Military Heritage Touring routes

There are routes to visit military heritage locations.  Each one includes the type of travel, the schedule of the route day by day, the military heritage location, and choices related to accommodations and dining locations.

There may also be contact information where you can seek help to plan your trip, the time when you want to visit, information centres, etc.  You can adapt each route to your own interests.  Make use of the map and the information that is indicated for each place to make sure that you know when the place will be open.  That will allow you to plan the amount of time that you will need for the travel, visits and accommodations.

When planning your trip, we recommend that you precisely know information such as the opening hours of venues and the services that are available there.

In the footsteps of the Battles of Cēsis

Vidzeme, Latvia
Duration: 2 days
Rīga – Amata – Skangaļi – Priekuļi – Cēsis – Stalbe – Straupe – Limbaži – Rīga

The tour explores the events of the Battles of Cēsis in 1919 when the armed forces of the Latvian Provisional Government, together with the Estonian army, defeated units of the German Landeswehr and the Iron Division. In Estonian war history, these battles are known as the Landeswehr War. The Battles of Cēsis are among the key events in the Latvian War of Independence and in protecting the independence of the newly established Latvian state proclaimed on 18 November 1918.

Commemorating the War of Independence in Western Estonia

Pärnumaa–Läänemaa and Osmussaar Island, Estonia
Duration: 3 days
Ikla–Treimani–Kabli–Häädemeeste–Pärnu–Lavassaare–Tiduvere–Tiduvere–Kullamaa–Haapsalu–Dirhami–Osmussaar Island–Dirhami

The counties of Pärnu and Lääne are located on the west coast of Estonia. Osmussaar is a 4.8km2 Estonian island situated in the mouth of the Gulf of Finland, which was used as a border outpost. A Soviet army unit was stationed on the island after World War II, and the island became a closed military zone. 

Along the battlefields of Kurzeme Pocket to Soviet Heritage adventure in Dundaga

Kurzeme, Latvia
Duration: 5 days
Rīga–Lestene–Zante–Brocēni–Saldus–Ezere–Vaiņode–Priekule–Skrunda– Pelči–Kuldīga–Renda–Usma–Ugāle–Blāzma–Dundaga–Tukums–Rīga

The tour features sites associated with the events of the end of World War II, from October 1944 to May 1945 when the German army retreated from Rīga to Kurzeme, where 6 major battles took place in different parts of the Kurzeme front. Because of the brutal battles, this period of the war is known as the Courland Cauldron, Curland Pocket or Kurzeme Fortress. The Red Army was unable to conquer Kurzeme until the capitulation of the German army.

Evidence of the World War I and Christmas Battles in Rīga region

Rīga region, Latvia
Duration: 2 days

The tour features sites related to the Christmas Battles: the attack of Latvian Riflemen on German army units in 1916 in especially harsh winter conditions. Christmas Battles are considered to be the most well-known and dramatic event in the history of Latvia in World War I. 

Life in Estonia during the Soviet occupation

Tallinn, Harjumaa, Naissaar Island, Estonia
Duration: 3 days
Tallinn–Naissaar Island–Tallinn–Klooga–Paldiski–Tallinn

The tour features military heritage sites near the capital Tallinn and museums that introduce the history of wars at different times and the period of Soviet occupation across Estonia.

The heritage of Soviet Occupation in North Vidzeme and South Estonia

Northern Vidzeme in Latvia and Southern Estonia
Duration: 4 days

The tour explores the presence of the Soviet army and the KGB* during the 50 years of Soviet occupation in Latvia and Estonia. Army bases, secret military facilities and military airfields were constructed and operated during this time, and closed military territories were established. The loyalty of the country’s population to the Soviet regime was tested by the KGB, and those who resisted were morally and physically destroyed.

In the footsteps of the Forest brothers in Latvia and Estonia

Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latvia–Tartu county, Estonia
Duration: 6 days
Rīga–Čevers Bunker (Vandzene woods)–Renda–Ugāle–Usma–Zlēkas–Kuldīga–Saldus–Īle–Rīga–Amata–Cēsis–Skujene–Vecpiebalga–Ineši–Madona–Lubāna–Viļaka–Alūksne–Ape-Vastse-Roosa–Nursi–Võru–Puutli–Vastseliina–Saatse–Värska–Tartu

During the Soviet occupation period in World War II and immediately after the war, many in Latvia and Estonia could not accept life under the occupation regime and wanted to restore the independence of their countries. They went into the woods, lived in dugouts that they built themselves and carried out attacks on Soviet repressive authorities. People hoped that Western nations would not tolerate the Soviet occupation and that Latvia and Estonia would soon be independent again. National partisans continued to fight battles until the end of the 1950s.

Military heritage along the Iron Curtain Route by car from Tallinn to Liepāja

Rīga, Latvia–Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 9 days
Tallinn–Paldiski–Spithami–Haapsalu–Rohuküla–ferry to Vormsi–ferry back to Rohuküla–Puise–Lihula–Lavassaare–Pärnu–Ainaži–Saulkrasti–Carnikava–Mežgarciems–Rīga–Engure–Roja–Kolka–Mazirbe–Irbene–Ovīši–Ventspils–Užava–Jūrkalne–Pāvilosta–Akmeņrags–Liepāja–Rīga or Tallinn

The Baltic coast served as the country’s western border during the Soviet period. The border between the USSR and the western countries was known as the Iron Curtain, as it functioned to isolate those living in the Soviet state from the rest of the world. Home to army bases, coast guard towers and batteries, most of the coastal area in both Latvia and Estonia was closed during the Soviet era. Local residents needed special permits for leaving and entering the area. Despite strict security measures, there were frequent attempts to cross the border and flee the USSR to the West.

The grand cross border tour - military heritage of the 100 years of independence of Latvia and Estonia

Duration: 13 days
Rīga–Tīreļi–Lestene–Kandava–Sabile–Renda–Stende–Dundaga–Irbene–Ovīši–Ventspils–Užava–Jūrkalne–Pāvilosta–Akmeņrags–Liepāja–Skrunda–Saldus–Zvārde–Jelgava–Olaine–Rīga–Mangaļi–Carnikava– Pärnu –Virtsu–Kuivastu–Kuressaare–Panga–ferry to Hiiumaa–ferry to Haapsalu–Tallinn–Hara–Rakvere–Sillamäe–Vaivara–Narva–Avinurme–Mustvee–Jõgeva–Tartu–Valga/Valka–Valmiera–Cēsis–Līgatne–More–Salaspils–Rīga

The tour introduces the military heritage of Latvia and Estonia, which dates back more than 100 years from World War I to the present day. The focus is on the emergence of both countries at the end of World War I, explaining how they protected their existence in the Wars of Independence, how both countries were destroyed during World War II, why national partisans resisted Soviet occupation more than ten years after the war and how independence was restored after decades of occupation.

Saaremaa and Hiiumaa – Outpost of the Estonian Sea Border

Saaremaa and Hiiumaa Islands, Estonia
Duration: 3 days
Tallinn–Muhu Island–Kuressaare–Sõrve–Panga–ferry to Hiiumaa –Sõru–Orjaku–Ristna–Tahkuna–Lehtma–Kärdla–Partsi–Heltermaa–Tallinn

Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are the two largest islands in Estonia and form the Estonian border in the west of the country. Efforts to construct and improve the coast protection infrastructure on the islands have been ongoing at all times. Battles between different troops took place during both World War I and World War II. National partisans remained active on the island of Hiiumaa even after the war.

In the footsteps of Estonian Independence War

Western Estonia – Southern Estonia
Duration: 3 days

The tour features sites related to the events of the Estonian War of Independence from Pärnu in western Estonia to the Latvian border town of Valga. The Estonian War of Independence was fought from 1918 to 1920.

The Soviet Army in the occupied territory of Estonia

Harjumaa-Virumaa, Estonia
Duration: 2 days

The tour features military heritage sites and formerly closed areas as visitors make their way through the Lahemaa National Park, the city of Rakvere in the northern part of the country and Narva, a Russian border city in the east.