We are very excited to start 2016 with the launch of group tours to Eastern Europe. To celebrate we’ve picked our favourite cities from our new destinations to include Old Towns and historic centres dotted throughout this beautiful part of the world with an intriguing history which dates back hundreds of years.
Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city, has a delightful and charming historic centre. The Old Town dates back to the 12th century when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. Due to its location in the north of the country and along the coast of the Baltic Sea, it became the northern European trading city. Over the years, the UNESCO listed Old Town has managed to retain its enchanting medieval style. Wander for hours through the narrow streets, the cobblestone streets leading you to the churches, towers, monasteries and the market square Raekoja in the heart of the town.
Nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik has been through some hard times since its beginnings in the 13th century, including a devastating earthquake in 1667. However it has stood strong, preserving its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries and fountains. A wonderful way to spend a day in this Croatian gem is walking the ancient stone walls and forts which enclose the city, parts of it dating back to the 9th century, looking at down across the Old Town on one side and the glittering blue Adriatic Sea on the other.
Placed in the centre of Latvia, Rīga is indeed the cultural heart of the country. Founded in 1201 as a rest stop for crusading German knights, the 800 years of history which has followed can be felt in enthralling atmosphere of the Old Town. The diverse architecture of Rīga displays this diverse history from the gothic spires of St Peter’s church, thought to have been built at the city’s origins, the dramatic House of the Blackheads rebuilt after it was destroyed by bombs in the Second World War, to the art nouveau influences spread throughout.
Pretty is the word to best describe Sighișoara, a small fortified city located in the historic region of Transylvania in Romania which looks like it has been lifted straight out of the pages of a story book. Established in the 12th century as a Saxon settlement which became a thriving trading town, it is now the perfect place to spend a day exploring the beautiful city, visiting the Orthodox Cathedral, Cornesti Church and the magnificent medieval clock tower which rises 64 metres above the city.
The Historic Centre of Vienna is rich in stunning architecture, musical legacy, imperial history and captivating culture, developing over hundreds of years from a Roman settlement into an opulent Baroque city. Vienna is where some of the greatest classical music pieces where written and performed for the first time from such influential musicians as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach.