Sports and outdoor activities
Large areas of Latvia are covered by woods and marshes due to the low population density. There are many national parks and natural preserves across the country that may be visited. The biggest is the heavily wooded Gauja National Park in the Vidzeme Region’s Gauja valley. The beautiful Cape Kolka, where the Gulf of Riga meets the Baltic Sea, is protected by the Slitere National Park.
Bird viewing is common in Latvia. There are many hiking options available at different degrees of difficulty, ranging from short hikes in ancient parks to multi-day camping and watercraft excursions. In the fall, it is common to take a walk around Sigulda and the Vidzeme Region in general to see the leaves of the trees change color, becoming red and yellow.
There are many winter activities to choose from, including snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing. Rmkalni, Baii, and Zviedru Cepure are all popular ski resorts. Some of the slopes are open late at night, although getting there by public transportation may be difficult at times, if not impossible.
Kayaking along rivers is one of the most popular sports for younger people after Easter, when the weather warms and the rivers fill up with water from melting snow.
Latvia boasts one of Europe’s longest sand beaches. In general, the sea has a fairly gentle slope. The water is warm enough to swim in between July and August. The shore south of Liepaja is one of the finest beaches since it is by the open sea, not the gulf, as it is near Riga, which means it has cleaner water, brighter sand, and less people because it is not adjacent to densely inhabited regions. Because the salt content of the water is quite low, you may not even need to wash after swimming. When the ambient temperature reaches 30°C, the water temperature remains about 20°C, making it very soothing after a long day of sunbathing.
Spas abound in Latvia, and they’re a great way to unwind. Although Jrmala, a popular vacation resort town, may be a little busy at times, it provides some of the finest choices as well as a beautiful beach.
There are many locations in Latvia where you may observe and experience the country’s cultural history, such as engaging in traditional cuisine preparation and tasting, or listening to genuine folk music. In collaboration with the Estonian rural tourist organization Eesti Maaturism, the Latvian rural tourism organisation Lauku ceotjs produced a Latvian and Estonian cultural heritage map with the English title “Worth Seeing.” This map combines information on cultural heritage places with practical information about lodging options, with a focus on rural tourism.