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On December 21, Valmiermuiža will gather local producers from all around Latvia, offering homemade bread, cheese, smoked goods, lamprey, honey, herbal teas, spices, homemade wine, beer, juice, candied fruit, hard candy, gingerbread cookies and lots more.

Everything offered at the fair is natural and, hence, healthy, made by locally grown plants or gathered in the clean forests and meadows of Latvia. Local craftsmen will offer woollen socks, mittens, crochets, hammered work, wooden toys and jewellery to give them as presents to friends and relatives. Items made by local craftsmen would make our ancestors proud, as they have been made according to the best traditions.

Along the fair all visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy a varied culture programme, including activities to get better acquainted with the traditions of the annual customs, learn songs and games, master some of the traditional crafts and much more. 



According to an old Latvian belief, nine dishes should be served for the festive Christmas meal. The hostess at “Vīnkalni” country house will teach visitors how to cook three Latvian traditional dishes:

‘Biguzis’ – a traditional country dessert with rye bread, whipped cream and fresh berries. Its ingredients are rye bread, cranberries or lingonberries, honey, cinnamon and whipped cream. Mature rye bread is crushed or grated. Cranberries are squeezed in juice, diluted with water, sweetened with honey and poured into bread. When the bread has sucked into the liquid, it is topped with whipped cream.

Fresh cheese – made from cow's milk adding various herbs and spice (cumin, hemp, greens).

Buns and cakes. It is said that in Latvian folk tradition round cakes and buns in the form of a crescent were baked to honour the Sun and the Moon. Today they are often baked for celebrations and festivities. The traditional Latvian buns ‘pīrāgi’ are made from yeast dough, are 5-13cm long in a curved form like a crescent. They are filled with bacon and onions or with cottage cheese or apples.


Those who sell and those who buy are looking forwards to meet on the December 15 Christmas market at Straupe! There will be lots of seasonal treats and goodies for your festive table. To name just a few: fresh carp, a specially prepared quince elixir, vacuum packed beef, lamb, turkey, freshly cooked smoked meat, gingerbread dough, candy, marmalade, tea and honey jars. It will be a great and rich market that will fulfil all your wishes in the run-up to Christmas!


The programmes allow visitors to experience four unique and different ethnographic regions where authentic traditions are still part of peoples’ everyday life. They are: Setomaa region (Estonia), Kihnu island (Estonia), Suiti cultural space (Latvia) and the Livonian coast (Latvia) presenting UNESCO heritage in the following ways:

UNESCO proclaimed Intangible Cultural Heritage:

  • SETO LEELO, Seto polyphonic singing tradition;
  • KIHNU cultural space;
  • SMOKE SAUNA tradition in Võromaa;
  • SUITI cultural space.

On the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Latvia: the LIVONIAN Cultural space. Livonian community has made a commitment to prepare a nomination for UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Booklet (PDF).

Available in languages: English, Estonian, Latvian


Baltic Coastal Hiking is a long distance hiking route part of E9 along the coast of the Baltic Sea. The hiking route starts at the Lithuanian-Latvian border in the village of Nida in Latvia and finishes at the Port of Tallinn in Estonia. The ~1200 km of the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route are split up into 60 separate parts of one day walks (~20-25 km). Each day’s walk has a detailed description. An additional three spreads of the guide are dedicated to the islands of Estonia where travellers can continue their hike or, quite the contrary, relax by enjoying the cultural, historic, gastronomic or wellness offers on the islands. The guidebooks are issued in 5 different languages (english, latvian, german, estonian and russian). In limited amounts english, latvianan and german versions are available in printed format at our office in Riga, Kalnciema street 40.

>>> Free guidebook download (PDF, ~64MB)

Homepage: coastalhiking.eu

Facebook: facebook.com/jurtaka

Instagram: instagram.com/jurtaka

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The brochure introduces the Baltic Coastal Hiking route along the Baltic Sea coast between Riga and Tallinn. The 1200km route is part of the European long distance hiking route E9. Any part of the itinerary can be chosen for a hike of 60 days, a daily hike around 20 km. The whole route is divided into 8 sections revealing the variety of the seacoast and allowing hikers to choose their preferences. The brochure describes the highlights in each section, offers practical tourist information and includes a hiking route map.

 

Baltic Coastal Hiking tourist brochure and map (PDF, 18 MB)

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This great jubilee is celebrated with a great variety of events all over the country. Full calendar of events is published at www.lv100.lv . 
Seven Routes of Latvia’s Statehood have been developed within the programme for celebration of the centenary of Latvia as a state. They offer destinations and farms to visit, with wealthy stories of memories and beautiful landscapes all around. The routes lead to all regions of the country, and each route is devoted to a particular theme of Latvia’s formation as a state. All route descriptions and itineraries are found here https://www.celotajs.lv/en/c/brand/lv100?lang=en .
 


The “central artery” of Gauja National Park is the River Gauja with many tributaries. Many of these are rapid and swift, with clean, unpolluted water enriched with water coming from many springs, and therefore they are suitable for spawning of salmon-like fish — the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and stream trout (Salmo trutta fario). After a longer trip, the salmon-like fish travel in autumn to their birth places, and thus this is the time best suitable not only to watch the fish, but also enjoy what is happening on the riverside. The best time to go is late October, beginning of November. The local guides on staff of the Nature Conservation Agency take visitors to the best salmon watching spots.
http://www.entergauja.com/en/enter-gauja/routes/spawning-of-salmon-like-fish-in-gauja-national-park


Mushrooming season starts in our forests after the unusually warm and dry summer. The Kārļamuiža country hotel, located in Gauja National Park offers one day mushrooming tours in natural forest environment. The forest terrain in the selected mushrooming spots is easy to walk, covered with moss, fallen leaves and small plants. There is a great variety of mushrooms in the forest, but the most popular edible mushrooms are the various Boletus, Russulas, and Chanterelles. The hotel provides a fungi guide to help safely make difference between edible and non-edible species, and to orientate in the forest. The hotel restaurant chef offers dishes from wild mushrooms. 


On September 2, the popular Straupe farmer’s market invites everyone to celebrate the rich harvest. This summer has been generous, so the market offers a wealth of countryside goodies from gardens and fields. The market sells a variety of foods, animals and poultry, plants and seedlings, and handicrafts.
Straupe’s farmers’ market is a member of the Slow Food International Earth Markets alliance. The produce that is sold on the market conforms with the Slow Food philosophy – it is locally grown, seasonal and of good quality. It has been grown and produced in a responsible way.