Enchanting Latvia is the country of stone palaces and estates, pine and oak forests, hundreds of rivers and lakes. Holidays in Latvia open up a fascinating country full of surprises. Latvia has it all: a beautiful, vibrant capital, fashionable seaside resorts, white sandy beaches, ancient castles, magnificent national parks and wide expanses of unspoiled countryside. Leisure at the sea, fishing in the lake or river, unforgettable excursions, music and folk rock festivals, delicious cuisine and, of course, the eternally young city of the country, Riga – all this is awaiting all those, who plan to spend their vacations in Latvia.
Latvia is famous for the unique culture of the Baltic. The ancient Gothic architecture in Riga, clean pine air caressing Jurmala, stretching at ease on the shores of the Baltic Sea make this country even more attractive. The best time to visit the country is summer (sun, sea, beach, Midsummer Holiday and “New Wave” song contest) and winter (snow sea is no less beautiful than the enchanting Christmas atmosphere of the cities).
You can get to Latvia practically by all means of transportation except for the ship. The hotel infrastructure in Latvia is sufficiently developed. In Riga, luxury hotels are usually located within the historic centers, being distinguished by beautiful interior rooms and excellent service. All the luxury hotels offer great views of the Old Town. The range of the price is from 45 to 140 Euros. The cheapest options in the form of hostels will cost you 12-43 Euros.
Latvia is divided into four regions: Vidzeme, Zemgale, Kurzeme and Latgale. The northern region of Vidzeme means the golden sand and comfort of the resort of Jurmala, the unsullied landscape of the northern coast, Gauja National Park, which is the largest in Latvia, the beautiful combination of medieval castles and legendary caves, ancient towns of Sigulda, Cesis, Valmiera.
The central region of Zemgale is the living history of Latvia, starting from the IX century. This means the castle of the Livonian Order, Rundale Palace the Duke of Courland, Forest Park in Tarvete with pines.
Kurzeme is the eastern region of Latvia. Its life is closely connected with the sea. The deserted beach gives way to a beautiful seaside recreation area in the city of Liepaja, the large ice-free port in Ventspils is adjacent to the small fishing villages among the pine trees in the dunes, not far from the town of Kuldiga with the architectural monuments of the XVI-XVII centuries is the beautiful Ventas Rumba waterfall, which is one of the widest in Europe.
The southern region of Latvia, Latgale is the land of hundreds of lakes and natural park Daugavas Loki. Latgale is the spiritual center of the Catholics of Latvia. The region is famous for Aglona Basilica and Abbey of the XVIII century. In August, on the day of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, the city of Aglona becomes an international Catholic pilgrimage center for many countries.
The most important sights of the country are located in the heart of the capital of Latvia – Riga, within its historic center, the so-called Vets-Riga (“Vec” in Latvian means “old”). It’s not possible to explore it in a single day, but you can enjoy it if you go there for a whole week. Riga Castle, founded in 1330, which is now the residence of the President of Latvia, Cathedral (1211), which is one of the world’s largest churches (built in the 80s of the XIX century); Church of St. Peter (1209), formerly the main church-building of medieval Riga (its spire topped with a rooster that has become the symbol of the Latvian capital), House of Blackheads consistently attract the eyes of more and more tourists.
Outside the Old City you should pay attention to the so-called art nouveau buildings, built in the XIX-XX centuries (they can be defined with the specific signs in the area of the roof with a year of construction, for example: “Anno, 1906″) and the Freedom Monument, the symbol of independent Latvia (if you’re lucky, can see the guard, and their shift just like in the UK).
Outside Riga, there are a lot of interesting places to visit. Firstly, Jurmala is a famous resort, the door of which is open year already for the participants of the international contest of young singers of popular music “New Wave”. Among the other places to visit there’s Turaida Castle (1207) in Sigulda, in the heart of Gauja National Park, but also the widest waterfall in Europe, located in the small town of Kurzeme – Kuldiga.
Latvian cuisine is simple and nutritious. A significant place in it is given to a variety of soups, dairy products, jelly and yogurt. The most specific national dish is white peas with bacon and cold beetroot soup. Among beverages in Latvia especially prized is the beer of good quality, regardless of the brand.
Visit Latvia together with your friends or family and enjoy the hospitality of this wonderful country! Such a trip is always a great relaxation and unforgettable memories!
Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Flickr photos