Born in a Crusader rampage and stained with the blood shed in the conquest of many Empires. The modern day Baltics are a blend of various cultures and dark history, exploring the Baltic countries provides countless, unique opportunities for adventure.
This year, YPT bring you the Soviet Baltics tour. An action packed and in depth road trip which kicks off in Lithuania and takes us through four countries in just over a week. We will be exploring Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and a spend a day over in Finland. In between we will explore the remains of the Soviet occupation of the Baltics, undergo Lithuania’s infamous Soviet bunker survival experience, drive tanks and Soviet army trucks, fire Kalashnikovs, discover the Latvian Chernobyl and its secret Soviet satellite bases, and much more!
Arrival in Vilnius at your own leisure and check into our centrally located hotel
Meet up with your YPT guide and the rest of the crew at 6pm in the lobby and we’ll head out for some traditional Lithuanian food and go over the tour plan.
Round off the night with some world-renowned Lithuanian beer in one of the many great bars of Vilnius.
Overnight in Vilnius.
Sunday 15th December – Vilnius
After breakfast we’ll head out into Vilnius, our first stop will be the infamous KGB prison of Vilnius, part of the huge network of prisons and detention centres the Soviets implemented here. This NKVD “inner” prison was set up in the basement of the former courthouse in 1940. Now the prison looks the same as it did in August 1991, when the KGB vacated it.
We’ll then visit the self declared Užupis which means “beyond the river” in Lithuanian. the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis) in 1998. You can even get your passport stamped with the coat of arms of the republic here!
We’ll then meet our driver outside for the journey deep into the woods of Lithuania to a former Soviet nuclear bunker. This is infamous, a no holds barred Soviet theme park that transports you back into the life of a Soviet citizen.
On arrival, we will be stopped at a checkpoint manned by fierce, hulking KGB guards armed with Kalashnikovs and alsatians, marking the beginning of our Soviet Survival drama.
We will then don Soviet army coats and dive into the USSR, full of tension and social peculiarities. You’ll be taken to the maze, which is a former Soviet military bunker and be made to watch Soviet propaganda and visit shops of 1984, be interrogated in a KGB office, learn the anthem of the USSR and get used to wearing a gas mask. You’ll dance to the music of the era and enjoy a Soviet dinner.
Before leaving the bunker, you will be rewarded with a Soviet ID, an authentic gift from the Soviet times and a celebratory shot of Vodka!
Evening dinner and drinks
Overnight in Vilnius.
Monday 16th December – Riga
We check out of the hotel and leave our bags in reception.
We grab some breakfast before meeting our driver outside who will transfer us out of the city to a military base.
We will then don army uniforms and helmets before being introduced to our vehicle for the day, a hulking military tank, we will first ride on top for a few laps of an offroad track, then each person will have a turn at driving the beast!
After the adrenaline fuelled activity, we relax at the base with a hearty Lithuanian BBQ.
After lunch, the adrenaline continues as we transfer to a military firing range to shoot an array of high calibre weapons, including Kalashnikovs and other Soviet weaponry as well as modern military firearms.
We then transfer back to Vilnius to collect our bags and jump on the bus to Riga, Latvia! The bus will likely be fitted with TV screens so you can enjoy a movie on the way.
Nighttime arrival in Riga, we will check into our accommodation and head out for some food.
Overnight in Riga.
Tuesday 17th December – Riga
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll meet our driver and head out into the Latvian countryside and stop at some Soviet monuments on the way.
Our main destination is the Ligatne Bunker, built during the Cold War when the Soviet Union maintained constant high alert for a Western nuclear attack. Built under a sanatorium for discretion, it was designed to protect the Communist elite of Latvia in the event of nuclear apocalypse, the bunker was supplied with everything necessary to survive several months after a nuclear fallout.
We’ll descend deep underground and explore the entire bunker system with a guide on a private tour.
Lunch at the bunker
On the way back to Riga, we’ll stop at a semi abandoned Soviet Air Force base and explore the ruined buildings.
Free time in the evening before we head out for dinner and drinks
Overnight in Riga.
Wednesday 18th December – Tallinn
We grab breakfast and check out of our accommodation before boarding the bus for the drive to Tallinn, Estonia. The bus will likely be fitted with TV screens so you can enjoy a movie on the way.
On arrival, we check into centrally located accommodation before we head out of town along the Baltic sea to an incredible military museum out of town, we’ll begin a guided tour with the curator exploring Estonia’s military history.
We’ll head to the tank workshop of the museum, featuring everything from Soviet and Nazi tanks to modern Estonian army vehicles, we’ll have this place to ourselves and if you want to climb inside or on top of the tanks you can.
Return to Tallinn for some evening dinner and drinks
Overnight in Tallinn.
Thursday 19th December – Tallinn
We grab breakfast and some snacks for the road before we begin our trip up to Narva on the Russian border! For a day discovering hammers and sickles, Lenin statues and T-34 tanks which will take us from beautiful medieval castles and coastal cliffs to ash-hills, half-empty industrial ghost towns and a Soviet themed museum.
We will climb around the stunning ruins of Toolse fortress, Discover the Soviet industrial town & ash hills of Kohtla-Järve, enjoy amazing Stalinist architecture in Sillamäe, roam around the ghost town of Viivikonna, explore the Narva castle on the Russian border and see the 19th-century Kreenholm factory complex.
During the day, we will grab lunch at a local Estonian tavern.
We’ll stop at an incredible WW2 battlefield in the wilderness, there is a museum here and it is littered with relics from Nazi tank turrets and vehicles to machine guns and helmets.
Narva-Jõesuu Tsarist beach resort and the Kunda Hydro plant ruins.
We’ll drive back to Tallinn stopping at a Soviet T34 tank on the side of the road.
Dinner and drinks
Overnight in Tallinn.
Friday 20th December
Breakfast in Tallinn
End of tour with YPT able to arrange onward travel if desired.