7 Awesome Car Activities in The Baltics
One of the great things about The Baltics as a teambuilding and incentive destination, is its many adrenaline activities.
In this article we will present the 7 most awesome car activities in The Baltic States.
If your clients are interested in cars, but would rather see or talk about cars, rather than participate in these adrenaline focused ones, we have alternatives for them as well.
In Riga we have an amazing car museum, as well as we can offer you a one of a kind site visit to a company which does classical car restorations in Vilnius (by request only, this is my friends business and not open for any other DMC’s).
These are the 7 activities this article will explain in more details:
- Tanks driving in Vilnius
- Fiat Challenge in Riga
- 4×4 driving in Riga
- Drift Trikes in Riga
- Lada Rally in Tallinn
- 4×4 driving with old Soviet Jeeps in Tallinn
- Demolition Derby in Tallinn
Let’s start in the south – Vilnius, and move up to the middle of the region to Riga, before we finish off north with Tallinn.
Tanks driving in Vilnius
Vilnius is the only city in The Baltic States which can offer tanks driving.
The tank is a British FV432, an armored personnel carrier variant of the FV430 series, which is an armored fighting vehicle.
This type of tanks was (and is) used mostly to transport infantry on the battlefield, and was used heavily during the Afghan and Iraqi wars.
In other words, this vehicle does not have a cannon on top.
But it is still a tanks and it still a LOT of fun to drive…
How does the tank driving activity work?
The group gets picked up at the hotel and driven to the outskirts of Vilnius, where the tank training grounds are and the driving takes place.
After briefing and explanation on how to operate the tank, it is time to get inside and get going.
No time to waste!
Depending on the group size, we are divided in several teams of typically 6-8 people.
One person will be driving (with the instructor at his side/behind him), while the rest of the team is in the back (do not have to be inside, they may wait at the start/finish).
It is possible to stand and look out the hatches on top of the tanks during driving.
During dry summer days, it is most definitely dusty as the tanks plow through the dry dirt roads.
Each person drives one round on the 1,2 km long road / slope.
These tanks do not come with suspensions, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Along the slope there will be mud, water and small artificial obstacles to recreate real tank driving conditions.
There are two tanks available.
This activity would not be suitable for very large groups dues to the restrictions on capacity (2 tanks).
But smaller groups will not have to wait too long for their turn to drive.
It is also possible to combine with shooting in the area, as well as lunch.
Is thanks driving something which would be a great fit for any of your clients?
Get in touch today and lets talk!
Fiat Challenge - Old Soivet Cars driving
We have written an extensive article on this activity in a separate article.
Follow this link to the full Fiat Challenge in Riga description.
Below is a summary of this activity.
The Fiat Challenge team building
Do you have a client who enjoys driving cars, and who wants to something new they have never done before, and then sprinkle it with a bit of nostalgia?
The Fiat Challenge is your solution!
An activity or team building guaranteed to bring out smiles and giggles, the best memories and something quite different that most other activities you can do.
As a travel professional, I am certain you know about the Trabi Safari in Berlin, and its sister in Budapest?
Well, if the Trabi rally in Budapest is the sister, then the Fiat Challenge is the cool big brother!
Where you in Berlin drive in a “sightseeing style”, our Fiat Challenge in Riga is 100% self drive!
Behind the wheels of this “ultimate driving machine”, the Fiat 126 from the 1970s and 1980s, with its two stroke engine and an amazing engine with 25 wild horsepowers, your clients will get to see, feel, smell and experience Riga in a unique and one of a kind way.
Oki, I know, I am talking this activity up in the sky with a selection of superlatives enough to make a hot blond blush.
But it is not without reason we are so enthusiastic about this activity!
It is AWESOME!
It’s that simple…
You can read the full desription fo the activity here.
For now, let me give you the general outline of this driving experience.
After being picked up at the hotel and driven 5-10 min to the venue/garage, each team of 3 people gets their car.
Instructions are given, and the game is explained.
Each car has a map and a game plan (tasks to complete).
They vary from visiting certain unique places in Riga, to creating funny pictures of the team with f.ex. the police.
In 2-3 hours (depending on wish), the teams will drive in and around Riga City Center in search for the posts, solve the assignments, collect memorabilia, take photos etc.
Yes, the cars some times break down.
Not always, but with cars build in Poland during the Soviet Union, and having more than 30 years on their backs, they are bound to break every now and again.
NB! All cars are road legal!
A mechanic is always on stand-by, as well as having at least one backup car waiting in case a complete break-down.
You may think a potential break down decreases the fun or the value of the activity?
On the contrary – this is the most fun way you can every have a car breakdown!
All cars needs to be back at the agreed time frame.
Once all cars/teams are back, points and counted, pictures inspected and a winner is selected, the bus takes the group back to the hotel/old town/to lunch.
To get the full description of the event, go here.
Is the Fiat Challenge something which would be a great fit for any of your clients?
Get in touch today and let’s talk!
4x4 driving in Riga
In general, there are 4×4 activities in both Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius.
In this section we will talk about the one in Riga, while Tallinn will be discussed further down.
4×4 in Vilnius, however, we are not offering at this time, as it is basically an activity where you are a passenger, and do not get to drive yourself – which, in our humble opinion, is the only way to do these activities (being only a passenger is both uncomfortable and boring)!
Both Riga and Tallinn are self-drive, hence, worth spending time and money on!
Even though 4×4 is more on the costly side of activities, it is also one of the real hardcore fun activities where you get to tackle the natures challenges behind the wheel of a car.
In Latvia the rules and regulations on “driving in the woods” are rather relaxed versus in many other countries, making it rather unique 4×4 event in itself.
Latvia is full of dirt roads and wooden paths which are allowed to use for driving on, as well as there are plenty of areas without any roads which are allowed to traverse.
This makes for a very, very fun activity!
How does 4x4 in Riga work?
In general, there are 2 popular ways to start off the 4×4 activity in Riga.
First one is from the airport, upon arriving to Riga.
The second one, from the hotel any time during the stay.
4x4 from the airport
With this option, the 4×4 activity will be the first thing the group do when they arrive in Riga.
The group will be met in the arrival hall and taken outside to the parking, where a group of large 4×4 vehicles will be waiting.
A grand arrival to Riga, so to speak.
There will be a van for luggage, which will be delivered to the hotel at the same time (or before) the group arrives to the hotel after the driving activity.
Instructions will be given, the plan for they day explained and as soon as the basics has been covered, the group will split into 3 people in each car.
The car will be driven by its owner until we reach the forest.
4x4 from the hotel
The 4×4 cars will arrive to the hotel at agreed upon time and park in a very visible place.
The instructor will come inside the lobby and greet the group and give instructions and go through the plan for the day.
Once this is done, everyone is taken outside and they will see all the big cars.
A great first impression.
The group choose their cars.
3 people in each car.
The driver/owner drives until we reach the forest.
NB! Dress accordingly and light clothes, good boots and a warm jacket is advised.
You will understand why in a minute…
Driving the 4x4 cars yourself
Sitting as a passenger in a noisy brawling car on a bumpy dirty road in the forest is not anyone’s idea of fun!
So, we need to make sure to have fun!
Once we reach the forest, all the cars will gather at an opening at the forest.
The drivers will double check the conditions and the guests will now take over the car.
We mentioned fun.
This activity is one of those activities where the shittier the weather is, the more fun it will be!
However, should the weather be amazing, and much of the mud and dirt has dried up, the drivers knows rivers and mud pits which are always wet and posing a fun challenge.
Onwards and inwards.
For about 2,5-3 hours the group will drive around the forest, crossing bogs, rivers, mud holes, varied terrain, dusty roads, sand and dirt.
There will always be cars getting stuck in the mud or in the river or somewhere else, so the guests get to experience in winch the car loose, push and pull and do all task necessary to get the car unstuck.
Sometimes several cars get stuck and the whole team needs to help to get the cars loose.
Hence the need for appropriate clothing. It is great fun, but it is not clean fun… (pun intended).
The 3 people will change between driving the car.
After about 3 hours in the woods – or longer, depending on conditions and situations – the group will be driven back to their hotel and the activity is finished.
This activity can be done all year around.
During winter times it is preferred to do it in the first part of the day not to be caught in the dark in the forest (but even if that happened, it would be a problem, the cars has all the necessary lights and equipment to get out even in dark.
Do you think the 4×4 driving in Riga would be a great fit for any of your clients?
Get in touch today and let’s talk!
Drift Trikes in Riga
This is a brand new activity on offer in Riga (2019).
Have you heard about gocarts?
Of course you have!
What about trikes?
Most likely not.
Let us introduce you to the extremely fun and all-new, too cool, different, and environmentally friendly drift trikes!
What are drift trikes?
The birth of these types of tricycles comes from America and is based on a so called “Big Wheel”.
A Big Wheel was a tricycle introduced in 1969 as a low riding tricycle for kids, usually made of plastic, with the big characteristic wheel in front.
Over the years this toy/bike for kids has grown and have been turned into a “toy for bigger kids” as well.
Eventually someone had the idea to put an engine on the front wheel and voila, a brand-new motorized vehicle/toy was born.
As the motorsport of drifting has grown in popularity, people figured out a way to add harder plastic wheels on the back of the tricycle, so that is slides out/drift when doing turns during high speed.
Today a Latvian company is one of the leading producers of purpose build electric drift trikes for grown-ups.
An environmentally friendly and quiet alternative to the gas powered and noisy go-carts.
Many say this is way, way more fun.
More information on this activity will come soon, as our team here at DMC Baltic will go a try it out (June 2019).
Lada Rally in Tallinn
We wrote a full article which you can read on Lada Rally teambuilding in Tallinn here.
For a summary on this very cool, fun and popular incentive- and teambuilding activity, read on.
How it works
This activity is one of those activities which makes an even better argument for coming to Tallinn – its awesomeness and its affordability.
Compare the cost to any self drive rally experiences in Europe and you will see the insane value.
…and least not forget, the fun factor blows the scales out of the water!
But lets get back to the experience.
The group is picked up from their hotel and driven to the rally track, which is about 35 min drive from the city.
We have had many groups on early arrivals which goes directly to the track and kickstart the stay in Tallinn in the most adrenaline filled way.
Once at the rally track – which is an official rally track by they way, used both for rallycross, drifting and more – instructions are given.
The instruction part is very fast and in 10 min you are ready to get started.
Yes, that’s right, no lengthy training or run throughs that lasts hours before you get to get going!
Once you got your helmet on, you are helped into the Lada rally car, and given more instructions on how to act in case of something happening (you go off the track, or the car stalls).
2 and 2 race at the same time.
Ready, set, go!
The track is 1200 meters, and has a double track.
This means that each car is on a difference “track” and there is no contact between the cars (and therefore no damage – and increased safety).
The cars will “cross path” during the race, however, there is a bridge / overpass / underpass so the cars is never on a collision path.
The first round is practise.
It typically takes around 3,5-4 minutes per round.
One the practise lap is over, the cars stops at the grid and start over.
This time the timing counts.
A normal driving experience is 2 laps. One round training and one round competition.
However, it is possibly do do “as many as you want”.
The regular/typical package however, contains 2 rounds.
The best time of the day wins.
NB! The rally center does not allow a “championship style” racing where the 2 best drives fight it out in a final round to find one winner.
This was allowed before, however, due to a few accidents due to too much male adrenaline and competitiveness amongst the best drivers, it has been discontinued due to health and safety reasons.
The winners will get trophies and bottles of bubbles in true “racing style”.
Read the full article and description of the Lada Rally activity in Tallinn here.
4x4 driving in Tallinn
We have written a full description and review of the 4×4 driving experience in Tallinn here.
Below follows a quick summary.
How the 4x4 activity works in Tallinn
The group is picked up from the hotel or the airport upon arrival to Tallinn.
The activity takes place in a former military tanks training ground about 45 mins drive from the city center.
Today the area is a popular recreational area for trek biking, walking, orienteering and in general leisure in nature.
The area is full of tiny roads in and around this huge forest area which the cars typically will drive on.
Some are good, others, not so much!
This is what ads to the fun and the whole point of having 4×4 cars.
This is how the cars looks.
Soviet Jeeps at their best…
Ok, they are Soviet quality and do break down from time to time, but we always have backup cars ready + a mechanic.
Their offroad capabilities are however really good!
They give the term “exotic cars” a new meaning.
The 4x4 competition
To make it abundantly clear: This is a 100% self drive experience!
Each car/team has a phone, a gps, a map and the gps points to find.
In fact, the easiest way to compare this style/type competition to anything, is to compare it to “forest orienteering” – only using an old Soviet 4×4 car.
For 3 hours each team is out in the woods searching out posts.
The further posts is away from the starting point (a restaurant/recreational complex at the edge of the forest), the higher points value.
The team wtih the most points wins.
No team will ever manage to find all posts in the given time – there are simply too many.
Therefore strategy is a big part of this game.
So is getting back on time!
Too late back?
Points gets deducted depending on how late you are (we once had to go fetch a team that got completely lost, even with a gps and a map).
Does cars get stuck?
Yes, all the time!
Thats part of the fun.
We have a team on standby which will come to help get the cars unstuck (see picture below).
Are there lots of people in the forest and this cause any danger for them?
No danger. Yes, you may see some people during the event, but not many.
We do not do the activity when there are mountain biking races, or any other competitions in the forest.
What about wild life?
Indeed! It is quite usual to spot both wild boars, elks, deers, and other wild animals!
This adds an extra layer of awesomeness to this activity – however, spottings are not guaranteed (though usually a few teams always sees some animals).
As mentioned above, the starting and ending point of the competition is are local restaurant and recreational complex by the entrance to the forest area.
The event can start or finish with lunch/a meal.
THIS IS GREAT FUN!
To read a more in dept description of this incetive / teambuilding activity, follow this link to the 4×4 activity here.
Demolition Derby in Tallinn
This is a new activity for us.
We have yet to try it out, but we wanted to present it in this guide none the less.
You may or may not have heard of such a thing as the demolition derby.
It can best be described as a “crash rally”, where the objective of the participants is to race and crash and demolish your competitors’ cars.
Yes, it is exactly as crazy as it sounds.
You race cars (in a circle), and try to destroy the other cars.
The last car running is the winner.
In order words, the sole objective of this event is to destroy the other cars and avoid being destroyed yourself.
How does Demolition Derby in Tallinn work
Let’s address the elephant in the room first.
Is this dangerous?
I suppose you could claim that this is not the safest activity to partake in.
After all, the main point is that you are to destroy and crash your cars.
Crashing cars is seldom a good idea.
However, the format of the game it set up in such as way that the cars are not to achieve high enough speeds in order to cause any damage to the drivers.
The drivers are driving around the track clockwise – basically a circle – and you get bumped into by your competitors, and you do the same.
You are certainly in for a fun, but bumpy ride!
You will be wearing a helmet, but the cars does not not have roll-over cages.
They are old cars, ready for the graveyard and get one final run before it is over.
Many clients have asked us over the years if there are these type of events in The Baltics.
Finally we can answer “Yes, there is”.
This is a great activity for the adrenalin groups which has “tried it all” and want to do something new.
But… I think it is fair to mention, that for almost any woman we have presented this to, the reaction has been:
“This is stupid”!
However, for just about any man who sees this, the response is usually the complete opposite
“Wow, this is so cool”!
Our conclusion is that this is a “guys thing”.
Guys get it and that’s what we are travel agents needs to keep in mind!
This is unique and is not on offer many places around the World.
More info, video etc will come about this activity later.
But please get in touch if you have a group of guys who are petrol heads or wants action, adrenaline and activities involving cars.
Even though there are many destinations within the Baltics, the capitals Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius gets 98% of the traffic.
From time to time groups do want to go to a remote castle or manor house, or to the smaller towns.
But the majority of the traffic goes to the capitals. Out of these, Riga is by far the most popular.
The reason for this is simply the flight connections.
From our experience as both DMCs as well as several years of working in the MICE industry from the travel agent side, we feel that Riga is probably the most “fun” capital you can travel to, if action and adrenaline activities are on top of your list of priorities.
Therefore, if you are looking for a comprehensive list of action and fun for your groups, you should start by looking at Riga, with Tallinn as a close second.
But as you can see, each 3 capitals do offer some pretty awesome and unique adrenaline related activities!
We purposefully left out go-cart activity from this guide. Go-cart centres are plentiful in most major cities around the world, and hence, despite having many large go-cart halls/venues in all three cities, as an activity itself, it does not stand out as unique or one of a kind.
The ones above does!