Latvia definitively shook off decades of isolation as part of the Soviet Union by declaring independence in 1991 and becoming a member of the European Union in 2004. Here travellers encounter a country and find a lively culture which embraces its new-found freedoms and exhibits a fun-loving side and a passion for the outdoors.
Travellers to Latvia discover a serene land of rolling plains, inhabited by quiet dairy farmlands and covered in dense forests, pocked by old fortresses. Latvia holidays begin in Riga, a capital city decorated with red brick Gothic buildings and a rich collection of Art Noveau architecture. Riga is small but busy and attractive enough to be a perfect contender for a short city break, while the rest of Latvia is well-connected by road and suited to fly-drive holidays.
The seaside suburb of Jurmala stretches along the coast to the west of Riga. It offers locals an escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital, and tourists the chance to sample the beaches of the Baltics and see how the locals spend their down-time. Latvia is easily combined with the other Baltic States, Estonia and Lithuania.