Balticum Adventure Tour

Balticum adventure tour: a 10-day and 2350 km tour of the three Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Enjoyness of Nature and Culture in the Baltic States by 4×4 off road jeep

Difficulty level: medium-hard

An exciting adventure tour with four-wheel drive cars in the most beautiful regions of the Baltic States that are in many cases untouched by the civilization. Visit of the most interesting nature and culture monuments, as well as visit of the capitals of all three countries is included in the tour. It is guided by English or German speaking guide and by real travelers, outstanding off road driving enthusiasts – people with extensive experience in the car for technical assistance – who will take care of the comfort during the tour.
Number of cars in the group: 3 to 8.

See Balticum Off Road Adventure Tour in larger map

Day one: Riga – Kandava – Kuldīga – Pāvilosta (310 km)

The off road adventure starts at about 10:30 from the hotel or from the Airport “Riga”. The travelers move in the direction of Kuldīga, through the beautiful nature park of the Abava River Valley. The first stop is in Kaive. First object – Kaive Ancestral oak, the largest oak in the Baltic States (girth of the trunk exceeds 10 m). After that travelers go to

Sabile and climb in the castle mound. Then lunch in a cosy pub in Kuldīga, followed by a short walk in the centre of old town of Kuldīga and visit of the Venta River rapid (the widest waterfall in the Baltic – 240m). And now the real off road driving starts – the roads become narrower and narrower until they turn into real forest paths.

Travelers cross the Tebra River and go to Pāvilosta – a small, nice town at the coast of the Baltic Sea. If the weather is fine, a short walk can be taken along the harbour breakwater. The adventure tour continues in the forest and the travelers approach the Lighthouse of Akmeņrags. It is built in 1921 and is still functioning. There after climbing more than 150 steps opens a beautiful view to the neighborhood. After the visit of lighthouse only few more kilometers are left to the place of dining and overnight stay – a guest house located in a pine forest about 200 m from the sea.

Day two: Pāvilosta – Liepāja – Curonian Spit – Klaipeda – Plunge (310 km)

The next morning as the off road adventure continues travelers take some country roads to go to Liepāja – the third biggest city in Latvia. A short car trip through the old, multiform city (the old town, military port, the Northern Forts, wind generators). About 40 km from Liepāja, shortly before crossing the Lithuanian border, we visit the wild horse pasture in Pape and the ancient fishermen farmstead in Ķoņi Village of Pape.

The main goal of the second day of the adventure tour is the visit to the Curonian Spit (a national park). The sand dunes of the Curonian Spit are the highest in Europe – their height reaches 45 and even 68 meters! If the weather conditions are appropriate a short cycling tour can be organized to have a closer look at this singular formation of nature. To get to the Curonian Spit travelers must take the ferry from Klaipeda.
From Klaipeda the off road driving continues along country roads to Plunge where travelers take a rest and have a nice dinner.

Day tree: Plunge – Siauliai – Ukmerge (280 km)

The adventure tour continues and the third day starts with an excursion in the National Park of Žemaitija representing the hillocks with lakes in between them that is so characteristic to the upland of Žemaitija (Samogitia); it is possible to see and purchase articles made by local craftsmen in the park. Then travelers move on to Siauliai where they have lunch and then proceed to the Hill of Crosses – the sacred place for Lithuanians.

The first crosses were put up there at the beginning of the 19th century but today there are more than ten thousand crosses of various shapes and sizes. And this number grows continuously. The off road adventure proceeds along country roads with characteristic Lithuanian landscape to a guest house near Ukmerge. The third day is over.

Day four: Ukmerge – Trakai – Vilnius (120 km)

The first stop is at the beautiful Trakai Castle and then the adventure tour leads the travelers to the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius – the city on hills that is situated on the banks of two rivers. Its population is more than 550 000. The old town of Vilnius is one of the biggest in the Eastern Europe and it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is planned to have the hotel accommodation, lunch, an excursion and free time there.

Day five: Vilnius – Ignalina – Daugavpils – Aglona (260 km)

After the good rest the travelers move on to the National Park of Augšaitija. The area there is less populated and wilder than elsewhere in Lithuania. Augšaitija (lit. Highlands) is the hilliest area in Lithuania, with clean lakes, untouched nature and old country farmsteads.
After visiting the park the travelers have lunch and then continue their off road adventure in the direction of Latvia, and on the way having just a sight through the window at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Station.

The vicinity of Daugavpils offers beautiful scenery and interesting off road driving on country roads which sometimes become difficult to pass. After swaying along the bumpy roads with rather poor country farmsteads on the sides, the Basilica of Aglona appears to be especially impressive, almost as if from another world. Some more twenty kilometers of winding roads to get to the lake that has water of a very interesting hue – Velnezers (the Devil’s Lake). And off road adventures of the day concludes in a guest house at the bank of the lake. There the traditional local cuisine is served for dinner, it is peaceful and quiet and there is a possibility to go on short boat trip in the lake.

Day six: Aglona – Viļāni – Madona – Ērgļi (200 km)

Although the distance planned for the day six of the off road adventure seems to be rather short most of the roads are narrow, winding, hilly, and sometimes difficult to pass. The nature and scenery are going to be unforgettable, though. Along the numerous churches of Latgale, over the hills and streams, through valleys, the first sightseeing object is Mākoņkalns (Cloud Hill) – a hill offering a spacious and fantastic view to the nearby fields and Lake Rāzna.

After a few tens of kilometers of off road driving, travelers can have lunch at a guest house near Viļāni. After that a walk of a little less than an hour is planned in the Teirumnīki swamp path (not far from (Viļāni). There is a footbridge in the swamp and it leads to one of the swamp lakes. Then the adventure tour continues along the largest lake of Latvia – Lubāns; a bird-watching tower can be visited there. After few more moments this off road adventure tour approaches to an abandoned USSR army base in Mārciena with huge deserted garages and multi-story buildings. Travelers may climb on the roof of the buildings and take a look around.

The adventure tour continues along the winding country roads with the beautiful scenery. After fording a river the day six ends in a small hotel in Ērgļi Village. The hotel “Ērgļi” is very homelike, it offers all amenities, the food is delicious, and the staff is very kind and helpful!

Day seven: Ērgļi – Piebalga – Ape – Lullemae – Tartu (250 km)

The off road driving continues and the road leads to another abandoned USSR army base. Not only underground bunkers and deserted buildings are there but also missile storage cupolas. And for the creation of a perfect mood there is a huge granite head of Lenin. The adventure tour proceeds to Ape. It is an off road driving through forests that are almost untouched and the roads are sometimes impassible, except with a SUV.

After that travelers take a lunch in a frontier town Ape, just before crossing the border. Now the off road adventure continues in Estonia as the travelers arrive at Karula National Park and hike along one of the hilliest pedestrian paths of Karula Highland. Day seven concludes in one of the most beautiful cities of Estonia – Tartu.

Day eight: Tartu – Rakvere – Tallina (200 km)

In the morning the road takes us along the huge Lake Peipus, through woodlands to Rakvere and then to Lahemaa National Park. The park is located on several peninsulas near the Gulf of Finland. We have our lunch and an excursion there. The adventure tour continues to the capital of Estonia – Tallinn. It is a port city with a population of little more than 400 thousand people and it is situated just 80 km from Helsinki. The overnight stay and dinner in a hotel in Tallinn and a walk in the old town, if desired.

Day nine: Tallinn – Vandra – Moisakula – Valmiera (240 km)

In the morning there is an excursion in Tallinn, lunch, after that the adventure tour continues on asphalt and gravel roads to Soomaa National Park – one of the newest Estonian national parks. But as to the area it takes the second place right after Lahemaa National Park. The biggest part of the territory is occupied by swamps that are separated by rivers. Soon after the visit of the park the border of Estonia and Latvia is reached.

Then the adventure tour proceeds to the Nature Park of the Northern Gauja and travelers reach Gauja – one of the most beautiful rivers of Latvia, by driving along extremely narrow forest paths. Forest roads go along the banks of river Gauja and its oxbow lakes that end near Valmiera. Just a few more moments and the travelers arrive at the place of their last overnight stay of this off road adventure – Dikļi Palace.

Day ten: Valmiera – Cēsis – Sigulda – Riga (180 km)

The journey of the last day of the adventure tour goes mostly through the Gauja National Park (the biggest in Latvia). The country roads that are rich in beautiful scenery take us to another military object of the former USSR army – the so-called “Bunker”. It is located almost 10 m under ground, under the building of sanatorium and was intended as a shelter for the Government and the Communist Party administration in case of nuclear war. The most interesting thing is that all rooms and furnishings in the Bunker have remained intact until today.

Then in Līgatne travelers with their cars take a small ferry to cross river Gauja. After a half an hour there is lunch in Turaida and a ride on a funicular over the ancient valley of the river Gauja. And then the last off road driving experience during this tour on a few forest roads and at about 17:00 the adventure tour ends as the travelers return at the place of departure – Riga, the capital of Latvia. Now it’s time to get some rest at the hotel or have an excursion in the Old Riga.

Tour lasts: 10 days
Tour distance: 3200 km
Difficulty level: Medium-Hard
Group size: up to 40 persons (min. 2 persons)
4×4 SUV’s in group: up to 10
Self driving: Yes (approx. 50% of distance)
Tour pricing: 3250 EUR a person

The package of the tour includes:
• the route,
• accommodation and catering planning,
• a convoy vehicle 10 days with technical support and an English or German speaking guide – the head of the group.

In package does not include:
• All excursions: ~90 EUR/pers.
• Catering 3 times a day over 10 days (30 meals): ~350 EUR/pers.
• Overnight accommodation in hotels and guesthouses for 9 nights: ~450 EUR/pers.

It is possible to start the Balticum adventure tour from Vilniaus (Lithuania). It is possible to rent 4×4 vehicles!

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