4 Days Authentic Culinary Vacation in Riga and Rural Latvia

Culinary Tour in Latvia

Immerse in the local culture through an exciting culinary adventure in the European Region of Gastronomy 2017! During this tour, you will visit Riga and discover one of the most beautiful European capitals, explore its culture and history through exciting day tours, visit one of the largest indoor markets in Europe, enjoy contemporary and delicious traditional cuisine, and experience authentic activities in Riga and rural Latvia in close connection with the local people!

Meet the instructors

Liga
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Highlights

  • 1 wine tasting in a traditional winery
  • Taste traditional and modern Latvian cuisine
  • Explore the European Region of Gastronomy 2017
  • Visit a bread factory and an authentic fishermen village
  • Discover Riga, a UNESCO World Heritage city, in day tours
  • Excursions to Cesis, Sigulda, Kuldiga, and more
  • Daily delicious Latvian breakfast
  • 3 nights accommodation

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Latvian, Russian, English
The maximum participants in the group is 12
Airport transfer included: Riga International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

During your culinary holiday, you will stay at a four-star boutique-style hotel in the center of Riga Old Town. Hotel Gutenbergs is famous for its gorgeous interior and its romantic and historical style, as well as its kind personnel. The buildings of the hotel were built in the 16th and 19th centuries. There are 38 cozy rooms available with a bath or a shower, television, phone, heated floors in the bathroom, and other amenities.

Program

Day 1 - Arrival

Your holiday will start when Raami Travel picks you up from Riga International Airport (RIX). Then, you will have a light lunch and check in at your hotel in Riga Old Town after 2 p.m. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a private guided tour of Riga Old Town with a lovely local guide and learn more about the city's culture, history, and people.

You will then visit the largest indoor market in Europe, Riga Central Market, and taste delicious local seasonal products bought directly from the producers. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner at Tam Labam Bus Augt, a unique restaurant with an open kitchen serving mouth-watering and contemporary Latvian cuisine prepared from local ingredients.

Day 2 - Gauja Region, European Region of Gastronomy 2017

Your day will start with a filling and delicious Latvian breakfast, which includes rye bread, fresh pastries, stuffed eggs, smoked cheese, meat and fish, pancakes, and organic apple juice from the local farms. Later, you will depart for an excursion to Cesis and Sigulda, two of the most lovely small towns in the Baltic states.

The day will continue with a visit to a bread production factory, where you will be able to savor the unique flavors of Latvian dark rye bread and become a part of a traditional process that goes back thousands of years. Let yourself be immersed in the history and culture during a romantic candlelit tour in the beautiful Cesis Castle and discover the charm of the medieval old town.

Lunch will be at one of the top-rated restaurants serving traditional Latvian cuisine, where everything on the table can be seen just outside the window. You will enjoy splendid natural sights from the impressive Turaida Castle tower and feel the idyllic atmosphere of Sigulda Castle. Later, you will take a cable car ride over Gauja River Valley in the biggest national park in the Baltic states.

You will have the chance to visit a traditional family-owned winery to learn about wine production. You will also enjoy a tasting of locally produced wine from different fruits and flowers. In the evening, dinner will be at Valter's Restaurant in Riga, where contemporary Latvian cuisine is prepared and only local rural products are served.

Day 3 - Courland Region and local fishermen villages

After a Latvian breakfast, you will depart for an excursion to Kuldiga, home to Europe's widest waterfall and unique traditional cuisine. You will explore authentic old fishermen houses in the Jurmala Open Air Museum and learn more about the traditional fish smoking process.

In the summer season, you can visit the local fishermen market and taste and buy mouth-watering fish that has been smoked using natural wood only. You will visit Europe's widest waterfall, Venta Rapid, and feel the charm of Kuldiga Old Town.

Your day trip will give you the opportunity to taste traditional vegetable tarts, known as Sklandrausis. These tarts were granted the Traditional Specialty Guaranteed status by the European Commission. In the evening, dinner will be at the Hotel Gutenbergs restaurant, from where you can enjoy the views of churches, quiet music, and modern Latvian cuisine.

Day 4 - Departure

Your last day in Riga will begin with a delicious Latvian breakfast. Before 12 p.m., you will need to check out from the hotel. After, you will have some free time before your transfer back to Riga International Airport (RIX).

Included excursions

  • Cable car ride over Gauja River Valley
  • Excursion to Cesis
  • Excursion to Kuldiga and Europe's widest waterfall
  • Excursion to Sigulda
  • Guided tour of Riga Old Town
  • Visit to a bread production factory
  • Visit to a family-owned winery with tasting
  • Visit to old fishermen houses in the Jurmala Open Air Museum
  • Visit to Riga Central Market

Instructors

Liga Vanaga
I was lucky to be born in one of the most beautiful places on this Earth - Latvia. The land that feels so special and so peaceful. And there is so much love here. Like at home. Some time ago I realized that I want to allow others to experience the same feeling when they are here, that's when Raami Travel was born. Currently I'm designing tours and local experiences, and working also as a guide in Riga and Latvia. Everything I do I do it with Love. And I will genuinely do my best to make you happy.

Location

Riga is the capital city of Latvia and one of the best and hottest travel destinations in Europe. The city has an 800-year history, beautiful sights, stunning architecture, living culture, authentic experiences, and a relaxing atmosphere. There are enough reasons to visit this Baltic city before it gets overcrowded by tourists. In 2017, the Riga-Gauja region will bear the title of European Region of Gastronomy, emphasizing its diverse ethnic cuisine.

A one-hour drive away from Riga, there are charming countryside towns, such as Cesis, Sigulda, and Kuldiga, as well as nature parks with stunning views and clean air, sandy beaches with fishermen villages, and plenty of options to relax and recharge after the busy everyday life. Some people call Latvia a paradise or Europe’s best-kept secret. One thing is sure, when you visit Latvia, you might fall in love with it.

Latvia is a land of untouched nature and a unique place to come back to. Here, you will find Europe's widest waterfall, hundreds of kilometers of sandy beaches, rich historical and cultural heritage, seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, exciting towns, fresh air, clean water, and organic food. Half of the territory is covered with forests where wild animals and birds can be observed.

This country is one of the safest in the world. It is also friendly for individual travelers or companies and larger groups. In Latvia, there is a possibility to relax without being disturbed by anyone, there are plenty of places that are not overcrowded. Latvia is divided into four regions, each of them has its own special aura. Latgale has marvelous nature with many lakes and a specific cultural atmosphere.

In Kurzeme, you will find untouched nature with wide beaches, fresh fish, and the sea, as well as recreation for the whole family. Zemgale is rich in luxurious castles and estates. With such a variety, Latvia is best enjoyed slowly.

For those who are interested in fine spiritual energies, sacred sites, and non-traditional energy tourism, Latvia will be an exciting destination with many nature sites to see. For example, Pokaiņi Forest is an ancient, exceptionally powerful holy site with stone piles of various magnitudes.

There is evidence that those mysterious stone piles are thousands of years old and that people from all around the world used to travel here to get healed and blessed. Zilaiskalns, or Blue Mountain, is also known as a sacred place of complex and popular predictions and a donation site.

Nearby places

  • Cesis - 1 hour
  • Kuldiga - 1 hour
  • Sigulda - 1 hour

Features

Activities

  • Wine tasting

General

  • Beach
  • Multilingual staff

Services

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Local market
  • Tour assistance

Food

Latvians have always been true food lovers, traditional parties and celebrations are impossible to imagine without slightly too much over eating. Latvia is also called Europe's hidden culinary gem, according to an article published in the famous Jamie Oliver's blog. The country's ethnic cuisine has all the highly valued qualities in Northern Europe: healthy, highly pleasant, beautifully presented, and natural.

Sorrel soup or lake-fish aspic, pork ribs glazed in honey with pumpkin cottage cheese croquettes and caramelized beetroot purée, and layered rye-bread or rowan soufflé for dessert; these are only a few examples of what you can expect from a traditional Latvian meal. People living along the coast of Kurzeme, also known as Courland, are rich in their fishing traditions and smoked fish is an essential treat.

Since ancient times, a real pride of Latvian cuisine has also been the black or dark bread. It tastes and smells fantastic and is a unique brand of the Latvian culture. Latvia also has hundreds of years of wine-making tradition. According to the legend, Duke Jacob had established vineyards in Courland as far back as the 17th century.

You will also try traditional vegetable tarts, Sklandrausi, that have been included in the list of Europe’s Traditional Specialties Guaranteed. During your time in Latvia, you will visit a bread factory and a traditional winery. Your trip to the winery will include a delicious tasting. With daily Latvian breakfasts included and stops at wonderful restaurants, this will be a unique opportunity to discover the gastronomy of Latvia.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Cable car ride over Gauja River Valley
  • Comfortable vehicle with driver for the day tours
  • Cultural tour in Riga Old Town
  • Daily traditionally cooked breakfast
  • Excursions to Cesis, Kuldiga, and Sigulda
  • Local guide and travel support
  • Pick-up and drop-off from Riga International Airport (RIX)
  • Private day tour to Courland Region and local fisherman village
  • Private day tour to European Region of Gastronomy
  • Tasting of local food in Central Market
  • Taxes
  • Tour planning and arrangements
  • Visit to a winery with a local wine tasting
  • Visit to a bread production factory

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Additional tours
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Riga International Airport (RIX). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Raami Travel will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Riga International Airport Airport transfer included: Riga International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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