Flanked by Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania, with the Baltic Sea to the west, Latvia has very many fascinating towns and treats in store for its visitors. Book one of our flights to Latvia and explore this beautiful Baltic country.
Park of plenty
Covering more than 550 square miles in Latvia's north, Gauja National Park has fabulous trails along which you'll see a wide array of flora and fauna, not to mention churches, caves, hill forts, valleys, an ancient valley and impressive rock formations. There are routes for cyclists and hikers, as well as several campsites where you can pitch up for the night.
In the heart of Vidzeme is the beautiful town of Cēsis and its medieval castle ruins that date back to the 16th century. Visit the local brewery, one of the oldest in the Baltic States, where you can taste fine local beers and enjoy a medieval feast. The country's oldest provincial museum is here too, which documents the history, art and culture of Latvia.
In Latvia's south, amid the Zemgale Plains, stands Rundāle Palace, a magnificent Baroque creation that was built in the mid-1730s. The grounds alone are worthy of a visit, with ornamental fountains, a green amphitheatre and a remarkable rose garden, all of which conspire to create a photogenic delight. Inside the palace are the splendid works of German sculptor Johann Michael Graff and Italian painters Carlo Zucchi and Francesco Martini, which date from the 1760s.
A city of water
On Latvia's west coast lies Liepaja, flanked by the Baltic Sea and Lake Liepaja. The city itself is almost bisected by a trade canal which runs through to its centre. There's another body of water in Liepaja too, Tosmares Lake. Liepaja's proximity to the sea meant that, historically, it was quickly influenced by cultures from afar, which helped shape the town's distinctive nature. The country's third-largest city, Liepaja has a decidedly modern vibe where you can enjoy beach fun, music festivals and theatres.
Latvia's capital and largest city, Riga has at its heart a gorgeous Old Town that lies on the banks of the Daugava river. Some of the most beautiful architecture in the whole of the country can be found here, from the Synagogue of Old Riga to the Convent of the Holy Spirit, not to mention the Gothic St Peter's Church, St Jacob's Cathedral, the White Stone Palace, Riga Castle and much more.
Domini Canes is an excellent eatery whose location is the cherry on the cake. Situated in the Old Town, you'll have views of St Peter's from within and from the terrace. The seasonal menu uses locally sourced produce to provide a feast for the eyes, and the stomach. Café 53 in Jūrmala has two floors and a summer terrace where you can sample beef tongue with horseradish sauce, and smoked salmon fillet with soft cream, among many other tasty treats.