Country Holidays
EU

Cheese master - Tours

Milk has been drunk in the territory that is now Latvia since the Bronze Age some 2,000 years ago.  To this very day, milk and dairy products such as butter, cheese, kefir, cream, etc., have been an inviolable component of our everyday lives and our material and non-material culture.  Milk is spoken of in Latvian folksongs and legends, with the goddess Māra (Mārša) being the protector and milkmaid of dairy cows and a churner of butter.  Ancient Latvians called cows māršavas, and the cows were often named after local rivers – Dzelme, Gauja or Rasa.  The hope was that this would encourage the animals to produce more milk.  Our holidays and celebrations, too, are unimaginable without dairy products.  One of the main events of the year is the Summer Solstice, and Summer Solstice cheese is an inviolable part of the meal.  Cheese in Latvia is made by farm women on single family farms, and it is produced at industrial levels.  Latvian dairy products (butter, etc.) were known internationally during the first period of Latvia’s independence from 1918 until 1940, and the same remains true today.

Before setting off on your trip, contact your destinations to agree on the time that you will visit, the rules of the visit, the number of visitors and the price.  Choose destinations according to your own interests, and certainly visit other sites while you are on your trip.

What is the independent travel?
Overview Tour details
N/A
2 days
Latvia

The Latgale Milk Tour

Here you will learn about home-based manufacturers, farms, companies and others in Latgale that produce various dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc.  Start in Preiļi, which is known as Latvia’s cheese capital.  The route passes along the Teiči nature reserve, with a viewing tower at the side of the road, also crossing Lubāna wetlands, which are of European importance for environmental protection.  Drive on to Rēzekne (churches, a monument to Māra of Latgale, “Gors,” “Zeimuļš”, etc.).  Nature lovers will love the Rāzna National Park with Lake Rāzna, Mākoņkalns hill and the master ceramicist Evalds Vasiļevskis.  From Dagda, head to Aglona, which is a centre for Roman Catholic worshippers, and Lake Rušons before returning to your starting point.

N/A
2 days
Latvia

The Kurzeme milk tour

Here you will learn about home-based manufacturers, farms, companies and others in Kurzeme that produce various dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc.  Begin in Tukums, which offers lots of interesting foods and beverages.  Then cross the ancient Abava River valley, which is one of the most beautiful river valleys in Latvia.  The route leads to Wine Hill in Sabile and then Talsi, the “city of nine hillocks.”  Further on you will find Dundaga and its legendary castle, pass through large and lonely forests on your way to Ventspils, and then continue along the shore of the Baltic sea to Medze.  From there, travel back into the centre of Kurzeme, through Aizpute and Kazdanga, which is known for its own castle.  Visit Latvia’s first shiitake mushroom farm at Garīkas, the Milk Estate and the Milk Museum.  Further on will be Saldus with its tasty treats, then Džūkste, and then back to Tukums, where we started.

N/A
2 days
Latvia

The Southern Vidzeme Milk Tour

Here you will learn about home-based manufacturers, farms, companies and others in southern Vidzeme that produce various dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc.  From Rīga, take the Vidzeme Highway and turn toward Mālpils.  On the way to Ērgļi and Jumurda, you’ll be delighted by the hillocks of the Vidzeme highlands and the lovely landscape that they represent.  Near Ērgļi you will find Braki, the home of the classical Latvian author Rūdolfs Blaumanis, Meņģeļi, home of the Jurjāns brothers, and the Jumurda Estate.  Drive on through Cesvaine, stopping to look at its impressive castle, and on to Madona, where you can have a delicious meal.  From Madona, follow the lovely banks of the Daugava River to Koknese (Destiny Island, the Koknese castle, park and church), and on to Skrīveri, where the author Andrejs Upītis was born.  There’s a homemade ice cream place and the factory that produces the universally known penuche candy that is sold under the “Gotiņa” brand name in Latvia.  Then drive to Ogre for some Sierštelle cheeses and then back to Rīga.

N/A
3 days
Latvia

The Northern Vidzeme Milk Tour

Here you will learn about home-based manufacturers, farms, companies and others in northern Vidzeme that produce various dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc.  You’ll start out in Cēsis with its Medieval old town, castle ruins, St John’s Lutheran Church and other destinations.  Wind your way through the Gauja National Park (Ungurmuiža, Lake Ungurs, the Medieval castle and church at Straupe).  You’ll hit the seashore at Saulkrasti and then drive along it to Tūja, where you will turn inland again.  In Limbaži you will find Medieval castle ruins, a monument to the great folklorist Krišjānis Barons and other objects.  Drive on to Valmiera (St Simon’s Church, castle ruins, a museum, Emotion Park, etc.), Rūjiena and Naukšēni (the Naukšēni Estate).  Along the “Northern Pathway” you will reach Kārķi and then Smiltene and legendary Rauna (the Raunas Staburags cliff) before returning to your starting point.

Co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Union