Latvia Adventure Travel Guide: Ideas and Inspiration
PureTravel Says: "The republic of Latvia is located in Northern Europe within the rich cultural Baltic region and bordered by countries like Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and the Russian Federation. Its capital city Riga hosts the European Capital of Culture 2014 and its Old Town is UNESCO listed. In addition, Latvia is divided into several other regions of Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale. Come and explore all that Latvia offers."
Cycling - There are numerous opportunities for cycling whilst in Latvia, especially just outside the Riga. Some great cycling routes include the Baltic Coast Route and Cesis to Valmiera Route. The Baltic Coast route takes you through the smallest ethnic nation in the world, the land of Livis. The town of Ventspils can also be explored by choosing this route for cycling.
For a more challenging cycle ride, try the Cesis to Valmiera route which goes through the forestry trails of Gauja National Park and the caves along the River Gauja will make your journey more interesting. Consider the bike routes of Daugava's Loki, Eksotiska Pustina and Dobele Regional Routes.
Walking & Trekking - In Latvia you can go walking and trekking through the Abava River valley through caves, sandstone outcrops and beautiful rivers. Allazi nature trails are also perfect for trekking. Because of the ravines, this area becomes more beautiful. Another fascinating trail for trekking is Augstrozes Castle Mound Trail. The trials all tend to have information signs and rest areas and are suitable for all abilities.
Fishing & Hunting - Forests cover more than 40% area of Latvia and so there are many opportunities for hunting and fishing. For hunting travel to Northern Kurzeme or the Latgale region because of the presence of several animals. Northern Vidzeme is also a good hunting area. Contact a local tour operator who will be able to advise you further.
Meža Salas is a great location to enjoy fishing and is home to at least 15 types of fish. Saures is another good fishing spot especially for those who want to fish for breksis at night. One of the largest lakes in Latvia is Burtnieku ezers and it has a huge variety of fish such as tench, pike, perch, perch-pike, eels, roach and bream are only few of the types available in this lake.
Horse Riding - A popular activity in Latvia is horse riding and the horse breeding farms here offer horse riding. In winter try Atauga's Horseback Riding as they offer horse riding services with instructors. Arāji Stables can also be chosen for trekking. Pils Sēta, Lācītes Recreation Park, Kleisti Sport Centre, Klajumi Stables and Kalna Jurgāres are some other good options to consider.
When To Go
The Baltic Sea influence ensures the climate of Latvia is humid. Spring is a good season to visit Latvia and the most popular time coincides with summer, which is April to September. August sees some rain and due to the cold winds coming from Russia, snowfall can also be witnessed during the winter.
- While cycling, obtain maps of the routes, as not all of the actual routes will be marked.
- Keep all essential equipment with you while cycling and follow the traffic rules.
- When driving in Latvia adhere to the speed limits.
- Cycling through Baltic Coast Route
- Trekking through the Abava River Valley
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Latvia
- Historic Centre of Riga
- Struve Geodetic Arc
Festivals, Events and Anniversaries in 2014
Throughout 2014, Riga in Latvia hosts the European Capital of Culture 2014 and gorgeous Riga is set to shine throughout the year. The inauguration gets the packed annual calendar of events underway. Expect a whole feast of festivals in this Baltic gem which is brimming with superb architecture, engaging museums and a breathtaking Old Town, which has earnt it UNESCO World Heritage status.
By Julie Bowman