02.12.2014. 19:09

Latvia is neither very large nor very small. It's a country cozily nestled between Estonia and Lithuania on the shore of the Baltic Sea, also known as the Amber Sea. The territory of Latvia (24,900 square miles) is inhabited by over 2 million people. Latvian language is one of the most ancient European Languages. Together with Lithuanian, Latvian forms the Baltic branch of the Indo-European group of languages. Although Latvia occupies only a small territory, the variety of its nature is large. This is determined by its geographical location, the history of its development and the local characteristics.

You won't see smoking volcanoes or geysers, cloud-covered mountain tops or boundless plains in Latvia. However, Latvia will surprise you with other generous gifts of Mother Nature. Tree-covered hills alternate with grain-fields and pastures of the flatlands and massive forests. Along picturesque riverbanks the uncovered basic strata form cliffs and crags in which the water has carved caves. Numerous lakes sparkle at the bottom of hills. The forests and waters are full of wildlife.

Riga, announces itself with a unique and fantastically beautiful silhouette which is sometimes reflected in the Daugava, the largest river of Latvia, but sometimes secretively disappears in the fog. In 2001 Old Riga celebrated its 800th birthday. The Old Town is the most ancient part of Riga and it is also the beginning of Riga -- with the first local inhabitant log building in the 11th century and the first German newcomer stone building in the 13th century. Over the time with much of the old disappearing and the new replacing it, the Old Town has become a part of the modern city where evidence of various centuries alternates in the streets.

To sum up, Latvia is one of Europe's great "get away from it all" discoveries. With 12,310 rivers and 3,000 lakes the country has many opportunities for boating and walking and just enjoying the outdoors. There are many small medieval towns, country castles, museums and folk parks to be visited.

"A Different Latvia"
Fantastic panoramic views of Latvia! (photos and videos can be used only with the author's permission)

Riga 2014 - European Capital of Culture
Riga has been selected as Europe's Culture Capital for the year 2014. Throughout 2014 a variety of exciting events will be taking place in Riga, a city that recently celebrated its 810th birthday!

Air Baltic Corporation
AirBaltic offers flights from Riga to various destinations in Europe and beyond

Latvia's Tourist Board
A comprehensive site about Latvia's travel industry. Hosted by the Latvian Tourism Development Agency

Riga In Your Pocket
Riga In Your Pocket is a comprehensive online/print guide to Latvia's capital Riga and beyond.

Live Riga
Calendar of events, places to see in Latvia's capital - Riga.
Provides useful tourism information on Latvia's 800-year old capital city - Riga.

Country Holidays in Latvia
A network of country and village homes and vacation cottages throughout Latvia.

Maps of Latvia
Maps of Latvia and the Baltic region.

Riga This Week
Online/Print Travel guide to the Latvian capital - Riga.

City Paper/Baltics Worldwide
Baltics Worldwide (City Paper) has up-to-date info --feature articles, interviews, histories and business analyses -- on Latvia and the other two Baltic countries.

Articles on Tourism

MSNBC profiles Riga - "Riga Rocks"
MSNBC highlights Riga as a city worth visiting

NBC "Today Show" considers Riga a destination not to be missed
Peter Greenberg shares his list of unique, affordable vacation destinations

IgoUgo names Riga as one of Europe's Top Ten affordable cities
IgoUgo considers Riga to be a budget-friendly travel destination in Europe

"New York Times" - 36 Hours in Riga
A New York Times article by Jon Fasman

"Time" Magazine article about Riga Central Market
"Time" magazine article by Liz Birch

Washington Post travel article on Riga
The Washington Post travel writer Gary Lee's article "Riga, the Curtain Rises."

"Riga Is Ready"
A Travel and Leisure article by Julian Rubinstein

"The Baltic Sea's Renaissance"
A Time magazine article by Andrew Purvis

Lonely Planet: Destination Latvia
Short online version of the popular travel guide.

Latvia participates in New York Times Travel Show
The Embassy of Latvia participated in this tourism travel event.

Latvian video "Sounds Like Latvia" wins international competition
"Sounds Like Latvia" selected as "Grand Prix" winner in tourism video competition held in the Czech Republic on October 3-4, 2007