Latvia is a small country in Northern Europe, on the east shore of the Baltic Sea. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia form a region known as the Baltic. Latvia is a member of the European Union, part of the Schengen zone and the Eurozone.
Latvia is a country with a rich history, which has many events that influenced the fate of the whole region, and personalities who made the history. People in Latvia honor folk traditions, idolize their land and nature, preserve cultural heritage, live in harmony with themselves and believe in future well-being.
Safety, ecologically clean environment, developed infrastructure and availability, modern technologies, high level of service, European traditional cuisine, and hospitality of people – all this exist in Latvia and could be used for a peaceful relaxation for mind and body.
The present territory of Latvia is divided into 4 historical and cultural regions – Kurzeme, Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale. The capital of Latvia – the city of Riga – is geographically located in Vidzeme, but according to the number of tourist attractions and leisure opportunities Riga can be identified as a separate region of Latvia.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is one of the biggest cities in North Europe. The history of Riga is more than 8 centuries long. Numerous architectural monuments and different artifacts stored in city’s museums are true witnesses of this history. Riga has many faces. There is Old Riga – an ancient part of the city – with typical medieval planning: narrow winding streets, low dwelling-houses, churches with tall steeples. There are also boulevards with representative buildings: multi-storey apartment buildings and mansions, richly decorated with sculptural decoration, parks immersed in greenery, monumental buildings of theaters, museums, various public and government institutions. However the real masterpieces of wooden architecture can be found among all this “stone” diversity as well. In addition to a cultural pastime, Riga can offer an extensive range of entertainment for all tastes. These are offers of an active recreation and relaxing spa visits, and exciting shopping, as well as a varied nightlife.
Kurzeme – the most western region of Latvia, the land of the militant Cours. Kurzeme is washed by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. Therefore, it is not surprising that for a long time the main occupation of the locals was fishing and navigation. Today, the main cities of Kurzeme are the major ports of Latvia – Liepaja and Ventspils. The region is also known for the small town of Kuldiga, where the widest waterfall in Europe is located, as well as the town of Sabile, the capital of the wine-producing region of Latvia. Kurzeme is the only place where the real amber can still be found on the sea-coast.
Zemgale is the “breadbasket” of Latvia. This region is located on a fertile plain, and from time immemorial the population lives here by farming, and the peaceful grazing herds are a typical landscape of this region. There are a lot of estates preserved with green wide parks, the most famous of which is the Rundale palace and park ensemble. Apart from castles and palaces, there are several “power places” in Zemgale, where everyone can experience the unique energy. Once upon a time, several centuries ago, Zemgale and Kurzeme were part of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, which flourished in the middle of the 17th century, when the brave Couronians established colonies in the Caribbean and on the West African coast.
Vidzeme is the most picturesque region of Latvia, famous for its wealth of nature and historical and cultural monuments. This region boasts the largest number of attractions among other regions of Latvia. The ruins of ancient castles, magnificent estates of noble families, beautiful views and landscapes, many caves, cliffs, hills, landscaped natural parks and trails, many cosy towns, as well as different offers for outdoor activities can be found here. For centuries, the territory of Vidzeme was part of Medieval Livonia, and only in the 20th century the name Vidzeme was fixed, which can be translated from Latvian as “the Middle Land”. The main places of interest in Vidzeme are Sigulda and Cēsis.
Latgale is the easternmost region of Latvia, where a peculiar culture has developed, with its specific Latgalian language and relations with neighbors. Various ethnic groups and cultures coexist peacefully on this territory. The nature is slightly different here as well than in other regions of Latvia – there are many lakes and hills, for that reason, Latgale is called as “the land of blue lakes”. The main wealth of the region is its temples belonging to various denominations – Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox, Old Believers… The main city of the region is Daugavpils, which gave the musician Oscar Strock and the painter Mark Rothko to the world.