Latvia & the Baltics Tours
Our guided tours to Latvia and the Baltics are led by local tour leaders, ensuring that you get an authentic experience of the countries with guidance and insight from someone who knows all the secret stories and hidden gems. We offer tailor-made Latvia travel packages as well as group tours with defined itineraries, giving you the flexibility to choose how you spend your holiday.
As Seen in…
Places you’ll visit in Latvia on our group tours of the Baltics
Latvia History and Culture
At a mere 64, 589 km², Latvia remains a country which is decisively rural. The 1.9 million inhabitants occupy the coast and relatively small, scattered urban centres whose hearts are characterised by enchanting mediaeval defences and Russian-influenced church spires.
The visitor who wanders the streets of Riga will find themselves immersed in a series of vivid bygone worlds that celebrate the city’s mediaeval and 20th-century trading successes, its religious collage of denominations, and its determined and repeatedly proud fights for freedom. Buzzing street cafés in the nooks and crannies of every town allow you to soak up a place that is unremittingly welcoming and beautiful in equal measure.
Beyond lies the lowland countryside, less than a third of which is farmed. Instead, you will find amazingly wild forests – 56% of the landscape is coniferous woodland – and the bogland plains, comprising 12,500 rivers, 2,256 lakes and fens that are a nature lover’s paradise. Latvia’s 4 National Parks and scores of other conservation projects mean that an impressive 20% of the landscape is under protected status.
The country finds its origins with the arrival of Baltic tribes who traded in the lucrative amber, the dominant of which was the Latgalian people. The integral importance of the Amber Road to Latvia’s development is seen in the fact that it stood astride the trade route from Byzantium to Varangia and so the 4 tribes became iron age kingdoms, building hill forts to cement their position and trading as far afield as Egypt and Greece.
The German Teutonic Knights forced Christianity upon the country, resulting in the country being part of a crusader kingdom ruled by Germany. Riga and other towns joined the Hanseatic League and the great fortifications at such as Riga Castle and Turaida were testament to the growing influence of the area.
Despite a series of only brief moments of independence, most notably in the 1920s, and the ethnic cleansing that followed the German invasion in the Second World War, Latvian ethnic culture – its vibrant dance, art, folklore and, particularly song – endured decades of Soviet repression and survives today. Since the 1991 referendum for independence, the traditional ways have been nurtured and are robustly in evidence everywhere in the food, cultural celebrations and a continual conservationist stance on preserving the landscape that is quintessentially Latvia.
FAQ Holidays in Latvia
What is the best time to visit Latvia?
Late spring and summer are the best times to visit Latvia, as this is when the weather is at its warmest and driest. These conditions are ideal for sightseeing and exploring the landscape, and much of Latvia’s architecture looks at its best when lit by golden sunshine.
Winter is also a beautiful time to visit the country if you’re after stunning snowy scenery and frozen lakes and forests, but the temperature rarely gets above freezing so you’ll need to be prepared for the cold weather.
Is Latvia safe to visit?
Latvia is a very safe place to visit with low crime rates, so most tourists never experience any problems during their trip. You should still be wary of theft, pickpocketing or tourist scams, and be sensible when it comes to walking around at night or exploring on your own, but overall you shouldn’t have to worry about your safety when visiting Latvia.
How many days are enough to visit Latvia?
Latvia is quite a small country, so most people recommend spending from three days to a week there when visiting. If you’re only in Latvia for a few days then staying in the capital city of Riga is your best bet for getting a good feel for the country, but those with more time can travel to the rural areas of Latvia and admire the range of scenery there.
How can I spend 15 days in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?
15 days is a great amount of time to spend in Latvia and some of the other neighbouring countries like Estonia and Lithuania. We recommend that you spend five days in each country and split your time between exploring towns and cities to enjoy cultural attractions, and visiting more rural spaces to admire the scenery and try outdoor activities.
Our Baltic Small Group Tour is the perfect way to experience all of that, taking guests through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a trip with a local guide that focuses on authentic travel experiences and seeing the real side of every country.
Is it cheap to visit Latvia?
In comparison to other European countries, Latvia is a pretty cheap place to visit. It’s not as popular as destinations like Italy, Spain or Croatia, which means that tourism hasn’t driven up the prices for things like travel, accommodation and attractions, so it is possible to have a very budget-friendly holiday there.
Another great way to get the best value for money when visiting Latvia is to book one of our tailor-made tours of the Baltic countries, where things like transport, activities and accommodation will all be included in your package, with the added bonus that you won’t have to organise any of it yourself!