Seasons of Latvia to Travel

Bridge over Venta in KuldigaThere is a lot of possibilities to practice winter sports – snowboarding, cross country skiing, downhill skiing etc.Ramkalni, Baili, Zviedru Cepure. Some of slopes are open till late night. Usually need car to access.

International Ice Sculpture Festival in Jelgava, February
International Festival of Cartoons – Bimini in Riga, March

As rivers get more water from melting snow, canoeing down the rivers is favorite past time for young people. It usually gets warmer after Easter.

Easter – usually something is going on in town centers. Experience traditional Easter celebrations with swings and egg fight. Perfect time of the year to indulge in tradtional balzams – a sickeningly high alcohol content liquour, and for cultural pursuits such as seeing the amazing Riga Opera.
International Baltic Balet Festival in April/May.
Days of Art in Cesis, April
European Undertaking “Museum Night” all over Latvia, in May

Jani – on the June 24th, Latvians celebrate a midsummer festival called – Jani. Before that Jani flea markets are held in mayor towns.
Country music festival – held annually in Bauska, around middle July for 2 days. European and US country musicans. Camping on the site possible.
Saulkrasti Jazz- yearly jazz festival, which is held at the end of July. Latvian and massive number of foreign musicans perform on the stage by the sea. Weekly concerts culminates in final concert. Saulkrasti can be easily reached from Riga main terminal by train.
International Music Festival “Riga Rythms” usually held at the begining of July in Riga.
Sigulda Opera Festival at the beginning of August, held in open air in Sigulda town.
Cesis Music and Art Festival. Medieval Festivity at the beginning of August. All things Medieval there – food, custumes, customs etc.
Liepajas Dzintars- the end of August is the time for famous Liepaja music festival.
Latvia has one of longest sand beaches in Europe. In July and August the water is warm enough to swim. The sea has a very slow slope.

Latvian Song and Dance Festival

One of the key cultural events in Latvia, which started back in 1873 as singing festival. Now festival happenings involve choirs, folk dance groups, brass bands, folklorists etc. Competitions, exibitions, concerts, parade and joint concerts are some of cultural events. Riga is full with traditional cusumes and cheerful people from all Latvia. It is held once in five years. The next Latvian Song and Dance Festival will take place form 6th to 12th July, 2008 in Riga. Note: Latvian expats in US will held their 12th US Latvian Song Festival in July, 2007. If you want to have a glimpse what is all about, go to Indianapolis in July.

There are many interesting and old castles around Latvia. Association of Latvian Castles, Palaces and Manors has links and photos on their website. Note that sometimes castles are reserved for private occasions.

It is popular to go for autumn leaves viewing, when the trees turn red and yellow. Popular spots are Sigulda and Vidzemes Augstiene.