Top outdoor winter activities in Latvia.
Finally, after the last 2 winters in Latvia being without snow, winter 2020/2021 has blessed us with the most beautiful white winter anyone could ask for.
In Latvia, the weather on Martin's day is believed to determine the weather for the winter ahead.
If on Martins day it is sunny and clear then a big frost is expected in the winter. If it is foggy then a warm and wet winter is to be expected.
When I first heard this, I smiled and thought "cute" but since the last Martins day WAS sunny and clear and we've been drenched in a beautiful white winter I will now take Martins day more seriously.
Since the COVID-19 restrictions have been in place throughout this winter the activities that are permitted are purely outdoors only but without restriction of movement. Meaning the beautiful Latvian outdoors are legally allowed to be enjoyed.
Many of these places are reachable with public transport, if you have a car or can rent one then your options are endless.
Here are some of my favourite winter activities in Latvia and all you can do despite restrictions.
Husky dog sledding or walking with Dodkepu.
If you're a dog and husky lover like me then this one is for you. Dodkepu.lv is a lovely organisation that allows you to experience Siberian husky sledding. And if there is no snow, they also offer walking the huskies on a beautiful nature trail.
The owners Ilze and Nikolajs provide all the equipment needed. These beautiful Siberian huskies are well looked after and full of energy so love nothing more than being taken out for exercise.
Once strapped into our harness we began our nature trail. This was one of the highlights for me. The dogs are so friendly and they love being taken out on the walk. Next time I will try out the sledding now I have seen how happy and well looked after these doggos are.
You can find more information and contact details on their website here.
Walk the many beautiful hiking trails.
Latvia has the so many beautiful hiking trails, they are well maintained and due to the quality maintenance some may acquire a small fee where others do not. These trails show the true nature of Latvia and you can even stumble across some wild animals if you're lucky!
Some of my favourite trails are.
Ogre Zilie Kalni Nature Park
Go-karting on ice at Sporks Komplekkss 333
I did not even know I wanted to do this until I did it. This adrenaline-filled activity is great for groups and is available for 16+ ages. The special tires and the icy track allow you to drift and race your friends. Several times we went crashing into the snow which only added to the fun! .
This unique and adrenalin-filled activity is available at Sporta Komplekkss 333 just outside of Riga. They also offer other activities such as quad biking. You can find more information on their website here.
Snowboarding and skiing at Zagarkalns
Latvia being a flat country is not renowned for its ski slopes but has some small slopes you can enjoy during winter. We took our nieces and nephews for skiing/snowboarding lessons at Zagarkalns, an instructor taught us for an hour before letting us loose on the slopes. (Not me, I sucked)
Due to the limited number of people for safety reasons, you must book ahead on their website here.
Visit The Ethnographic Open Air museum
Located on the shores of Jugla Lake, this open-air museum is the home to 118 historic buildings which have been moved from their original locations from all Latvian Regions – Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Latgale dating from the 17th Century to the beginning of the 1930s. It is so interesting to see these original houses of farmers, fisherman and craftsmen and trying to get an idea of how they lived all those hundreds of years ago.
The museum has shorter opening hours during winter and you can find more information on their website here.
Riga Zoo and Mezparks
Okay, this one is for entertaining the younger ones but a fun day out for all. The Riga Zoo outdoor animals are still available to visit at a discounted fee of 3euro. We took our young nephew here and he was thrilled to see the seals and tiger. Afterwards, you can take the children to run all their energy out at the huge playground in Mezaparks next door.
Walk around Riga Old Town
I say this in all my Latvia blogs but honestly, it really could not be more of a perfect reminder to get out there and see the beauty of this Old Town. Whilst all shops and restaurants are closed, there are some places doing takeaway coffee, mulled wine and beer. Something taking a walk through this medieval town makes you appreciate the beauty and architecture.
Although I cannot wait until restrictions are lifted and Latvia can return to a normal life, this winter here has been magical. I have been able to experience so much more that the Latvian outdoors has to offer and feel so lucky to have spent this fairytale winter here.
Let me know which activities you love doing in winter!