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Car and Driver/Guide to Tour the Baltics

Hello
My friends and I would like to spend 2 weeks touring the Baltic countries ...with a short trip to Helsinki. We are very interested in the history of these countries. We have looked for small "local" tour companies but they seem to have shorter "set" itineraries. We wanted the freedom to see more off the beaten track places and had hoped we might be able to hire a guide and a car for 2 weeks. Any suggestions or advice would be welcome.
Thank you.
Springs Traveler

Posted by
544 posts

Check out Nordic Saga, they're a local tour company in Bothell WA and specialize in that region. Also if you pick up Rick's Scandinavia book he lists guides that live in Talinn that might either be the guides you're looking for or know a good resource for you.

Posted by
6171 posts

Sorry, I know I'm not answering your question directly, but have you considered seeing these countries as a do-it-yourself trip (using trains, buses, and a Lonely Planet or other travel book and relevant websites to guide you)? They don't seem to be difficult places to travel in (depending on your level of overseas travel experience).

Perhaps the individual country websites will give you some history background, as well as leads for tour guides licenses in each place. Here is an example of Estonia:

http://www.visitestonia.com/en/travel-planner
http://estonia.eu/about-estonia/history/estonias-history.html

Posted by
6543 posts

The easiest way to tour the region is by cruise ship.
People cautioned us about the cost of touring Scandinavia, but we were a little unprepared to pay $60 for 2 burgers and Cokes at TGI Fridays in Copenhagen and Bergen. Even buying picnic supplies is out of sight.

Posted by
666 posts

We've been in Lithuania 3 times and have visited Tallinn and Helsinki. So here's my suggestion: begin your trip in Vilnius and then travel north to Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. Or, begin in Helsinki and travel south. You can use the good bus system in the 3 Baltic countries; Eurolines is one company and there are others. At each capital you should be able to find local guides to visit sites in the city and out. In Your Pocket, mentioned above, also publishes city guides that you can access online. There's lots to see in this region. If you want suggestion for Lithuania let me know. Have a great trip.

Posted by
1 posts

Why do you need a guide? Why not just rent a car with GPS for two weeks? We recently toured Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro driving on our own for two weeks and had no regrets. Are the Baltic countries a more difficult travel area? (We will be spending two weeks driving from Tallin to Vilnius in June.)

Posted by
2092 posts

I second Galen's suggestion--I was considering just such a trip myself, though since I've already been to Helsinki I would either start or end in Tallinn (I spent a week there 2 years ago and have wanted to return ever since), very interested in visiting Lithuania and Latvia. The bus lines between all 3 countries is considered excellent, and you can always hire local guides for day tours of outlying areas.