12 Day Luxury Small Group Scandinavia and the Baltics
Fairy-tale settings and ‘fish churches’. Time capsule towns and Nordic castles. Scandinavia and the Baltics is an extraordinarily eclectic region, and this 11-day journey over land and by sea, crossing four countries, celebrates its one-and-only character.
Our adventure map
Day by day
First Day arrive in Copenhagen
Arrive into Copenhagen and enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.
Second Day we travel from Copenhagen to Odense then Aarhus
By tonight we’ll have encountered real queens and ‘snow queens’, Vikings and mermaids. It all starts in Roskilde, Denmark’s old capital, at the distinctive 1000-year old cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within its soaring vaulted ceilings and shadowy crypts, 39 monarchs have been laid to rest. Leaving Roskilde, we travel to Odense– the birthplace of storyteller Hans Christian Anderson. With the help of a local guide, we slip into fairy-tale territory, learning what inspired The Little Mermaid to The Snow Queen. Odense’s colourful Old Town is front-of-a-postcard pretty, so we go our separate ways to see more and find a lunch spot. Coming back together this afternoon, we depart for ancient Aarhus and our first dinner together. (D)
Hotel: Hotel Provence
Third Day we tour Aarhus
With its hotchpotch of timber framed houses and geese waddling along cobbled streets, Den Gamle By is a living museum that paints a picture of Danish life in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. We may meet the local priest, see the baker’s wife selling cakes or even take a horse and carriage ride. Afterwards, the afternoon’s yours. (B)
Hotel: Hotel Provence
Fourth Day enjoy Aarhus in the morning then head to Grenaa and Varberg
There’s a leisurely morning and picnic lunch in store today. We then board a ferry at Grenaa, destined for Sweden. We have around four-and-a-half hours to enjoy the views and relax on board. Evening brings us to Varberg, a pint-sized coastal town where dinner awaits. (B, L, D)
Hotel: Varberg Kusthotell
Fifth Day we visit Tjoloholm and sample Gothenburg
After another restful morning we visit Tjolöholm Castle. There’s a surprising hint of Tudor style about this 13th century estate, along with Arts and Crafts movement and Liberty & Co influences. It’s wrapped-in sublime parkland, ideal for strolling. After some free time for lunch, we move on to Gothenburg. A panoramic tour introduces the city and includes a must-do trip to Feskekörka, the ‘fish church’. This indoor market looks just like a gothic place of worship and gives us the chance to sample ultra-fresh seafood. There’s plenty more to see, so the evening is all yours. (B)
Hotel: Hotel Eggers
Sixth Day its onto Mariestad then Orebro
Continuing the culinary theme, we stop in Mariestad for a beer tasting – and lunch. Onwards to Örebro and there’s another striking fortress on the cards today. Örebro Castle is a little like a chameleon, having adapted over the years to suit the times – from being a prison (look for the prisoner graffiti scratched into the stones) to a royal palace. Tonight we enjoy dinner together. (B, L, D)
Hotel: Clarion Borgen
Seventh Day we head to Eskilstuna then onto Stockholm
Time to get hands on. In Eskilstuna we visit a 350-year-old smithy museum and workshop, where we learn to forge ironwork, watched over by the blacksmith. We wander the grounds before lunch, which is a feast of typical Midsummer celebration dishes. The afternoon sees us driving to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, ready for an evening at leisure. (B, L)
Hotel: Hotel Kung Carl
Eighth Day cruise to Drottningholm Palace then return to Stockholm
We’ve a royal appointment today. A short cruise carries us to Drottningholm Palace – home to Sweden’s King and Queen. This UNESCO-protected 17th century wonder is a majestic melting pot of architectural styles. And there’s a treat in store. We go behind the scenes with a private tour of the palace theatre, one of the few 18th century theatres in Europe with its original stage machinery. We then drive back to Stockholm, where rest of the day is yours. (B)
Hotel: Hotel Kung Carl
Ninth day all aboard to Riga
Bidding farewell to Sweden, we look ahead to Riga. An overnight ferry carries us across the Baltic Sea in a private cabin. After dinner on board, it’s time to put up our feet. (B, D)
Hotel: Overnight ferry
Tenth Day tour of Riga
Breakfast at sea readies us for our arrival into Latvia. We slip straight into sightseeing mode with a walking tour of Riga, marvelling at its art nouveau style, and stopping at the Dome Cathedral and old Guild Halls. This city is made for people watching, so why not pull up a chair in one of Riga’s many cosy cafés and bistros – because the evening is yours. (B)
Hotel: Semarah Metropole
Eleventh Day we journey to Parnu then Tallinn
Dreamy church spires, zigzag streets and ancient castles. Estonia is one of this region’s best-kept secrets, and it’s ours to discover. We visit Tallinn via the catch-your-breath-pretty seaside town of Pärnu. When we reach Tallinn, we’ll uncover its charms on a walking tour to hilltop Toompea Castle, Town Hall Square with its skyline-scanning views, the eye-catching Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Dome Church. It’s a jam-packed day to conclude our trip – but not before a farewell dinner together. (B, D)
Hotel: Taanilinna Hotel
Twelfth Day breakfast in Tallinn
After breakfast, it’s time for this adventure to come to an end. Until next time. (B)
- Private transfers to and from the airport
- 11 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels and private ferry cabins
- Experienced Tour leader
- Luxury mini-coach transportation
- Local guides in Odense, Riga and Tallinn
- Ferries from Grenaa to Varberg and Stockholm to Riga
- Guided tours at Tjolöholm Castle, Örebro Castle, Smithery Museum, Drottningholm Palace and Theatre.
- European breakfast daily (B)
- 5 x evening meals (D)
- 3 x lunches (L)
- Seafood and beer tasting
- Blacksmith forging workshop
- Entrance fee included to: Roskilde Cathedral, H. C. Andersen house- museum, Den Gamle By Open-Air Museum, Tjolöholm Castle, Örebro Castle, Smithery Museum, Drottningholm Palace, Riga Cathedral and Tallinn Dome.
See Odense through the eyes of Hans Christian Anderson with the help of a local guide
Learn the craft of the blacksmith with a forging lesson
Go behind the scenes of Drottningholm Palace Theatre
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