LATVIA - Livonian Flavours in the Kurzeme region

Duration: 3 days
Transportation: Self-drive
Total length: ~545 km

This route invites you to visit the Kurzeme region and try the traditional dishes there. The tour starts from Riga and takes you to some beautiful nature areas for a walk that will serve as physical exercise to build up an appetite. You will feast on traditional smoked fish at Dieniņas Fishermen's Yard, take a masterclass in  baking “sklandrausis”, a traditional carrot pie, visit fishing villages in Slītere National Park, and savour refined meals in Ventspils city pubs. Nice attractions en route are the steep coast of the Baltic Sea in Jūrkalne and the medieval town of Kuldīga. In a 19th century watermill, which nowadays is an organic farm, the hostess will give you a masterclass in cooking regional dishes from fallow deer, trout, vegetables and fruit. The last stop on the return back to Riga is the Chocolate Museum at Pūre.

Rīga - Jūrmala - Ķemeri - Bērzciems - Kolka (~190 km)

Jūrmala Resort Town
A stopover in the seaside resort town for a walk and to see the local sights of interest.
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).
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.
Kaltene Stony Beach
This scenic landscape is one of the few places in Latvia where large boulders lie scattered on the beach.
Lunch in the Restaurant “Otra Puse”
The chef uses local products from the sea and local forests to cook both traditional and modern meals.
The White Dune at Pūrciems Village
There is a scenic nature trail winding along the White Dune and the River Pilsupīte.
Cape Kolka
This is the most prominent cape in Latvia. The waters of the Gulf of Riga meet with the open Baltic Sea here.
Pastry Cooking Masterclass at Ūši Homestead
A masterclass in baking traditional “Sklandrauši’ carrot pies at Ūši homestead in Kolka Village. The house stands by the sea, near to Cape Kolka.
Evening Meal and Overnight Stay at Ūši Homestead
There is a small apartment for guests. This is a characteristic local house with all the amenities. A wood stove is still kept in functioning order in the kitchen

Kolka - Ventspils - Jūrkalne - Kuldīga (~ 175 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.
Ventspils is one of the largest harbour cities in Latvia. Highlights: the Old Town, the medieval Livonian Order castle, and the Blue Flag beach.
Livonian Lunch in Ventspils
“Kupfernams” is a historical hotel and restaurant in the Old Town.
Užavas Lighthouse
The lighthouse was built in 1879. It is 19 m high, and offers a magnificent view of the Baltic Sea. The 20 m high steep bank at Jūrkalne is one of the most picturesque landscapes on the Baltic seacoast. There are wooden stairs leading from the top of the bank down to the sandy beach.
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.
Evening Meal at “Spēlmaņkrogs” Tavern
The tavern offers traditional Suiti dishes. Suiti are a community with some of the most colourful and unique cultural traditions in the Kurzeme region and Latvia.
Overnight Stay in a Centrally Located Hotel in Kuldīga.
• Hotel “Metropole”
• Hotel “Jēkaba Sēta”

Kuldīga - Mazsālijas - Sabile - Kandava - Rīga (~180 km)

Kuldīga Town
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 “Kuldīgas  Labumi” shop owned by a cooperative society of regional food producers. A wide range of home-made produce is available here.
Cooking Masterclass “Taste the Life!” and Lunch at Mazsālijas Country House
During the workshop, the food will be prepared on an open fire using deer, trout and vegetables from the Mazsālijas organic farm.
Sabile Town and Landscapes in the River Abava Valley
Chocolate Museum in Pūre Village
A tour and workshop: the story of chocolate, its processing and products, making own chocolates and tasting.