Latvia is one of the Baltic States, a country with two distinctive faces. There is Riga, the capital, with its architecture and booming spirit. But apart from Riga there is a vast countryside full of picturesque farms, old wooden houses, small churches, ruined castles and towns with an almost medieval feel. And a lot of forest, bogs and sandy beaches. A surprising country.

Kandava

A picturesque stop on the way from Riga to the coast.

Tukums

A small town, west of Riga. It originated as a result of an important trade route. Some of the houses stil bare witness of a greater past.

Kuldiga

An ancient city, once part of the Hanseatic League, now a somewhat sleepy town. The ancient centre however is quite unique in its buildings and atmosphere.

Ventspils

A port city with wooden buildings, churches and a few interesting old mansions.

Kap Kolka

Cape on the Baltic Sea, near the entry to Gulf of Riga. Ancient ruins of a lighthouse and an impressive empty beach.

Kemiri

Once a high society Spa resort. Now the centre of Kemiri National Park, one of the most captivating wetland landscapes in the country.

Bauska and Rundale Palace

Bauska is a small town south of Riga. Nearby is Rundale Palace, a 138 room extravagant Baroque castle with a Rococo interior. It was completed in 1740, just when its owner, Duke von Biron was exiled to Siberia. He returned in the 1760s and the interior was finished then.

Aglona

A small village with a big late baroque basilica; a centre of pilgrimage and mass-celebrations.

Daugavpils

A large town in the East of Latvia. This part of the country has a large Russian minority and Soviet influence is still visible.

Sigulda and Turaida

Sigulda is a resort-like town in the Gauja National park and close to Turaida with its reconstructed castle and small park with ancient wooden churches and reconstructed farms and houses.

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