LITHUANIAN TRADITIONS TOUR 2020 (UZGAVINES) 10 NIGHTS/ 11 DAYS

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Trakai Castle in Trakai

February 21 (Friday) Arrive Vilnius
Arrive Vilnius and transfer to Hotel Daugirdas in Kaunas or similar. Welcome dinner with the group.

February 22(Saturday): Kaunas –Rumsiskes-Kaunas
Today we visit Rumsiskes , an open-air museum created to show something of Lithuania’s vibrant peasant culture over the last 200 years. There you’ll explore Lithuanian country life as it was a hundred years ago. Original country houses and wooden churches from all four regions of Lithuania have been brought together from their original locations. After, we will celebrate Uzgavines. Užgavėnės is a Lithuanian festival that takes place during the seventh week before Easter (Ash Wednesday). Its name in English means “the time before Lent”. The celebration corresponds to Roman Catholic holiday traditions in other parts of the world, such as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and Carnival. Užgavėnės begins on the night before Ash Wednesday, when an effigy of winter (usually named Morė) is burnt. A major element of the holiday, meant to symbolize the defeat of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, is a staged battle between Lašininis (“porky”) personifying winter and Kanapinis (“hempen man”) personifying spring. Devils, witches, goats, the grim reaper, gypsies, and other joyful and frightening characters appear in costumes during the celebrations. The participants and masqueraders dance and eat the traditional dish of the holiday – pancakes with a variety of toppings. After the evening events, return to your hotel.

February 23 (Sunday) Kaunas
Begin your tour of this marvelous old city that served as Lithuania’s capital between the two world wars, spending most of our time in Old Town. While there, visit a museum dedicated to the works of Ciurlionis, Lithuania’s most celebrated artist; the Devils Museum (probably the only one of its kind in the world visiting of Zilinskas Art Museum. On three floors, this museum features both applied and pure art from Europe and Asia from the 17th to the 20th century including some fine Flemish tapestries and Japanese porcelain, the War Museum which has a first rate collection; the 13th century Kaunas Castle, the lovely Town Hall of Kaunas, known locally as the White Swan; and the 14th-century Church of Vytautas and the principal church of Kaunas Ninth Fort. 16th century Pazaislis Convent.

February 24 (Monday) Kaunas – Hill of Crosses – Pakruojis Manor
Check out of hotel. Today you’ll visit the 16th century Pazaislis Convent. Continue to the Hill of Crosses, one of Lithuania’s holiest shrines. Since the 14th century, pilgrims have been placing crosses here. Until today there are hundreds of thousands of them. In 1993, the Pope concelebrated Mass here. Return to Pakruojis Manor. Pakruojis Manor is a former residential manor on the right bank of the Kruoja river. It has been reconstructed into a hotel and restaurant. At the manor inn Traktierius you will taste regional beer and dishes made using beer, and get familiar with the brewing processes, traditions, and interesting facts about beer. In other words, beer is inseparable from the delicious food, cheerful company, and good mood. Enjoy some lunch and spend the rest of the day exploring the grounds on your own.

February 25 (Tuesday) Pakruojis Manor-Kernave-Vilnius
Breakfast at Pakruojis Manor. Today you will begin a tour to Kernavė. This village is said to have been the first capital of Lithuania before Trakai and Vilnius. Archeological excavations uncovered several old settlements as well as the remnants of a wooden castle and large wooden encampment dating back to the 12th century. There are four old castle mounds in rural surroundings. Because of its uniqueness, Kernave was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. You will also visiting the Kernave museum. AT the end of the day you will arrive in Vilnius and check in to the Hotel Amberton.

February 26 (Wednesday) Vilnius
Today you will visit the UNESCO listed Vilnius Old Town with it‘s main historical, architectural monuments & one of the most beautiful churches in the world, baroque masterpiece – church of St. Petras and Povilas, KGB Museum and Gediminas Castle.. Pass by Vilnius Cathedral, Grad Duke Palace, walk Castle street – the oldest and most flamboyant street in the Old Town, see baroque Vilnius University and Gothic St. Ann’s church, say a prayer at the miraculous Gates of the Dawn and be surprised by the constitutions of artist neighborhood – Republic of Uzupis.

February 27 (Thursday) Vilnius Dzukija National Park-Grutas Park – Vilnius
Day in tranquillity of unspoiled nature & past. Trip to Dzukija National Park located in Southern part of Lithuania, famous for wild forests, mushrooms and berries, authentic villages and friendliness of local people. You will visit ethnographic village and get acquainted with the lifestyle of locals. Here you’ll have a chance to learn how to make and try “egg tree cake” (also called Bankuchen or Sakotis). This noble product of the baker’s art is considered to be a symbol of the tradesmen’s mastery of this profession. “Sakotis” is known since the 15th century. Lunch. Continue to Grutas Parkas, an outdoor museum of notorious Soviet political figures. Return to Vilnius.

February 28 (Friday): Vilnius – Utena – Vilnius
Drive to Utena in the morning. Spend the day with traditional Lithuanian artisans (Utena is a center of artisan talents). We will have masters teaching us the arts of: paper cutouts, wood carving, decorating Easter eggs (including waxed and shaved), a review of traditional herbal remedies and a review of the spring holidays of Lithuania. We will also have lessons from the artisan for a hands-on experience. We then return to Vilnius.

February 29 (Saturday) Vilnius- Trakai – Vilnius
A half-day tour to the lovely Trakai Castle, completed in the 14th century and built on an island amid lakes and forests. Afternoon is free.

March 1 (Sunday): Vilnius
Today you are free to walk around or have the option to visit Vilnius a museum or two for the day. Ore details to be provided later. At the end of the day, the group will get together for a farewell dinner.

March 2 (Monday) Depart Vilnius
Check out of hotel and transfer to the airport.

PRICE $1499 USD PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $325 USD

Price includes:
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in centrally located 4* hotels and Pakruojis manor BB
- Transport as per itinerary
- EN speaking guide as per itinerary
- Meals: Welcome, Farewell dinner; Beer education/ degustation and dinner in Pakruojis manor
- Entrance tickets: M.K. Ciurlionis museum, Zilinskas gallery, Devil museum, War museum, Pazaislis convent, KGB museum, Gediminas castle and funicular, Grand Duke Palace, Grutas park, Trakai castle.
- Artisan’s lessons in Utena
- Uzgavenes tickets in Rumsiskes
- Sakotis making workshop
- Vilnius and Kaunas city taxes

Travel insurance is available through Vytis Tours and is strongly recommended. For more information or to purchase, please call Vytis Tours at 800-778-9847 or email us at info@vytistours.com

For tour details, please contact Rimas at Vytis Tours at 800-778-9847 ext 1001 or send an email to info@vytistours.com

DEPOSIT DUE IS $100 USD PER PERSON. FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 45 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.

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