Amber and Art Nouveau

Latvia

Latvia is a brilliant and still undiscovered place.  Golden amber washes up on the beaches; green forests cover almost half of the land; Black Balsam, the signature 90-proof herbal liqueur, is said to have cured Catherine the Great; and the red roofs of Old Riga offset the rumors of blazing modern nightlife downtown. Even the sun stays up late in Riga.

Why Travel with MIR to Latvia
  • Over two decades of Latvia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Stanford University and the Washington Agriculture & Forestry Education Foundation (WAFEF) have chosen MIR to guide them to Latvia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Signature Experiences

We regularly garner raves from our travelers for the inspired opportunities we provide to help them get to know the local people, distinctive art, architecture and accomplishments of Latvia.  Below is just a sampling of the Latvia experiences MIR has designed to take our clients far from the familiar.

  • Enjoy a stirring organ concert
    Enjoy an organ concert on one of the biggest organs in the world (6,718 pipes) at Dome Cathedral in old Riga....
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    Enjoy a stirring organ concert

    Latvia

    Riga, Latvia

    Enjoy an organ concert on one of the biggest organs in the world (6,718 pipes) at Dome Cathedral in old Riga.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Encounter the lives of 19th century Latvian people
    Tour Riga’s open-air Ethnographic Museum, featuring historical homes, farmsteads, windmills, a tavern and a church showing of the lives of the Latvian...
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    Encounter the lives of 19th century Latvian people

    Latvia

    Riga, Latvia

    Tour Riga’s open-air Ethnographic Museum, featuring historical homes, farmsteads, windmills, a tavern and a church showing of the lives of the Latvian common people in the last two centuries.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Sample the wares at Emila Gustava Chocolate Café
    Stop in at the Emila Gustava Chocolate Café and discover Latvia's rich chocolate-making tradition with an opportunity to sample sweets and shop for...
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    Sample the wares at Emila Gustava Chocolate Café

    Latvia

    Riga, Latvia

    Stop in at the Emila Gustava Chocolate Café and discover Latvia's rich chocolate-making tradition with an opportunity to sample sweets and shop for mouth-watering souvenirs.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Get a lesson in architectural styles in Riga’s Art Nouveau district
    Take a walking tour of UNESCO-listed Riga’s most famous Art Nouveau buildings, many designed by Mikhail Eisenstein (father of film director Sergei Eisenstein)....
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    Get a lesson in architectural styles in Riga’s Art Nouveau district

    Latvia

    Riga, Latvia

    Take a walking tour of UNESCO-listed Riga’s most famous Art Nouveau buildings, many designed by Mikhail Eisenstein (father of film director Sergei Eisenstein).

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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Ways to Travel to Latvia with MIR

Lively Latvia is a low-lying Baltic Sea country where a neo-pagan movement has taken root since independence was re-established in 1991. We have lots of friends in Latvia, and we’d love for you to meet them.

Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours to independent, custom and private travel:

Small Group Tours
Kaliningrad & The Baltics

Kaliningrad & The Baltics

Definitive Journey through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Kaliningrad

Travels to: Baltics, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia

13 Days / Departures in April, July 2018

Small Group land tour - call for pricing

See Trip

Rail Journeys by Private Train

At the moment, we don’t offer any rail tours that include this destination. However, we do have a variety of options for rail journeys by private train, including those that travel along the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway.

Custom and private travel is our specialty. We’ve been designing unforgettable custom itineraries from the cities to the forests of Latvia for over two decades; a majority of our guests travel on custom itineraries.

For ideas, peruse one of our Regional Travel Planners, a roundup of the must-sees from our savvy staff.

Take a look at our suggested Private Journey, Essential Baltics, or read more about how to design your own trip.  Also, consider this: You can customize our small group tour Kaliningrad & The Baltics to match your preferred dates of travel.

Design Your Own Custom Trip

Traveling privately on a custom program means flexibility:

  • You set the dates, the focus and the level of accommodations.
  • You are met on arrival and seen off at the end of your trip.
  • Your in-country transportation is pre-arranged hassle-free.
  • Your own expert local guides ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • And the best part? You travel at your own pace on an itinerary exclusive to you.

Check out just a handful of our Latvia signature experiences below and then get in touch with a MIR Private Journey Specialist to craft an itinerary that suits your travel goals, budget and style.  Or get started planning now.

Suggested Itineraries for Private Travel

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR offers itineraries that are available on a private departure basis with your choice of dates. They can also serve as inspiration for your own custom itinerary.

Our itinerary, your dates – great for solo travelers, couples or small groups.

Essential Baltics

Essential Baltics

The Best of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

Travels to: Baltics, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Departures in August, September, October, November, December 2017

This itinerary available as a private journey

See Trip

Weather
Our Favorite Places in Latvia
Latvia

Riga

Riga was first a fishing village founded by indigenous people. When Peter the Great conquered Latvia in the early 1700s, Riga began to grow as a trade and industrial center. Between 1857 and 1863, the medieval town walls were demolished, and parks and green belts were allowed to grow in their stead. Although the town was badly damaged during both world wars and neglected during its Soviet period, today Riga is Latvia’s flourishing and lively center of the arts, Art Nouveau architecture and nightlife. Riga’s historic city center has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997.

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Journeys that travel to Riga

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Latvia

Sigulda/Gauja National Park

The town of Sigulda is known as the gateway to Gauja National Park in the steep-sided Gauja River Valley. Take a walk in the Turaida Museum Reserve, climbing to the top of the medieval red brick Turaida Castle for views of the park, and following the path along the stream to the sandstone caves.

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Journeys that travel to Sigulda/Gauja National Park

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Latvia

Jurmala

Jurmala, about 15 miles from Riga on the coast of the Gulf of Riga, has been a resort area for many years. Its warm sandy beaches, mineral springs and mud baths have attracted the leisure class since the 19th century. Jurmala is actually a string of seaside villages (jurmala means seaside), most of them with their own train stations. Pedestrian areas, cafes, spas, bistros, beaches, clubs and a water park combine to give Jurmala a holiday feel.

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Journeys that travel to Jurmala

Contact a MIR Private Journeys Specialist at privatejourneys@mircorp.com or 800-424-7289 to plan a custom & private trip to Jurmala.

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Latvia

Rundale Palace

59 miles from Riga on the way to Lithuania is the baroque Rundale Castle, designed in the early 18th century by Rastrelli, who also built St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace. The palace was the home of the Duke of Courland, Ernst Johann Birland, a favorite of Russia’s Empress Anna. When Russia annexed Latvia, the palace was given to Russian Count Zubov and later the Shuvalov family. The family owned the place until 1920, when it was turned over to the Latvian government. It served time as apartments, a primary school and a granary, but in 1972, the palace saw restoration work begun. Today about 40 of the rococo rooms are open for inspection, including the royal kitchens.

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Journeys that travel to Rundale Palace

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When to Travel to Latvia

Christmas in Latvia (December)

Latvian marketLatvia is famous for its magical Christmas traditions of brilliantly lit trees, festive markets and holiday concerts. Visitors can enjoy Christmas markets throughout the city of Riga and its old town, sipping mulled and spiced wine and browsing traditional booths with local arts and foods. During the month of December, the European Christmas Festival features beautiful concerts in the music halls and churches of Riga and other Latvian cities.

Opera and Symphonic Festivals, Riga and Liepaja (May-August)

A variety of music festivals are hosted in the summer throughout Latvia, including the symphonic summer festival in Liepaja and the Riga Opera festival. The summer symphonic music cycle in Liepaja offers residents and visitors a chance to enjoy concerts on an open-air stage in Sea Park during hot summer days. Riga Opera Festival has occurred annually since 1998 and marks the end of the Latvian National Opera’s performance season with new productions, best moments of the previous year and some large-scale vocal and instrumental work performed by both popular local soloists and bright foreign stars.

Jāņi: The Summer Solstice, throughout Latvia (June)

The Summer Solstice or the Jāņi celebration dates back centuries when Europeans actively practiced the cult of the Sun. Jāņi, or Ligo, is the largest Latvian holiday of the year and gathers the entire nation together to celebrate. Throughout the country the shortest night of the year is celebrated in the forests and cities. Alongside the more traditional ritual bonfires and the search for the fern blossom, are the more modern concerts by Latvian folk music and dance groups.

Latvian Song and Dance Festival (summer – every five years)

The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is over a century old, and is as much a celebration of Latvian pride as it is of music and dance. The festival consists of large choirs and dance groups who perform, as well as a large number of art exhibitions, parades of traditional costumes and contemporary rock and pop concerts.