A Tour of Two Capitals: Vilnius and Trakai

A Tour of Two Capitals: Vilnius and Trakai

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$ 455

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      Vilnius, Lithuania
      8.5 Hours
      Strenuous
      From (USD)
      $ 455
      • Sights of Vilnius: See the Gates of Dawn, Vilnius Cathedral, St. Peter and Paul Church, Gediminas Tower, the Palace of the Grand Dukes, the KGB/Genocide Museum, the Presidential Palace, St. Anne's Church, Vilnius University, and more.
      • Trakai Castle: Visit one of Eastern Europe's most unforgettable landmarks – a 600-year-old walled castle that sits in the middle of a majestic lake. Step onto the wooden causeway and into another world.
      • Lunch in Trakai: Enjoy a three-course lunch accompanied by picture-perfect water and castle views in the town that played a starring role in Lithuania's early history.

      Meeting point

      Please make your way to the Vilnius Cathedral at Sventaragio g., Vilnius 01143 to meet our tour representative.

      Helpful hints

      In need of retail therapy after your tour? Shopping is available 7 days a week, although early closing at 3:00pm on Sundays is generally observed. Look for traditional souvenirs.

      Getting around

      Plan to walk for approximately 5 miles over cobblestones and paved surfaces. If your mobility is limited, you may find it too challenging to keep up with the group and enjoy yourself. Tour is not wheelchair accessible.

      Activity type

      Cultural, Bus Tour, Scenic

      Languages

      English, French, German, Russian, Spanish

      Tour ID

      TR-EUR-LTU-VILN-EN-1002

      Tour Participation Requirements

      Activity Level

      This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.

      Age restrictions

      Travelers must be 6 years of age or older, and accompanied by an adult to participate in this tour.

      Special Medical Restriction

      Travelers must be in good health, disclose their physical fitness and advise any conditions that can affect their participation. Due to extensive amount of walking, we do not recommend this tour to travelers with heart disease or walking difficulties.

      Lithuania has had four capitals during its 800-year history as a nation, though Vilnius has been the true first city for most of that time – and it shows. A tour by local transportation and on foot reveals an array of landmarks – especially in the narrow, winding streets of Old Town, built during a period of great cultural, intellectual, and religious flowering that earned Vilnius its reputation as the Jerusalem of Lithuania centuries ago, and designation as a World Heritage Site today.

      Despite dark periods of repression under the Nazis and Communists, you'll see ample evidence of that past brilliance at sites like the Gates of Dawn, a medieval city entrance where the painted "Vilnius Madonna" icon is widely believed in both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths to have miracle-working powers.

      More evidence can be found at towering, neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral and its square, where a single stebuklas (miracle) tile marks the endpoint of a 370-mile-long, two-million-person human chain known as the Baltic Way – a peaceful 1989 protest that signaled the beginning of the end of Soviet rule.

      But long before this, and just a few miles to the west, ancient Trakai – a picturesque town encircled by hills, forests, and more than a few of Lithuania's 2,800 beautiful lakes – was a key military and political center, headquarters of the ruling Grand Dukes, and, for a time, the unofficial capital.

      The titan of Lithuanian history known as Vytautas the Great supervised the completion of Trakai Island Castle in the middle of tranquil Lake Galve, just before winning a decisive victory over the Teutonic Knights in the 1410 Battle of Grunwald – one of medieval Europe's largest and most romanticized conflicts. The ensuing peace allowed the castle to be converted to a Ducal Palace, where Vytautas received foreign emissaries and lived out his life.

      To this day, the setting of this classic red-turreted castle at the end of a wooden causeway crossing the lake, surrounded by mature trees and stout defensive walls, is like something out of a fairy tale. After a six-century cycle of deterioration and restoration, it lives on as a timeless reminder of Lithuania's unbreakable spirit. Like that solitary tile in Cathedral Square, but on a much larger scale.

      They came. They saw. They stayed.

      The whole town of Trakai is a cultural landmark, having been built and preserved by a United Nations-worth of different peoples – Tatars, Lithuanians, Russians, Jews, Poles, and Karaims. That last group is Lithuania's tiniest ethnic minority, numbering barely 300 today. Speakers of a Turkic tongue and practitioners of an obscure variation of Judaism, the Karaim arrived there from the Crimea in the 14th century to serve as warriors for Grand Duke Vytautas and decided to stick around. Understandable, given the awesome lake views.  

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

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      Vilnius, Lithuania
      Great photo opportunities
      Bring money
      Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear warm layers

      Looking for other experiences in Vilnius?

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      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

      To book this tour for a large group, visit ourGROUPS PAGE for special discounted group rates