I have been planning a trip for May 2020 but read a post in the General Europe forum about the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. It made me think we should substitute this trip for the one we have been working on (Czech Republic and Vienna, having been to other parts of Austria previously). One reason for this change is that we're in our early/middle 70s and I, being the trip planner, am feeling the pressure to visit those countries that might be a bit more challenging in terms of distance from home and transportation between/within the countries, while we still have energy, enthusiasm, and health. Ideally we would have more time in each country but we need to keep the trip to around 3 weeks. Before committing to this new itinerary I have some questions.
This is the very tentative itinerary:
Vilnius, 4 nights, day trip to Trakai Island Castle; Kaunas, 3 nights
Riga, 4 nights; Sigulda 2 nights; Cesis, 2 nights
Tartu, 2 nights; Parnu, 2 nights; Talinn, 4 nights
1) I have researched the distances on Rome2rio and it seems this is doable by public transportation. I've read various posts (Dav, can't find your trip reports) and there is a disagreement as to whether a car or public transportation is better. While we can see more with a car, public transportation might be easier. Also, the cost of a car with full insurance is very high. Do you advise doing this itinerary via public transportation?
2) I picked this itinerary for the sights in each town and because it is a more or less direct route with fairly short bus/train trips. We enjoy architecture, history, staying in the old town area, and experiencing the town. Are the number of days for each town about right? I know that 2 nights is only 1.5 days but these towns are pretty much on the route and being small 1.5 days might be enough time. With a car these might be stops on the way to another town but by bus/train they must be longer stays.
3) Are there any towns you recommend we skip?
Any advice you can give us would be appreciated.