Duration 6 days.
Today, more than 5’000 Jews reside in Lithuania. Jews came to Lithuania from the East when people were at Crusade Wars. Jews had privileges both in Europe and in Lithuania. Lithuanian Jews were given cultural self-governance (autonomy). It allowed Jews to have schools subsidized by the Government. Vilnius was considered “Lithuanian Jerusalem” in the entire Jewish world. It is the main centre of Jewish culture in Europe. That is why our travel agency invites Jews and not only them to have a tour “Jewish Heritage Sights” – you will be introduced to the most visited Jewish Heritage sights.
1st day. Vilnius. Check in at a hotel.
Jewish Heritage sightseeing of Vilnius – Jerusalem of Lithuania. The tour takes to the streets of the former Ghetto area with its monuments to the victims of the Holocaust, the Jewish Cemetery with the mausoleum of the world renowned Gaon Rav Eliyahu and the tombs of the last Vilna rabbis alongside the victims of the Ghetto. The tour includes a visit to the Choral Synagogue, the only remaining synagogue that was left intact.
Visit to the Jewish State Museum telling a tragic story of the Jewish community.
2nd day. Trakai – the ancient capital of Lithuania. Its highlight is the 15th century Trakai Castle amidst the lakes. In 1321 Grand Duke Gediminas built Trakai castle on the peninsula of the Lake Galve. This castle served briefly as the capital of his lands before he moved to Vilnius in 1323.
Visit to Paneriai (Ponar), which is only six miles outside the city of Vilnius. Here in the Paneriai Forest, close to the railroad tracks, the Nazis killed and buried in the pits over 100’000 civilians, 70’000 of them Jews. Now the site of mass executions is commemorated by the memorial to the victims of the Lithuanian holocaust and a small museum displaying the tragedy of Paneriai.
3rd day. Kaunas. Check in at a hotel.
City tour includes the most interesting architectural and historic monuments in the Old Town; former Kaunas Jewish Ghetto; Sugihara Centre; Kaunas’ Choral Synagogue.
Visit to the Ninth Fort Museum, an impressive monument to commemorate the victims of Nazism that was erected in 1984. Under Nazi occupation Jews were imprisoned here before execution in the killing fields behind.
4th day. Departure to Klaipeda. Check in at a hotel.
Klaipeda is an ice-free port, fishing and sailing town, the Lithuanian gateway to the sea and the world. The first mention of Jews living in the region dates back to the 1567.
City sightseeing – explore the Old Town, the City Hall, the Neo-Gothic Post Office, visit the Jewish Cemetery, the Jewish Cultural Centre, the Synagogue.
5th day. Tour to Nida, an extraordinary piece of land called Neringa, which stretches northwards for some 3 km, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of extreme beauty and fragility. This small town is a summer resort that is famous for its unique sand dunes and clean beaches. Visit Thomas Mann’s House or the Fisherman’s museum.
Return to Klaipeda. Free time.
6th day. Return to Vilnius. Departure.
Museums: Jewish State Museum, T.Mann House.
Cities: Vilnius, Trakai, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Nida.