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Honeymoon in Latvi

About Latvia

For travelers, the best thing about Latvia is that it is so compact. Its 500 km of sandy beaches are easily reached from historical towns, where medieval Hanseatic foundations support baroque and art nouveau buildings, that become venues for cultural festivals during the summer. Families of storks happily give their seal of approval to the unspoilt nature, fresh air and clean water around them. In addition to Riga, its spectacular gateway, there are 6 other UNESCO world heritage listed sites. A trading hub for over 800 years, it is well versed in welcome. With such a variety, Latvia is best enjoyed slowly.

Latvia, the pearl of the Baltic States, is one of the European Union member states and is situated in the North of Europe – on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Since ancient times Latvia has been at the cross-roads between East and West, North and South. Therefore, Latvia is a multi-cultured state, where the traditions of all these countries have merged, creating a unique environment, the like of which is not to be found anywhere in the world.

Tourists coming both from Western Europe and the Eastern countries feel comfortable in Latvia and find things that are of interest to them. Latvia, like other European countries, can offer a vast culture historical heritage; however, it is unique – the one and only and inimitable. Careful observations and unhurried recreation will allow you to notice things that will make your heart beat faster in delight.

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The people of Latvia are hospitable and cheerful; friendly and open towards visitors, and able to get on with anyone, as throughout the centuries they have gained a vast culture heritage. Latvian people treat the cultures of other people (Slavic, Western, and Scandinavian) with understanding. Latvia, being a European Union state, is a safe country.

At the same time Latvia is a contemporary European country, and its capital city Riga – a modern metropolis, in which historical architecture, unique in Europe, alternates with the modern; one can feel the breeze of a centuries-old history and relax in modern night clubs, restaurants and comfortable hotels.

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It is also worth visiting Latvia because of its unspoilt nature (where else in Europe one can find 500 km long sandy beaches and 45% of the territory covered by natural forests, offering various recreational possibilities in nature; moreover, freely accessible to everybody!), and also because of the diversity of historical, culture and architectural sites.

Latvia is made unique by its two different worlds – the European metropolis Riga and the rest of Latvia – a rural environment with unspoilt nature, tranquil towns and a green environment. Therefore, an observant traveler visiting Latvia will find excellent opportunities for recreation!

Where to go and what to see

A pleasant climate, untouched, clean surroundings, broad beaches, active recreation, culture and history, marvelous architecture, an exciting nightlife in the modern metropolis, relaxed walks and green tourism... Latvia will provide lasting memories of this exciting country, for all tastes and interests.

Of course, it's hard to imagine Latvia without its capital and its historical town centre of Old Riga, the Art Noveau architecture, the grand Dom Church and St. Peter’s Church, the wooden architecture of the Pardaugava area, the biggest market in eastern Europe – the Central market – and the high-quality restaurants and cozy pubs, museums, galleries, and the generous cultural life.

At the same time tourists are also willing to see the smaller cities of Latvia. The city of Kuldiga with its narrow streets, old houses, unique brick bridge over the Venta River and Europe's widest waterfall, the Venta Rapids, the city of Cesis with its medieval castle, the city of Sigulda, called the Switzerland of Vidzeme, with its unforgettable landscape with the Gauja River Valley and Turaida Castle and Talsi, the town on seven hills – these are only some of the towns where tourists can spend time. But Latvia is most proud of its pristine nature.

Latvia is a popular destination for bird watchers and nature lovers. In Latvia, one can become acquainted with the diverse flora and fauna and discover the charm of marsh ecosystems while walking along nature paths, such as those at the Teici Reserve or the Kemeri Moorland.

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Holiday destinations

Latvian nature is green and pristine, in contrast with the small-town charm and architectural luxuriousness of the larger cities. Through many centuries, Latvia has accumulated a multicultural heritage and traditions as well as a rich history. The untouched and the primordial mingle with the modern and the dynamic. That is why Latvia is a tremendous holiday destination. In this section you will find recommendations for holiday destinations in Latvia.

In the section on Riga, you can familiarize yourself with the Latvian capital. Riga is an outstanding holiday destination. It is an architectural gem featuring unique art nouveau, the 800-year-old Old Town, the Zoo and other sites.

The TOP 10 section allows you to view specially selected destinations. Among them are unique natural objects in Latvia, such as the Gauja National Park where you can visit an ancient German crusader castle in Turaida, the longest Latvian river - the Gauja, cliff-lined banks, the technology of happiness brought by Aerodium,or Rundale palace which is the largest palace in the region after St. Petersburg. The TOP 10 features other sites that are worth seeing such as the historic centre of Kuldiga , the sandy beaches of Jurmala, architectural treasures and other destinations.

Kurzeme is the historical cultural region of Latvia in the western part of the country. Kurzeme takes special pride in its forests, the steep shores of the Baltic and an impressive military heritage, including the Irbene radar and the Liepaja Military Port (Karosta). The small towns of Kurzeme are charming in their uniqueness.

Zemgale is the historical cultural region in central Latvia. Zemgale is Latvia’s bread basket, which is why you can find opulent palaces, such as Rundale or Jelgava, here.

Vidzeme is the historical cultural region in Latvia’s north-east. In Vidzeme there lie such ancient towns as Sigulda and Cesis, as well as Gaizinš, the point of the highest elevation in Latvia and an excellent site for winter sports.

Latgale, in turn, is a historical cultural region in the south-east of Latvia. Sometimes it is dubbed as the “land of blue lakes” because of their abundance in the region. It is a unique place, with its Old Believer churches, Catholic festivals in Aglona and outstanding ceramic artefacts.

History and culture

Latvia’s history and culture is a rich cultural-historic heritage. Because of its multicultural mix, Latvia’s history and culture stands out because of its variety, but at the same time its singularity and uniqueness.

Just imagine for a moment, where else in such a small territory can one find unusual churches and ancient pagan sacred objects, where else is it possible to try out and participate in ancient traditions and witness something completely modern, where else can one enjoy historic medieval buildings and the unique Art Nouveau architecture of the beginning of 20th century which is unique in the world because it can only be created in a progressive and multicultural environment.

The variety of cultures and their peaceful co-existence are exemplified by the fact that in Latvia one can see churches of different confessions – all of them ornate, for example, Catholic (Riga St. Albert’s Roman Catholic Church, Aglona Basilica), Lutheran (St. Peter’s Church in Riga), Orthodox (Riga Christ’s Birth Orthodox Cathedral) churches, and the prayer houses of Old-Believers (Riga Grebenšcikova Old-Believer Church).

Why is Latvia’s culture so unique? Because of its favorable geographical location, in the last millennium Latvia has absorbed the traditions and experience of, arguably, almost all European or even World nations, at the same time retaining characteristics which are special and unique only to Latvians. For example, the pagan traditions which are followed in almost every family or farmstead, such as Summer Solstice or Ligo when on many hills in Latvia bonfires are lit, around which people sing and party through the shortest night of the year until the dawn rises. Then there are Easter and Christmas – these festivities are celebrated twice, both as a Christian and as a pagan holiday. Latvia simultaneously honors Christian and Hebrew traditions, as well as elements of the German and the Slavic cultures.

Source: http://www.latvia.travel/en

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