In 2017, the Balzekas Museum will be offering 3 guided tours to Lithuania:
Sunday, June 25
Depart from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Vilnius, Lithuania
Monday, June 26
After arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to your hotel. In the evening, there will be a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant.
This morning you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Lake Galve. After a regional lunch, you’ll visit Kernavė, an ancient site in the Neris valley, the government seat of King Mindaugas 750 years ago. One still can admire and climb the many mounds where, hundreds of years ago, great castles stood. Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the January 13th massacre. Here, during a stand-off with the Soviet army, civilians keeping vigil to protect the tower and Lithuania’s newly redeclared independence were crushed by Soviet tanks. Meet with a local historian for a talk entitled “Lithuania’s Past and Present”.
Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches. Stops include: Vilnius Wednesday Cathedral and its catacombs, Vilnius University, the Money Museum, and Vilnius Valdovų Rumai. The tour concludes with a visit to the KGB Museum, where so much suffering was endured by the people of Lithuania during the Soviet occupation. The rest of the evening is free.
This morning you will depart for Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, with a stop in Rumšiškės, a 500-acre open-air ethnographic museum that brings Lithuania’s history and regional diversity to life. Upon arrival in Kaunas, you will tour the Old Town, the Cathedral Square, Rotušė (City Hall), as well as Kaunas castle and the Resurrection Basilica. After your hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy Kaunas on your own.
After breakfast, you will depart for the Baltic resort town of Palanga with a special stop in Kėdainiai, boasting a fully restored Old Town with its unique buildings. Afterwards, continue on to Palanga. After the hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy the resort on your own. Tour participants who would like to visit their ancestral towns can arrange to be picked up by a driver and taken to the place of their choosing. In the evening, they will rejoin the tour group in Palanga for an overnight stay.
This morning you will tour Palanga. You will visit the Amber Museum, Hill of Birute, and the beautiful Botanical Garden. Lunch will be at the unique Lithuanian Restaurant Pas Juozapą. The rest of the afternoon and evening, you may enjoy the resort on your own.
Today you will visit the Curonian Spit, Neringa, a long, thin, curved sand-dune isthmus that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. After a short stop in the port city of Klaipėda and a visit to Švyturys Brewery, you’ll be transported by ferry to Neringa. Your first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrante, where you will be able to admire many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, a quaint fishing village, where you will have an opportunity to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and to visit the highest dune on the isthmus. Upon returning in the afternoon, you will dine in the enclosed winter garden of a grand estate, the Tiškevicius Mansion in Kretinga. The mansion was built in the 19th century by a nobleman, Mikalojus Zubovas, and purchased in 1874 by Juozapas Tiškevičius. After returning to Palanga, join in a time-honored tradition among resort-goers, a sunset stroll along the famous Palanga pier.
Monday, July 3
Hill of Crosses, Vilnius
Today the tour will take you to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses, where thousands of crosses where placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted. After lunch, at the unique Šeduvos Malūnas restaurant, located within a restored windmill, continue on to Vilnius. Upon arrival in Vilnius, you will check in to the Artis Hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Please note that the tour itineraries below are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or airline schedule changes.
$2,995.00 per person, does NOT include airfare (Single Supplement: $575)
Reserve today! Call 773.582.6500