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Lovable Latvia

This sample 8-day (7 night) itinerary covers medieval Riga, coastal Liepaja, and historic Cesis. You'll see the top sights, from castles to Soviet ruins, pine-lined coasts to Art Nouveau beauties, sampling the best local delicacies on the way. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea of what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.
One of our team members in the region will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, and spacious apartments. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.
Route for Riga, Liepaja, Cesis, Riga tour

3 Nights in Riga

3 Nights in Riga

4 days in Riga
4 days in Riga

3 Nights in Riga

Riga's story is one of resurrection. After being damaged by fighting in World War II, the city has returned to beautiful prominence after two decades of independence. Riga really has come a long way, earning UNESCO World Heritage status and being named the European Capital of Culture for 2014. This is a lovely city that takes art and culture seriously, with a packed classical music calendar and events held nightly. You’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Baltic capital. Exploring the city, you’ll have the largest market and bazaar in Europe on-hand, as well as the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. You could spend days wandering around admiring these beautiful buildings. But there’s more to do. The city is rich in museums, galleries and concert halls, so your cultural calendar will be full during your stay. And the nightlife is excellent too, with fine restaurants, boutique bars and cute cafes. Rundale and Sigulda are both gorgeous castles and palaces reachable for a day trip.

Riga's story is one of resurrection. After being damaged by fighting in World War II, the city has returned to beautiful prominence after two decades of independence. Riga really has come a long way, earning UNESCO World Heritage status and being named the European Capital of Culture for 2014. This is a lovely city that takes art and culture seriously, with a packed classical music calendar and events held nightly. You’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Baltic capital. Exploring the city, you’ll have the largest market and bazaar in Europe on-hand, as well as the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. You could spend days wandering around admiring these beautiful buildings. But there’s more to do. The city is rich in museums, galleries and concert halls, so your cultural calendar will be full during your stay. And the nightlife is excellent too, with fine restaurants, boutique bars and cute cafes. Rundale and Sigulda are both gorgeous castles and palaces reachable for a day trip.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Riga

We will arrange for a driver to meet you upon your arrival at Riga airport and take you to your centrally located accommodations.

Riga From On High

Suggestion to explore on your own

What better way to start your visit to a new city than admiring the view from above? From St. Peter's Church in the old town, the stalinist Latvian Academy of Sciences, mountainous National Library (also known as the Mountain of Light), or the Riga Radio and TV Tower (the tallest structure in the EU), extraordinary views of Riga and even the sea are easy to find. If you'd like to accompany great views with excellent drinks, we can recommend the best rooftop bar in the city so you can kick back with cocktails.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Riga

Riga Private Walking Tour

Introducing Riga

Included in your vacation package price.

Today you’ll be exploring the beautiful city of Riga and its UNESCO-listed Old Town. Historically an important trading port on the Baltic Sea, Riga had a strategic advantage for invaders, which resulted in periods of Polish, German, Swedish and Soviet rule all leaving their mark. You’ll walk through the winding streets of the Old Town to take in the sublime architecture as your guide makes the past come alive for you with stories. Your guide will meet you at your accommodation for this 2-hour tour, and will bring you back to your accommodation, or suggest places for further exploration.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

Art Nouveau Private Tour

Artful Architecture: Art Nouveau Tour

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Riga’s Old Town is protected by UNESCO, in large part because of the gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings in the center. We suggest taking a look at some of them today. The style accounts for about 40% of Riga’s buildings, so there’s plenty to see. Alberta Street and the so-called Quiet Center, where the embassies are located, are great places to start. If you would prefer the company of an expert local guide to make sure you don't miss any of the best and most impressive details, we can arrange that for you.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2-3 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Riga

Riga Canal Boat Group Tour

Riga Canal Boat Group Tour

Back in the old days, before the bridges over Daugava river were made, small river boats were used to transport locals around the water ways of Riga. Locals used to call the bigger ones “upes tramvajs” or “river tramway” and the small ones where “river taxis”. Stepping aboard one of these historic river craft, you will be able to see boulevards, parks and squares, fountains and bridges and also market areas and the old harbour districts as you cruise the canal. The boats then enter the river offering majestic panoramas of Old Riga’s spires and the modern and soviet buildings of the left bank.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 1 hour

Rundale Palace Private Day Trip

Rundale Palace Private Day Trip

Included in your vacation package price.

One of Latvia’s hidden gems is the Baroque Rundale Palace. This is one of the most stunning buildings in the Baltic States, and makes a fantastic day trip from Riga. Your guide will drive you to the palace, where you'll have plenty of time to explore the palace and its beautiful gardens. On the way back, you'll have the opportunity to stop in one of the nearby towns. The tour will take around six hours in total, so an early start is recommended. For more info on Rundale, read our blog post.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5-6 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Liepaja by Private Transfer

The most relaxed way to get to Liepaja is with a private transfer. Our driver will pick you up at your accommodations based on the time of your choosing, and deliver you to your accommodations in Liepaja about three hours later. This is a direct transfer, but for an additional fee, you can make stops along the way.

We also offer the following excursions in Riga

Alternative Riga Private Tour
Light2-3 hours
Central Market Private Tour
Light1 hour and 30 minutes
Funky Bike Private Tour
Strenuous2-3 hours
Jewish Riga Private Driving and Walking Tour
Light5 hours

2 Nights in Liepaja

2 Nights in Liepaja

3 days in Liepaja
3 days in Liepaja

2 Nights in Liepaja

Liepaja has two faces, attracting different types. The city is mostly known as a beach resort, with its gardens, park, musical festivals, showy concert hall, and sandy stretch. Among Latvians, Liepaja is also known as the "city where the wind is born," thanks to its Chicago-like gusts (which power the country's largest wind farm nearby). Liepaja's other side is especially clear in the district of Karosta (Latvian for "War Port"), home to many of the city's Russian-speakers. One of imperial Russia's main port, Liepaja (then known as Libau) is the port from which most Russians Jews sailed to the New World. One of the Czar's main naval bases, then made into one of the Soviet Union's secret cities, Karosta is ringed by fortifications, many of which are slowly falling into the sea. Follow the fortifications far enough, and you'll find a massive menorah, a memorial to the city's Jews, who were murdered there by the SS. While today known for its shore, this humble town played a major role in American history, as the port from which many Poles, Lithuanians, Jews, and Russians embarked for new lives in the New World.

Liepaja has two faces, attracting different types. The city is mostly known as a beach resort, with its gardens, park, musical festivals, showy concert hall, and sandy stretch. Among Latvians, Liepaja is also known as the "city where the wind is born," thanks to its Chicago-like gusts (which power the country's largest wind farm nearby). Liepaja's other side is especially clear in the district of Karosta (Latvian for "War Port"), home to many of the city's Russian-speakers. One of imperial Russia's main port, Liepaja (then known as Libau) is the port from which most Russians Jews sailed to the New World. One of the Czar's main naval bases, then made into one of the Soviet Union's secret cities, Karosta is ringed by fortifications, many of which are slowly falling into the sea. Follow the fortifications far enough, and you'll find a massive menorah, a memorial to the city's Jews, who were murdered there by the SS. While today known for its shore, this humble town played a major role in American history, as the port from which many Poles, Lithuanians, Jews, and Russians embarked for new lives in the New World.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Liepaja

Your driver will bring you directly to your accommodations in the center of Liepaja.

A Bountiful Beach

Suggestion to explore on your own

Liepaja's Blue Flag beach, and the three-kilometer wooded Seaside Park, are the city's main draws today. Designed for those who are visually impaired, or have physical disabilities, this accessible beach features audio bouys, as well as plenty of cafes, showers, and changing rooms. The beach itself has welcoming white sands, and pieces of amber are a common sight after storms.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Liepaja

Liepaja Private Walking Tour

Find the Wind's Birthplace

Included in your vacation package price.

Go beyond Liepaja's dazzling white beach, and explore "the place where the wind is born," delving into its culture and Art Nouveau architecture. While today known for its shore, this humble town played a major role in American history, as the port from which many Poles, Lithuanians, Jews, and Russians embarked for new lives in the New World.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

Karosta Private Tour

Karosta, the "War Port"

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Karosta (Latvian for "War Port") forms Liepaja's northern third, linked to the rest of the city by a swing bridge. Still partially in use by NATO, this was one of the czar's largest naval bases, and formed a completely autonomous closed city during the Soviet occupation. Much quieter now, this is Liepaja's least glitzy, but potentially most interesting district, with its large Russian Orthodox church, breakwater, prison, crumbling bunkers made islands by erosion, forested sand dunes, and Holocaust memorial.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 3 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Traveling to Cesis by Private Transfer

The most relaxed way to get to Cesis is with a private transfer. Our driver will pick you up at your accommodations, based on the time of your choosing, and take you directly to Cesis. Please note that, at around five hours, this is a fairly long drive, so we only suggest making stops for lunch and toilets along the way.

We also offer the following excursions in Liepaja

Liepaja Private Driving Tour
Easy2 hours

2 Nights in Cesis

2 Nights in Cesis

3 days in Cesis
3 days in Cesis

2 Nights in Cesis

Cute Cesis' most obvious feature is its eponymous castle, constructed by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, crusaders wanting to build a castle in their new homeland, in the early 13th century. The castle attained its new half-ruined appearance more than 350 years later, when the poor garrison blew themselves up rather than surrender to Ivan the Terrible. A year later, Ivan himself lost a battle for the town, which had been retaken by a desperate alliance of all of his enemies, and which became a turning point against him. Indeed, until recently, the city was mostly known for the battles that have swirled around it. Latvians and Estonians both know the town for the battle fought over it in 1919 during the Latvian War of Independence, when an allied German army changed its mind and tried to seize Latvia for itself (Estonians say they won the battle with Latvian help, and Latvians insist they won with Estonian help). In recent years, the town has transformed into a hip treasure, drawing artists and environmentalists, who are working to turn the town into an example of what Latvia can be.

Cute Cesis' most obvious feature is its eponymous castle, constructed by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, crusaders wanting to build a castle in their new homeland, in the early 13th century. The castle attained its new half-ruined appearance more than 350 years later, when the poor garrison blew themselves up rather than surrender to Ivan the Terrible. A year later, Ivan himself lost a battle for the town, which had been retaken by a desperate alliance of all of his enemies, and which became a turning point against him. Indeed, until recently, the city was mostly known for the battles that have swirled around it. Latvians and Estonians both know the town for the battle fought over it in 1919 during the Latvian War of Independence, when an allied German army changed its mind and tried to seize Latvia for itself (Estonians say they won the battle with Latvian help, and Latvians insist they won with Estonian help). In recent years, the town has transformed into a hip treasure, drawing artists and environmentalists, who are working to turn the town into an example of what Latvia can be.

Day 6

Day 6 - Arrival in Cesis

Your driver will bring you directly to your accommodations in the center of Cesis.

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Cesis

Cesis Private City and Castle Tour

Delve Into the Medieval

Included in your vacation package price.

Cesis, with the medieval castle ruins at its heart, is one of Latvia's most beautiful, and romantic, destinations. On this tour, you'll wander the Old Town, learning the stories behind its parks and buildings, the town's old traditions regarding jewelry, and its pivotal role in the Latvian War of Independence before heading to the castle. From the castle tour, you'll enjoy a view of the town, as you learn about the crusaders who built the castle, and the pagan hillfort it replaced. Carrying lanterns, you'll descend into the dungeon, to learn why the garrison of this Latvian Masada chose to blow themselves up rather than surrender to a besieging Russian army.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 3 hours

Taste of Cesis Private Tour

Ready Your Taste Buds

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Latvia's cuisine hasn't received much attention, but Cesis is working hard to change this. A center for young entrepreneurs aiming for quality and sustainability, we recommend taking a private food tour to explore this humble town's unusual promise.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Traveling to Riga

Based on your flight time, we will arrange a transfer from your accommodation to Riga airport. The journey time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

We also offer the following excursions in Cesis

Gauja River Private Canoe Tour
Moderate4 hours

Day Stop in Riga

Day Stop in Riga

1 days in Riga
1 days in Riga

Day Stop in Riga

Riga's story is one of resurrection. After being damaged by fighting in World War II, the city has returned to beautiful prominence after two decades of independence. Riga really has come a long way, earning UNESCO World Heritage status and being named the European Capital of Culture for 2014. This is a lovely city that takes art and culture seriously, with a packed classical music calendar and events held nightly. You’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Baltic capital. Exploring the city, you’ll have the largest market and bazaar in Europe on-hand, as well as the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. You could spend days wandering around admiring these beautiful buildings. But there’s more to do. The city is rich in museums, galleries and concert halls, so your cultural calendar will be full during your stay. And the nightlife is excellent too, with fine restaurants, boutique bars and cute cafes. Rundale and Sigulda are both gorgeous castles and palaces reachable for a day trip.

Riga's story is one of resurrection. After being damaged by fighting in World War II, the city has returned to beautiful prominence after two decades of independence. Riga really has come a long way, earning UNESCO World Heritage status and being named the European Capital of Culture for 2014. This is a lovely city that takes art and culture seriously, with a packed classical music calendar and events held nightly. You’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Baltic capital. Exploring the city, you’ll have the largest market and bazaar in Europe on-hand, as well as the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. You could spend days wandering around admiring these beautiful buildings. But there’s more to do. The city is rich in museums, galleries and concert halls, so your cultural calendar will be full during your stay. And the nightlife is excellent too, with fine restaurants, boutique bars and cute cafes. Rundale and Sigulda are both gorgeous castles and palaces reachable for a day trip.

Day 8 - Day Stop in Riga

Day 8 - Day Stop in Riga

What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Riga

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Riga Airport Transfer
Riga Private Walking Tour
Rundale Palace Private Day Trip
Riga - Liepaja Private Transfer

Liepaja

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Liepaja Private Walking Tour
Liepaja - Cesis Private Transfer

Cesis

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Cesis Private City and Castle Tour
Cesis - Riga Airport Private Transfer

Riga

The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.
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