Latvia is a growing tourist destination in Eastern Europe with visitors drawn to the strong folk traditions, long history and beautiful landscapes and beaches. The capital city of Riga has its eye on the future and a foot firmly in the past, offering all that you would expect from a capital city anywhere in the world.
With a mix of architecture from Gothic cathedrals, medieval buildings and exquisite Art Nouveau, Riga is a beautiful city that celebrates its 800-year history, with each century having left its mark. Its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fascinating area of winding cobblestone streets.
Riga is where you can also enjoy a gastronomic feast each night, dining on traditional Latvian dishes and many other cuisines. Whilst this is a place where you can watch the country’s most popular sportsmen in ice hockey and basketball, Riga is also the place to be for spa treatments and beauty procedures, and a bathing experience at a traditional Latvian bath is to be recommended.
Riga also has green relaxation zones for when the buzz of the city becomes too much. Here you can relax and perhaps try out a SynotTip online betting game run by a company in Latvia with 25 years experience in the business. Recommended by legendary Latvian hockey national team defender Oleg Sorokin, the site offers rapid money transfers and 24-hour customer support.
Relax in nature
The Gauja National Park offers miles of stunning hiking trails that offer the chance to explore fascinating medieval castles. If you are looking for adventure, the park also offers bungee jumping, bobsleighing and other activities.
If you prefer the beach, you can drive just 20 minutes from Riga to the seaside resort of Jurmala with miles of pine-fringed shores. The resort has unique spas offering mudpacks and massages that help you be ready for your next adventure.
The Gauja National Park in Sigulda is one of the national parks in Latvia offering biological diversity alongside cultural and historical monuments. Covering more than 90,000 hectares, you could spend more than one day here, to see Gutmanala, the most spacious grotto in the Baltic states and some of the 500-plus cultural and historical monuments including castles, churches, manor houses, watermills, windmills and other buildings in the towns of Straupe, Sigulda and Cesis.
For an adrenaline rush, the Gauja National Park offers the experience of a freefall at the Aerodium vertical wind tunnel near Sigulda or take a ride down the Sigulda Luge and Bobsleigh Track, the training venue of several Latvian Olympic medalists or bungee jump from a cable car in Sigulda suspended 43 metres above the Gauja River. If you have the time, you may want to explore the trails along the Gauja River during a five-day hiking trip starting from Murjani and ending at Valmiera, walking between 20 and 30 kilometres each day.
Visit a secret Soviet bunker
Also in the Gauja National Park is a secret Soviet bunker, built between 1970 and 1982 for 250 of the country’s communist elite that would be evacuated in case of natural disaster or nuclear war. Hidden from everyday Latvians behind the facade of a spa resort. the complex’s 90 rooms all contain original furnishings and equipment.