Welcome to Latvia - the pearl of the Baltic States and a multi-cultured state, where the traditions of East, West, North and South have merged, creating a unique environment, the like of which is not to be found anywhere in the world. Arrival in Riga, meeting and transfer to the hotel, check in. Overnight at the hotel in Riga Old Town.
Day 2: Riga.
Breakfast at the hotel. The day starts with the strolling down the narrow cobbled streets of Old Riga, enjoying the ancient aura of the place and the unique medieval architectural monuments, which have been lucky enough to have survived two world wars. Highlights of our guided walking tour impresses: the Dome Cathedral, dating back to the 13th century, St. Peter's Church, St. Jacob's Cathedral, housing the seat of Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Three Brothers private residence complex, Riga Castle, St.George's Church, nicknamed the white stone castle, the Holy Spirit Convent, the Dannenstern House, the House of the Blackheads, Small and Great Guildes and others. Most famous Riga Art Nouveau buildings examples on Elizabetes and Alberta streets are also included in the tour. Optional lunch at the Latvian style restaurant in Old Riga. Optional Organ Music Concert at the Dome Cathedral. Optional Riga Black Balsam tasting.
Afternoon you will visit one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe - Riga Ethnographic Open Air Museum, which was founded in 1924. Historical dwellings, peasants', fishermen's and artisans' homesteads, a tavern and windmills have been gathered here from all over Latvia. Masters of 18 different crafts demonstrate their work: spoon-carvers, bee-keepers, potters and others. The collection contains 100000 items. Optional evening ballet or opera performance at Latvian National Opera, optional guided Opera backstage tour. Overnight at the hotel in Riga Old Town.
Day 3: Riga – Jurmala – Kuldiga – Ventspils.
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided departure to the largest seaside resort in the Baltic States - Jurmala. The town of Jurmala takes pride in its wooden architecture, a unique characteristic of the city since the 19th and early 20th century. Here Art Nouveau, National Romanticism, and Functionalism coexist in harmony. After the city sightseeing tour you will have a free time for a pleasant walk on the beach to enjoy a view on Jurmala sand dunes, Gulf of Riga blue water and take a deep breath of healthy Jurmala air - pine forest trees mixed with the sea. Optional lunch at the restaurant located directly on the beach. Further continue to charming little town of Kuldiga, which is famous for the widest waterfall in Europe – Ventas Rumba, stretching for 249 m in width. After seeing the best parts of Kuldiga including Old Town and the 19th century red brick bridge across the River Venta you will head to the sea gates of Latvia – Ventspils. Overnight at the hotel in Ventspils city center.
Day 4: Ventspils - Liepaja.
Breakfast at the hotel. A guided morning walk on the cobbled lanes of Ventspils Old Town, the Livonian Order Castle (1290), the port district Ostgals and stop by the Anchor Trail to admire see a 6 m high 23-ton anchor. Optional lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon guided departure to another Latvian port and traditionally regarded town of music and culture – Liepaja. International Piano Festival, International Organ Music Festival, Baltic Beach Party are just some of the names of the yearly events in Liepaja. Overnight at the hotel in Liepaja city center.
Day 5: Liepaja - Jaunmoku Castle.
Breakfast at the hotel. Liepaja guided walking tour starts with the Art Nouveau buildings in the town centre and continues to the distinctive wooden architecture at the Seaside Park. Further the way of the town discover lies to Karosta (Naval Port) and labyrinths of the Northern Fort. Optional lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon guided departure to Jaunmoku Castle, combining Neo-Gothic shapes with elements of Art Nouveau. The castle was built in 1901 as a hunting palace for George Armitstead, a Mayor of Riga City. Overnight in the room of Jaunmoku Castle.
Day 6: Jaunmoku Castle – Jelgava Palace – Bauska Castle – Rundale Palace – Mezotnes Castle.
Breakfast at the Castle. Today you will discover the Castles and Palaces of Southern Latvia. From morning you will head to the magnificent Jelgava Palace, which can be seen from the bridge across the Lielupe River. At present, the Latvia University of Agriculture is located here, but earlier it was a residence of the Duke of Kurzeme. Afterwards you will continue to Bauska Castle, than to the marvelous Rundale Palace, which is an example of Baroque and Rococo architecture of outstanding brilliance. Optional late lunch at the restaurant of Rundale Palace will make you feel special. After a good meal you will continue to Mezotnes Castle for overnight. This significant classical style building (1802) has been renovated in 2001. The castle is surrounded by a well kept English landscape park. Exclusive guest rooms with authentic furniture and accessories from the times of princes' von Liven (the beginning of the 19th century). Overnight in the room of Mezotnes Castle.
Day 7: Mezotnes Castle - Daugavpils.
Breakfast at the Castle. Today you will continue your Grand Latvia tour to Eastern Latvia side, which is widely called Land of Blue Lakes and its main town – Daugavpils. “Ancient stones of the fortress and splendid Art Nouveau in the heart of the city, low-rise wooden houses with finely carved bluish-grey shutters and geraniums on the windowsills in the part of the city called Forstadt - create the peculiar feeling of being at home, being safe. It accompanies all those, who have been born here or have lived here for some period of time", writes poetess Anna Rancane about Daugavpils. Optional lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon guided sightseeing tour of Daugavpils city. Overnight at the hotel in Daugavpils city center.
Day 8: Daugavpils – Aglona Basilika - Dagda – Raznas lake.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leaving Daugavpils early morning you will head to the most important Catholic church in Latvia – Aglona Basilica. Every year on 15th August thousands of pilgrims gather here to celebrate Assumption of Mary. The church has a huge collection of paintings, sculptures and art objects, Miracle-Worker Virgin Mary of Aglona icon (17th century) among them, usually veiled and only uncovered during religious celebrations. It is widely believed that the icon possesses healing properties.
Optional performance of baking Latvian rye bread and cooking old Latgalian dishes. Further you will continue to small Dagda town, guided sightseeing tour here. Afterwards you will drive to the second Latvian largest lake - Raznas lake. At the evening enjoy Latvia beautiful nature and sights by the lake. Overnight at the guest house by Raznas lake.
Day 9: Raznas Lake – Rezekne – Lubans lake.
Breakfast at the guest house. New tour day starts with the guided Rezekne sightseeing tour. The attraction of Rezekne city is hidden not only in its tidiness and green ornament, but also in its culture historical inheritance. In spite of the fact that the World War II destroyed the biggest part of the historically remarkable and ancient buildings, many of them are sight worthy today. Optional lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon guided departure to the largest lake of Latvia - Lubans lake. Enjoy nature of Eastern Latvia at your leisure. Overnight at the guest house by Lubans lake.
Day 10: Lubans Lake – Cesis.
Breakfast at the guest house. From morning you will drive to small ancient town Cesis and its medieval Cesis Castle. During the guided walk on the cobbled streets and alleyways of Cesis Old Town you will see old buildings with traditional red tiled roofs, hidden courtyards and restored facades. Another must-see in Cesis is St.John's church, first built at the end of the 13th century as the largest church in the region. The church organ fills the surrounding streets with its music. Optional lunch at the local restaurant and Cesis beer tasting. Optional Cesis brewery guided tour. Overnight at the hotel in Cesis city center.
Day 11: Cesis – Sigulda.
Breakfast at the hotel. Just half an hour drive from Cesis lies beautiful Latvian town – Sigulda, which often is called as Latvian Switzerland. You will visit Turaida Museum Reserve, which is Sigulda's protected cultural monument. The Turaida Castle Museum Park covers 42 hectares of land and encompasses items of natural, cultural and historical importance. The most prominent feature is the soaring red brick tower of the restored 13th century Turaida castle, providing a breathtaking view across the Gauja river valley from its very top. Optional medieval games and feast at the Castle. Optional local exiting entertainment activities - bungee jumping, aerodium, bobsleigh and canoe. Overnight at the hotel in Sigulda city center.
Day 12: Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Riga International airport, which is located about 1,5 hour drive from Sigulda. Return back home.
The tour price on request.
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