Horse Riding Holidays, Latvia
Latvia is a picturesque country situated next to the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe and considered one of the Baltic States (the others being Estonia and Lithuania).It is now a member of NATO and the EU and has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. It is a country rich in history and tradition with a great deal to offer the interested traveller, as well as beautiful, unspoilt countryside which is ideal to be explored on horseback. With a large number of national parks, fast flowing rivers and lakes, as well as forests inhabited by a selection of fascinating wildlife, the Latvian countryside provides varied riding terrain and interesting views for the rider. The medieval castles and historical monuments are a delight for those with a historical interest or who would like to learn more about the country's heritage, whilst the culture of the Latvian people is enriched by traditional folklore and dancing. Cuisine relies on agricultural produce with meat the focus of most main meals and fish proving popular due to the country's location on the Baltic Sea.
The country is one of the least densely populated amongst those of the European Union and the Latvians themselves are considered a Baltic People. Much of their heritage comes from the German crusaders who arrived around the 13th century and went on to rule much of the country, although many indigenous Latvians worked to preserve their own distinct traditions and local pagan heritage. Today there remains many traditional celebrations such as the dancing and singing of folk songs. The Soviet era also impacted upon the development of the arts within Latvia, much of which related to the preservation of their national identity in the face of Socialism. The untouched nature gives the feel of the country as one giant nature park whilst the 500km of sandy beaches are a thrill for those who enjoy the coast. The diversity of the land is often a surprise for tourists and Latvia is considered a developing country for adventure tourism.
Horse riding in Latvia can be very varied depending upon your wishes - galloping on the beach, observing wildlife in the dense woodlands, swimming with a horse in the clear rivers or trotting through open meadows. The Latvian horse varies between the lighter riding horses and heavier draft types, traditionally used for farm work under harness. As time has gone on, the more athletic riding horse has become the most popular and has been heavily influenced by warm blood stallions from surrounding countries to create an excellent ride for equestrian sports and distance riding. They are primarily well-proportioned and strong though with an athleticism beyond that of the traditional draft horse. Many Latvian horses are still used for harness work but the heavy draft horses are now much less common than they once were.
The capital of Latvia is Riga - dubbed the "Paris of the North" by Grahame Green. It is considered to be a very attractive city with interesting architecture. It is also known for its excellent nightlife and offers some of the liveliest bars and clubs in Europe, at diverse venues. Many budget airlines fly into Riga meaning that Latvia is an affordable place to get to, as well as a beautiful place to visit. For horse riders, riding in one of Europe's most intriguing countries is a wonderful experience.
See our horse riding holidays in Latvia below.
Forests and Beaches of Adazi, Latvia
A based riding holiday offering a lovely getaway amidst the beautiful beaches and forests of Latvia. Guests can ride amongst hilly pine forests and across wild landscapes before moving on to white sand beaches and Lilaste nature park. The nature reserve features protected plants and untouched areas.
Gauja National Park, Latvia
This beautiful destination offers a trail ride through the Gauja National Park, a route which covers forest riverbeds and delightful landscapes. Guests can enjoy swimming with the horses and wading through rivers such as Amata, Ligatne, Strikupe, Gauja and others. The riding route leads you along cliffs and rocky outcrops to places where you can drink freely from the clear water of natural springs.
Slitere National Park, Latvia
A centre based riding holiday situated near to the empty white beaches of the Baltic Sea. Accommodation lies just 800m away from the beach in an old fishing village within Slitere National Park. This is a great riding destination for wildlife enthusiasts!