Day 1: Arrival in Riga, transfer to Jurmala
Upon arrival in Riga, you’ll be met by a driver and transferred to the resort town Jurmala for 3 nights stay at the Hotel Jurmala Spa 4*. Depending on your arrival time, enjoy a visit to Wellness Oasis - the swimming pool and sauna centre.
Days 2 - 3: Relax in Jurmala, visit Riga
After breakfast, enjoy the spa treatments included in your package:
- 1 x Stress relieving massage 60 min
- 1 x Body care treatment in health capsule with body scrub at your choice 45 min
- 1 x Massage with aromatic oils 60 min
Jurmala is loctaed just 15 miles from Riga, so we suggest a visit to the Latvian capital. It's easy to get there, as it's only a 30 minute train ride from Jurmala, with a return ticket costing around £2, or you could travel by taxi for about £15. Walk through the charming, cobbled streets of the Old Town and see beautifully restored classical architecture. Enjoy the trendy restaurants, cafes, and active nightlife before returning back to the relaxing environment of your seaside hotel.
Day 4: Departure from Jurmala
Breakfast at the hotel. If time permits, enjoy more of what Hotel Jurmala Spa has to offer before the transfer back to Riga airport for your return flight.
For your holidays to Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Ukraine, you will not need a visa if you have a valid passport from any EU country, Australia, Canada, USA, Japan (there are more, so check with us to make sure). Please note that your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date of your return.
However, if you plan to travel to Russia, you will need a visa, which we can help organise for you.
Travel insurance is required and also advisable. If you do not have a valid policy, please check our Insurance link on the bottom of our homepage or http://www.baltictravelcompany.com/insurance. We can offer quotes for all nationalities.
Our recommended partner is FS Ball who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
You will be able to communicate quite well with the locals, as most people in the service industry are quite adept at speaking English. If English doesn't work, then try Russian (if you can), or German. The further you go from the major cities, the less English you will hear. However, do not let the language barrier keep you from exploring the beauty of the country side. We can always arrange English speaking guides to accompany you wherever you wish to go.
The Estonian language is similar to Finnish and is unrelated to Latvian, Lithuanian or Russian. Latvian and Lithuanian are two of the oldest languages, with roots traceable to Sanskrit. This makes them quite challenging to learn, but attempting a few words will put a smile on the local faces. Russians use the Cyrillic alphabet, so reading street signs and tube maps will be a challenge in St Petersburg .
You can rent a car, as long as you have a valid EU or international driver's license. Most cars will have manual transmission.
You can get local currency from ATMs at the airport where you land or in the major cities. Be aware that your bank will charge you a service fee and exchange rate fee for the transaction, but this is likely to be less than exchanging money in the UK before you depart. Please note that in Russia exchange bureau's and banks will not except Scottish bank notes.
We suggest choosing the right credit card for spending abroad. Most credit cards will have an additional cost (about 3%) to the bank exchange rates. You can avoid it by obtaining a specialist overseas card that does not add this % and will give you good exchange rates that are better than money exchange bureau rates.
Credit cards charge you interest rates, but some debit cards (bank account cards) could have fees that could add up to £ 1.50 every time you spend.
We recommend checking with your bank what fees/interest rates will be applied to your card when using it abroad in order to make an educated decision on what card to use.
Most restaurants and shops will take credit/debit cards like Visa and Mastercard, however, many places will not accept AMEX.
Traveller's cheques are difficult to cash, so we recommend not to use them.
Airport or ferry terminals in most cases will have the worst money exchange rates, so if you must get it from the airport, pre-order money for pick-up to get a better rate.
The local currencies are (alphabetic order):
Denmark - Danish Kroner
Estonia - Euro
Finland - Euro
Greenland - Danish Kroner
Iceland - Icelandic Kroner
Latvia - Euro
Lithuania - Euro
Norway - Norwegian Kroner
Poland - Polish Zloty
Russia - Russian Ruble
Sweden - Swedish Kroner
Ukraine - Hryvnia
Dining opportunities are plenty, from ethnic to exotic. We would suggest you to try some national dishes and get a real taste of the region. Note that most traditional dishes contain meat and are fairly heavy, but very tasty.
Reservations in advance are recommended for up-market restaurants, especially for Friday and Saturday evenings.
Tipping - many of the up-market establishments will let you know how good their service is by including it on the bill. Rounding up the bill is usually sufficient, unless you feel your server deserves an extra bit of recognition.
Railway mostly serves domestic routes and is used as an easy and quick way to get from the capital to major cities of the country. There are some international routes, like to Moscow and St. Petersburg, but time spent on the way will be quite long.
Buses are one of the most convenient ways to travel between the Baltic States. Eurolines will get you between Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. One way tickets will cost £ 15 - £ 20 and approximate travel time is 5 hours between the cities. Ticket reservations in advance are recommended.
Taxis are the quickest and most convenient way of travelling round the city. You'll find them located close to the main hotels. Usually it's quite easy to catch a taxi on the street, however, it's much better and safer to order one by phone. Taxi costs in all of the Baltic countries and Poland are approximately the same and a ride in the centre of the city will cost you approx £ 5 - £ 7. Taxis in Finland and Russia are considerably more expensive. It is always a good idea to get your hotel to book a taxi for you and ask approximately how much the trip will cost before you get in.
We would not recommend you to take public transportation within the city, as it's usually crowded and it may cause you unnecessary anxiety about where to stop.
There are several mobile operators in each Baltic country, the Nordics ( Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland incl. Iceland and Greenland as well as Poland, Ukraine and Russia. If you have an international connection, there shouldn't be any problems with your incoming and outgoing calls.
In case your phone doesn't work, please check in the local mobilephone shops and you can buy Calling cards etc. or ask in your hotel, they should be able to advise you too.
Internet access is available at Internet Cafés, which mostly are located in the central part of the city. Most hotels have internet access.
Stamps are available in the post offices and in most newspaper kiosks. Approximate price for a stamp to European Union countries will vary but between appx. £ 0.30 to £ 0.70. You'll see post boxes on the streets or you can ask hotel representative to send your post card, they'll gladly help you.
Emergency telephone number for the police, ambulance services or fire department in Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and Poland - 112.
Greenland uses 911 and for mobile phones only 112.