Slitere National Park riding holiday in Latvia - Far and Ride
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Slitere National Park, Latvia




Programme


• Based Programme

 

Reviews



I am just back from my trip to Latvia. I really had great time. The organisation was perfect: great attention to safety, wonderful horses, amazing ride paths in the forests and beaches, delicious food, great dedication. in few words I experienced the best horse rides of my life.

Federico ( August 2015)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Primarily Latvian horses and sometimes some other breeds.

Nature of horses:

Good endurance and stamina with natural suitability for long distance riding through countryside.

Height of horses:

14.3 - 16.2hh

Weight limit:

95kg / 210lbs

Tack type:

English, Western and *NEW* Trail saddles

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

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 Koshrags, an old Liiv fishing village within Slitere National Park. This is a great riding destination for wildlife enthusiasts as owls, deer, wolves, racoons and beavers all inhabit the area and can be seen and heard. Early in the morning you might be lucky enough to watch the deer taking a swim. The village has a rich cultural history and a magical charm for guests whilst the seaside is a wonderful place for peaceful walks, especially in summer when you can enjoy the sunshine and swimming in the sea.

This riding holiday is organised through our Latvian tour operator whose staff have more than 30 years experience. They use their own horses and guides for all of their routes, transporting the horses to different Latvian destinations in order to offer different programmes (available on other pages of our site). Their riding holidays are designed to show you the beauty of the Baltic States, away from the tourist rush and stressful everyday lives. Any route can be altered or shortened to create your perfect trip or to accommodate for the less experienced rider.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is in a new guest house situated 800m from the Baltic Sea in Koshrags. It features comfortable apartments with toilet and shower (guests generally share double or triple rooms). There is also a shared hall/living room with fireplace.

In some cases alternative accommodation near Koshrags may be used as well, but it offers the same level of comfort.

In most cases single supplement is available on request and at an added cost.

There are three meals served each day with some lunches taken as outdoor picnics during the rides. Each meal is usually 2 or 3 courses and there are often specially selected menus where guests can have a limited choice or 2 out of 3 courses. National dishes are usually included for some of the meals.

Vegetarians are regular guests here and can expect meals such as tasty salads, risotto with vegetables and parmesan or apple strudel with vanilla ice cream.

 

Activities

There is plenty to see and do beyond horse riding. The area is wonderful for walking and is one of the best places in Latvia for birdwatching with nearly all of the national species being represented in Slitere National Park.

Other places of interest are:

- Kolka lighthouse is a great place to visit and you can try your hand at fishing there.

- Laumas Nature Park offers lovely walking paths, a trampoline and a mini golf course for some entertainment.

- Dundaga features a castle as well as Kubalu school/museum. It also has a great choice of restaurants and cafés.

- Slitere Lighthouse acts as the perfect viewing tower.

- Mikeltornis has the tallest lighthouse in the Baltic states. You can no longer climb it but it's a great sight.

- Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre features the Irbene radio telescope. This is a former Soviet Army espionage tool which is now used for scientific research. The scientists of the Ventspils University offer guided tours... on your way to the telescope you will pass through a spooky and abandoned Soviet Army settlement.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Latvian.

Health requirements: General good health recommended.

Age limit: 16+

Tuition: If required.

Included: Transfer from Riga airport (or port, train or bus station), all inland transfers, accommodation, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), guided riding as per itinerary and use of horses and equipment.

Not included: Flights or travel to Latvia, travel insurance, additional meals or snacks not mentioned, alcoholic drinks, entrance fees to museums (unless specifically mentioned as being included) and extra services not described.

 

Travel Information

Guests should travel to Riga for this destination. Transfers are included in the price from and to Riga airport, port, train or bus stations.

If travelling from the UK there are a range of airlines flying to Riga regularly. These include Wizz Air, Ryanair and Air Baltic.

This holiday is based approximately 175km from Riga.

Airport: Riga

 

Programme


Based Programme



A based riding holiday with riding on the empty beaches of the Baltic Sea and through surrounding countryside. Observe the wildlife, visit untouched forests and view Slitere Lighthouse. Guests can also swim with the horses in the sea and can explore special routes and secret hideouts previously used by the Soviet Army.

During the programme you stay in the comfortable hotel and do not move accommodation. For two or more riders this route can be altered or shortened in accordance with your preferences. 

Day by Day Programme

Day 1 - Instruction and Training:

Transfer from airport and arrival in the district of Koshrags. You will have the chance to settle into the guesthouse before a safety briefing. Depending on your arrival time, there will be the chance to refresh your riding skills and to receive instruction if required.

Day 2 - Fishing Villages (Koshrags - Vaide - Koshrags):

This is a lovely route for the active rider who is interested in seaside nature and to learn about the Liiv cultural heritage. The route covers about 35km and generally takes around 6 hours, including sightseeing in the villages. You head through the forest connecting several villages: Koshrags, Pitrags, Saunags and Vaide. It is still possible to notice the ancient features of the fishermen's lives.

Most of the day will be spent in Slitere National Park - this is one of the oldest national parks in the Baltic States. SNP is famous for its broadleaf forests which grow along the former coastline. It also has a unique complex of dunes and inter-dune bogs. The majority of the forest is situated on the 'Zilie Kalni' or 'Blue Hills' which are geologically one of the most noticeable features of the park. Thousands of years ago, these hills formed the ancient shore of the Baltic ice lake. 

This is a special territory for wild animals and due to its location and the habitats it provides it is rich with typical Latvian fauna. 

Day 3 - Fishing Villages Route and swimming with horses in the Baltic Sea (Koshrags - Sikrags - Koshrags):

Today you will really enjoy swimming with the horses in the Baltic Sea and riding along the beautiful landscapes of the white sand beaches. This is an unforgettable day full of seaside adventures and harmony with nature. 

Day 4 - Kolka Horn Route (Koshrags - Kolka - Koshrags):

Today you will ride along some of the prettiest beaches in Europe. The first mention of today's destination, Kolka, is from the 14th century. The nearby Cape Kolka, the most popular tourist attraction in all the Northern Kurzeme, is the point where the Gulf of Riga meets the open sea. At this point the sun both rises and sets over the sea in summer time. Kolka lies about 20km north of Koshrags.

It's possible to take special sea or fishing boats to go around the Kolka lighthouse which is located 6km from the coast. You can also have a go at fishing using either the nets or an ancient technique to catch Plaice. A sampling of smoked fish is a lovely end to the boat ride.

Day 5 - Route of the sea and River Irbe (Koshrags - River Irbe - Koshrags):

A day of beach riding. You will explore the River Irbe from horseback and will enjoy a picnic at a special spot in the green pine forest. This is where the River Irbe meets the Baltic Sea, right on the border of Nature Reserve Ovisi.

Day 6 - Essence of Diversity in Slitere National Park (Koshrags - Vaide -

Nature Reserve Bazhu - beach along Gulf of Riga - Kolka Village - forest

trails - 40km beach):

Today is a taste of diversity as you ride and understand the essence

of Slitere National Park. You will feel the difference between the

beaches along the Gulf of Riga and the open Baltic Sea compared to the

forest trails of Nature Reserve Bazhu. The insights of Kolka Village are

just another of the highlights from today.

Day 7 - Lighthouse of Mikeltornis and Secrets of the Soviet Security System (Koshrags - Mikeltornis):

The day starts with a beach ride towards Ventspils. About 30km from Koshrags is Mikeltornis, home to the tallest lighthouse of the Baltic countries (62m). Climbing the lighthouse brings spectacular views over the sea and forests.

The route follows the ancient path of a mini steam-engine railway. Between 1920 - 1960 the railway played an important role in the area, linking the otherwise isolated villages. It was also used during the First World War as a means of transporting cargo and military units.

A special tour today shows you the nature that has developed in areas without much human interaction, many parts of which were used to hide secret security objects belonging to the Soviet Army. This security zone was created as a radio telescope complex which was used during the Cold War for the interception of American and NATO satellite communication. The radio telescope of Irbene is connected underground to a secret computational centre in a hidden village, where the transcription of the intercepted messages took place. There are air defence bunkers, tank sheds, rocket casings and other hidden military objects in this secret territory. The strict security allowed for nature to develop without the interaction of local inhabitants. 

Day 8 - Departure Day:

Transfer to airport or point of departure. 

NB. Programme is subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. 



Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Strong novice and above. Riders should be capable at all paces but do not necessarily need to ride regularly or to be overly confident. Days can be altered to suit less experienced riders. These rides covers long distances so good fitness is recommended. Less experienced riders may find the long hours in the saddle quite tiring.
Type of ride: Based.
Total riding time: Six days of riding covering long distances, up to 6 hours per day. About 195km in total.
Departure dates: 2017: 21-28 August
Additional dates available for a minimum of 4 riders. Please contact the office as we may have other riders also interested in your preferred dates.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1295 per person.

Price includes 7 nights of accommodation (shared room), all meals, riding as per itinerary and Riga airport transfers. It also includes entrance fee to the former Soviet Army espionage tool (the radio telescope).