky beliefs in each country. In Lithuania we got to visit the Hill of Crosses (Christian protests) and the Hill of Witches (pagan legends) which were both interesting in different ways. My favourite country was Estonia and the couple of days cycling in Lahemaa National Park were brilliant. It was also enjoyable seeing the capital cities. Fairy tale Tallinn (get up early and go for a wander before the crowds appear), Riga is good for souvenir shopping in the little cobbled streets and squares and Vilnius has plenty of churches to see. I even found a beer and music festival in Klaipeda. I really enjoyed wandering the old town in Riga during and after a rain storm which drove most people indoors. Perfect for some moody, uncrowded photos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was a great guide with infinite patience and a good sense of humour. His knowledge of the local history is endless! He was able to recommend some great restaurants along the way and my favourite meal was a home-smoked salmon lunch that he arranged for us on one of the days in Lahemaa NP. He gave clear instructions each day and was quick with his antiseptic spray on the odd scratch and bump that happened! I have to give a special mention to our Ukrainian driver Anatoli as well who was a very competent chap! He was able to pack the truck each day with precision, got the bikes sorted for us in record time and was an excellent driver. He didnt speak much English but I think it understood more than he let on!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to add a day or two pre and post tour. There is plenty to see in both Tallinn and Vilnius so well worth extending if you have the time. Be prepared for all sorts of weather. I was there in early July and we got rain, sun and everything in between. A good waterproof jacket is essential as is an umbrella for exploring the cities. You will get rain at some point! Pack light if you can as some of the hotels do not have elevators. All the hotels used are well located within walking distance of town. The only exception to that is the hotel in Palmse which is remote but that in itself is a charm, located in the grounds of an old manor so take some time to explore the gardens here. Also be prepared to eat - a lot! The food was surprisingly good everywhere we went and plenty of local dishes to taste. As was the beer. You can eat reasonably cheaply too. Take some euros with you but credit cards are readily accepted and almost all restaurants split the bills for the group. ATMs are available everywhere too. It is worth waiting til you get to Vilnius if you want to buy any amber jewellery. There are plenty of shops in the old town. Other people have mentioned taking a travel plug for the sinks and I would advise that too if you want to do some handwashing. Dont rely on hotel laundry facilities as the hotels that did offer it were charging ridiculous rates! It's worth handwashing your gear yourself. The hotels are adequate but the rooms are small in some places so expect 2-3 star properties. Breakfasts are included and were very good, particularly in Tartu. Some of the bigger hotels were swamped with German tour groups so breakfast was a bit of a scrum at times!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this trip. It a great combination of cycling and culture with good food and beer thrown in along the way. A great way to escape and experience a quieter, more laid back part of Europe.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Katy A

    Flexibility makes for a great holiday!

    This was our first ever cycling holiday and so we were unsure before going whether we'd be fit and prepared enough. Building up our cycling beforehand as per the Exodus training plan definitely helped our fitness. The distances and routes each day were very manageable. We did buy padded shorts for the trip and these were definitely helpful. We also took our own bike seats and after a couple of days using the one that came with the bikes (which I found a bit narrow and hard) I switched to my own which was definitely more comfortable and supportive for me, while my husband was happy with the Exodus one. The bikes were good with more gears than expected and an easy lever to flick the suspension on for bumpy ground. The pannier bag provided was an unexpected bonus and easily came on and off so can be taken to your room at night and packed for the following day. There are no separate compartments in them so after a few days of groping around in the dark space at the bottom every time I needed something, I organised smaller items into separate plastic bags which could be pulled out easily. Hotel rooms were clean and spacious with good facilities, though we may have hit lucky with our room allocation as some people felt cramped and not so happy with theirs. The hotel in Palmse was more basic but this was definitely compensated for by the lovely location. Breakfasts at all the hotels were good with plenty of choice. A gluten-free Exodus guest managed ok, helped by bringing a print out of 'I can't eat gluten' translated into the 3 languages to show staff and by buying a loaf of gluten free bread for when rice cakes got too boring. As non-meat eaters our meals out tended to be dominated by fish with very limited choices at some places for total vegetarians. Generally though the food was tastier and more varied than I had expected with some great places suggested by Andrius - we definitely needed those bike rides to keep the calories from piling on!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several lovely moments - the tranquility of Palmse, looking out of our window at midnight and it still being light (we were there around midsummer) seeing so many stork nests with young being fed, the wild flowers and of course the delicious and interesting food were just a few!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius is a great tour leader with a natural sense of humour which helped us all bond as a group. He guided us very well and engaged with us as very much a part of our group rather than just going through the motions of doing his job. He was able to be flexible and adaptable, adjusting the schedule according to needs and requirements- a detour to a bike shop for necessary repairs enabled a walk around an old castle for the rest of us. He had some great tips and recommendations and used his experience of the countries and the trip to really enhance our experience. Thank you Andrius!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack insect repellent and bite relief cream, your own seat or gel cover, a couple of small bags for putting bits in the pannier bag, and a flexible attitude and you'll have a great time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a great holiday and has definitely left us wanting to do more cycling trips. I only have one suggestion for improvement and that is for Exodus to have slightly better arrangements for biking as a group, perhaps by agreeing to stop and meet up at more regular points. Although Andrius had asked at the start of the trip for faster cyclists not to bike too far ahead of the rest of the group this didn't happen with the perhaps inevitable problem at times of the group spreading out too much and people at the back getting split from the rest of the group, resulting in unnecessary waiting and worrying until they were found. This also meant that there were times, especially at the start of the trip, when I didn't stop to admire the view or take photos incase I lost sight of the others.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Steve Ryder

    Awesome Trip

    I joined this trip as an alternative way of seeing the 3 Baltic States which got you away from the 3 capital cities, but it may have converted me to non too strenuous cycle holidays too. Not only was the trip a very enjoyable 9 days of cycling but we also had a foodie experience and a cultural experience thrown in too thanks to our amazing guide Anders

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip has daily inspirational moments. I found eating lunch in various rural restaurants quite inspirational because they were away from the tourist crowds and I would not have found them had I not been travelling with Anders. Eating freshly smoked fish in the garden of a fisherman on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania was a highlight

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anders was awesome. He guided us in a very laid back style but was extremely conscientious and knowledgeable. Those who fancied doing their own thing were free to do so and I particularly liked how he adjusted the schedule to ensure we appreciated where we were rather than just cycling for cyclings sake. The maps we were given each morning were very useful too

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. All rooms had hairdryers 2. You get a bike pannier on day one which you keep with you each evening so no need for the backpack 3. Don't worry about "dietary requirements" All can be accommodated 4. There is time to explore Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius but not to do the "full tourist thing" visiting things 5. Tartu is a wonderful university town 6. Although you cycle by a lake and by the sea you don't see much water - most of the cycle routes are in trees or slightly inland 7. You need bug spray during the day
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rachael Shaw

    It's not all about the bike.

    Apart from a bevy of Brits on our trip there were a couple of kiwis intent on causing havoc and taking flight. Unwilling to despatch them down under our tenacious guide, Andrius, set out to distract and subdue them with Baltic diversions of seaside villages, a smoked fish and wild apple juice lunch in a hidden location, elusive beer tents, lavazza coffee car and a rotunda with champagne. Fresh berries and fairytales in the forest. Ice creams, beer and Pink Soup. And a freezing but fun swim. And then he iced the cake with with his humour, baltic jokes and music. Andrius turned out Baltic Bike trip into a delight of unexpected adventures. It didn't shut those kiwis up but at least they were bearable. Just.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don't think I'll reveal that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Acutely funny and committed to his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own bike seat. Or at least a gel seat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a blast.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Heike V

    Easy Cycling in the Sunny Baltics

    We thoroughly enjoyed the easy cycling on mostly flat terrain through lovely countryside mixed with city visits. We were lucky with the weather as it was warm without being too hot, much of the cycling is through forest providing welcome shade. There was a mix of personalities and fitness levels in our group that overall was supportive and gelled well. The trip visits all 3 capitals but also more rural spots and much of the cycling is near the coast or lakes. The amount of cycling per day was such that there was never any rush and plenty of time for breaks. The cycling infrastructure (segregated paths) and courtesy of the drivers when cycling on roads is something I miss back in Britain. In most cases we stayed 2 nights in the same hotel giving time to explore the city or in the case of Palmse – explore the wonderful gardens and enjoy the peace and quiet. See Stephen Mardon's extensive write up for further details.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day spent on the Curonian Spit starting with a walk up Hill of the Witches (forest area with wooden sculptures depicting creatures from Lithuanian fairy tales – expertly brought to life by our group leader), then a walk up to giant stone sundial by Nida with view across the sand dunes to Russian territory, then cycle back to lunch stop at fishermans' house for freshly smoked fish and home made apple juice all eaten in his garden. Whilst this felt like a long day by the time we finally reached the afternoon cafe/beer stop near ferry to Klaipeda the landscape around the sand dunes with birds and flowers on this sunny day was just wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andruis was very keen to ensure we would get to experience a good balance between cycling and the local culture and cuisine. Everyday we got printed paper maps and description of our route, so we could cycle to pre-agreed points at our own pace. A big thank you also has to go to our driver Arthur who ensured we were well hydrated, didn't get lost at key junctions and efficiently got the bikes in/out of the trailer and set up everyday. At each city/town Andrius offered orientation walks and optional group dinners. In consultation with the group we changed the programme in both Riga and Vilnius. In Riga this gave us a free afternoon in the city after the cycle out to Jumala whilst in Vilnius we did a city cycling tour then visited Trakai castle by bus. Along the way Andrius provided little extras such as strawberries, water melon, etc to keep us 'sweet' and the couple of long transfers were broken up by extra stops and onboard entertainment. We had many excellent food stops and recommendations for cafe/cake and evening meals at each overnight location – since Andrius is a pescetarian/vegetarian there were always good non meat options available.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It pays to do some cycle rides before the trip so you will still feel fresh by second half of the week and continue to enjoy the longer days in the saddle. Apply midge repellent BEFORE getting out of the bus for first cycle ride & around Palmse especially. Don't bother booking a private transfer with Exodus in Tallin or Vilnius – airport taxi in Tallin should be <Euro10 to city and similar in Vilnius.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Too many food highlights to list them all but they included lots of good salmon/smoked fish throughout the trip plus Onion Pie in Kivi Koerts/Alatskivi, Cafe Weber in Tartu, Lido Vērmanītis for lunch in Riga, Lukys (Bear) restaurant for final night in Vilnius.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Niall Campbell

    A great way to explore three Countries

    Interested in visiting a corner of Europe which is not on most people's itinerary? If so, then the cycle trip around the three Baltic Countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is definitely worthwhile considering. You get to see a variety of the countryside as well as the three Capitals so a full package. However, it's not a rushed holiday so it never feels like you're trying to cram everything in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The coastal scenery was very interesting, especially the cycle along the Curonian Spit in Lithuania with its high dunes and woodland built to protect the landscape. The lunch spot was also excellent with smoked fish of all sorts to enjoy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If you get Andrius as your group leader you've struck gold as he's one of the best guides I've ever experienced - informative, great organiser, great sense of humour, relaxed in approach to leading and goes the extra mile to make the trip a fantastic time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in late Spring or Summer take anti-mossie spray as you will get bitten when stopping in the forests during breaks. Having the latest cycle clothing isn't necessary but padded shorts will of course protect a delicate part of the body! Unless it gets exceptionally hot you only need one water bottle as the support vehicle provides regular fill-ups with water during stops. The recommended spending money is about right unless you plan to buy lots of wine/beer etc. As you'll be in plenty of towns and cities getting money from cash machines isn't a problem so I wouldn't take lots of cash and many of the restaurants will take visa etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation is fine but in a couple of locations fairly basic. If you like quiet locations you'll enjoy staying at the at the old distillery at Hotel Palmse as long as you don't mind the water which is a bit sulfurous and therefore smells a bit but still perfectly safe.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Stephen Mardon

    Great way to visit three countries with long histories and appreciate their cities and countryside

    This was an excellent way to visit 3 countries, including the opportunity to explore their capital cities as well seeing the best parts of the countryside. A mixture of cycling and culture which appealed to me. Having made my own travel arrangements, I arrived at the hotel in Tallinn in advance of the main party flying in from Gatwick so had a chance to explore the city that evening myself. After meeting up with the others at breakfast on Sunday morning our leader gave us a short guided tour of the city before our minibus took us to the Lahemaa National Park where our cycling started.. The bikes we had were brand new sturdy Merida trekking bikes with water bottle holders, rear pannier frames and front suspension. Everyone was given a waterproof pannier to carry their belongs and a number of cycle locks were distributed to secure cycles when parked up unsupervised at stops. The bikes were well suited for the cycling which was primarily on flattish terrain with mostly tarmac roads, but with some gravel trails. The cycling was mainly on rural roads and cycle paths, with a small percentage of urban cycling. Maps showing the route were given out each day, and there were regular stops during the day to get water(supplied) from the minibus and to allow the group to come together. Apart from one day when we bought a picnic in a supermarket, daily lunch stops were at cafes or restaurants where food selections could be limited but there was always a vegetarian option. The leader suggested a restaurant for an evening meal which group members were welcome to join him at. These were local establishments which served local dishes which were well worth trying. There were a couple of long vehicle transfers towards the end of the holiday but these were broken up by stops along the route to stretch legs and buy drink and snacks. Overall prices of food & drink were very good value.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the 2 days of cycling in the Lahemaa National Park, Estonia right at the start of the holiday. Beautiful coastal, woodland and farming scenery, quiet roads and cycle trails, and a stay on a historic mansion in the country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius was the consummate host, cheerful, welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to ensure everyone on the trip got the best out of their holiday. His stories about the histories of the 3 countries and of growing up during a time of massive change as they regained independence brought the realities of life alive. His suggestions as to where to stop for meals, and where to eat in the evening were (with one exception) excellent, while his mini-tours of the 3 capitals and Tartu were informative and really helpful, allowing people to orientate and thereafter explore themselves. He also gave the group options as to routes so we had an excellent city cycling tour of Vilnius rather than a less interesting route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good insect repellent (and anti-histamine) as Baltic mosquitoes and other biting insects are voracious. None of the hotels where we stayed have sink plugs, so carry a universal one. Make sure you have cash in low denomination notes. A number of the places where we stopped only accepted cash. Cash is available from ATMs in the cities. Take some fruit or bread,from the breakfast buffet, in your pannier in case you need an energy boost.
  • Reviewed June 2019

    A thoroughly enjoyaqble trip

    A memorable holiday with a group of compatible people who were all keen to enjoy the experience and learn about the region

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps not inspirational in the normal sense, but the ride on the first day around the northerly peninsula to Vinistu and Peripea brought home how oppressive the Soviet occupation had been. Subsequently we were able to appreciate just how much all three states valued the fact that they had been able to re-establish their independence and re-assert their own cultures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader, Lina, was extremely knowledgeable about the geography, history, culture and cuisine of the three Baltic states and she shared that knowledge in a most engaging manner. She coped admirably with a group of cyclists with widely different levels of experience, four, and sometimes five of whom were using e-bikes. She chose meal stops where we enjoyed lovely local food during the rides and very good restaurants for our evening meals. Her organisational skills were excellent and she was unfailingly good humoured throughout the trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a plug for the washbasins - the hotels don't provide them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The weakest aspect of the holiday was the hotel accommodation, which varied between being good and being pretty poor in terms of room size and quality.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Liz halpin

    Baltic by bike

    Three different countries starting a little chilly but warming up nicely. Three different capitals with lots of different foods to try. Generally flat cycling with good maps on bikes which were adequate but probably heavier than most people were used to. Hotels variable but always well positioned.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Constitution posted for all to see in every language.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was very knowledgeable about the history of all the countries visited. He was willing to answer questions. On longer bus journeys he found ways to keep us amused. Andreas treated all the group members with respect and ensured that the cycling was accessible to all. He took us to some zany places to eat and explained all about the foods etc.. In all he was great!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have clothes for all weathers! Be prepared to try different foods. Always laugh at Andreas jokes!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hope you like castles.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Alison Fuller

    Cycling the Baltics

    Interesting countries that I’d not visited before. Good guide. Lovely food. Interesting cities. Easy riding but heavy bikes making the trip harder and more demanding. Pretty unspoiled countryside and lovely views across the Baltic Sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the fish lunch at the Fisherman’s museum. Just gorgeous! Loved hearing about the history and what it was like living in a communist country Loved the hill of crosses. So weird! Loved visiting the capital cities. All very different.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius worked really hard to make our trip enjoyable. He had some lovely surprises for us like a glass of Prosecco overlooking the lake and was always so excited for us to see the upcoming highlights! He loved us trying the local food but was mortified to discover a traditional Lithuanian kybyn was in fact a Cornish pasty! He was really interesting talking about the countries and their history. It was tricky for him as half the group were pushing the average pace up but he managed to support the slower riders whilst allowing the faster ones to go on or do a little extra. A really nice guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This isn’t a tough trip in that it’s fairly flat or gently undulating, but the bikes were very heavy which made it harder. Also on some of the more exposed roads you can get headwinds. So it’s not always as leisurely as you’d imagine. I do think lighter hybrid bikes would be better.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 00 97150 5550 445