A+
Beta

Riding To Jurmala By Bike

19.01.2011

A description of the bike path from Riga to Jurmala. Some hints and tips on how to get there and back.

One of the most popular places in Latvia, after Riga and Sigulda is Jurmala, the beach resort town 30 km from Riga. Jurmala is an amalgamation of many small beachside villages that are located between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. Jurmala is famous for its wooden architecture, its spa resorts and of course the 33km of beautiful sandy beaches, which make it the most popular, summer destination for locals and tourists alike.

Most visitors choose to drive or take the train, a cheap and convenient half hour ride from the central train station. However, the best way to reach Jurmala’s fine beaches from Riga, and indeed the most rewarding, is to ride by bicycle.

There is a well worn bike path that has seen better days, which follows alongside the railway line, running from the Old Town, all the way to the centre of Jurmala, known as Majori, and further. By following this path, you will pass over the Daugava River, through the old Pardaugava suburbs, where you will see some fantastic wooden houses and have the chance to visit the Martin Luther Church and old graveyard. After this you will carry on past the massive Soviet era lines of block apartments of Zolitude, through forests and open meadows and finally over the Lielupe River, to arrive in Jurmala.

Some of the highlights along the way include the island suburb or Kipsala, with its old and renovated wooden houses, the botanical gardens, a grave from WW1, commemorating a battle between the Latvian Riflemen and the Germans and the original wooden railway stations at each stop along the way. In fact the highlights on the ride itself make for a great journey with your final destination being the icing on the cake.

Once you arrive it Jurmala, you can choose to ride along the quiet streets and marvel at the century – old wooden mansions, through the forest separating the houses from the beach or indeed along the beach itself. Head to Majori if you want to eat or drink, or just relax with a picnic on the beach. There are plenty of options to keep you entertained around Jurmala, throughout the day and into the evening. A bike ride out to this popular resort is a really great way to for families to get the most out of Riga, as there is something for all. At many points along the beach you will find play areas and active play equipment for the young ones. In the summer month’s small beach tents appear up and down the beach, offering refreshments and drinks. It is forbidden to make a BBQ on the beaches but you will find many little grill houses and outside eateries that make for a great summer evening.

And if, after all this tiresome riding you are feeling too lazy to ride back, then it is simple and cheap to just catch the train. Buy a ticket for you and your bike before you board, and look for the end of the carriage with a bike symbol. It should be noted that in the summer months the train really does get busy, so you are better off heading away from Majori towards the station of Dubulti, where less people will enter the carriages. You have space inside of the train to hang your bikes by the wheels with 6 spaces being present in most of the modern carriages.

The path is not always obvious, and it is possible to get a little lost, so if you want get the most out of your ride, plan your route ahead of time or use one of the bike guide services in Riga. You will find good opportunities to rent bikes in Riga. One option is to use the independent bike rental firms where you will find a wide selection of bikes or you may take advantage of the Baltic Bike points around the city. Heavy and cumbersome, these bikes are not the most practical but you may also drop these off in Jurmala, so for those who do not want to bring rented bikes back on train or wish to spend the night in Jurmala this is a great option.