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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Besides traveling, Liga's passion has always been organizing events that would give good and unforgettable emotions to others. She has 10 years of work experience in the travel and service industry, including working for international companies overseas. She genuinely believes that Latvia is a very beautiful country with many things to do and places to show others. Liga speaks English, Russian, and Latvian.
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.
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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.
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.
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