Are you planning to visit Latvia and don't know the best time to do it? The answer is: at any time, because every month in Latvia has its own magic. Not all countries can be proud of four distinct seasons. Latvia's location allows you to enjoy hot summers, snowy winters, and everything in between. Therefore, there is something worth keeping in mind in each period if you are planning a trip to Latvia. We have prepared a review of each season in Latvia. Please familiarise yourself, get inspired and enjoy the magic each stage of the year brings!
Crunching snow underfoot, a few hours of daylight a day and trees with branches bending to the ground from the weight of the white snow cover - such fairy-tale winters can be enjoyed in Latvia. More greyish and muddier winters are also not uncommon, as Latvia is located in a temperate climate zone. This means that the weather is quite fickle and volatile, but also endlessly interesting. When you are in Latvia in winter, you need a layer of warm clothes, warm socks, moisture-resistant shoes, outerwear that keeps out wind and moisture, as well as a pair of warm gloves. Every fan of an active lifestyle will find something to their liking, regardless of experience and physical fitness. Due to the flat terrain, Latvia is suitable for cross-country skiing. Enjoying nature while skiing on the beach is especially fascinating in snowy winter. Although there are no very high mountains in Latvia, there are mountain skiing tracks in many places, where you can rent the necessary equipment and learn under the guidance of an instructor. You can also go to the Sigulda bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track, ride a winter go-kart or go on a winter hike through the marsh. There are many options to explore! Learn more about winter sports here.
Ice fishing is also a popular winter activity in Latvia. In very cold winters, the sea water freezes, creating stunning ice sculptures and piles of ice - hummocks. It is also possible to walk on the frozen sea, always strictly following the safety rules After being in the cold, it's nice to go to the sauna. In Latvia, this activity is popular especially in winter, when it is cold outside. After warming up in the sauna and enjoying the flogging ritual, the bravest can also cool off in the water - in an ice-hole.
When the body is sufficiently nourished, it's time to “feed” the mind as well. In Latvia, winter is the time when you can enjoy cultural events, because it is during the darkest time of the year that theatres, museums, opera and other cultural institutions are most active.
Spring is the time when nature wakes up: buds burst everywhere, migratory birds return, and the days become longer and warmer. However, the first spring sun can be deceiving: when going out on adventures at this time of year, it is absolutely necessary to ensure you have an extra layer of clothes that does not allow any water or wind through.
Spring is also a time that often comes with deep floods, when rivers in Latvia leave their banks. The high water level in the rivers is the best time to go boating. One of the fastest rivers for this activity is the Amata, but the most popular is the Gauja.
Spring and also autumn is an exciting time for bird watchers, because flocks of migrating birds fly over Latvia. One of the best places for bird watching are lagoon-type lakes, such as Lake Pape, Lake Engure or Kaņieris.
This is also the time of flowering, and Latvians know how to celebrate and appreciate the awakening of nature. It is definitely worth going to Sigulda in May, when bird-cherries bloom in Gauja Valley and you can see how the newly blossomed trees turn into white bushes. In Dobele it is possible to visit the lilac blooming festival, which takes place every year at the end of May and beginning of June. You can enjoy the gorgeously blooming lilac garden at P. Upītis Museum of Horticulture. Whereas in Riga, in Victory Park (Uzvaras parks), every spring it is possible to walk in a cloud of pink flowers by visiting the cherry blossom garden, where 114 cherry trees are planted.
Warm sun, sand, sometimes even heat and almost tropical nights - yes, Latvian summers can also capture completely southern feelings. This is really the time when open summer shoes will be the most comfortable for active recreation in the open air, and it is also recommended to wear shorts and a T-shirt or a light summer dress. It is true that summers in Latvia are also very treacherous, so you should always take an extra layer of warm clothing with you.
In the summer, take advantage of the opportunity to travel along the Baltic Sea coast or relax on the wonderful white sand beach in the Latvian resort city of Jūrmala. On further trips, it is definitely worth enjoying the warm days on the coast of Kurzeme, for example, to see Jūrkalne steep coast or get more exotic feelings in Pāvilosta and try to get on a surfboard. Along the entire sea coast in Latvia, it is possible to spend the night in cosy guesthouses and well-kept campsites, so it is definitely worth planning a trip of several days.
Summer is a perfect time to go cycling. When choosing a suitable route, it is recommended to also visit quiet small towns with heritage value, such as Cēsis, Kuldīga, Rēzekne and others. For fans of more extreme sensations, it is definitely worth going to Sigulda by bike, where you can ride breathtaking tracks in Gauja Valley. You can also rent bicycles there, which have extra wide tyres and are specially designed for cycling through the forest.
Summer in Latvia is also a time of celebrations and festivals. Almost every weekend, a city hosts its own celebration. The city celebration is the time when you can get to know everything local better: it is possible to buy both the produce grown by farmers and the products of local craftsmen and designers, as well as to enjoy the local culture at concerts and other performances. At the same time, it is possible to enjoy the breath of the world at one of the biggest festivals held in Latvia, such as Positivus and Summer Sound. You don't have to look far for summer fun: Life is always going on in Riga on the terraces of cafes, bars and at entertainment quarters.
Particularly beautiful views of the colourful trees can be seen in Gauja National Park at this time of year. You can get to know the diversity of nature in Latvian nature parks, for example, you can learn more about the unique bog ecosystem in Ķemeri National Park or Teiči Nature Reserve.
Latvians have always appreciated the gifts of nature, and it is not for nothing that the folk beliefs speak of autumn as a rich man. When you go to the forest, you can pick berries and mushrooms yourself, which you can later put on the table or preserve for the winter. In addition, it can be combined with enjoying the peace and quiet of the forest. In autumn nature has a special mood; it becomes almost mystical.
In Riga, the capital of Latvia, theatres and the Latvian National Opera and Ballet start the new season in autumn. Cosy cafes where you can hide from the cold and quality restaurants where you can satisfy your hunger are starting to work with new energy.