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Latvia is one of the lesser known, but still charming, areas of Eastern Europe. It is one of the three Baltic States situated on the Baltic Sea. While it has not traditionally been a place that has been hotfooted by tourists, it is a great country with an energetic and exciting centre, coupled with some stunning scenery. Indeed, the capital Riga is every inch an undiscovered party capital. It is over eight hundred years old and has played an important part in the economic history of the country. With its charming art-nouveau style, friendly attitude – as well as some truly hip nightlife – it is a great place to start of a wider exploration of the country. Beer drinking has a strong tradition in Latvia, so you can expect many opportunities to sample this aspect of the culture in some of the bustling beer gardens that are dotted around the city. Must-see attractions include The Dome Cathedral, which was built in the thirteenth century, and holds some excellent concerts throughout the year.
Outside of Riga, is certainly worth taking a road trip down to Jurmala Beach. Nineteen miles long, this sunny resort has been a popular retreat for visitors since the eighteenth century and is blessed with fantastic springs and mineral rich mud... On to other natural pastures, and it is worth taking look at the Teretere Nature Park outside the city. Home to landscapes, memorials and many alternative holiday pursuits you can fish, swim and cycle in this lovely area. Similarly, there are some great castles around the various towns and villages, and it is worth taking in the views of the Baltic Sea, which is one of the most beautiful unspoiled landscapes in the world.
From Latvia, you are advantageously positioned to drive to the other Baltic states, Lithuania and Estonia, and there are some special routes that are highly recommended in this area.