2020 Balzekas Museum Tours to Lithuania

UPCOMING 2020 TOUR DATES

I. June 27 to July 7 

II. September 4 – 14 

Book Today!

Save a spot on one of this year’s Balzekas Museum Tours to Lithuania!

For two decades now, the Balzekas Museum has led annual tours to Lithuania.  These popular trips provide a great introduction to Lithuania\’s major cities, beautiful countryside, and historic sites and attractions both on and off the beaten path. Touring with members of the Balzekas Museum community offers a friendly and supportive way to discover the country with other first-time visitors. Knowledgeable English-speaking guides further enhance the experience for travelers who may not speak the Lithuanian language.

The Museum organizes tours with assistance from Vytis Travel Agency (United States) and Lithuanian Tours (Lithuania).  In addition with the scheduled group tour itinerary, tour coordinators can assist with arranging visits to the birthplaces of parents or grandparents or meetings with relatives. These services do incur an additional charge. When booking your trip, please indicate if you wish to access these services.

To register today or for more information, call the Museum at 773-582-6500 and ask for Barbara.

TOUR # 1: June 27 to July 7, 2020 — Balzekas Museum Tour Itinerary

Saturday, Jun. 27

Chicago (or your USA location) to Vilnius

Depart USA for flight to Vilnius, Lithuania

Sunday, Jun. 28

Vilnius Churches
Vilnius Churches

Vilnius

After your arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy the tour’s official welcome dinner at Stikliai Tavern.

Dinner

Monday, Jun. 29

Rumšiškės Open Air Museum
Rumšiškės Open Air Museum

Rumšiškės Museum, Kaunas

After breakfast, you will depart for Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, which served as the Lithuanian capital between the two world wars. En route, you will stop at the Rumšiškės Open-air Museum, where you’ll explore Lithuanian country life as it was over a century ago. Step back in time as you stroll among original country houses and wooden churches moved from the four regions of Lithuania and reconstructed on this 500-acre site. After lunch, you will continue to Kaunas. On the outskirts of the city, you’ll stop at the Cathedral Square, Rotušė (City Hall), as well as the Kaunas Castle.

Breakfast/Lunch

Tuesday, Jun. 30

Janina Monkutė-Marks Museum-Gallery
Janina Monkutė-Marks Museum-Gallery

Ukmergė, Kėdainiai, Palanga

After breakfast, you will depart for Palanga with a special stop at the President Antanas Smetona Manor Museum and Ukmergė School of Music and Arts. Then, you will head to Kėdainiai boasting a fully restored old town with its unique architecture. Here you will visit the Janina Monkutė-Marks Museum and Gallery and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, you’ll continue to the resort town of Palanga, which borders on the Baltic Sea. After the hotel check-in, you can enjoy the resort at your leisure.

*Centrally located in Lithuania, Kėdainiai is a good point of departure for tour participants with prearranged excursions to ancestral towns, who will be picked up by their respective drivers and taken to their chosen locations. Afterward, they’ll be driven to Palanga for the overnight stay and to rejoin the tour.

Breakfast/Lunch

Wednesday, Jul. 1

Tiškevičius Estate
Tiškevičius Estate

Palanga, Kretinga

This morning you will tour Palanga. You will visit the Amber Museum, Birutė’s Hill, and the beautiful Botanical Garden. In the afternoon, you will stop in the Kretinga Museum originally constructed in the late 19th century by nobleman Juozapas Tiškevičius. The home and its grounds are one of the most magnificent estates in Lithuania. Special workshop at the Museum: How to make bread? After returning to Palanga, You can join in a time-honored tradition among visitors and locals alike: a sunset stroll along the famous Palanga Pier.

Breakfast/ Dinner

Thursday, Jul. 2

Nida
Nida
Kuršių mariosThe Curonian Spit
Kuršių marios
The Curonian Spit

Klaipėda, Neringa, Nida

Visit Klaipėda, stop by the Anikė monument, and visit the Švyturys Brewery. Later you’ll be transported by ferry to Neringa. The first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrantė, where you will be able to admire the many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, the beautiful fishing village, where you will have an opportunity to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and visit the highest dune in Neringa.

Breakfast/Dinner will be at the unique Lithuanian restaurant Pas Juozapa.

Friday, Jul. 3

Kryžių kalnasThe Hill of Crosses
Kryžių kalnas
The Hill of Crosses
Rotušė, Kaunas
Rotušė, Kaunas

Rainiai, Hill of Crosses, Šeduva

Today the tour will take you to the Rainiai Memorial. The Rainiai massacre was the mass murder of between 70 and 80 Lithuanian political prisoners by the NKVD, with help from the Red Army, in a forest near Telšiai, Lithuania, during the night of June 24–25, 1941. It was one of many similar massacres carried out by Soviet forces in Lithuania, and other parts of the USSR, in June 1941. Several thousand people were killed in these massacres. Afterward, you will continue to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, The Hill of Crosses. It is a place where thousands of crosses were placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted. After lunch at the unique Šeduvos
Malūnas (Šeduva Mill), you will arrive in Vilnius and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free.

Breakfast/Lunch

Saturday, Jul. 4

Trakai castle
Trakai castle
Kernavė
Kernavė

Trakai, Kernavė

This morning you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Lake Galvė. After a regional lunch, you‘ll visit Kernavė, the 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. Kernavė archaeological site, inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004, is an open-air exhibition created by nature and man over many centuries. Join the traditional festival “Days of Live Archaeology in Kernavė”, held since 1999. Visitors are invited to put their hands on various crafts of prehistoric times and the Middle Ages with the help of masters of craftsmanship from Lithuania and other European countries: Belarus, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. Visitors can experience archery, minting coins, riding horses, spinning, silver casting, etc. and also taste meals made according to ancient recipes, listen to archaic music, participate in archaic games and contests. Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the January 13th massacre.

Breakfast/Lunch

Sunday, Jul. 5

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Vilnius_view.jpg?download, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Vilnius Old Town

Vilnius

Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches, Vilnius Cathedral with its catacombs, make a stop at Valdovų Rūmai (Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania) and visit the KGB Museum. You will also visit the Money Museum. The rest of the evening is ree.

Breakfast/ Lunch

Monday, Jul. 6

Gediminas castle
Gediminas castle

Vilnius

Lithuania Statehood Day is an annual public holiday in Lithuania celebrated on July 6 to commemorate the coronation of Mindaugas in 1253. Visit on your own fairs, concerts of ethnographical bands, and other festivities. In the evening, you will have a Farewell Dinner at a traditional Lithuanian Restaurant.

Breakfast/Dinner

Tuesday, Jul. 7

Vilnius

After breakfast, you will be transported to Vilnius Airport for your flight home.

Breakfast

Tour  #1 Price:

$3,695.00 per person
(Single Supplement: $575)
Does not include air fare

For more information,
please call 773.582.6500
and ask for Barbara

TOUR # 2: September 4 to 14, 2020 — Balzekas Museum Tour Itinerary

Friday, Sept. 4

Chicago (or your USA location) to Vilnius

Depart USA for flight to Vilnius, Lithuania

Saturday, Sept. 5

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Vilnius_view.jpg?download, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Vilnius Old Town

Vilnius

After your arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy the tour’s official welcome dinner at Stikliai Tavern.

Dinner

Sunday, Sept. 6

Vilnius Churches
Vilnius Churches

Vilnius

Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches, Vilnius Cathedral with its catacombs, make a stop at Valdovų Rūmai (Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania) and visit the KGB Museum. You will also visit the Money Museum. The rest of the evening is free.

Breakfast / Lunch

Monday, Sept. 7

Trakai castle
Trakai castle
Kernavė
Kernavė

Trakai, Kernavė

This morning you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Lake Galvė. After a regional lunch, you‘ll visit Kernavė, the ancient site in the Neris valley, the government seat of King Mindaugas 750 years ago. Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the January 13th massacre.

Breakfast / Lunch

Tuesday, Sept. 8

Rumšiškės Museum, Kaunas

After breakfast, you will depart for Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, which served as the Lithuanian capital between the two world wars. En route, you will stop at the Rumšiškės Open-air Museum, where you’ll explore Lithuanian country life as it was over a century ago. Step back in time as you stroll among original country houses and wooden churches moved from the four regions of Lithuania and reconstructed on this 500-acre site. After lunch, you will continue to Kaunas. On the outskirts of the city, you’ll stop at the Cathedral Square, Rotušė (City Hall), as well as the Kaunas Castle.

Breakfast / Lunch

Wednesday, Sept. 9

Kėdainiai, Palanga

After breakfast, you will depart for Palanga with a special stop in the President Antanas Smetona Manor Museum and Ukmergė School of Music and Arts. Then, you will head to Kėdainiai boasting a fully restored old town with its unique architecture. Here you will visit the Janina Monkutė-Marks Museum and Gallery and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, you’ll continue to the resort town of Palanga, which borders on the Baltic Sea. After the hotel check-in, you can enjoy the resort at your leisure. 

Breakfast / Lunch

*Centrally located in Lithuania, Kėdainiai is a good point of departure for tour participants with prearranged excursions to ancestral towns, who will be picked up by their respective drivers and taken to their chosen locations. Afterward, they’ll be driven to Palanga for the overnight stay and to rejoin the tour.

Thursday, Sept. 10

Kretinga, Palanga

This morning you will tour Palanga. You will visit the Amber Museum, Birutė's Hill, and the beautiful Botanical Garden. In the afternoon, you will stop in the Kretinga Museum originally constructed in the late 19th century by nobleman Juozapas Tiškevičius. The home and its grounds are one of the most magnificent estates in Lithuania. Special workshop at the Museum: How to make bread. After returning to Palanga, You can join in a time-honored tradition among visitors and locals alike: a sunset stroll along the famous
Palanga Pier.

Breakfast/Dinner

Friday, Sept. 11

Nida
Nida

Klaipėda, Neringa, Nida 

Visit Klaipėda, stop by the Anikė monument, and visit the Švyturys Brewery. Later you’ll be transported by ferry to Neringa. The first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrantė, where you will be able to admire the many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, the beautiful fishing village, where you will have an opportunity to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and visit the highest dune in Neringa.

Breakfast/Dinner will be at the unique Lithuanian restaurant Pas Juozapą.

Saturday, Sept. 12

Kryžių kalnasThe Hill of Crosses
Kryžių kalnas
The Hill of Crosses

Rainiai, Hill of Crosses, Šėduva

Today the tour will take you to the Rainiai Memorial. The Rainiai massacre was the mass murder of between 70 and 80 Lithuanian political prisoners by the NKVD, with help from the Red Army, in a forest near Telšiai, Lithuania, during the night of June 24–25, 1941. It was one of many similar massacres carried out by Soviet forces in Lithuania, and other parts of the USSR, in June 1941. Several thousand people were killed in these massacres. Afterward, you will continue to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, The Hill of Crosses. It is a place where thousands of crosses were placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted. After lunch at the unique Šeduvos Malūnas (Šeduva Mill), you will arrive in Vilnius and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free.

Breakfast/lunch

Sunday, Sept. 13

Gediminas castle
Gediminas castle

Vilnius

Today enjoy Vilnius on your own. Do some shopping or visit your Lithuanian relatives. Farewell Dinner will be at a unique Lithuanian Restaurant.

Breakfast/Dinner

Monday, Sept. 14

Vilnius

After breakfast, you will be transported to Vilnius Airport for your flight home.

Breakfast

Tour  #2 Price:

$3,695.00 per person
(Single Supplement: $575)
Does not include air fare

For more information,
please call 773.582.6500
and ask for Barbara