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Ideas for enjoying winter in Latgale, the land of blue lakes
The region of Latgale is mainly associated with its many beautiful lakes, rich traditions, and friendly people. In addition, there are many different sights and activities to enjoy during the winter season. Just take a look at this article and find the right ones for you!
Lūznava Manor is located in the village of Lūznava, around 22 kilometres from the city of Rēzekne. It was built in the 1870s and restored in 2015, fully regaining its former beauty and splendour. The manor was built in a romanticised Art Nouveau style and was granted the status of a State Protected Cultural Monument. It is surrounded by a 23.7-hectare large park, which houses a restored statue of the Madonna depicting St Mary, created by an unknown Italian artist.
There is also a roughly kilometre-long path that leads through the park, which is illuminated during the dark hours of the day.
Daugavpils Fortress is a wonderful place to go for a stroll on your own or with your family. A printable tourist map of the fortress is available here. There are 3 walking routes: the Fortress Defender’s Route 0.9 km; the Scout’s Route 1 km; and the Fortress Commandant’s Route 2.1 km.
Mākoņkalns Hill and the Ruins of Volkenberga Castle
Mākoņkalns (Padebešu kalns) reaches the height of 247.4 metres and is located near Lake Rāzna. At the top lie the ruins of the legendary Volkenberg Castle. The road up the hill leads along a picturesque path with a panoramic view of the surroundings, including the nearby Lake Ubagova. An interesting fact is that this castle was one of the oldest fortifications of the Crusaders in Latgale. It was a closed site with a forecourt fortified by boulders, and the castle itself was a wooden log building.
Enjoy a relaxing walk in the “Alpaku Sala” alpaca farm together with your loved ones, watching alpacas roaming outdoors and listening to the latest stories about these animals by the winter campfire. In order to ensure compliance with the epidemiological measures and to guarantee complete safety for the visitors, the owners of the farm have set special rules, limiting visits to bookings for members of one household with a total duration of 90 minutes.
Foļvarka Church and its surroundings
Latgale is well known for its ancient and strong Christian traditions. For example, the construction of the magnificent Foļvarka Church began back in 1887, and the church still has the same bell that was used to announce the beginning of the very first service right after the consecration of the church. The special charm of the church lies in its location and colour, as it is a bright blue building that stands on the very shore of a lake, creating a truly beautiful view. It is also possible to walk around the lake to see the view from the other side.
At a time when the ground is covered with snow, the “Numernes valnis” nature park is a great place for enjoying the picturesque lands of Latgale. Go on amazing walks, breathe lots of fresh air, admire the beautiful views, and enjoy the moment!
A walk along Preiļi Castle
At a time when nature is dominated by grey and the days are short and dark, you will find light in Preiļi, wandering through the nicely-lit city streets and enjoying the illuminated ice flower fountain. Take a stroll under the starry sky of Raiņa bulvāris and when, at the end of the street, you find yourself at the gate of the park, go through and follow the road to the castle. There is an illuminated ski place in the castle park, which you can use for free if you have your own equipment.
Skiing in Egļukalns
Egļukalns is located a 20-minute drive from Daugavpils, in Svente Parish, Daugavpils region, in the territory of Svente Nature Park, and is the highest point of the Augšzeme highlands. In the winter season, Egļukalns with its several pistes, welcomes skiers both young and old. You can also rent the necessary equipment here, as well as book ski lessons for beginners. Egļukalns is well worth a visit even if you are not interested in active recreation, as there is a beautiful resting area at the top of the hill, providing a wonderful view over the surrounding hilly landscape and mosaic of forests.
The Great Nīcgale Stone is a large boulder located in Neicgaļa Forest, in Nīcgale Parish, Daugavpils Municipality. It is the largest known boulder in Latvia, with both its length and width exceeding 10 metres and reaching a height of 3.5 metres. In the past, the boulder marked the border of the Nīcgale and Kalupe forests, and it was especially popular with hunters as a resting and breakfast place, but now it is part of the protected landscape area “Nīcgaļu meži”. According to legends and stories, devils intended to dam up the River Daugava, so they found an enormous stone and began to carry it to the river. There were twelve devils carrying the stone, but towards the morning they heard a rooster crowing and dropped the stone in the swamp on the border of the Nīcgale and Kalupe forests, where it still lies today.
The Latgale region is very diverse and offers engaging activities for nature lovers, architecture enthusiasts, and active recreation fans alike. The winter is no exception and there are many ways to have a good time in Latgale, whilst getting to know one of the culturally richest regions of Latvia!