BEST HIKING ROUTES IN LITHUANIA (2019)

Walking along those trails, you will not only see the most interesting natural objects, but also hear millions of sounds of the Lithuanian forest, dispel the mystery of the wetlands, and at a moment of repose refresh yourself with water from our streams or springs. Read more..

Treetop Walking Path / Parnidis cognitive path / Ecological Cognitive Trail “Litorina” / Juniper valley / Pūčkoriai Cognitive Trail /

 

 

In this blog you can find some ideas where to stay while you travel around Latvia. If you like adventure, you may want to stay in a hotel that’s a lot more than just a place to lay your head down at night. Nestled on a secluded island in Dagda lake or Treehouse or maybe in Beaver house?! It can be your experience of lifetime! Here is our Top 10! And we would love to help you to plan your trip! Just ask!

#10 Niedras, lake resort; #9 Kalnozoli, guest house; #8 Sīpoli Mare, guest house;#7 BB Campign; #6 Villa Usma floating house;#5 Peldmāja in Pāvilosta;#4 Beaver house on Usma lake;#3 Melnsils, camping;#2 On island, luxury tent;#1 Čiekurs, treehouse.

 

    

What You Should Know About the Hill of Crosses, Lithuania?

 

 

Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas) is located 12 km north of the city of  Šiauliai in northern Lithuania.

From Vilnius to Hill of Crosses – 221km (around 3h by car) Map.

From Riga to Hill of Crosses – 123km (around 2h by car) Map.

 

Hill of Crosses

 

 

Facts About the Hill of Crosses

1. The Hill of Crosses currently has over 100,000 crosses from all over the world. There are actually too many to count.

2. The first cross was put there in the 1800’s.

3. There are two stories that go with the hill – a story of faith and healing & a story of nationalism and the fighting spirit of the Lithuanian people.

Hill of Crosses

History of the Hill of Crosses

The first story is that a Lithuanian farmer had a very sick daughter who was going to die. He tried every kind of medicine and went to every doctor he could find. No matter what he did, her health just got worse. Every night, he sat by her bedside, holding her hand, wishing she would get better.

One night, while sitting by her bed, he fell asleep. That night he had a dream. In his dream, a woman dressed in all white came to him and told him that if he wanted his daughter to get better he had to follow her instructions. He was told to build a large wooden cross. He was then to take the wooden cross across the country and place it on a hill. It would be a sign of faith and love for God, and if he did this his daughter would be healed.

He had no other options at this point and decided to build the cross. He carried the cross 13 hours each way to Siauliai. Here, he put the wooden cross up on the hill. Tired and worn down, he started his long journey home.

When he finally reached his hometown, his wife and daughter were both waiting for him. They had amazing news – his daughter had somehow been cured of her illness! She was out of bed, awake, and joyfully awaiting his return!

The story of the miracle hill spread throughout Lithuania. People would pilgrimage to the site and place a cross on the hill hoping it would also cure their sick loved ones. It became the Hill of Crosses that performed miracles!

The second story: For those of you who do not know a lot about Lithuanian history, they have a long and sordid past with the Soviet Union dating back to the 1800’s. In the 1800’s, Lithuania had been occupied and were under Russian regime. The official religion was Russian Orthodox, and the official language was Russian. They were forbidden to practice any other religion, hang any crosses, or speak any other language other than Russian in public.

 

How to get to Hill Of Crosses?

  1. You can rent car and visit Hill Of Crosses  from Riga (around 2 hours, one way) or Vilnius (around 3 hours, one way). From Vilnius you can have day trip Hill Of Crosses and Siauliai. From Riga you can have day trip to Hill of Crosses and Rundāle palace.
  2. Other option is if you are visiting Riga and Vilnius in your trip. Then you can have transfer with sightseeing stops in Hill of Crosses and Rundāle Palace. Both directions – Vilnius-Riga or Riga Vilnius. Here you can find our offer for  transfer. Price starting from 70 EUR/PAX
  3. Also you can have private day tours from Riga or Vilnius. Here you can find tour from Riga. Prices starting from 60 EUR/PAX

Interesting facts – Cape Kolka (Latvia)

Author – Uldis Vanags, 2019

Photos – Google.com

When you stand ashore at still weather day and enjoy full 225 angle view at peaceful Baltic Sea, you never except how deadly dangerous this place is for those who are just dozen meters away in water. Cape Kolka

Cape Kolka by opinion of many specialists is one of biggest Ship Graveyards in the world. If we count the years of navigation trough those gates to Northeast Europe, it looks trustful.

Vessels of different sizes try to pass Irbe strait for more than 4000 years. For those familiar with ancient navigation place have another name – Domesnes (for cape) and Irbestraβe (for strait).

One of legends told us that this place once inspired Richard Wagner to wrote beautiful opera “Flying Dutchman” (Der fliegende Holländer).

To understand why you must stand in dunes of cape Kolka in storm together with local fisherman, and later listen to never-ending stories about storms, pirates, sunken ships and lost souls around the Cape.

To understand why you must stand in dunes of cape Kolka in storm together with local fisherman, and later listen to never-ending stories about storms, pirates, sunken ships and lost souls around the Cape.

 

Just one small note for everybody who visit the place. Please not to try to swim around cape, not in bad or even in good weather. There are beautiful strands just a mile away, but the cape itself despite of drowsy imagination (especially in sunny day) actually is giant maelstrom more than hundred feet deep.

RigaTours.lv offer tours to Cape Kolka book now- link here!

 

 

Winter in Baltics: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Baltic’s in Winter!

Many will argue that the Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) are great travel locations in summer, and they would not be wrong. What they might not know, is that the Baltics are as great for holidays in the winters too, especially for the beautiful scenery.

For one, the Baltics make use of what they have to create that amazing winter holiday experience. On the other hand, these are one collection of countries that come together to make your experience a totally unique one.

Here are some of the top things through which you get to enjoy winter in the Baltics… and reasons why you should consider going at all three countries.

Skiing

Cross skiing in Latvia

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are all great locations for skiing. In the fact the outdoors always provides a great skiing experience.

You would think so too if you saw how well the snowy forests formed out delicately challenging paths for different levels of skiing experiences. Frozen lakes also bring all the fun and adrenaline rush into your skiing.

All of these resorts offer services that cater to different skill levels of skiers, so you are always covered.

The longest road in Europe

 

Ice road winter EstoniaOne thing you get to experience when you travel to Estonia in the winter is the chance to drive through the longest road in Europe. This would not have been an interesting endeavor but for the fact that the entire road would be covered in ice. Imagine having to drive all through all that mass of ice throughout multiple islands which would not have been connected otherwise.

 

 

You get to see three countries

One thing we love most about taking a trip to the Baltics is the close proximity of the countries one to another. It is always a 3-in-1 experience, such that you don’t get anywhere else.

It’s even bettered in the fact that all of these countries share a similar climate, so you get to enjoy the same activities over all the regions. You could even split out your activities in such away that they can be spread over all of these regions.

 

 

Speaking of activities…

HORSE SLEDGE AND TRADITIONAL LATVIAN SAUNAThere are a ton of them. There is no shortage of fun when you are enjoying winter in the Baltics. You get to enjoy everything from the bobsleigh in Sigulda, ice fishing, skiing, winter bag walk and horse sledge in snowy forests. 

That is in addition to being treated to the ultimate husky dog sledding experience (Latvia, Lithiuania and Estonia), and having a snowmobile or ATV’s safari experience to remember.

 

 

 

It is a better cost alternative

One thing you should look at when planning a winter trip is the cost of setup. If you consider everything you get from a visit to the Baltic countries to other similar regions of the world, you would quickly see that it is a cost-effective holiday idea for you. 

Scandinavian countries are the only ones that closely compare to what Baltics will offer you, but they come at a higher price margin. Couple that with the fact that distances are usually within fast reach in the Baltics, and you have a winner.

 

Wrap Up

Spend your next winter holiday here in Baltic’s – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania!

The Baltics are waiting to give you a warm welcome!

SNOWMOBILE SAFARI EXPERIENCE IN ESTONIA

Last week finally was ready for snowmobile safari in Estonia. Snow was enough for snowmobile and perfect sunshine weather. Just 1h drive from Tallinn, or 3h drive from Riga in Estonia midland located Snowmobile safari, where you can enjoy winter fairytale is snowy forests, iced rivers.

Riga Festival 2018

Date:  – 17.08.2018 to 19.08.2018

Riga City Festival – involving countless concerts in Riga’s concert halls, gardens and parks, games, entertainment and sporting activities for grown-ups and children. The Riga City Festival is also a great opportunity to enjoy Riga and its wonderful architecture, as well as to get to know the suburbs. Traditionally, the Riga Retro international antique car convention takes place annually. Events are also on at Vērmanes Dārzs, Doma Laukums, 11.Novembra krastmala, the Spīķeri Quarter, and in other locations. All of Riga’s residents and visitors are welcome to participate.

RIGA CITY FESTIVAL RESTAURANT

18. August 12.00 – 20.00 Spīķeru Central Square

Restaurants often stand out not only with excellent food but also a thoughtful and refined interior that creates a pleasant mood and allows the meal to taste even better. Riga is no less sophisticated and appetite provoking, therefore in cooperation with the best restaurants Riga City Festival Restaurant will open its doors under the open sky for the fifth time already in Spīķeru Square.

Riga’s chefs will introduce Riga’s inhabitants and city guests to seasonal dishes that have been made from local products. In honour of Latvia’s Centenary Latvian chefs have agreed that the number 100 has to dominate in the offered meals. This number will permeate every dish whether it is 100 grams, units, flavours, nuances or aftertastes. Hundreds of good emotions are also promised by the musicians who will perform at the restaurant all day long.

 

LIGHT SHOW “THE STORY OF WATER IN THE MOONLIGHT”

18. August 23.00 – 04.00 City Canal next to the Freeport of Riga Authority building

Freeport of Riga Authority invites to a show of musical fountains and water lights. Every half hour Riga City Festival’s guests are invited to get comfortable on the shores of Riga Canal in Kronvalda Park next to the Freeport of Riga Authority lighthouse and enjoy a short but romantic 10 minutes long story of the port of Riga.

RIGA CITY FESTIVAL’S GRAND CONCERT “GOOD EVENING, RIGA! GOOD EVENING, LATVIA!”

18. August 21.00 – 23.15 11. novembra krastmala

The concept of the concert is based on the Third Awakening in Latvia — a time period in the history of the Baltic States between 1986 and 1991 culminating in the complete restoration of national independence in all three countries.

Participants: Ginta Krievkalna, Zigfrīds Muktupāvels, Daumants Kalniņš, Aļģirdas Šuminskas (Lithuania) and band “Big Al & The Jokers”, Ivo Linna and Maarjas-Liis Ilus (Estonia), Aija Andrejeva, Alex, Māra Upmane-Holšteina, Goran-Gora, Kristīne Kārkle-Kalniņa, Marts Kristiāns Kalniņš, Riga Chamber Choir “Ave Sol”, instrumental group under the leadership of Kristaps Krievkalns and the Riga City Festival Orchestra, as well as composers Mārtiņš Brauns, Uldis Marhilēvičs and Jānis Lūsēns.

The concert will conclude with celebratory fireworks at 23.00.

 

Text and Photos from: www.rigassvetki.lv

For Solo travellers. Find others and travel cheaper!

Great if you are planning to visit Baltic’s – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia! If you are a Solo traveller and want to join some tour, please write down in comment:
1.        What tour you are interested in,
2.        Preferable date,
3.        Language

..find other interested travellers, and travel cheaper! Meet other people from different countries. Also here you can  get some travel tips for Baltics!

Hiking, running, biking – whatever your activity of choice, Estonia’s nature trails will take you through national parks, forests, bogs and along the sea. Breathe some of the purest air in the world and follow in the tracks of fox, rabbits and moose. The following trails range from easy to advanced, some even accessible for wheelchair users.

Viru Bog Trail, Kuusalu

LocationKuusalu Municipality, Harju County
Object no.19 on the national park map
Driving directionsDrive 52 km on Tallinn–Narva road (Road no. E20), turn left (sign “Võsu 22, Loksa 15”). Drive 1 km to the parking area to the right of the road (sign “Viru raba”). The trail starts from the parking area.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 59.464375
longitude: 25.638328
L-EST 97 x: 6592980.2 y: 592885.9

3,5 km is one way, circle will be 6 km. The trail introduces the vegetation and terrain characteristic of the raised bog in Estonia.
To protect the vegetation and soil we ask hikers to keep on the boardwalk. Cycling on the boardwalk is not allowed!

Abula hiking trail

LocationSaaremaa municipality in Kalasma and Abula villages
Object no 40 on recreation area map
Driving directionsStarting from Kuressaare:
Drive 30 km on the Kuressaare-Kihelkonna road, from the crossroads turn tu Pidula. Drive 9 km and from the crossroads turn left. Drive 1 km and turn right. Drive 3 km. Abula hiking trail is located at Mustjala–Kalasma village road, 8.4 km from Mustjala. The trail starts at the Kalasma campfire site.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 58.474276
longitude: 22.115466
L-EST 97 x: 6483103 y: 390061
A wonderful and exciting hiking trail along the seaside. Especially nice in spring. The limestone pine forest and coastal cliffs provide a habitat for many different plant and animal species. The trail starts at Kalasma campfire site and is marked with yellow ribbons.

Karula long hiking trail (36 km)

LocationIn Karula National Park. The trail has no definite starting or end point. Object no 24 on the national park map.
Driving directionsDrive 8 km from Antsla towards Haabsaare, turn right 50 m after the Haabsaare bus stop (signs “Karula rahvuspargi külastuskeskus 7 km”, “Saru 20 km”). Drive 7 km on Haabsaare–Saru road and follow the signs pointing to the Karula National Park’s visitor centre, which lead you to the trail.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 57.7124683
longitude: 26.5051262
L-EST 97 x: 6399498 y: 649297
The hiking trail runs through Karula National Park and has no marked starting or end point. The circular trail is marked with signs leading to both directions; however, it is advisable to move counter-clockwise. The trail is marked with yellow blazes on trees, plastic hiker pictograms on sign posts and tin signs along major trail sections.

Meenikunno hiking trail (5.8 km)

LocationRäpina municipality, Põlva County. Object no 25 on the recreation area map.
Driving directionsDrive 15 km from Räpina towards Võru, turn left towards Värska. Drive 3.8 km and turn right towards Meenikunno Landscape Protection Area. Drive another 5.5 km and turn right. Drive about 1.5 km to the parking area, where the sign “Liipsaare” points to the right. The start of the hiking trail is about 500 m away.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 57.932105
longitude: 27.310046
L-EST 97 x: 6426011 y: 696026

The 5.8 km circular hiking trail runs on 2.4 km boardwalk and 3.4 km forest path. There are 13 information points introducing the bog and forest along the trail. There is an observation tower on the Liipsaare end of the hiking trail. It is a fascinating trail for nature enthusiasts—hikers, berry-pickers, bird-watchers, etc.

 

Rõuge primeval valley hiking trail (10 km)

LocationRõuge municipality, Võru County. Object no 14 on the nature park map.
Driving directionsDrive along Võru–Valga road (Road no. 67) and turn towards Rõuge. Before Rõuge turn left (follow the sign “Rõuge Suurjärve külalistemaja 1,5 km”) and drive to the junction, with a red brick building (schoolhouse) across the road and the Rõuge school bus stop on your right. Turn left at the junction and after the schoolhouse immediately to the right (follow the signs “Ööbikuorg 0,6 km”, “Plaani 11 km”, “Haanja 8 km”). The bordermark of Haanja Nature Park and cemetery are on the left. Drive on (there is a lighted cycle and pedestrian track at the side of the road), and where the cycle and pedestrian track ends, you’ll see Rõuge Ööbikuorg visitor centre and parking area on the right. Near the visitor centre there are signs and information boards introducing the surrounding area.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 57.72783
longitude: 26.93450
L-EST 97 x: 6402243.7 y: 674799.9

The 10 km hiking trail descends from near the village swing to Rõuge primeval valley, goes past a small pond and runs along the slope of the valley, which is rich in springs. There are two hydraulic rams operating on the shore of Lake Liinjärv. Hydraulic ram is a “perpetual-motion” pump using hydraulic power and is capable of pumping water as high as ten metres or more. The trail continues along the village road between the Liinjärv and Valgjärv lakes and offers wonderful views towards Ööbikuorg valley and Linnamägi. Then the trail goes along the south-western shore of Lake Rõuge Suurjärv – the deepest lake in Estonia. Next the trail goes along the chain of lakes (Ratasjärv, Tõugjärv, Lake Kahrila) to the Hinni canyon.

 

Salevere hiking trail (1.5 km)

LocationSalevere village, Lääneranna municipality, Pärnu County
Object no 1 on the national park map
Driving directionsDrive 56 km on Risti–Virtsu road (Road no. 10) to Ridase, turn left towards Salevere. Drive 9 km on gravel road to Salevere village, pass the two-storey residential houses and arrive at the parking area and recreation site, which also mark the start of the hiking trail.
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 58.690320
longitude: 23.580652
L-EST 97 x: 6505698 y: 475684