During the day trip you will admire the landscapes of "Courland Switzerland", visit the town of winemakers Sabile, walk along the ancient streets of the "Venice of Latvia" – the town of Kuldiga, and see the widest waterfall in Europe.
Excursion from Riga by car or bus
Duration: 12 h
Distance: 310 km (see the map)
List of sights:
Kuldiga is a small town in the very heart of Courland (Kurzeme), once it was the one of two capitals of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. The road to Kuldiga passes through a picturesque area – "Courland Switzerland". All over the world a certain type of landscape – low wooded hills or mountains along the river valleys, which resemble the landscape of Switzerland itself – is often called "Switzerland". However, this is not a strict geographical term, but rather a romantic epithet that is widely used since the 19th century to refer to natural scenic areas.
Our first stop will be at the hunting lodge of Riga mayor George Armitstead, at the Jaunmoku Castle. The forms of neo-Gothic are harmoniously intertwined with elements of Art Nouveau in the external appearance of the castle, and the castle rightfully occupies a special place among the masterpieces of Latvian architecture.
Further, our path lies to the town of winemakers – Sabile, where grapes have been grown since the 17th century and the produced wine was even supplied to the court of dukes of Courland. Here you can climb the wine hill, from where you can see the ancient valley of the Abava River, as well as take funny photos in the garden of dolls, which have long become the hallmark of Sabile.
Next, we will visit the Abavas Rumba waterfall. This waterfall is quite small, however, it is very popular among the inhabitants of Latvia, as an evidenced could be the well-groomed territory of the natural park around.
After resting next to the Abavas Rumba waterfall, we will continue our trip to the town of Kuldiga. The town attracts visitors with the widest waterfall in Europe (approx. 250 m), as well as the original architecture of a provincial commercial town: low houses with tiled roofs, churches with high steeples, narrow streets and aisles, gardens and vegetable gardens. When walking along the central street of old Kuldiga, it is hard to believe that all the buildings should have fallen victim to the modernization of the town's transport system, but common sense won out, and today the historical buildings serve as an excellent backdrop and inspire many filmmakers to shoot films here. Another interesting feature of the town is the Alekšupīte rivulet. For a long time, the inhabitants of the town built their houses "by the very water", and now we can be proud of the "Courland Venice".
Return to Riga.