Has Latvia ever crossed your mind when you’re planning to go on a Eurotrip? If your answer is no, this article will highly advise you to squeeze in (or make it a priority!) this underrated destination in your itinerary. You may have known Latvia for its past as a part of the Soviet Union. But believe it or not, the main thing that will definitely attract you to visit it is its natural destinations. Here are some of the breathtaking places nature lovers should visit in Latvia.
1. Gutmanis Cavern
10,000 years ago, Ice Age’s glacial meltwater has caused the sandstone rock around Siguida, Latvia to erode and slowly form into what we’ll consider as the widest and highest cave in the Baltics, the Gutmanis Cavern. It is also considered as the oldest tourist attraction in the country, proven by the historical vandalisms or probably called “decorations” during that time, with the oldest dating back to 1668. The rich visitors of the cave paid local craftsmen to engrave their names, initials, and dates of their visits on the cave walls. These inscriptions including the coat-of-arms and names of barons and estate owners can still be seen in this protected archeological and geological monument. You can find the cavern in the Gauja National Park in Sigulda, Latvia.
Jurmala is a resort town 25 kilometers away from Riga. The town located between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River is known resort town for its 32.8 km long beach where young people and families go to relax and play by the white sandy beach. Moreover, Jurmala is considered as the greenest resort in the country with 64% of the city covered by natural areas and 34% is covered in forest. How amazing it is to know that even a small portion of Latvia is already occupied by nature.
3. Ventas Rumba
Ventas Rumba, or Venta waterfall, is the widest waterfall in Europe. It may be the widest but it isn’t similar to the tall waterfalls we often see. The 240-meter wide waterfall might not be tall, but its sight is worth seeing and you can also bathe under it. Every spring, it is best to visit the waterfalls and watch the jumping vimba bream fish migrate to their spawning ground upstream.
4. Cape Kolka
How does it feel like to stand at a point where two seas meet? It might make you feel like you’ve traveled all the way to the end of the world. But don’t worry; you’re still in Latvia – right in the horn of Cape Kolka. It seems to have nothing around but the clean scenery makes it easier to see thousands of flying birds during their migration season every mid-April, the breathtaking sunrise and sunset, and watch the waters of the Gulf of Riga and Baltic Sea meet each other.
5. Lake Razna
The second biggest lake in Latvia, Lake Razna, is one of the lakes protected by Razna National Park. Although there are other lakes near Lake Razna, it’s still one of those places you should visit because of its unique qualities. The special lake has water as clean and clear as the drinking water approved by European standards. The lake is also home of the 27 kinds of fish that make up 90% of all the fish you’ll find in the lakes of Latvia.
6. Jurkalne Seashore Bluffs
Jurkalne is a village which boasts a quiet beach with quite harsh winds. Unlike Jurmala, Jurkalne’s beach isn’t filled with amusement parks and hotels. Its shores remain untouched while being surrounded by20-meter-high bluffs, making it one of the most picturesque sea shores of the Baltic Sea in Latvia.
7. Great Kemeri Bog
It’s odd to say that a large dry moss swamp can be stunning but the 8,000-year-old Great Kemeri Bog is one you should pay a visit. It looks gloomy at times because of the dense fog. However, photographers are obsessed by its natural beauty. Thanks to its dotted ponds, wild plants and trees, and the orange to pink-tinted sky every sunrise.
8. Erglu Cliffs
700 meters long and about 22 meters high, the Erglu Cliffs stands high with its 330-meters-long section seen on the bank of the Gauja River. You can view the continuous sandstone wall up close by taking a boating trip on the Gauja or you can also go for a walk and discover some plants and birds you’ve never seen before.
9. Laumas Nature Park
There are about 42 nature parks in Latvia. So if you can’t pick out one, head to Laumas Nature Park. The privately developed park offers different sights and activities that you can do to bond with the family, friends, and nature. You can choose among the park’s different paths such as the Bee Path, Bird’s Path, Plant Path, and Forest Path.
10. Pape Nature Park
If you’re into watching wild horses, bison, and oxen, you can go to Pape Nature Park. The park is formed by diverse ecosystems including bags, dunes, dry and wet forests, and meadows where you can encounter different plants and animals.
When On Earth Magazine is for people who love travel. We provide informative travel guides, tips, ideas and advice regarding places to see, things to do, what to taste, and much more for world travelers seeking their next dream vacation destination.