Country Holidays

Self drive tours

Our self-drive tours will help you to get to know the Baltic States deeper and take to the places  beyond the main tourism sites. We provide a detailed information and maps for each day - sites, attractions, pubs as well as practicalities. Some of our tours are with specific focus. For example, castles and manors, local life, nature trails or the Baltic sea.

  • The tours can be taken whole year round however we recommend to travel from April to October when the snow has melted and roads are not slippery.
  • The packages does not include car rental but we can help you to rent a car of your preference.
  • Before your arrival, we shall send you a personalised tour program with dates, accommodations and extra services you booked (please see the optional extra services available in each tour description in the price section).
  • Upon your arrival at the first hotel of your tour you will receive detailed road maps for each day, descriptions with sites, attractions, eating places on the way,  travelling instructions from place to place, and vouchers for your booked services as well as tour . To see an example of the travelling instructions please click here (pdf file). GPS tracks are available for some tours.
  • For our clients, we operate 24h emergency phone.

If you have an idea how you'd like to travel around the Baltic, we can help you to put the tour together and you can count on our local advice.

What is the independent travel?

The Routes of Latvia’s Statehood

Latvijas valstiskuma ceļi Seven routes in Latvia that are devoted to three dimensions of time – the past, the present and the future, inviting you to look at how the Latvian state was established and the twists and turns that it experienced in the more recent and more distant past. You can evaluate benefits and resources and work with others to plan Latvia’s future. These routes will allow you to learn about aspects of Latvia’s history, personalities, places and events that facilitated the establishment of the state and the emergence of its national identity. Peer into the more distant past and remember the aspects of statehood that have existed in the territory of Latvia for many centuries and have become part of Latvia’s cultural world. These routes are clearly meant to be travelled, because they are exciting, with destinations and farms to visit, with wealthy stories of memories and beautiful landscapes all around you.

See detailed route and read more about The Routes of Latvia’s Statehood.


Living Cultures: Livs and Suiti

Tourism routes have been developed in order to allow travelers to explore two unique ethno-cultural regions in Latvian - the Liv coast and Suiti land. Suiti cultural space is included in UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2009. The unusual cultural environment and identity of Suiti has been created thanks to the interaction between Latvian, Livonian, Polish and German cultures. While the Liv coast - as the cultural space of this ancient nation - is making efforts to apply to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. 12 seaside villages keep their character and traditions and want to show it to the world. Using these routes, you can get to know the traditional cuisine of the two regions, gorgeous costumes, holiday traditions and other values that make these two regions so unique and whose traditions still permeate the everyday lives of local people.

More information about the regions:

Explore two unique ethno-cultural regions also in Estonia:

Name Itinerary  Days  

The Suiti land

Labrags - Jūrkalne - Alsunga - Gudenieki - Basi

3 days

The Liv Coastline is inviting you!

Dundaga - Kolka - Mazirbe - Ventspils

3 days

 


Latvian Nature Routes

We offer several within a few hours or 1-4 day itineraries for auto travelers, hikers, bikers and boaters in national parks, nature parks and other natural areas in Latvia.

Title Itinerary  Duration

The Great Ķemeri Circle by Car

Latvia, Ķemeri NP 1 - 2 days
Around Slītere Latvia, Slītere NP 1 - 2 days

Along the Rāzna National Park

Latvia, Rāzna NP 2 days

Military Heritage in Kurzeme

Rīga - Dobele - Saldus - Liepāja - Ventspils - Tukums - Rīga 4 days
Overview Tour details
N/A
2 days
Total distance driving 185 km
Lithuania

Aukstaitija: tasty heritage

Aukštaitija is the largest and one of the most ancient Lithuanian regions, known since the 15th century as "Real Lithuania."  This trip will allow you to enjoy country goodies that the region offers today.  In the Anykščiai District you will visit a farm where medicinal plants are grown, enjoy some oak acorn coffee and herbal teas, and then head off for the fishing village Ginučiai, where a special fish soup recipe dates back to the 17th century.  In the area of Ignalina, you will visit a watermill and a beekeeping museum.  A restaurant that is part of the European culinary heritage offers traditional dishes and a chance to learn how to bake the traditional Lithuanian sweet, šakotis.  After a stroll along the beautiful banks of Lake Zarasai, you will visit a windmill to learn how to bake bread and pancakes with rye flour.  A nice end to the tour will be a visit to a brewery where unfiltered and living beer is brewed.  There is also a collection of antique brewery tools.

Agri Heritage
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
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
5 days
Total distance driving 255 km
Latvia

Freedom’s Road

The historical route from Rīga to Liepāja passes through Dobele, Saldus, Skrunda, Durbe and Grobiņa, and it dates back to the 13th century.  Remnants of Scandinavian settlements near Grobiņa also testify to the antiquity of the region.

Many things happened on the road and around it that were directly linked to the establishment of the Republic of Latvia and to its subsequent freedom battles.  At the Tīreļpurvs swamp, Latvian riflemen demonstrated their battel capabilities and heroism during the so-called Christmas battles, thus proving that a new country had been born.  The trails of the swamp are open to visitors, and there is an historical exhibition at the Mangaļi homestead.  Rīga is clearly marked along this route by the Latvian National Theatre, where independence was proclaimed in 1918.  Later the hostile attack of Bermont’s forces was stopped at the banks of the Daugava, and the superior force was ejected from Rīga and Latvia.

Approximately 70 km from Rīga is the Pikšas museum, which is the birthplace of Latvian President Kārlis Ulmanis and a good example of farming between the two world wars.  The museum of Colonel Oskars Kalpaks at Airītes offers a look at battles that occurred in the region and at things that Kalpaks did during World War I and the subsequent liberation battles.  There were battles near Skrunda and Saldus, and it was in Liepāja that German General von der Goltz conducted a coup that led Latvia’s temporary government to seek refuge on the ship the Saratov, upon which it sailed to Rīga after the city’s liberation.  Liepāja has always been an important port, and once it offered passenger services all the way to New York.

Active season months1-12
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 115 km
Lithuania

Zemaitija: based on heritage

The name of the Žemaitija region means "lowland." You will visit traditional and unusual farms to learn about gardening traditions and enjoy teas and herbs from a biodynamic farm.  The lady of the house will teach you about traditional local foods.  Next you will visit a place to discover the secrets of medicinal plants.  An impressive exhibition about military history will be found at the Cold War Museum, which is on the territory of a former missile base.  Then you will visit the Energy Labyrinth to enjoy peace and quiet while learning about how various geometric forms influence human emotions.  Next you will visit a traditional farm with characteristic foods, beverages and songs.  Along the way you will visit Telšiai, which is the informal capital of Žemaitija.  Finally, you will visit a farm where traditional pastries are baked on a campfire, and a true Latvian sauna is offered.

Agri Heritage
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 448 km
Lithuania

Manor gardens and parks

The tour starts and ends in Klaipeda, the most popular seaside resort town in Lithuania. Klaipėda University Botanical Garden has a coastal ethnographic garden with flower arrangements characteristic of this area. Kretinga Manor Park is one of the oldest surviving 16th–18th century manor parks in Lithuania. Palanga Manor housing the Amber Museum and Birutė Park is one of the best-preserved manor complexes in Lithuania. The largest Japanese garden in Europe (16 ha) is a home to collection of traditional aromatic plants and vegetables.  Rucava arboretum displays a collection of magnolias. In Nīca village, 7 decorative gardens maintaining the local gardening tradition are open for visitors. Historical cultivars are carefully selected to renew the orchard and romantic landscape park at the 18th century Tāšu (Telsen) estate in Grobiņa region, Latvia.The Izidorius Navidanskas Park has over 120 species of trees and shrubs. Visit an outdoor plant exhibition at Jadvyga Balvočiūtė Farm - growing medicinal herbs and spices, selling organic sprouts, single herb teas and herbal mixtures.  Also Beržoras Homestead in Žemaitija National Park grows a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs, garden plants and aromatic herbs. Plungė Manor, called the “Versailles of Samogitia”, is one of the most famous surviving ensembles of its kind in Lithuania. Steponas Darius Birthplace Museum features a unique orchard of impressive size and scope. The Švėkšna Manor Complex features a sculpture park, scenic views, trails, gates, and a Chinese-Japanese maidenhair tree (ginkgo biloba) which stands 18 metres high and 70 centimetres in diameter. Šilutė Manor has two parks – an English landscape park with walking paths and the forest park known as Varnamiškis, or “Crows’ Forest”.

Heritage gardens
N/A
5 days
Latvia

Culinary Route "Flavours of Livonia" - Jacob's road

Duke Jacob of the Duchy of Kurzeme and Zemgale was on the throne from 1642 until 1862, and during that time the duchy rapidly expanded ship building operations, opened the first factories and improved agricultural output.  Jacob's ships plied the seas to export goods, to establish colonies in Tobago and Gambia, and to bring sugar, coffee and spices back to Europe.  This was the age when potatoes first appeared in Latvia, though it took a couple of centuries for them become beloved.
A great delicacy in Kurzeme is lamprey from the Usma River.  It is served in soups, baked or smoked.  During the season, there will be dishes of garfish, smelt or Baltic herring, while sprats, herring and salmon are available year-round.  Rye is used for rye bread, sourdough bread or carrot buns, and barley is used for various porridges.  Local ladies will be happy to teach you how to prepare local dishes.
During the Summer Solstice, a special cheese is almost universal, while on a daily basis, there are other tasty cheeses from cow and goat milk.  Local meat and fowl dishes are popular, sometimes potted in clay pots together with vegetables.  Side dishes include pumpkin, vegetables, root vegetables, mushrooms, beans or grits with sinfully tasty sauces. Taverns will offer wild game during the hunting season, including venison, beaver and rabbit.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy pie, honey cakes and poppy seed pastries that are still prepared according to a Medieval recipe.  For dessert, have some blackberry dumplings or a dessert made of rye bread, honey, lingonberries or cranberries, and sweet cream.  Slake your thirst with aromatic herbal teas with honey.  Enjoy homemade wine, tasty beer or a glass of something stronger.

Active season months1-12
N/A
8 days
Total distance driving 636 km
Latvia

Tasty Adventures at Kurzeme region

In Riga enjoy Old Town with narrow cobbled streets, Art Nouveau district, visit the Central market to catch a local spirit. Going out of Riga - visit Kemeri National Park, special for its sulphur springs. Walk Kemeri Bog Trail. Enjoy recreation centre at the lake Valgums - Bare Foot Trail, Labirintus, swimming in the lake, spa treatments and excellent restaurant. Then the route goes to the Pure Chocolate Museum and turns to the ancient Abava Valley where grapes were grown from 16th century. A little part of the historic Wine Hill is there but new gardens and wineries are developed into recent years. Visit Pedvale Open-Air Art Space and then picturesque Kuldiga with well preserved wooden architecture. At country house in Skrunda see how shitake mushrooms are grown and try some meal from them. Liepaja is vibrant city with significant military heritage now accessible for everyone, beautiful white sand beach. Special meal to try there "Liepajas mencins" (Liepaja Cod). Then there is a visit to goats farm and tasting of their produce. Walk along the steep banks of Jurkalne. Explore Ventspils with its many parks, Livonian Order Castle, promenade, breakwater, well maintained beach. The route goes to the place where the open sea meets the Gulf of Riga - Cape Kolka and then along the coast towards Riga. On the way visit fishermen at Engure. See their fish making process and try the fish . Visit historic sea and spa resort Jurmala with pretty 19th centuries villas, have a lunch at the local restaurant, specialist in potato meals.

By the sea
N/A
8 days
Total distance driving 340 km
Latvia

Daugava's Road

The Daugava River is known as our river of destiny, the Daugava of our hearts, or our beloved mommy.  It is a large and full-blooded artery of water that has flowed through our land and our history.  The Vikings were aware of the river during the 5th century AD.  Krāslava is the site of an ancient castle hill, and the fearless sailors were well aware of it in that downriver from it, the ships could sail with raised sails.  It is known in Viking sagas as Dynasaiforgarðr.

Goods from the East sail down the river to Rīga, where it is reloaded into seafaring ships for delivery to Europe.  That has been the case for many centuries.  Many powers wanted to control and govern the process, as is seen in the large number of castle hills, castles and populated areas around the river’s banks.  The majestic ruins of the Koknese Castle, Krustpils, the grassy and mighty castle hill at Aizkraukle, another one at Daugmale.  The unique fortresses at Daugavgrīva and Daugavpils are like large keys that lock or unlock this mighty and ancient trade route.  Under the water in the Daugava are the ruins of the ancient Ikšķile Castle that was built by St Maynard himself.  It is seen as the first brick building in the Baltic States.  Nearby is Death Island, where Latvian riflemen fought for the future of their country and their land, defending each square metre of land.  The Daugava proved insurmountable for Bermont’s troops, and the riflemen defended Rīga successfully.

The curves of Daugava are unique.  The village of Slutišķi is particularly known because the Daugava there is just like it has been in the past.  The high dolomite shorelines and canyons that once made the Daugava unique in all of Northern Europe have now been lost in the reservoirs of hydroelectric power plants, as has the eternally weeping cliff of Staburags, the Liepavotu stream and the Pērse waterfall.  The age of national renaissance in Latvia importantly began with a battle against the construction of another power plant on the Daugava, which would have fully destroyed the beauty of the noble river.  We managed to protect it, if only a small part of it, but we succeeded.  We must not stop!

Active season months1-12
N/A
1 day
Estonia

Day tour: Kihnu island – UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Kihnu is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga, with an area of 16.4 km2. It is only 7 km long and 3.3 km wide. Kihnu's cultural space and traditions are included on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There are four villages on the island and the islanders still wear national dress as everyday apparel. The unique atmosphere of the island can be experienced during a guided day programme. Kihnu Mare, the local guide, has developed her own traditional culture network with the people who have the know-how and skills to demonstrate for visitors the different aspects of Kihnu culture: the language, the traditional clothes, farming and fieldwork, handicrafts, the preparation of traditional foods, folklore, church life, singing, and dancing at weddings and village parties, as well as their traditions surrounding the sea, fishing, seal hunting and living with nature.

Local lifestyle Distance from countries capital city140 Active season months5-9
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 509 km
Lithuania

Traditional Lithuanian gardens and plants

The tour starts and ends in Kaunas, Lithuania's 2nd largest city that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285 centimetres at a height of 1.3 metres. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. The Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture carries out both scientific and experimental/production activities. You can also buy seedlings, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Home produced “Happy Foods” can be bought from Garsi Tyla homestead, and you can have a walk in their 100-year-old orchard and see the culinary herb garden. Burbiškis Manor and its beautiful landscape and sculpture park is a home to the annual tulip festival. Authentic homesteads representing Aukštaitija region can be seen at Kleboniškiai Rural Household Museum. Šiauliai University Botanical Garden demonstrates heritage rural plant gardens arranged according to the traditions of pre-war, inter-war and post-war periods. There are about 30 different species and varieties of plants growing on the grounds of the Baltic Plant Museum. The Liudvika and Stanislovas Didžiulis Homestead Museum garden features traditional Lithuanian apple tree cultivars, flowers and herbs. The A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Žukauskas Memorial Museum presents culture, literature, history, agrarian culture, and technical history in the Anykščiai region. Traditional Lithuanian flower garden can also be seen at the Bronė Buivydaitė Memorial Museum. In Anykščiai you can enjoy the Treetop Walkway and Labyrinth Park, and take a train ride on Aukštaitija’s narrow-gauge railway. In Traupis Botanical Garden you will find everything from perennial flower collections and rock garden to a flower clock and decorative pool with aquatic plants. The interior of the Taujėnai Manor house was decorated extensively with the Radziwiłł family’s portraits, sculptures, hunting trophies, and antique weapons. In Ukmergė District, visit President Antanas Smetona’s Užugiris Manor, which now houses a memorial museum in his honour. At the end of tour, you will visit the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania, one of the largest (194 ha) and most abundant (91,420 exhibits) open-air ethnographic museums in Europe.

Heritage gardens
N/A
2 days
Latvia

Footprints of the Cider route

Viens no labākajiem veidiem, kā iepazīties ar sidru, ir paviesoties kādā no sidra darītavām, kur klātienē var redzēt, kā sidrs tiek gatavots. Vairākas sidra darītavas piedāvā apmeklējumus, kuros sidrdari parādīs ražošanas procesu, ļaus nodegustēt savu produkciju un pastāstīs par to.

Sidrdari pieņem apmeklētājus pēc iepriekšējas pieteikšanās. Rezervējiet savu apmeklējumu laikus, lai mazajās saimniecībās, kur bieži vien strādā tikai pati ģimene vai pāris darbinieku, sidrdari var paspēt apvienot tūristu uzņemšanu ar savu ikdienas darbu. Parasti sidra darītavas uzņem viesus visu cauru gadu, dažos gadalaikos ir iespējams vērot arī ražošanas procesu, tādēļ sidra darītavas apmeklējumam ieplānojiet apmēram 2 stundas.

N/A
10 days
Total distance driving 1020 km
Latvia, Lithuania

Latgale – Aukstaitija: craft foods and artisans

During this trip you will visit the workshops of craftspeople, farms that breed horses, as well as various destinations where you can enjoy country goodies.  Ancient skills are now a modern application.

First you will stop in Ikšķile, and at the very beginning of the trip, you will visit a cellar that stores birch juice wine and taste sparkling wine.  In Skrīveri, you will be surprised by the transformation of milk.  A cosy café on the main street of the small town offers outstanding homemade ice cream featuring strawberry, anchovy and horseradish flavours.  In Koknese, you can supplement your wardrobe with a new leather belt, bag or stylish leather jewellery.  A farm that grows hemp will offer a small tour, as well as hemp delicacies.  The work of black ceramics masters in Latgale fits into modern interiors.  The Aglona Bread Museum offers a chance for visitors to bake their own loaf of bread.  The visit to the next farm will allow you to add tasty cheese that has been made from milk from Latvian brown cows.  The last stop in Latvia will be Daugavpils, which features an art centre featuring the work of the globally known abstractionist Mark Rothko, as well as the Daugavpils fortress, that was built in the 19th century and is an impressive military building.  This is one of the most popular tourist destinations.  From there you will travel to Lithuania, where you will visit several traditional farms.  The Ilzenbergo Dvaras estate has a bio-dynamic farm.  You will taste Lithuania's national sweets which are called šakotis.  You will visit the town of Anykščiai, which offers a hike along a trail that is above the trees.  A horse museum offers a look at old farm equipment.  Next you will visit farms that will inform you about traditional Lithuanian cuisine and the work of potters.  The Dubingiu horse farm offers horseback rides.  At the conclusion of the tour you will visit the unique Trakai lake castle (14th and 15th century), as well as Vilnius.

Agri Heritage
N/A
8 days
Total distance driving 605 km
Latvia, Lithuania

Zemgale – Aukstaitija: where wholesome food comes from

This tour offers a look at modern farms that based their work on ancient jobs and skills.  Everything that is grown and processed in Latvia's countryside is found at the Central Market in Rīga, where this tour begins.  It is one of the largest and oldest markets in Europe.  From there you will travel to several farms to taste candy made of natural juices, cheese, grain foods, yogurt and ice cream.  You will visit a traditional farm with a technology museum.  Each farm will offer a brief introductory tour.  Along the way, you will visit the Rundāle Castle and its park and rose garden, which were designed by the 18th century architect Rastrelli and are a true jewel of Baroque and Rococo architecture.  In Bauska you will visit City Hall to see a collection of old measuring items, the Bauska Castle and the Bauska brewery.  In Lithuania you will visit farms that grow lavender, medicinal plants and hemp.  They will be happy to sell their products to you.  The town of Anykščiai offers a trail above the trees, and the Krenave archaeological complex is on the UNESCO heritage list.  At the conclusion of the tour, you will visit the Trakai lake castle that was built in the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as Vilnius.

Agri Heritage
N/A
4 days
Total distance driving 276 km
Latvia

Flower gardens and parks

The route leads through beautiful flower gardens of Kurzeme and Žemaitija. The largest in Latvia collection of Dwarf Bearded Iris is found in Kandava. Mierkalni is the largest daylily garden in Eastern Europe, with more than 1000 varieties. The owner also produces fruit and berry wines.  In the Talsi Hillocks Nature Park there is the Kurzemnieki apple growing and processing apples (dried apples, apple chips, juices). It also grows Roman snails. The Upmaļi environmental and health farm produces teas, herbs, plant oils, special balms, cosmetics, plant-based soaps, etc., under the brand name AnnA Bermans. Latvia’s oldest magnolia, 50 years old, is found at Sauleskalni arboretum. Over 100 varieties of peonia are grown in Ziedoņi peony garden. The owners of Maras Manor offer stories of historical German manors in the area.  Milk Estate Berghof houses a milk museum. Exotics flower and tree cultivars are found in Māra Lindes dendrological gardens. Turaidas farm produces herbal teas and sacks thereof as souvenirs or gifts, using lemon balm, raspberry, tansy, alchemilla, Plantago major and linden. In Nīca village, 7 decorative gardens maintaining the local gardening tradition are open for visitors. Rucava arboretum displays a collection of magnolias. The largest Japanese garden in Europe (16 ha) is a home to collection of traditional aromatic plants and vegetables.  Palanga Manor housing the Amber Museum and Birutė Park is one of the best-preserved manor complexes in Lithuania. Kretinga Manor Park is one of the oldest surviving 16th–18th century manor parks in Lithuania. Klaipėda University Botanical Garden has a coastal ethnographic garden with flower arrangements characteristic of this area. Klaipeda, the most popular seaside resort town in Lithuania. The Sea Museum and Dolphinarium are among the most famous attractions there. Šilutė Manor has two parks – an English landscape park with walking paths and the forest park known as Varnamiškis, or “Crows’ Forest”. Pakalnė is a unique traditional fisherman’s homestead with garden plants typical of the Lithuania Minor region.

Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 406 km
Latvia

Fruit gardens and regional authenticity

The tour makes a loop through historical regions of Sēlija and Latgale. It starts and ends in Daugavpils, the 2nd largest city in Latvia.
Sēlija tree nursery offers a tour of their apple orchard, apple storage and production facilities. Enjoy a glass of apple juice and stories of vinemakers. On the way, a visit to Berķenele memorial house of Rainis, the distinguished Latvian author and social activist. Grape selection and cultivation was the great passion of Pauls Sukatnieks, and his memorial garden is worth visiting during the harvesting time. At Kaldabruņa you will visit an art gallery housed in a hay-shed together with a hay museum. The romantic landscape park at Asares estate dates back to the 18th century and exposes carefully picked tree and shrub varietes. Riekstiņi is an authentic single-family Selonian farm with a specific spirit and ambience. Nereta Evangelical Lutheran church is one of the oldest stone buildings in Sēlija region dating back to 1584. Sauka Nature Park offers nice landscape views from a viewing tower. Rudzīši wineyard grows about 80 grape varieties. Pick your own blackcurrant berries at Bāniši berry farm. A beautiful landscape garden is open for visitors at Gundegas house.  200 year old oaks adorn the Vārkavas Park.  At Naujene museum of regional studies you will see an exposition showing the house of a wealthy Latvian farmer from the turn of 19th-20th centuries. Vasargelišķu viewing tower is 24m high and offers great views over the meandering Daugava River. Ethnographical Slutišķu village with carefully maintained wooden cabins exemplifies traditional Latgalian architecture. Kurmīši farm grows medicinal plants that are very common in Latvia – oregano, St John’s wort, wormwood, lemon balm, catsfoot, etc. 

Heritage gardens
N/A
5 days
Total distance driving 200 km
Latvia

Light's Road

Ancient trade routes distributed not just products, but also knowledge, culture and everything that was new and unknown.  Pastor Ernest Glück, for instance, may have already started work on a translation of the Bible into Latvian when he travelled from the Daugavgrīva fortress near Rīga to Alūksne.  There he finished his masterpiece and planted two oak trees alongside the manse that are still there.  Glück also established the first school in Vidzeme for Latvian children.  He was a pastor, translator, author and teacher.  Thanks to him, the Hernhutian movement of brethren flourished in Vidzeme after the Great Northern War.  It directed spiritual and political development and brought Latvians closer to their national awakening.

Of great importance in the Path of Light is Piebalga, which became very important in terms of culture in Latvia.  Culture, science and even politics took on new meaning and sounds.  This is where Kārlis Skalbe, the Kaudzītes brothers, Jānis Poruks, Antons Austriņš and other major figures from the national awakening lived and worked.  The very spiritual aura in this place has not disappeared to this very day.

The fantastic Cesvaine castle has been renovated, and the narrow-gauge railroad between Gulbene and Alūksne is still rolling alone.  The ruins of the Marienburg castle in Alūksne conjure up visions of the hidden wealth of the Order of Templates and the young woman who was bricked into the castle’s walls.  No less intriguing is the story of Marta Skovronsky, who would rise to become Empress Catherine the Great of Russia.

The Madona Regional Research and Art Museum offers a look at the past and present, while the Ate windmill at Kancempji offers a look at more than 4,000 unique items from the history of our countryside, complete with buildings that are more than 100 years old.

Active season months1-12
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 96 km
Latvia

The Suiti land

The Suiti are a community with among the most colourful and unique cultural traditions in Kurzeme and Latvia.  This was confirmed on October 1, 2009, when the cultural territory of the Suiti was included in the UNESCO list of global intangible cultural heritage, thus indicating that the traditions must be preserved.  The Suiti territory is also on the list of folk traditions that is part of the Latvian Cultural Canon.  Manifestations of this intangible cultural heritage include traditional festivals, habits, oral traditions, traditional singing and musical skills, folk costumes and culinary traditions.  Since 2009, the Suiti community has been undergoing a renaissance, with people actively working to restore traditions and ensure their sustainability and promotion at the local, national and international level.  The survival of the cultural territory is in the hands of the Suiti themselves, and this is closely linked to the practices and the creativity of community representatives.  The Suiti believe the development of tourism in their area to be of great importance in this.  This means emphasising a niche in cultural tourism that is based on the broader promotion of the unique cultural heritage of the Suiti.

Active season months5-10
N/A
5 days
Total distance driving 215 km
Latvia

Jacob's Road

Duke Jacob of Courland was a ruler of the Duchy of Courland and Zemgale for 40 years (1642-1682).  There were great changes during his rule, with the ship building industry developing rapidly, the first factories appearing, and agricultural output improving.  The duke had a large fleet that brought grain, meat, butter, wool, timber and all that was manufactured at baronial estates in Zemgale and Courland to Western Europe.  The fleet was so big and strong that its ships sailed not just to Europe, but also all the way to Tobago and Gambia, where colonies were established to bring sugar, coffee and spices to Europe.

The duchy built ships, manufactured paper and saltpetre and wove textiles, brocade and tapestries.  Iron manufacturing was highly developed, and ore was imported from Sweden.  This made it possible to forge nails, anchors, bells, cannons and other firearms.  The duchy produced vodka, vinegar and gunpowder for which there was great demand in Europe, because there were attacks and defences that required it.  As much as 25 tonnes of gunpowder were produced each year.  One of the gunpowder towers is still in Kandava, though it has been rebuilt many times.  The duchy manufactured sails and ropes, as well as hemp ropes.  It was said that the fleet of the Queen of England would not have existed without those ropes.  The duke also thought about selection of grain, bred livestock, improved land with land reclamation and tried to expand output from his fields.

Jacob did not manage to do everything that he wanted to do.  A canal to avoid the Venta rapids was not finished, and plans such as the colonisation of Australia were not finished.  Yet the era of Duke Jacob was a period of great change in the territory of Latvia, and it has not gone unnoticed that the great achievements of the duke occurred on a small plot of European land.  That proves that wise management can ensure lots of progress.

Active season months1-12
N/A
4 days
Total distance driving 620 km
Latvia

Variety of the garden world

Poems are dedicated to trees in the garden sourrounding the memorial house of Edvarts Virza, a Latvian poet and writer who wrote a legendary novel about the lives of Latvian farmers. The beautiful 18th century Mazmežotne castle is renovated by a grain farmer’s family. The Rundāle castle is known as Latvia’s true jewel of Baroque and Rococo architecture featuring also a rose garden with over 2200 varieties of roses. At Brukna manor you will see a vegetable garden that is arranged as a Renaissance park, a rose garden and a vineyard. Pick your own blackcurrant berries at Bāniši berry farm. A beautiful landscape garden is open for visitors at Gundegas house.  200 year old oaks adorn the Vārkavas Park.  Riekstiņi is an authentic single-family Selonian farm with a specific spirit and ambience. At Kaldabruņa you will visit an art gallery housed in a hay-shed together with a hay museum. Grape selection and cultivation was the great passion of Pauls Sukatnieks, and his memorial garden is worth visiting during the harvesting time. Dvietes Manor is proud of its 19th century landscape park and a stone bridge. Daugavpils, the 2nd largest city of Latvia, is famous for the renovated  19th century Daugavpils Fortress housing museums. Sēlija tree nursery offers a tour of their apple orchard, apple storage and production facilities. Enjoy a glass of apple juice and stories of vinemakers. Berķenele is the memorial house of Rainis, the distinguished Latvian author and social activist.The Rokiškis Regional Museum and Manor is one of the most important cultural centres of the Aukštaitija region. The Liudvika and Stanislovas Didžiulis Homestead Museum garden features traditional Lithuanian apple tree cultivars, flowers and herbs. The A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Žukauskas Memorial Museum presents culture, literature, history, agrarian culture, and technical history in the Anykščiai region. Traditional Lithuanian flower garden can also be seen at the Bronė Buivydaitė Memorial Museum. In Anykščiai you can enjoy the Treetop Walkway and Labyrinth Park, and take a train ride on Aukštaitija’s narrow-gauge railway. In Traupis Botanical Garden you will find everything from perennial flower collections and rock garden to a flower clock and decorative pool with aquatic plants. The interior of the Taujėnai Manor house was decorated extensively with the Radziwiłł family’s portraits, sculptures, hunting trophies, and antique weapons. Take a walk around the Ukmergė Old Town and enjoy the view from the old fire tower. Survilai Homestead offers a barefoot trail walking on pine cones, swamp, peat, clay, gravel, polished glass, pine-tree needles, straw. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360 years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285cm at a height of 1.3m. The tour ends in Kaunas, Lithuania's 2nd largest city that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939.

Heritage gardens
N/A
1 day
Estonia

Day tour: Setomaa – UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Setomaa has been inhabited for about 8,400 years, which makes it one of the oldest human settlements in Estonia. It is located on the border of Eastern and Western civilisations, bordering Russia, Latvia and Estonia. Setomaa is famous for its well-preserved traditions and culture. For centuries the local handicraft skills have been passed down within families. Seto polyphonic singing (Seto leelo) is inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Setos have distinctive national costumes, rich in detail and unique to each family. Perhaps most impressive is the distinctive array of Seto jewellery. These visually striking pieces not only reflect the social standing of the wearer but are also worn as a safeguard from misfortune. To this day, the Seto lifestyle remains closely tied to nature. It is common practice for the Seto not only to enjoy the natural beauty of the forest but to also use its gifts. Berries and mushrooms are picked freely in their seasons.

It is best to start the tour from Võru and finish in Tartu.

Local lifestyle Distance from countries capital city285 Active season months1-12
N/A
5 days
Total distance driving 220 km
Latvia

Mara’s Road

After the establishment of the Livonian state, the pope consecrated this land in honour of the holy Virgin Mary.  This created Terra Mariana or Māra’s Land.  The road between Ludza, Rēzekne and Daugavpils runs along an ancient trading route that once connected Vilnius and Kaunas to Pskov and, later, to St Petersburg and Warsaw.

Very beautiful and poetically picturesque with rivers and lakes that are in Latvia’s forested land and among hillocks that offer a wonderful look at the distant horizon – that is Māra’s Land, which is also known as the Land of Blue Lakes.  Lake Rāzna is the second largest in Latvia, and when the weather is clear, Mākoņkalns Hill or Padebešu Hill is reflected in its water.  Atop the hill are the oldest ruins of fortifications in Latgale, dating back to the Livonian era.

Rēzekne is known as the heart of Latgale, because it has always been the centre for Lettigalian culture and education.  People contributed donations for the 1939 construction of a monument to Māra of Latgale.  It is dedicated to those who fell during Latvia’s independence battles and the liberation of Latgale.  The monument also speaks to the Catholic identity of Latgale.  The monument was rededicated on August 13, 1992, the date of the assumption of the Virgin Mary.  A Catholic festival at Aglona and the monument to Māra of Latgale – these are integral components of this part of Latvia.  The present day is marked out clearly by the new Gors concert hall in Rēzekne, and well as the Zeimuļš student interest education centre.

Daugavpils is Latvia’s second city and an important centre for industry, culture, education and sports.  The Daugavpils pellet factory is unique, and the oldest pellet casting tower in Europe is now open to visitors, as are the restored Daugavpils fortress and the new Rothko Museum.

Not far from Daugavpils are the small Birķeneļi semi-estate and the Rainis Museum.  Latgale was the “land of new days” for the poet, and the museum now hosts gatherings of young artists and craftspeople.  The ancient tradition of ceramic art that is typical specifically of this part of Latvia is still thriving.

Active season months1-12
N/A
5 days
Total distance driving 350 km
Latvia

Baltic's Road

The Baltic Way was a unique demonstration at the Baltic, European and global level.  Never before had the residents of three countries joined hands in a single chain to link the capital cities of the three nations – Vilnius, Rīga and Tallinn.  The historical event occurred on the evening of August 23, 1989 and involved some two million people to recall events that had happened 50 years before – the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that allowed the two superpowers of the day, Germany and the USSR, to divide up spheres of influence in Europe before the new world war.  The Baltic States lost their independence as a result of the pact.

The chain of demonstrators was some 600 km long, marking out the Baltic Way from Bauska to Rīga and then on to Sigulda, Cēsis, Valmiera and Rūjiena.  The route was known and used in the 14th and 15th century, or even earlier.  Testimony to this is given by the mighty castle hill at Mežotne and the ancient port alongside it.  The Bauska Castle was an important fort during the age of Livonia and, later, one of the residencies of the dukes of Courland.  Sigulda was well fortified on the banks of the Gauja River, with three stone castles nearby.  It was also a health spa.  Līgatne is important in industrial terms because of the paper factory that is there.  Āraiši is another ancient trade crossroad with a lake castle, ancient church, castle ruins and a famous windmill.  Cēsis is one of the historical diamonds of Vidzeme with its old town, the old and new castle, and the majestic views of the ancient Gauja River valley at the cliffs of Ērgļi.  Valmiera boasts of his St Simon’s Church, the Dāliņš stadium, its own theatre and the youthfulness of its own university college.  In Rūjiena, there is a monument to the Bugler of Tālava, which was carved by Kārlis Zemdega and installed in 1937 to commemorate the liberation of Rūjiena.  The monument survived all of the years after the war.  The engraving, “the bugler had to die, but the Latvians heard his call,” is very much in line with the Baltic Way on August 23, 1989.

Active season months1-12
N/A
3 days
Latvia

Livonian Flavours in the Kurzeme region

This route invites you to visit the Kurzeme region and try the traditional dishes there. The tour starts from Riga and takes you to some beautiful nature areas for a walk that will serve as physical exercise to build up an appetite. You will feast on traditional smoked fish at Dieniņas Fishermen's Yard, take a masterclass in  baking “sklandrausis”, a traditional carrot pie, visit fishing villages in Slītere National Park, and savour refined meals in Ventspils city pubs. Nice attractions en route are the steep coast of the Baltic Sea in Jūrkalne and the medieval town of Kuldīga. In a 19th century watermill, which nowadays is an organic farm, the hostess will give you a masterclass in cooking regional dishes from fallow deer, trout, vegetables and fruit. The last stop on the return back to Riga is the Chocolate Museum at Pūre.

N/A
2 days
Total distance driving 310 km
Latvia

Zemgale: heritage story of daily bread and milk

The Zemgale region is a fertile flatland.  There are many modern farms, including some that will allow you to learn about life in the countryside and the heritage of agricultural history.  You will start your trip and then take the "Milky Way" route to a dairy farm.  Next you will visit Jelgava, the former capital of the Duchy of Courland from the 16th to the 18th century.  The history of the town can be discovered via an interactive exhibition in the steeple of the St Trinity Church in Jelgava, from which you can also get a good view of the city from a 9th-floor platform.  Next you will visit a farm where you will learn about Latvia traditions and bake bread together with the lady of the house.  From there, the route will lead to a grain farm, where you will find a collection of dairy processing equipment and a playground for children.  You can spent the night in a field of grain or a design hotel that has a traditional farm and a collection of restored old automobiles.  Along the way, you will stop in Bauska to see its City Hall and its collection of ancient measuring equipment.  Grain traditions will really be appreciated at a farm that uses its own grain and roughly ground flour to produce a wide range of traditional foods.  Finally, you will visit a collection of tools, farm equipment and household items that are all typical of Latvia's countryside.

Agri Heritage
N/A
5 days
Total distance driving 370 km
Latvia

Liv's Road

Historians say that the Livs or Livonians lived in the territory of Latvia long ago, starting in the 10th century.  They populated Northern Kurzeme and the river banks of the Daugava and Gauja rivers.  They asked the first German tradesmen who appeared in the area about the price of textiles at the market in Visby.  This means that they were familiar with the island of Gotland.  The Livonians were courageous and spiritually strong seafarers, because only strong men can live with the sea, go fishing and seal trapping, and take root in the by no means fertile sands of the seashore.

The territory between Ģipka and Ovīši is known as the Livonian coastline.  There are still romantic seashore fishing villages of Livonian origin, as well as Cape Kolka, where the great Latvian activist Krišjānis Valdemārs insisted that it was the centre of Europe.  Livonians all along the seashore responded to his call by taking part in building sailing ships all the way up to Ainaži, where there was a maritime school.  That allowed the ships to sail to the far corners of the world, thus creating a century of sailing ships.  This wasn’t possible without the Livonians.  Also on the coastline are the oldest lighthouses in Latvia, with the one at Ovīši still serving as a star that shows the route for seaborne ships that are heading for Rīga.

The Livonian heritage is also seen in the tradition of fishing for lamprey eels – something that is still very much in place in Carnikava, Svētciems and Salacgrīva.  Old-time fishing equipment that cannot be seen anywhere else is on display in the latter town.

The Latvian nation emerged when the Livonians flowed together with the Lettigalians, the Livonians joke.  It may be that there is some truth in the anecdote.  Liv or Livonian culture, lifestyles and history are closely linked to Latvia and cannot be separated from it.

Active season months1-12
N/A
5 days
Latvia

Culinary Route "Flavours of Livonia" - Freedom's road

This route passed along many places where events directly related to the emergence of the Latvian state and to the subsequent freedom battles occurred.  The historical route from Rīga to Liepāja via Dobele, Saldus, Skrunda, Durbe and Grobiņa was used as long ago as the 13th century.

People in the Kurzeme region of Latvia have always eat sea, river and lake fish, particularly smoked fish.  Potted smoked cod, served in a clay pot, is a particular delicacy, as are smelts, sea pike, sprats, herring and salmon, available all year long.  Ladies of the house bake tasty rye bread, sourdough bread and tasty carrot buns, and they also cook various porridges from barley.

Dairy products, Summer Solstice cheese and “white butter” has an important role. Fresh goat milk cheese is prepared with dills and garlic, and goat milk cheese is also tasty. Menus will include local domestic fowl and meat dishes, including roasts, ribs, sausages, as well as more exotic dishes such as pig’s tongue and bull testicles. Fancy taverns will offer pheasant and wild game with mushrooms, lingonberries, juniper berries and wild herbs.

In Kurzeme you will be greeted with delicious pies, sheet cakes, poppy seed pastries and honey cakes, biscuits with poppies and cranberries, dessert from rye bread, lingonberries or cranberries and sweet cream.Blackberry dumplings are popular. More unusual are marmalades made from wild plants such as mountain ash, cranberries and even fir needles. Slake your thirst with aromatic herbal teas with honey and enjoy a mug of beer or some homemade wine.

Active season months1-12
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 271 km
Latvia

Gardens with tree nurseries

This tour takes you to beautiful gardens in Latvia and Lithuania. Poems are dedicated to trees in the garden surrounding the memorial house of Edvarts Virza, a Latvian poet and writer who wrote a legendary novel about the lives of Latvian farmers. Strūbergu decorative garden offers a garden excursion and consultations in gardening. At Brukna manor you will see a vegetable garden that is arranged as a Renaissance park, a rose garden and a vineyard. The beautiful 18th century Mazmežotne castle is renovated by a grain farmer’s family. The Rundāle castle is known as Latvia’s true jewel of Baroque and Rococo architecture featuring also a rose garden with over 2200 varieties of roses. At Blankenfelde manor you will see a collection of bells and will enjoy natural juices, syrups and pickles produced in-house. Visiting Mint House you will taste mint tea, biscuits, honey with peppermint and peppermint syrups. Next stop is at the vegetable and herb farm “Droši vesels” producing herbal ointments. In Lithuania you will visit Žagarė, known for its cherry orchard-park and the special species of cherry – the ‘Žagarvyšnė’, on the National List of Plant Varieties.  Stop by Žagarė Manor Park, containing more than 100 species of trees and shrubs.  Back in Latvia you can have a picnic at Vilki arboretum showing about 1000 different plants - both typical of the landscape of Latvia and quite unique. At Zaļenieki tree nursery, you can walk in the garden with over 2000 trees and shrubs. Further you will enjoy the beauty of peonia in the collection garden by Andris Berkins. Amatnieki homestead offers tours of their tulip garden.  Klūgu landscape garden is famous for begonias. Institute of horticulture in Dobele owns a collection of over 200 types and forms of lilac plants. ''The beautiful and practical idea garden'' is proud of its collection of conifers, and the hosts offer tastings of herbal spice powders, dried berries and fruit. “Rūķīšu tea” is one of the largest farms for medicinal plants in Latvia (purple coneflowers, marigolds, chamomile, etc). And finally, visit Liepas tree nursery specialised in cultivation of fruit-trees, berry bushes and roses.

Botanical Heritage gardens
N/A
5 days
Latvia

Culinary Route "Flavours of Livonia" - Liv's road

Historians say that Liv tribes began to settle the territory that is now Latvia in the 10th century.  They lived in Northern Kurzeme, at the mouths of the Daugava and Gauja Rivers, and from Ģipka to Oviši, where seaside fishing villages of Liv origin can still be found.

Coastal residents have always eaten various sea, river and lake fish dishes, including smoked sole, Baltic herring, cod, bream or eelpout, baked lampreys, salted sprats, Baltic herring and common herring.  Fresh and lightly salted Baltic salmon is a delicacy.  Whole fish are baked on hot coals, including pike perch, trout, carp, catfish and European perch.  Guests can participate in catching and smoking fish and tastings with bits of everything is available on degustations.

Rye can be tasted in rye bread and sourdough bread, carrot buns and even pancakes and gingerbread.  Barley buns are common in Vidzeme, as are tasty meat and fowl dishes.  There will always be a pig's snout with peas or an oven-roasted piglet on New Year's Eve.  Taverns serve wild game with lingonberries, mushrooms and other wild tastes.  Side dishes include autumn vegetables, pumpkin, beans or grits, as well as sinfully tasty sauces.

Enjoy traditional pies, sheet cakes, pretzels, apple cakes and honey bakes during celebrations or every day.  You will enjoy desserts made of rye breadcrumbs, cranberries, lingonberries and sweet cream.  Popular in Kurzeme are blackberry dumplings, and during summers, there are lots of desserts with fresh berries.  Boost your health with aromatic herbal teas and honey, or enjoy some homemade wine or beer.

Active season months1-12
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.

N/A
5 days
Latvia

Culinary Route "Flavours of Livonia" - Baltic's road

The "Baltic Way" route is in honour of a unique demonstration on August 23, 1989, when residents of the three Baltic States joined hands in a chain of participants that stretched along a nearly 600 km distance to link the three capital cities of Vilnius, Rīga and Tallinn.  In historical terms, this route was used from the 14th or 15th century or even earlier than that.

Grain-based foods in this region have a long history.  Tasty and yeasty rye bread is common, and in Vidzeme, try it with some hemp butter.  Barley is used to bake buns and for porridges.  Wheat is used to bake water pretzels with caraway seeds.  Visit farms and restored windmills to track the route of grain.

A special cheese is part of Summer Solstice celebrations, and on a daily basis you can enjoy other tasty cheeses made of cow and goat milk.  Various river and lake fishes are popular, as are local meat and fowl dishes and wild game with tasty sauces.  A roast or a pot of soup cooked on a live campfire will have a lovely aroma, and it will be served with vegetables, greens, beans, peas and mushrooms.  Wild plants such as sorrel, dandelion or young nettle leaves are added to soups and salads.

Treat yourself with fresh honey, bacon pies, sheet cakes, pastries, rye bread desserts, honey cakes and gingerbread.  You will find simple and traditional dishes, romantic meals in castles and estates, as well as a special knighthood repast with spices typical in the age of the Livonian Order.  Slake your thirst with herbal teas, birch juice, berry beverages, tasty beer or wine or a glass of something stronger.

Active season months1-12
N/A
10 days
Total distance driving 1020 km
Latvia, Lithuania

Zemaitija – Kurzeme: eco, bio and ethno farms invite you

This tour will surprise you with the diversity and unusual products of farms.  You will visit several farms that offer ecological produce that can be tasted and purchased.  From Vilnius, you will travel to an ecological goat farm that offers 60 types of cheeses made of goat milk.  Next you will visit an ethnographic Lithuanian farm that breeds horses and sheep.  You will spent a day in Kaunas to visit the Nemuna River valley, as well as the Raudone and Panemune castles.  A picnic at a farm with acorn coffee, pancaked baked on a campfire and soup made of locally picked wild mushrooms.  The ecological Buivydai farm breeds cattle and grows blackberries.  Along the way you will visit the Courlandian Dune, the Sea Museum and Delphinarium and the most popular spa town in the dunes, Nida.  From there you will drive to Latvia, where the Pape Nature Park offers a look at wild horses, and the ethnographic Ķoņi village is an old seashore fishermen's village.  In Liepāja, it will be worth visiting the local market, which is more than 100 years old and offers seasonal vegetables, fruit, greens and flowers from local farms.  Next you will visit an environmentally friendly farm that has 130 different types of apples and a wine operation that prepares wines from local fruits and berries.  The farm uses biodynamic farming principles to grow beans and peas, as well as to breed livestock so as to produce tasty sausages.  Next you will visit the lovely  Medieval town of Kuldīga and its brick bridge across the Venta River.  An environmental health farm will allow you to enjoy herbal teas and learn about various ecological cosmetics made of plants from the clean environment.  Along the way you will enjoy the landscape of the ancient Abava River Valley and visit the Sabile wine hill where grapes are grown to produce local wines.  Next you will visit the charming small town of Talsi, where you will find the Latvian Agriculture Museum.  The tour will conclude at a farm which grows fruits and vegetables and offers syrups, jams and canned vegetables.  You will complete you tour in Rīga.

Agri Heritage
N/A
6 days
Total distance driving 485 km
Latvia, Lithuania

Aukstaitija – Zemgale: gourmet journey in the countryside

Many farms in Latvia and Lithuania grow their own produce, offer culinary masterpieces and develop traditional recipes to the best degree.  Because of limited output, these delicacies seldom are found in supermarkets, and that is why we have organised this gourmand tour for those who enjoy new tastes.

You will start your tour in Vilnius and then travel to Trakai, where the local ethnographic museum will offer local dishes from the Karaite ethnic minority.  A look at Lithuanian farm life from the 18th to the 20th century will be available at the Rumšiškes Ethnographic Museum.  After travelling through Kaunas, you will visit a honey farm that offers honey and wax candles, as well as tastings of honey beer.  The Pakruojo Dvaras estate is a place where you will feel like a nobleman from the 19th century and enjoy a real banquet at the estate's restaurant.  Further along, you will visit Cross Hill, which has countless crosses that have been planted there by people who express their Christian fervour in that way.  Next you will visit an alpaca farm where you will be able to pet, feed and take photographs with these unusual animals.  The day will end at a farm that will serve traditional Lithuanian foods for dinner.  When you arrive in Latvia, the first destination will be a farm that produces seven kinds of cheeses.  Along the way you will find the Tērvete Ancient History Museum and the Tērvete Nature Park.  After the tour, you will enjoy a fine meal at a countryside saloon.  A bakery near Svēte offers tasty cookies and pastries.  After a stroll through the town of Jelgava, you will visit the Caunītes farm, where you will learn how to bake bread and bake your own loaf to take along.  Along the way to Rīga, visit "Garlic World."  Latvian garlic has a particularly strong aroma and taste, and the lady of the house prepares many unusual dishes with garlic.

Agri Heritage
N/A
7 days
Total distance driving 440 km
Latvia

Nature and Rural Goodies of Vidzeme

First the route goes to the birch juice and wine maker where you can taste this traditional and refreshing drink, then a goats farm where to taste various diary products and see the animals. Further on head to Sigulda with the Olympic Bobsled Track and three medieval castles located on the banks of the river Gauja - Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda. There is also a good network of picturesque walking trails. Then explore historic village of Ligatne established around the Paper Mill and visit local craftmen located in one of the caves typical for the area. Cesis is charming town with mighty medieval castle ruins and New Castle. Visit hemp grower and try the hemp prepared traditional way. Enjoy Koni Mill where wool is processed with old fashioned machines and warm blankets are hand-made. Visit crafts studio at Staicele and try to spot the stork colony with more that 30 nests along the road. At Mazsalaca where there is a nature park with trails featuring beautiful steep sandbanks of the river Salaca. The river is also famous for its lampreys and further on the route you could see the weirs for traditional lamprey catching. At Saulkrasti walk the Dune trail and enjoy the beach. Further on visit cranberry swamps where you can taste healthy berry in some form depending of the season. Visit elegant Birini Manor with huge park and great restaurant and return to Riga.

By the sea
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 423 km
Latvia

Gardens - The beautiful and the practical

The route leads from Riga, the capital of Latvia through beautiful countryside areas to Kaunas, the second largest city of Lithuania.  Klūgu landscape garden and park is famous for begonias. Institute of horticulture in Dobele owns a collection of over 200 types and forms of lilac plants. The “Beautiful&Practical” garden is proud of its collection of conifers, and the hosts offer tastings of herbal spice powders, dried berries and fruit. “Rūķīšu tea” is one of the largest farms for medicinal plants in Latvia (purple coneflowers, marigolds, chamomile, etc). Enjoy the beauty of peonia in the collection garden by Andris Berkins. Viestardi tulip garden also grows and processes buckthorn. Next stop is at the vegetable and herb farm “Healthy” producing herbal ointments. Visiting Mint House you will taste mint tea, biscuits, honey with peppermint and peppermint syrups. At Blankenfelde manor you will see a collection of bells and will enjoy natural juices, syrups and pickles produced in-house. In Joniškis, you can visit the White and Red Joniškis Synagogues, the Joniškis Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and the Joniškis Museum of History and Culture. Jakiškiai Manor has not been renovated and shows authentic elements like ovens, shutters, stairs, doors. There are about 30 different species and varieties of plants growing on the grounds of the Baltic Plant Museum. Šiauliai University Botanical Garden demonstrates heritage rural plant gardens arranged according to the traditions of pre-war, inter-war and post-war periods. Burbiškis Manor and its beautiful landscape and sculpture park is a home to the annual tulip festival. Authentic homesteads representing Aukštaitija region can be seen at Kleboniškiai Rural Household Museum. Baisogala Manor is called royal, since it once belonged to a Lithuanian Grand Duke, its 12-hectare park is one of the most beautiful in Lithuania. There are two beautiful heritage gardens surrounding the museum of Mačiulis-Maironis, a famous Lithuanian poet. Home produced “Happy Foods” can be bought from Garsi Tyla homestead, and you can have a walk in their 100-year-old orchard and see the culinary herb garden. The Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture carries out both scientific and experimental/production activities. You can also buy seedlings, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285 centimetres at a height of 1.3 metres. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. The tour ends in Kaunas that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939.

Heritage gardens
N/A
5 days
Latvia

Culinary Route "Flavours of Livonia" - Light's road

Ancient trading routes provided not just goods, but also knowledge and culture. The Light’s rout relates to the Reverent Ernst Gluck, who was a writer, the first translator of the Bible into Latvian, and a founder of Latvian children's schools, the Hernhutian movement of brothers, Kārlis Skalbe, the Kaudzīte brothers, Jānis Poruks, Antons Austriņš and their spiritual heritage.

People in Vidzeme bake rye, wheat, barley, spelt and grit bread with various seeds, caraway seeds, nuts, dried fruit and hemp seeds. Hemp is used to produce traditional butter, oil and dumplings made with grey peas. It is also added to candies and even chocolate. Barley flour in the past was used only for celebrations, but today people will teach you how to use it to bake water pretzels with salt and caraway seeds. Visit farms and restored windmills to track the route of grain.

Taste traditional Summer Solstice cheese, as well as Green cheese and tasty goat cheese.  Pipe perch from Lake Burtnieks is a local delicacy, and you will also find trout, catfish and sturgeon, as well as crabs in season. Local meat and fowl dishes are popular, including dishes made with rabbit. Kitchens at aristocratic estates will offer wild game and pheasants with forest goodies and wild herbs. In Vidzeme you can meet the Garlic Queen, who prepares plant powders. Enjoy pies, sheet cakes, honey cakes, desserts of whipped cottage cheese, mountain ash, quince, apples, sweet cream and rye bread, as well as blackberry or apple dumplings. Slake your taste with herbal teas with honey, birch juice, berry lemonades or, if you're looking for something stronger, some tasty beer or wine.

Active season months1-12
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
3 days
Total distance driving 465 km
Latvia

Kurzeme: farming heritage in today’s life

This trip will allow you to visit a farm in Kurzeme and to experience the diversity of its output.  Tasty and interesting!  From Rīga, the road will lead you along the Gulf of Riga and through fishing villages which are full of the aroma of smoked fish.  On the way to Talsi, you will visit an orchard and farm that produces apple chips.  Talsi is known not just as the town on nine hills, but also as the home of the tasty "Talsi Wheel" brand of cheese.  Also here is the Latvian Agriculture Museum with an exhibition about farming from the late 19th century to the present day. The symbol of Kuldīga is a red brick bridge across the Venta River, as well as the charming Old Town.  Next you will visit the seashore to learn about fishing, fish smoking and bread baking traditions.  Visit the unique steep shores of Jūrkalne.  On the way back you will visit a winemaking facility and a farm where shiitake mushrooms are grown.  You will also learn about the path of milk from a cow to finished dairy products and visit a farm at which people will tell you about the story of their family which dates back to the age of noblemen and baronial estate.

Agri Heritage
N/A
8 days
Total distance driving 785 km
Latvia, Lithuania

Kurzeme – Zemaitija: fishing and fish food heritage by the Baltic Sea

This trip will allow you to see seaside landscapes, learn interesting facts about the ancient process of fishing, and enjoy traditional seafood dishes.  Your first stop after leaving Rīga will be Ragaciems, where you will find a popular fish market that always offers a wide range of smoked fish from the sea.  On the shores of the sea, you can look at a restored fishing boat pier and huts for nets.  Further along, groups of 15 people or more can enjoy the "Fisherman's Banquet" programme in Roja.  There you will hear stories about the lives, songs, dances and games of fishermen and, of course, enjoy an elegant banquet.  Next you will visit Cape Kolka and the Slītere National Park, where men still go fishing in the sea.  The aroma of smokehouses will be evident.  Travellers can purchase freshly smoked fish there.  Along the way to Ventspils, it is worth stopping at the Irbene radio telescope, which has a military history, but is used for scientific purposes today.  Next you will drive toward Liepāja and stop at the charming town of Pāvilosta, which is popular among surfers, as well as the steep shores of Jūrkalne, where you will be able to taste fresh baked bread that has been kneaded by hand at a farm.  Then you will get to Liepāja, which is the birthplace of Kristaps Porziņģis, a basketball player who plays for the New York Knicks in the NBA.  A special treat in Liepāja ir smoked cod with potatoes and sweet cream.  You can visit a windmill that was built in 1885 and is still operational, as well as the Pape Nature Park and the ethnographic Ķoņi village.  Once you get to Lithuania, you will spend a day at the popular seaside sea town Palanga, and then continue the route to Cape Vente and the Rusne Island, both of which are famous because of fishing and fish smoking traditions.  Visit the village of Minija, which is known as the "Venice of Lithuania."  Finally, visit the Kurši dunes, the Sea Museum and dolphinarium, as well as the port city of Klaipeda.

Agri Heritage
N/A
6 days
Estonia, Latvia

6 Day tour: Authentic Experiences of Living Culture at UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The tour presents UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Latvia and Estonia. Experience the famous traditions of song, national crafts, architecture and food of the unique Suiti and Seto ethnic groups.

Local lifestyle
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 180 km
Latvia

The Liv Coastline is inviting you!

The Liv Coastline involves a series of shoreline villages from Ovīši to Ģipka along the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Bay of Rīga.  Like Latvians, Livs are an indigenous population in Latvia, with ancestors who lived here at least 5,000 years ago.  They populated extensive parts of Kurzeme and Vidzeme, and the area in which they lived the longest was Northern Kurzeme, on the shores of the Baltic Sea.

Today visitors to the Liv Coastline mill meet real Liv fishermen, feel the aroma of smoked fish, enjoy traditional dishes, look at diverse ancient fences, learn about the reticent charm of the local landscape, enjoy the place where two seas, birds and people meet at Cape Kolka, hear the Liv dialect of the Latvian language, see rounded hillocks and swampy areas, visit the Šlītere lighthouse, and see the green-white-blue Liv flag, red bilberries, bird migration routes and blue cows.  The oldest evidence of the life of Livs can be found in the Liv centres.  The Liv language and culture are still alive in place names, handicrafts, folk costumes, and the world view and lifestyle of people who live in the area.  The Liv language and cultural values are part of Latvia's national cultural heritage, and traditional Liv culture is part of the Latvian Canon of Culture.

Active season months5-10
N/A
2 days
Latvia

Traveling through cider route

Latvija ir ābolu zeme, tāpēc radīt sidru šeit ir dabiski! Senās ābolu audzēšanas tradīcijas mūsu zemē, kā arī kvalitatīvu šķirņu daudzveidība ir būtiska Latvijas sidra kultūras priekšrocība. Mūsu klimata zonā ir sarežģīti izaudzēt labas vīnogas, lai ražotu vīnu, toties vietējie apstākļi ir īpaši piemēroti, lai taptu ābolu sidrs. Tā ir dabiska likumsakarība, ko vietējie sidra ražotāji izmanto ar pieaugošu izcilību.

Sidra ceļš jūs aizvedīs uz dažādām Latvijas sidra darītavām, kā arī restorāniem un krodziņiem, kas ceļ to galdā. Sidra ceļš ļaus izprast Latvijas sidra specifiku, iepazīstinās ar kulinārajām tradīcijām un kultūras mantojumu dažādos reģionos. Jums būs iespēja tikties ar pašiem sidrdariem, kas vada nelielas saimniecības, rūpējas par dārzu, pastāstīs par savu darbu vai pat ļaus tajā piedalīties.