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Discover the rich historical heritage and stunning natural surroundings, soak up the atmosphere of sore Paneriai Memorial park and spectacular Trakai Castle. During this half day tour, you visit Paneriai (also known as Ponar, Ponary) – place, which represents the tragedy of holocaust and medieval Trakai town which is famous for its picturesque landscape and the legendary Trakai Castle, which was a cradle of the Lithuanian statehood, an important military and political center, headquarters of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, and the capital of Lithuania.
Vilnius centrally located hotel, apartment, hostel, etc.
Vilnius Town Hall Square
Prior to the departure time (emailed 1 day before the tour starts)
The tour runs if min of 3 persons are going. If the min group size is not met you will get an alternative date, private tour (for extra fee) or full refund.
This half day trip starts from the centrally located hotel. Then drive through Vilna Ghetto where a brief overview of the Jewish history in Vilnius is being told. Visiting Paneriai Memorial Park and the museum – one of the biggest mass murder site in Eastern Europe, where were killed about 100 000 people, mostly Jewish community.
Later on the tour is continued to Trakai, small town just 30 km away from Lithuanian Capital Vilnius. At the Middle Ages Trakai was the headquarters of the royal family. Today all the glory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania remains the island castle located on the picturesque landscape. Further exploring the museum in the castle with a guide where are interesting historical items which represents the Lithuanian history in the Medieval period.
One hour will be dedicated to some free time where you can explore on your own and find some souvenirs and/or taste traditional Lithuanian and Karaites dishes (not included).
Return to Vilnius and drop off at your hotel/apartments or other central place.
I was picked up at my hotel by Inga and then we picked up other people that were on the tour. The tour itself started with us being driven around the Jewish ghettos and given plenty of the history of Jewish people in Vilnius which was very interesting. We then were driven to Paneriai, this was a very thought provoking and sobering experience learning about the atrocities committed here during WW2. We then drove around 30 mins to Trakai Castle and walked around as Inga told us about the history of the castle and of Lithuania as we walked around. Inga left the group with about an hour to look around the castle ourselves and get something to eat. She recommended trying a kibinai which we did and it was very tasty. After the tour Inga gave us the option of being dropped off back at the hotel or in the centre of the Old Town. I would definitely recommend this tour as I think it is well worth the money.
We were picked up by our apartment by our wonderful and very knowledgeable tour guide. Off we went to the Jewish qtr and then to the memorial park , a very thought provoking experience! Having been to several holocaust sites throughout Europe the stories I was told today still amaze me how humans could ever behave in such a way to another human ! Hopefully the lessons learnt today by myself and future tourists will ensure history will never repeat itself!
Then on to traki castle where things were a lot more pleasant apart from the weather! ! A magnificent building set in a beautiful part of Lithuania and a real must see for all good travelers .
The whole day was great from start to finish and I would throughly recommend
collected from our apartment on time by Inge our excellent tour guide. A short tour around the large ghetto area which was very informative then on to Paneriai. shocking to hear what went on there in the 40s. Then onto to beautiful Trakai for a guided tour of the castle. We had 40 minutes of free time so were able to have a drink and a snack before heading back to Vilnius
This was the second day we spent with Inge as our guide and we really enjoyed the trip. We were collected from our apartment at 10am and started the tour with a drive through the large Jewish ghetto. Lots of information was given. We then drove for about 30 minutes to reach Paneriai. This was a very moving experience and we were so glad that we visited with a guide in order to fully understand what we were seeing.
After another short drive we reached the very beautiful Trakai castle. Inge guided us through the highlights of the museum and then we had some free time. We chose to try the local pastries which had been recommended, and shopped for souvenirs. We arrived back in Vilnius at 3pm.
Inge was a very good driver and we enjoyed this hassle free way of visiting both locations. A great excursion!
“A great day with a great tour guide”
I was picked up at the exact time by the tour guide, Andres, who was friendly, and the perfect guide to show us around Trakai Castle and the Paneriai Memorial. His knowledge about Vilnius and its history was outstanding. With only 3 people on the trip, it felt like a private tour. First we were given a tour and a short guide to the Jewish ghettos in Vilnius. Then we were driven to the memorial at Paneriai. Andres explained us everything at the memorial and answered many questions along the way. After a walk around the area in the forest, we were driven to Trakai Castle. Trakai Castle is absolutely as beautiful as it looks in the photos. Our guide took us into every room in the castle and we had an excellent tour. You will learn so much if you take this tour, and especially if you’re lucky enough to have Andres as a guide whose narration of Lithuanian history was absolutely perfect. Highly recommended.