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Latvia Information


Latvia is situated in Eastern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus on the south east, and the Baltic Sea on the west. The most famous travel spot is the capital Riga, a World Heritage Site. It is however higly recommended to go to many other great places, both urban and rural, such as Liepaja with its unique former secret military town of Karosta and a magnificent beach. Kuldiga with Europe`s widest waterfall and Cesis with its medieval castle ruins are also interesting. Tourists can also enjoy the wild beauty of Latvia`s unspoilt sea coast, which is 500 km long and consists mainly of white, soft sandy beaches. Forests, which cover approximately a half of Latvia`s territory, offer many nature trails and nature parks.

Half of Latvia is covered with forests which are rich with wildlife. There are many lakes, especially if you go to Latgale region. There are deep river valleys with some sections having sand cliffs on their banks. Heavy industry halted a long time ago, so most places are ecologically clean.

The highest point in Latvia is Gaizinkalns [2], at 312m (1,023ft) above sea level, just west of the town of Madona.

There are some cultural and social differences between regions, for example, traditional dress is different from region to region. The Latgale region has its own unique language - Latgalian.

Climate


The best time to travel to Latvia is from June to mid September, when it is warm and plenty of local food is available. January and February are the coldest months. October and November have autumn rains and daylight is short. Although you might not find plenty of 5 star hotels around Latvia, you will find comfortable places to stay for a reasonable price.

Cities


    * Riga - the capital city with more than 800 years old history, with the popular holiday suburb of Jurmala right by
    * Liepaja - city of music on the Baltic sea coast, which is always windy. Latvians believe that wind starts there and also famous Latvian musicans come from there. There is very interesting former secret military town called Karosta. Between a lake and the sea. One of world`s largest churchorgans. Famous summer event Baltic Beach Party in July. Fantastic unspoilt, white, soft sandy beach.
    * Cesis - old town in the heart of Vidzeme, castle and deep river valleys
    * Daugavpils - second biggest town in Latvia. Features many factories and other industries
    * Kuldiga - small town where old buildings are preserved. Features widest waterfall in Europe.
    * Sigulda - popular town with many interesting castles and historic spots. Most popular attraction outside Riga for foreign tourists
    * Ventspils - hosts one of busiest ports in Europe. It is possible to observe incoming ships.

Other destinations


    * Livu Akvaparks - the biggest water attraction in Northen Europe in Jurmala.
    * Latvijas Etnografiskais Brivdabas muzejs - open air living museum of old wooden houses, near Riga.
    * Karostas cietums - true Soviet prison experience with live prison show as well as night in prison. Based in Liepaja city Karosta suburb.
    * Open Air Art Museum at Pedvale - art installations in nature park, near Sabile, Kurzeme region.
    * Ferry to Saaremaa island from Ventspils to Saaremaa island (Estonia) during summer months.

Driving in Latvia


Speed limits apply in Latvia. Drive on the right hand side of the road. Driving with lights on is required 24 hours a day. Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers. Child seats are required. There are no tollways in Latvia.
 

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