7 days/6 nights LIthuania Jewish tour
7 days / 6 nights
Day 1. Vilnius-Ukmerge-Panevezys Arrival in Vilnius. Visit to Ponar, a small settlement close to Vilnius that was the place of massacre of many thousands of Jews during the World War II. After paying a tribute to the victims of the Holocaust return to Vilnius. Visit the Jewish State museum and see its exhibitions of the Jewish life throughout the ages. A walk to the old Vilnius University founded in 1579. Afternoon departure for Ukmerge and Panevezys. A short tour of Ukmerge, once an active center of the Jewish life. Late afternoon arrival in Panevezys.
Day 2. Panevezys-Siauliai-Telsiai-Palanga-Klaipeda A morning tour of Panevezys (Ponevezh), including the building of the former world famous Ponevezh Yeshiva, Synagogue, the Jewish ghetto, common grave of the Holocaust victims in the outskirts of the city. Sightseeing tour of Siauliai (Shavli) and a meeting with the members of the Jewish community. Drive to Telsiai (Telz) with en route stop at the Hill of Crosses, a unique site of a Catholic pilgrimage. In Telsiai see the former renowned Yeshiva and other sites of the town. Afternoon departure for Palanga - a popular resort on the Baltic Sea, famous for its kilometer-long beaches and the beautiful Botanic Park with the Amber Museum. Sightseeing of the Old Town of Klaipeda (Memel) distinguished for its German influenced medieval architecture.
Day 3. Klaipeda-Nida-Kaunas Morning drive to Nida on the Curonian Spit. En route stop at Juodkrante for a walk on the Hill of Witches, a vivid example of Lithuanian folk wooden sculptures. A visit to Nida, a lovely place with its 60 meter-high sand dunes, Thomas Mann summerhouse and the Amber Gallery. Departure for Kaunas (Kovna), the interim capital of pre-war Lithuania. A walk in the Old Town with its art galleries and cosy cafes. A. Mapu and L. Zamenhoff streets. The pre-war Jewish Real and Schvabe gymnasiums. Night Kaunas on Laisvės aleja, the boulevard for pedestrians, the main Kaunas street.
Day 4. Kaunas Morning tour to Slobodka (Vilijampole), a Jewish suburb of pre-war Kaunas and the site of the ghetto during WWII. The Great Action at Demokratu street. The Old Jewish cemetery. The Seventh and the Ninth Forts - the murder sites of thousands of Jews from Lithuania, France and Germany. The Holocaust museum and the Memorial of the Ninth Fort. The Synagogue and the Children’s Memorial in its courtyard. Afternoon visit to the Art Gallery of M. K. Ciurlionis, the outstanding Lithuanian artist and composer and to the Devil’s Museum with hundreds of statuettes of devils. In the evening a meeting with the members of the Jewish community.
Day 5. Kaunas-Rumsiskes-Alytus-Druskininkai-Vilnius Morning departure to the Rumsiskes Open Air Ethnographic Museum, where the visitors find themselves in the various villages of Lithuanian regions of the XIX c. Visit Alytus, a town on the river Nemunas. The Vidzgiris forest with an impressive memorial in honor of the victims of Nazism. A tour to Druskininkai, health resorts on the river Nemunas, a native town of the famous sculptor Jacques Lipshitz Return to Vilnius. En route visit the former partisan base in the Rudnicki forest, where Aba Kovner and other Vilna ghetto prisoners fought against the Nazis. Tonight, attend Friday services at Vilna Synagogue, followed by Kabalat Shabbat at Beit Chabad or at the Jewish Community Center.
Day 6. Vilnius City tour of Vilnius, including Gediminas castle with a wonderful panoramic view of the city, the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and the jewels of 16-17 century Gothic and Baroque architecture. A walking tour in the medieval Jewish quarter, its lanes and courtyards, the history and the sad fate of the Great Vilna Synagogue, the personality of the Gaon of Vilna the greatest spiritual figure in the Jewish history, the site of the Strashun library. Building of the world famous Jewish printing house “Widow and Brothers Romm”. The Small and the Large Ghettos of the period of WWII, where more than forty thousand of Vilna Jews were concentrated, the building of the Judenrat on the Rudninku street, the activities of the F.P.O. - the United Partisan Organisation under the leadership of Itzik Vitenberg and Abba Kovner.
Day 7. Vilnius-Trakai-Vilnius A visit to the Jewish cemetery of Vilnius.The graves of the Gaon of Vilna, Hayim-Oyzer Grodzenski, a spiritual leader of Vilna Jewry before the war, Shmuel Yosef Finn - famous historian, author of “Kiryah Neemanah” the first book of the history of Vilna Jews, and many others. Visit to the “Cheap Houses” built in 1898 by baron Hirsch for the poor Jewish families that lost their dwellings after the great flood. A tour of Trakai, the ancient capital and the residence of Grand Dukes of Lithuania, located 28 km from Vilnius, famous for its 14th century insular castle with a museum of Lithuanian history. The Karaite museum and the story of this small ethnic group (confessing Judaism) brought by Vytautas the Great from Crimea 600 years ago. Transfer to the airport for the return flight.
This is sample itinerary customized for each client.