Latvia

Latvia

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Facts about Latvia


Area: 64,589 km2.

Location: Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states.

Neighbouring states: It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as a maritime border to the west alongside Sweden.

Climate: Latvia has four pronounced seasons of near-equal length. Winter starts in mid-December and lasts until mid-March. Winters have average temperatures of −6 °C and are characterized by stable snow cover, bright sunshine, and short days. Severe spells of winter weather with cold winds, extreme temperatures of around −30 °C and heavy snowfalls are common. Summer starts in June and lasts until August. Summers are usually warm and sunny, with cool evenings and nights. Summers have average temperatures of around 19 °C, with extremes of 35 °C. Spring and autumn bring fairly mild weather.

Landscape: Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates with fields, farmsteads, and pastures.

Language: the official language is the Latvian language.

Population: 1,973,700.

Capital: Riga.

Form of government: parliamentary republic.
Head of state: President, the executive branch: Government (appointed by the President).

Administrative division: the territory of Lithuania is divided into 9 districts. Counties are subdivided into 110 municipalities.

Largest cities according to the population: Riga (658,640), Daugavpils (93,312), Liepāja (76,731), Jelgava (59511), Jūrmala (50,840), Ventspils (38,750).

Ethnic composition: Latvians form about 62.1% of the population, while 26.9% are Russians, Belarusians 3.3%, Ukrainians 2.2%, Poles 2.2%, Lithuanians 1.2%, Jews 0.3%, Romani people 0.3%, Germans 0.1%, Estonians 0.1% and others 1.3%.

Religion: Christianity (79%), though only about 7% of the population attends religious services regularly. The largest groups as of 2011 were: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox.

Life expectancy: average life expectancy for Lithuanians: 74.50 years; men: 69.10, women: 79.40.

National currency: euro.

Independence:
declared: 18 November 1918
restored: 21 August 1991

Latvia joined the European Union 1 May 2004

Coat of Arms and Flag:
Lithuanian Coat Lithuanian Flag





Public Holidays: 1 January : New Year’s Day
25 March: Good Friday
28 March: Easter Monday
1 May : International Labour Day
4 May: Independence Restoration Day
23 June: Midsummer's Eve
24 June: St. John's Day (Midsummer's Day)
18 November: Independence Day
24 December: Christmas Eve
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: 2nd Day of Christmas
31 December: New Year's Eve
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See & do

Visit Latvia to enjoy strolling pristine Gauja National Park, hit the beach in the resort city of Jurmala, or get an adrenaline rush at the Aerodium vertical wind tunnel.

See one of Latvia’s architectural, cultural and historic gems by visiting Rundale Palace, an exquisite Baroque and Rococo-style edifice, and experience Latvian culture firsthand by seeing some of the outstanding productions at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet.

This is just a small portion of what Latvia has to offer.

Active holiday
Take advantage of the varied active recreation options in Latvia. You can go to Livu Aquapark in Jurmala, which is one of the largest water amusement parks in Northern Europe, to enjoy swimming and the various water slides and tubes. Both children and adults will have fun down the slides.

You can test your endurance and have a good time at Tarzans, the largest adventure park in the Baltics, located in Sigulda.

There are more than 100 different elements placed in the trees of the park, up to 20 meters above the ground. Thrill seekers themselves can choose the level of difficulty and excitement.

In spring you can enjoy a boat trip on popular Gauja River, known for its beautiful sandstone outcrops. In winter you can go skiing to Jurmala, enjoying nature wrapped in a cover of snow. Get acquainted with the varied active recreation opportunities and pick your most favourite one.

Architecture
The cultural and historic heritage of Latvian architecture spans many centuries, from authentic rural homesteads to unique samples of wooden architecture, to luxurious palaces and manors, churches, and impressive Art Nouveau buildings.

There are outstanding architectural gems to be seen not just in the capital city of Riga, but also in towns, villages, and the more remote regions of Latvia. The controversial Soviet legacy in architecture also covers several decades, with striking samples all across the territory of Latvia.




























Culture
With Latvia being located on the crossroads between Western and Eastern cultures, and having a history of tumultuous developments, it is clear that foreign nations have left significant footprints in Latvia.

Latvians continue to observe the traditions of their ancestors – culture embedded in Latvian folklore that is best experienced during the Summer Solstice or "Jani" holiday, and the massive Song and Dance festivals, as well as through traditional crafts and handiwork, events organised by museums, and a lot of other activities.

Those who enjoy music and performing arts will enjoy major opera festivals in Riga and Sigulda, and a large number of various concerts and festivals across the country.




























Nature
To say that Latvia boasts pristine nature is no exaggeration, which means that many options are available for green tourism from simple walks in the woods to special offerings for bird-watchers, hunters and friends and connoisseurs of nature.




























Spa and Wellness
Experience the spa rituals characteristic to Latvia. Allow yourself the delight of a pleasant amber massage, soaking in a bath filled with beer, or plunging in an open-air water tub to enjoy the view of the starry sky above.

The various procedures not only help to relax and regain strength, but also to improve your health, since natural remedies are used in the countryside spas of Latvia. Guesthouses and countryside spa centres offer massages using various medicinal plants, whereas in a Latvian sauna you can experience an authentic bath ritual under the care of an experienced professional.

Afterwards, simply give in to the feeling of peace and comfort induced by the spa procedure.

SPA
SPA









Jurmala for Health, Welness and Beauty Note: Jurmala for Health, Welness and Beauty.

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Eat & drink

Taste real Latvian culture in Riga! The Food and drink tours and events offered by us are one of the best ways to get an understanding of Latvian history and culture.

Riga’s gastronomic scene is growing every year. The old marketplaces are still teeming with fresh produce and the traditional, popular, stable food and drink is still enjoyed by the Latvian people, but now you can also find upcoming young chefs using local produce in inventive new ways, a booming craft-beer scene and a wide range of specialist gourmet shops all across the city.

Wild mushrooms, the royal catfish, venison dishes, birch juice, sweet strawberries and sour cherries, excellent honey, rhubarb wine and beer brewed by local masters - all this and much more is waiting for you in Latvia.

Riga is an outstanding destination for gourmet holidays, but you will also find great restaurants outside of the capital, which are built in historic estates and other beautiful places.

Bon appetite!

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Special interests

Latvia offers a broad range of accommodation. For those who value comfort and high quality, luxury hotels are available in Riga and other Latvian cities and towns, while those who wish to enjoy rural calm and relaxation in nature can choose a remote guesthouse or campsite in the Latvian countryside.

The Latvian definition of a hotel is a site of accommodation and service of customers that contains no fewer than four rooms.

Yet, regardless of price, all hotels provide services such as a shower, a toilet and a telephone. Many hotels also have restaurants and bars. Still, the range of services offered in each hotel may differ which is why you should find out about what is being offered before you select your accommodation.

According to the criteria of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia (LVRA), hotels in Latvia are divided into the following categories: I, II, III, IV and V, which, respectively, correspond to one-star (*), two-star (**), three-star (***), four-star (****) and five-star (*****) accommodations. Hotels in each category have a minimum range of services that must be offered.

You can find out more about the classification of hotels in Latvia at LVRA which certifies Latvian hotels in accordance with EU, Nordic and Baltic classification standards.

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Where to stay

Latvia offers a broad range of accommodation. For those who value comfort and high quality, luxury hotels are available in Riga and other Latvian cities and towns, while those who wish to enjoy rural calm and relaxation in nature can choose a remote guesthouse or campsite in the Latvian countryside.

The Latvian definition of a hotel is a site of accommodation and service of customers that contains no fewer than four rooms.

Yet, regardless of price, all hotels provide services such as a shower, a toilet and a telephone. Many hotels also have restaurants and bars. Still, the range of services offered in each hotel may differ which is why you should find out about what is being offered before you select your accommodation.

According to the criteria of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia (LVRA), hotels in Latvia are divided into the following categories: I, II, III, IV and V, which, respectively, correspond to one-star (*), two-star (**), three-star (***), four-star (****) and five-star (*****) accommodations. Hotels in each category have a minimum range of services that must be offered.

You can find out more about the classification of hotels in Latvia at LVRA which certifies Latvian hotels in accordance with EU, Nordic and Baltic classification standards.

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Where to stay

Latvia offers a broad range of accommodation. For those who value comfort and high quality, luxury hotels are available in Riga and other Latvian cities and towns, while those who wish to enjoy rural calm and relaxation in nature can choose a remote guesthouse or campsite in the Latvian countryside.

The Latvian definition of a hotel is a site of accommodation and service of customers that contains no fewer than four rooms.

Yet, regardless of price, all hotels provide services such as a shower, a toilet and a telephone. Many hotels also have restaurants and bars. Still, the range of services offered in each hotel may differ which is why you should find out about what is being offered before you select your accommodation.

According to the criteria of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia (LVRA), hotels in Latvia are divided into the following categories: I, II, III, IV and V, which, respectively, correspond to one-star (*), two-star (**), three-star (***), four-star (****) and five-star (*****) accommodations. Hotels in each category have a minimum range of services that must be offered.

You can find out more about the classification of hotels in Latvia at LVRA which certifies Latvian hotels in accordance with EU, Nordic and Baltic classification standards.