ESTONIA, LATVIA - Tasty Adventures in Latvia and Estonia
Duration: 12 days
Total length: ~1500 km
Arrival in Riga
Overnight stay in Riga
Rīga - Ķemeri - Valgums (~65 km)
Lāči brand bread is popular in Latvia and abroad, because the bakery uses ancient mastery and skills. You can take a tour of the bakery, knead and bake your own little loaf of bread, have lunch in a cosy saloon and purchase the bakery’s products.
The Great Ķemeru Bog Boardwalk in Ķemeru National Park
On the way to the Kurzeme region, you can stop for a walk on the “Lielā Tīreļa Laipa” boardwalk taking you through unique bog landscapes. There are two options: the small loop (ca 1.4 km) and the great loop with a viewing tower (ca 3.4 km).
Barefoot Trail at Valgums Recreation Centre
Visitors can walk barefoot on the 2.6 km trail in the forest to experience a variety of surfaces including pine cones, glass balls, small stones and shingles of various shapes, moss, fine sand, clay, river water, turf, gravel, reeds, chipped wood, pinewood logs, wooden poles and mill-stones.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay in Valgums Recreation Centre
The recreation centre is located in the middle of the forest by Lake Valgums. The restaurant offers meals and provides picnics with soup cooked on a bonfire, home-made pastries. Traditional country sauna experience with birch sauna whisks (bundle of fresh birch twigs) and cold water tub in the open air.
Valgums – Pūre – Kuldīga – Skrunda (~140 km)
Pure Chocolate Museum
Belgian chocolate under the brand name Pure Chocolate is produced in a small Latvian town Pūre. The museum offers excursions, chocolate making workshops and tastings.
Wine Tasting at Abavas Winery
This family-run winery produces wines and other drinks from fruits and berries grown in Latvia. Produce tastings, drinks are on sale.
Lunch in the Restaurant “Bangerts”
The restaurant is in the centre of Kuldīga Town by the River Venta. Food ingredients are supplied by local and regional producers.
Highlights: “Ventas Rumba”, the widest river waterfall in Europe, the River Alekšupīte, the medieval Kuldīga Town. Those interested in local foods can visit the centrally located “Lauku Labumi” shop owned by a cooperative society of regional food producers. A wide range of home-made produce is available here.
Nornieki Ostrich and Goat Farm
This is the largest ostrich farm in Latvia. The hosts offer farm excursion, tastings and meals: ostrich egg omelettes, ostrich meat soup, desserts. Home-made skincare products and souvenirs on sale.
Overnight and Evening Meal in Skrundas Muiža Manor Hotel
The Skrundas muiža manor hotel is located on the main road and by the River Venta. Good restaurant, SPA services. Skrunda Manor is a characteristic model of architectural classicism – symmetric, proportional, harmonic and simple.
Skrunda – Liepāja (~70 km)
Garīkas Shitake Farm
This was the first farm in Latvia to grow mushrooms. Informative tours are available, and guests are treated with “emperor mushroom” sauce or soup.
Lunch at the Restaurant “Pastnieka Māja” in Liepāja
Smoked cod with potatoes, onions and dill is recognised as a Liepāja speciality and traditional local dish.
Highlights: Karosta Prison, The Northern Fort is a group of defensive fortifications built on the coast of the Baltic Sea before WWI, Jūrmalas Park, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Liepāja Museum.
Evening meal and Overnight in the Hotel “Libava” in Liepāja
Housed in a historical fish market building, this centrally located hotel offers comfortable rooms for guests. The hotel restaurant offers a vast selection of fish dishes and seafood, exquisite meat dishes, also a children’s and vegetarian menu.
Liepāja - Jūrkalne - Ventspils (~125 km)
This farm produces herbal teas from lemon balm, raspberries, tansy, lady's mantle, plantago and linden blossoms as souvenirs and gifts, as well as honey from local hives. The lady of the house will be happy to tell you about life in the countryside, take you on a farm tour, and offer tastings of products from the farm.
Walk Along the Steep Banks at Jūrkalne
The steep shores of Jūrkalne are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Kurzeme region. The shores are up to 20 m high, washed by the waves and mostly made of sand and narrow bands of pebbles and stones. Opposite the centre of Jūrkalne there is a viewing platform and a set of stairs that lead to the sea.
Bread Baking Workshop at Bērziņi Country House
The host family demonstrates how to bake wheat and rye bread according to old recipes in a 70-year old wood stove.
Lunch in “Zaķu krogs” Country Restaurant
Located a few kilometres from Jūrkalne in a log building with a Latvian style interior. The menu includes Latvian and European cuisine, as well as fish and game dishes prepared from natural local produce in cooperation with local producers.
Bitnieki Rural Homestead
The farm has some 300 bee hives. Tasting of honey from different flowers, honey products, honey bread, wax and even honey wine.
Ventspils is one of the largest harbour cities in Latvia. Highlights: the Old Town, the medieval Livonian Order castle, and the Blue Flag beach.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay in the Guest House “Kupfernams” in Ventspils
“Kupfernams” is a historical hotel and restaurant in the Old Town.
Ventspils - Kolka - Engure- Jūrmala (~220 km)
Liv Villages in Slītere National Park
Livs are one of the smallest ethnic minorities in the world. Their heritage is witnessed in several coastal fishing villages from Kolka to Sīkrags and Ovīši. Slitere National park.
This is the most prominent cape in Latvia. The waters of the Gulf of Riga meet with the open Baltic Sea here.
Lunch at Ūši homestead
Traditional lunch and tasting of traditional “Sklandrauši’ carrot pies.
Dieniņas Fisherman’s Yard
Stories from fishermen’s lives, game activities, and fish tasting. The family has been engaged in fishing for generations, and they still follow the traditional recipes to smoke and cook fish.
Evening meal in restaurant “Neptūns” in Jūrmala
The restaurant is on the seaside and in the Ķemeri National Park. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Jūrmala and features a teahouse and outdoor terrace during the summer. Special offer is potato pancakes with lightly salted salmon, julienne, beef tongue salad or harcho soup.
Jūrmala Resort Town
A stopover in the seaside resort town for a walk and seeing the local sights of interest.
Overnight Stay in Jūrmala
Jūrmala - Ikšķile - Allaži - Sigulda (~125 km)
“Doles Tējas” Herbal Teas
The farm offers premium, locally grown products from herbs found in Dole Nature Park and those that are self-grown. The range includes over 70 sorts of herbal tea.
Liberts Family Birch Sap Products
A tour of the cellar where the family makes birch sap products such as syrups, birch wine, sparkling wine (champagne), lemonade, and fermented birch juice. Products for tasting and on sale.
Lunch in “Rāmkalni” Café
A restaurant with a terrace overlooking the Gauja valley. Latvian cuisine: Cold soup, mushroom soup, grey peas, sautéed cabbage, steak haché, local fish, homemade ice-cream, herbal teas.
Three Castles by the River Gauja
Turaida museum reserve with the ruins of a Livonian Order castle; Sigulda castle ruins; Krimulda Castle.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay in the Hotel “Aparjods” in Sigulda
The hotel is near the main road, 20 minutes’ drive from the town centre. The hotel restaurant combines Latvian cuisine traditions with modern food techniques.
Sigulda - Cēsis - Naukšēni - Rūjiena - Ķoņi (~145 km)
Medieval Town Cēsis
Highlights: the historic centre, St. John' s Lutheran Church, one of the oldest churches in Latvia.
Lunch in Valmiera restaurant “Vecpuisis”
Adzelvieši Hemp Farm
Excursion and produce tasting. The farm grows hemp and processes it into hemp seed butter and oil. There is an exposition of old farm tools in the yard, and the host introduces the history of hemp cultivation.
Since 2012, the winery produces wines, cider and sparkling wines. Fruits and berries are grown locally in Naukšēni, in a certified organic garden – Paradise Orchard. Tours of the winery and tastings.
Rūjiena Ice-cream Factory
For more than 60 years, ice-cream is made in the historic Rūjiena dairy house, built in 1912. Everyone is kindly invited to take a tour and learn about the ice-cream of Rūjiena, watch the video about the manufacturing process, and, of course, enjoy Rūjiena ice-creams.
Ķoņu Dzirnavas Grain Mill
The mill produces grain, offers excursions and tastings and meals: porridge, pancakes and homemade bread.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay in Ķoņu Dzirnavas Guest House
Ķoņi - Taagepera - Karksi Nuia - Sangaste - Rõuge (~223 km)
Lossispaa Wagenküll (Castle Spa Wagenküll)
Housed in the renovated Art Nouveau Taagepera Castle complex, a unique, culturally significant area. It includes an à la carte restaurant, a luxurious castle spa, a 1930s style hotel, sports and recreation facilities, a guest house and a seminar centre.
Mulgi Pruulikoda (Mulgi Brewery)
In the very heart of Mulgimaa there is a family brewery that respects local food and beverage traditions. Visitors can observe the beer making process and taste different sorts of Mulgi beer.
Lunch in Sangaste Rukki Maja (Sangaste Rye House)
Taste the meals from rye flavour. In addition to the dishes that are made from or contain rye, other Estonian food and drinks are offered.
Sangaste Loss (Sangaste Castle)
The castle was built as an almost exact copy of the architecture of Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. It is among the most unusual of Estonian manor buildings. There is also a visitor centre in renovated stables and a garden and park with rare species by the castle.
Uhtjärve Ürgoru Nõiariik (Witch's Country in the Old Valley of Lake Uhtjärv)
Tasty dishes from ingredients grown in the surroundings. Nettle soup, which is recognised as the best soup recipe in southern Estonia.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay in Ööbikuoru Villa
The villa is located amidst three lakes, in the heart of Rõuge Valley. Their café-restaurant “Andreas”, created a menu inspired by Võrumaa traditions, and local ingredients are highly valued there.
Rõuge - Haanja - Võru - Tartu (~130 km)
Haanja Nature Park and Suur Munamägi Hill Viewing Tower
The nature park was set up to protect the landscape and cultural environment of the Haanja highland. In its central part stands Suur Munamägi, the highest hill in the Baltic states (318 m a.s.l.). The observation tower gives a wonderful view of the Estonian nature.
Mooska talu (Mooska Farm)
A typical lifestyle farm in southern Estonia. Get to know the local heritage, the pride of which is the local food and traditional black sauna.
Uue-Saaluse veinitalu (Uue-Saaluse Winery)
From the berries and fruits that grow in the wonderful Võrumaa hilly area, farmers make wine, introduce guests to their garden, explain the wine making process, organise tastings and classes.
Kolotsi talu (Kolotsi Farm)
A family-run organic farm which produces goat’s cheese. Tastings and excursions to see the process of milk turning into cheese.
Kopli taluköök (Kopli Farm Kitchen)
They make “gelato” ice-cream following traditional Italian recipes and using local ingredients. The ice-cream is flavoured by seasonal berries and fruits as well as chocolate, nuts and herbs.
Sightseeing in Tartu
Tartu is Estonia’s second city. Sightseeing in the Old Town, Classicism style buildings. Tartu University – the oldest in the Baltic states, and the observatory.
Evening Meal in the Restaurant “Umb Roht” in Tartu
The restaurant specialises in game and makes birch sap gel.
Overnight Stay in Tartu.
Tartu – Peipsi Lake - Varnja - Alatskivi - Kallaste - Mustveee - Avinurme - Rakvere (170 km)
Maitseelamuse Koda (The House of Delicious Tastes) workshop and home café
Local food of the Peipsimaa region. During the workshop, with the help of the chef, participants make 3 or 4 dishes which are shared afterwards. Emphasis is placed on local products and the favourite recipes of the Peipsimaa region. Workshops are mainly organised outdoors and possible for small groups from 10 persons.
Lunch in Voronja Galerii Aiakohvik (Voronja Gallery Garden café)
The small garden café in Gallery Voronja operates every day with a menu inspired by local ingredients. It is possible to buy onion, chocolate sauce and other seasonal products.
Alatskivi Loss (Alatskivi castle and restaurant)
The place exhibits the life and history of a noble family. The restaurant serves local specialities such as Peipus pike perch and pork chop. The restaurant menu is a mix of Estonian, Baltic-German and Scottish cultures.
Avinurme Puiduait (Avinurme Wooden Handicrafts Centre)
The centre demonstrates the local traditions offering food and woodcraft workshops.
A theme park depicting the life of the 16th century stronghold where it is possible to spend time as soldiers and noble knights. Schenkenberg Tavern offers dishes cooked by medieval recipes.
Overnight Stay in Rakvere, Hotel Wesenbergh
Rakvere - Lahemaa National Park - Tallinn (150 km)
Sightseeing in Tallinn.
Overnight Stay in Tallinn.