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Following the overwhelming popularity of our Christmas Markets tour to Tallinn and Riga, we are now offering you the chance to visit both cities in summer along with the third ‘Baltic city’, Vilnius. Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city. The architecture in the largest baroque Old Town in Eastern Europe is well known and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. We’ll take a sightseeing tour of the city and visit the National Museum, where we’ll learn about the homemade fabrics and traditions of the everyday clothing worn by the local population. Riga is the largest city in the Baltics and is a fascinating mixture of proud Latvian traditions and influences of the various countries that have occupied it. The Old Town’s architecture is stunning. We’ll visit the highlights of the city with our local guide and explore the rich heritage of Latvian costume, taking part in a mitten knitting workshop with a local expert. Tallinn is one of Europe’s newest capitals and boasts a rich mix of architecture and culture. The Old Town was almost untouched by war and remains perfectly preserved. We’ll visit the highlights of the city with our local guide, learn about Estonian handicrafts and take part in a workshop with local experts. The tour is accompanied by our Arena Travel expert, Carol Meldrum, who has designed a project especially for this tour.
Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit. She has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan. Carol is also a successful workshop tutor teaching all aspects of knit and crochet on an informal basis to both groups and individuals.
To use our NEW itinerary, simply click a day below and a detailed overview will appear.
Meet Carol Meldrum and your Arena Travel Tour Manager at London Gatwick airport for your flight to Tallinn.
Today we tour Tallinn by coach and on foot. The Old Town is divided into two areas, the Lower Town and the Upper Town. During our exploration of the Upper Town, we will visit the St Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral, Toompea Castle and the Dome Church. We will also capture excellent views from the Kohtuosa viewing platform. In the Lower Town we will see the Danish King’s Garden, the Town Hall Square and the picturesque Viru Gates. The walking tour continues to the Estonian Handicraft House, Eesti Käsitöö Kodu, and the Katarina Guild Open Studios. Eesti Käsitöö Kodu is the largest handicraft centre in Estonia where you can buy beautiful and high-quality crafted items. Our day ends with a visit to the Jolleri Handicraft Chamber, a family-run shop and studio which sells yarns and unique knitwear for children and adults. This evening, we will have dinner in the Old Town of Tallinn.
This morning we leave Tallinn and make our way to Riga.
On route we will stop at Tostamaa Crafts Centre handicraft shop. This authentic handicraft shop brings the stories of their ancestors to life through traditionally prepared handicrafts, exhibitions, and hands-on workshops. You will have the opportunity to meet Anu here, a well-known knitter in Estonia who specializes in knitting of ethnographic gloves.
Next stop is Limbazi for lunch and a visit to its wool factory which was founded in 1914. It has a long tradition of wool production and home textile design. The company produces woollen yarn, woollen and linen fabrics, blankets, rugs, plaids and tablecloths. The company is especially proud to be amongst just a handful of producers of ethnographic fabrics based on authentic examples from the rich cultural heritage of the Baltic region. We will watch the wool being process using historical equipment.
Before reaching Riga, we will stop at Aģes Dzirnavas. Here we will discover natural dyeing techniques for wool using local plants like flowers, herbs, roots, and bark.
Dinner is included this evening in the Old Town of Riga.
This morning we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Town. Explore the narrow-cobbled streets and old buildings that date back to the 15th -century. See the Town Hall Square, House of the Blackheads, Dome Square, Riga Cathedral and Riga Castle. In the very heart of the city experience Riga Central Market, one of the most unique markets in Europe.
After the walking tour we will visit Tines, a Latvian handmade knitwear company. Tines is a family run business and offers a wide range of high-quality knitwear. Only natural materials are used, 100% wool and linen.
After some free time for lunch, you will return to the hotel for a workshop with Carol.
Today we will visit Sena Klets and learn to knit traditional Latvian gloves, a very important part of several Latvian traditions. Here you’ll be able to see a fantastic array of national costumes and see how every item here has been lovingly handmade by Latvian craftspeople. They also have a wonderful shop you can browse. This afternoon we will visit the Latvian Ethnographic Museum, one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe. Enjoy an evening at leisure.
Today we leave Riga and travel to Vilnius. En route we will stop in Bauska, once a centre of trade between the two cities. Visit the Folk Applied Art Studio in Bauska Town; the studio's aim is to preserve, promote, revive, practice, strengthen and transmit the intangible cultural heritage to future generations. We will arrive in Vilnius late afternoon and enjoy dinner this evening in the Old Town.
This morning we will spend exploring the charming city of Vilnius. Our local guide will lead us through the narrow streets and squares of the Old Town highlighting the most significant and interesting sites from the Gates of Dawn, St Anne’s Church, the Dome Cathedral, the Town Hall Square and Vilnius University.
After we will have some time at leisure for lunch before returning to the hotel for an afternoon workshop with Carol.
We will begin today with a visit to the National Museum of Lithuania where we will learn all about the homemade fabrics and clothing of everything Lithuanian. Discover weaving techniques, colour combinations and patterns. Examples include skirts, aprons, blouses, shawls, overcoats, and headwear as well as mittens, socks, wristlets and shawls.
This afternoon includes a visit to Megino Zona, a yarn shop and knitting studio. Enjoy some time to browse and shop before returning to the hotel.
Today after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we will be transferred to Vilnius for our afternoon flight to London Gatwick.
Tour Notes: You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to get the most out of this holiday. On excursion days you will need to walk a short distance from the hotel/ship to the coach and you should be able to board the coach unaided. On arrival at the excursion destination, you should be able to alight the coach unaided and there may be a walk between the coach drop off point and the excursion venue. By their nature, walking tours, museum visits etc involve being on your feet for a significant amount of time. Whilst our excursions are taken at a leisurely pace, for the enjoyment of everyone in the group you should be able to keep up with your fellow travellers.
Single Room Supplement from £370.00 (9 days).
Specially designed for knitters, this Stitchtopia knitting holiday is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded knitters and indulge in your favourite hobby. Our talented knitting expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to get those needles clicking!
You will be staying at the 4-star Nordic Forum Hotel in Tallinn for 3 Nights, the 5-star Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel in Riga for 3 Nights, and the 4-star Congress Avenue Hotel in Vilnius for 2 Nights