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The Baltic Change

Istock Blackheads House Riga

25 years ago in 1989, Lithuania recognised Lithuanian law as taking precedence over Soviet rule – effectively marking the end of Communism in Lithuania.

This brave act of defying Moscow and insisting on independence created a chain reaction in the region that resulted in both Latvia and Estonia following suit bringing in a new era of independence and solidarity with the EU, with all three Baltic States becoming EU members in 2004.

Today the Baltic countries are flourishing, and are wonderful places to visit, with Riga the capital of Latvia proudly taking the spotlight as European capital of culture in 2014.

In our Grand Baltic Tour you have a chance to visit these beautiful countries, as well as Helsinki and St Petersburg, Russia.

As the UK specialists to the region we like our clients to see more than the capitals, beautiful though they are, clients travel in-between each city with our private driver / guides and with private day trips to see sights outside of the cities – having a chance to get to get off the tourist track and find out more about actual life in the Baltic States.

After Vilnius, Riga andTallinn it’s Helsinki, the green and elegant capital of Finland. This is an fascinating contrast, as Helsinki was built to rival Tallinn as a port yet never subjected to Soviet rule, it’s interesting to see certain differences and also appreciate how far the Baltics have come in the last 25 years.

Then it’s time to head to St Petersburg, the imperial heart of Russia built by Peter the Great over 300 years ago and home to the Tsars and the Russian upper class. With palaces residing on every corner and such wonders as the Hermitage Museum, and Peterhoff there is much to see, the Russia’s like to impress and they do not disappoint.

On reflection it’s fascinating to go on to Russia, and finally visit the vast country that, in its past, caused so much pain and suffering in its neighbouring countries. It’s difficult not to imagine the cold war, and remember the closed impenetrable ranks of the USSR, the opulence of the Tsars and desperate poverty of the majority – trying to get an idea of what made and makes Russia tick makes for a compelling visit.

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