Explore Wild Nature in Latvia

Wild nature in Latvia
Latvia is a flat country whose highest peak is around the height of the Eiffel tower in Paris, almost half of its territory is covered with forests, there are no particularly valuable natural resources, or any world renowned natural wonders. At the first glance, the small country of Latvia by the Baltic Sea may not sound like the most exciting destination for those interested in spending some time in the wild nature. But I’d say that Latvia’s wild outdoors has a calming beauty. If you want proof just spend a minute watching the video below, filmed in one of Latvia’s marshlands.

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Latvia is one of the few places in Europe that still has wild nature conserved by minimal human interference. After all, there are only two million people living in this country. The numerous natural reserves, national parks, and other protected landscape areas are becoming increasingly popular among ecotourists and families. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Wild Beaches

wild beach in Latvia
Photo credit: Anita / Flickr Creative Commons

The Baltic Sea shore in Latvia stretches over 500 kilometers and is dominated by white sand beaches. The few resort towns aside, the Latvian seaside is shaped by nothing but wind and sea, protected by sand dunes and pine forests.

Visit the Slitere National Park to see cape Kolka where the Bay of Riga meets the open sea, swim and relax in the white sand, climb an observation tower for great views, or take a bicycle ride to one of the nearby fishing villages for some freshly smoked fish.

Marshes, Mires, and Bogs

Kemeri moorland in Latvia
Photo credit: Karlis Dambrans / Flickr Creative Commons

Around 10% of Latvia’s territory is covered in bogs and marshes hosting numerous protected plant and animal species. The wood boardwalks in the Ķemeri National Park allow you to explore the one-of-a-kind beauty of this difficult terrain, created by the retreating sea roughly 8,000 years ago. If you are lucky you might spot a black stork, a fox, or even a moose!

Forests and Meadows

forest in Latvia
Photo credit: Lige Eglite / Flickr Creative Commons

Forests cover almost half of Latvia’s territory, with many areas left to develop naturally, that is to say without human interference. While visiting, try your hand at the favorite Latvian summer pastime – foraging. The forests are full of berry bushes with the tastiest wild strawberries, blueberries, and loganberries. Some even claim that gathering mushrooms is a national sport as many families head to the forests in search of boletus, rusulla, and chanterelle mushrooms every late summer.

Rivers and Lakes

river in Latvia
Photo credit: Jevgenijs Slihto / Flickr Creative Commons

The small Latvia has over 12,000 rivers and over 2,000 lakes. Most rivers still run their natural course and are home to rare European wildlife. Most of the waters are perfect for swimming, fishing, and canoeing.

Visit the Gauja National Park that encompasses Latvia’s longest and, perhaps, also the most beautiful river adorned with steep sandstone cliffs, caves, and ravines. Or head to Latgale, the eastern region of Latvia known as the Land of Blue Lakes, and visit the Razna National Park and its beautiful lakes.

Unique Wildlife

wildlife in Latvia

The wild nature of Latvia is also home to wildlife that is difficult to find elsewhere in Europe. Nowhere else will you find as many black storks and lesser-spotted eagles, wolves and lynxes roam the forests, and the rivers are home to thousands of otters and beavers.

Latvia is also home to several projects that seek to restore ancient European animal species. In the Pape Nature Park on the southwestern seashore, you can visit wild horses and auroxen that graze in the floodplain meadows and help to restore the natural landscape once characteristic to most of Northern Europe.

If you want to spend a holiday exploring the wild outdoors, Latvia might be the right destination!


Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together.
Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:

Explore Wild Nature in Latvia – Multicultural Kid Blogs
Sports to Try When Visiting France – La Cité des Vents
A Journey in South Africa – Globe Trottin’ Kids
Sports to Try When Visiting France – La Cité des Vents
Traveling to Chile – La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Tomar, Portugal: the Last Templar Town – the piri-piri lexicon
7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands – Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Explore Buenos Aires, Argentina – Hispanic Mama
Kid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico – Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
Don’t forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.



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Ilze is a sociology PhD turned digital marketer and mom to two trilingual, multicultural kids. Originally from Latvia, she has lived the last decade in Northern Germany. Ilze's blog Let the Journey Begin is fueled by tea, chocolate, and the power of procrastination. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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