Stay Balty, Beaches

Trip Region: Europe
Country(ies): Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
Partners Trek? No
Cost: $1645
Airfare Estimate: $1700
Structure:   •   Lodging:   •   Nightlife: 9   •   Activity: 5

Deciding whether you prefer partying, eating great food, visiting historical spots, or relaxing? Don’t know which cool places in Europe you would like to visit? Just like you, we don’t like making such decisions, so we gathered all of that in a trip to the Baltics. In Lithuania, we’ll visit the historical sites of Vilnius. But fear not, pub crawls are a way of life there, so we’ll rage on after getting our education on. In Latvia, we’ll be in the boisterous city of Riga. Considered the “wild child” of the Baltics, Riga is the best city to party in and as the responsible trekkers that we are, we’ll put it to the test. Ok, so we know that it sounds like there will be tons of partying and grubbing; but, we’re not at Ross for nothing! We’re socially responsible type A business school students with livers that foresee a break in the midst of the raging, so to appease our livers, we’ll head to Jurmala (a 30-minute ride from Riga) to relax on the beach. In Estonia, we’ll head over to Tallinn; and since short term memories reign during MTrek, we’ll quickly revert to our regularly scheduled program, i.e. eating delicious food and partying the night away. By the end of the trip you’ll realize that sleep is a total waste of time. Cheers!

Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18

Today is a travel day! Make sure you're packed and ready to fly to Lithuania. Tomorrow is a big day.

Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19

Welcome to Vilnius (vil-nyus), the capital of Lithuania. Having once been occupied by Sweden, Poland, France and Russia, each occupier has left its mark in some way on this picturesque city. Quintessentially continental, the city features Europe’s largest baroque old town at its heart. Today, we'll have a welcome meeting with our guide and have our first group dinner and trek bonding time over drinks.

Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20

Today we take our orientation walk through the city, covering Vilnius’s historical sites such as Cathedral Square, the famous chapel of Saint Kazimieras, Gediminas Tower. For history buffs, the city also features the Museum of Genocide (aka KGB Museum), dedicated to the 50-year history of Soviet occupation which has left a visible mark on the city and country. Want something lighter? Take a walk through the charming gardens and parks sprinkled through the city, or hit up some local cafes and bars. At night, we’ll kick off the festivities with a guided pubcrawl. Is the city ready for us? We think not.

Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21

The day’s activities begin with a trip to the town of Trakai, where we will visit the magnificent Trakai Island Castle, residence of the dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At night, we embark on a culinary tour of Vilnius, sampling local fare and bold brews along the narrow streets of Old Town. With a fascinating fusion of Jewish, Polish, Italian, and Russian influences, Vilnius is a cultural feast of architectural and culinary proportions. After good eats and booze, we’ll get one last chance to experience the night scene so let’s make it count!

Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22

Today we ride out for Riga, the capital of Latvia, and the largest city in the Baltics. As always, we’ll start with a tour, but this time, through Riga’s cobbled streets, where Gothic spires mix with art nouveau themes. We’ll visit the central market, buzzing with life in old Zeppelin hangars, and stop to taste a few local specialities along the way, before kicking off the night’s festivities with a shot of traditional Riga Black Balsam. Then it’s off to the bars and clubs. Two hands up if you’re ready to join the #5AMCrew! #PartyTheNightAway

Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23

After last night’s rager, we’ll need some downtime. So, bring your Pedialyte, bathing suit, and beach bag because (drum roll please) we’re heading to Jurmala! Just 30 minutes from Riga, Jurmala (Jūrmala) is a magnificent seaside playground with everything you need to unwind and dare I say, detox. With miles of sandy beaches, swaying pine trees, and deliciously fresh air (I can taste it already), eclectic architecture and plenty of fun, Jurmala is a resort like no other. Originally a cluster of fishing villages, Jurmala has been a beloved seaside resort for over 200 years. So get ready to board a local train (or bus) to get a taste of paradise.

Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24

Ok, we’ve had tons of organized fun; it’s time for a free day--woo hoo! Today you’ll get a chance to explore Riga at your own pace. You can take a leisurely stroll along the canal; take in views of the city with a drink at a rooftop cafe; or head back to Jurmala for additional fun in the sun. You’re free to roam; but, fair warning, we’ll be doing a pubcrawl tonight so don’t be late (Arnold Schwarzenegger voice).

Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25

Today we say goodbye to Riga and hello to Estonia! We’re going to hop on a bus, cross the border, and head to Tallinn. But congrats are in order get another free day! Tallinn is an exceptionally preserved medieval city (think Game of Thrones but modern) with culinary specialties that will make you salivate--but seriously, so bring a handkerchief: you just might drool. Post check-in, you can head to the main square for some good eats and drinks or get lost in the city. The day is yours so do with it as you please. We’ll reconnect as a group in the evening for dinner. After our bellies are full, we’ll venture into the darkness to enjoy the nightlife. Tonight we’ll see whether Tallinn is #BaltDatLife.

Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26

After a lazy morning of recovery and Estonian treats, we will try and be cultured by visiting a museum and going on an orientation walk with our guide. With its steep red roofs, spires, pastel-colored buildings and new restaurants and bars, Estonia's capital is a real treat to explore. Seeing the vibrant streets of Tallinn now, it's difficult to fathom that Soviet occupation only ended in 1991. We’ll enjoy some delicious food as we continue to explore this former Soviet nation, but rest up as there are no breaks at night. We will find some swanky rooftop bars and stumble upon some cool bars to get groovy and show off some moves. It’s okay to let loose today because we have a free day tomorrow.

Day 10 — Monday, Aug 27

FREE DAY: explore Tallinn solo dolo, chill at the hotel and sleep in, go to a beer spa and bathe in your favorite drink, or take an awesome biking excursion; the world is your oyster kids. But don’t go too crazy because we’re saving that for our final celebration of the trip. At night, we’ll embark on a final pubcrawl with your new bffs and the best mtrek fam at Ross. We’ll paint the town Maize & Blue and make sure that it’s a night that none of you remember. There are a few surprises in store so get ready to be amazed.

Day 11 — Tuesday, Aug 28

Today is the saddest day of the trip, but don’t worry, we’ll keep the fun going back to A2. Book your flights at your convenience, stay an extra day or two or three, or plan your own travel around Europe before heading back. We’ll be there for you during bschool and beyond. So not to worry, we have tons of fun and exciting events planned for our Balty Beaches over the course of the year.