Latvia does not end with Riga. Latvia is divided into four cultural-historical regions, each differing with its own special aura. Zemgale, Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Latgale – during one-day excursions outside Riga, one can get acquainted with the variety and contrasts of Latvia.
For example, Latgale not only has marvellous nature with many lakes and hills and a specific cultural-historical atmosphere, but it also has many beautiful churches that will be of interest for sacral tourism lovers.
Latgale stands out both with its impressive Catholic churches (the Aglona Basilica, the centre of the Latvian Catholicism and a sacred site of world importance) and tiny wooden basilicas (Indrica Catholic church).
In Vidzeme, many tourists from all over the world highly esteem the marvellous, rich nature and cultural-historical objects of Gauja National Park and the Turaida Castle Museum Reserve. In Vidzeme it is definitely worth seeing the old cities of Cēsis and Valmiera, as well as the Teiči Reserve – a unique nature object and one of the largest marshes in the Baltics.
Kurzeme attracts tourists with untouched nature (Cape Kolka and Slītere National Park), mighty military heritage (Irbene locator, the biggest radio locator in northern Europe) and its coastal cities Liepāja and Ventspils – wide beaches, fresh fish, the sea and recreation for the whole family. A trip through the old town of Kuldīga will be an exciting adventure for everyone – the old brick bridge over the Venta River and the widest waterfall in Europe, the Venta Rapids, where one can see fish jumping over the rapids in spring time, and the city’s old buildings and narrow streets.
Zemgale is rich in luxurious castles and estates – it is the right place for the architecture and art lovers. Rundāle Castle is worth mentioning – it is a gem of the Baroque and Rococo styles in the Baltics, built by the famous architect Rastrelli.
A twenty minute drive from Riga will take you to the most famous resort city in the Baltics – Jūrmala. Wide, sandy beaches, great restaurants, hotels and SPA centres, a concert hall and active recreation centres – and that’s not all. Nature lovers will also find something to do in Jūrmala, like visit Ķemeri National Park and the Ķemeri Moorland.