Newsletter:
Welcome to Latvia

Testimonials

  • I was part of Ann Scolnick's tour from Tallin to Vilnius.  I was extremely pleased and satisfied with our tour. The organization, and hotels were excellent.  Our meals outside of the hotels were better than the ones provided in the hotels.  The best part of our tour was our guide Vaida!  She was exceptional, in fact better than any guide I have had during any of my extensive travels.  I will recommend your company to my friends, and hope they also will be lucky enough to have such a wonderful guide.
    Ginny Hackney, USA, 2015 (G1 tour in opposite direction Tallinn-Vilnius)
  • My wife and I loved the Baltic self-guided tour of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  The route selected meant each day had a good piece of riding on quiet roads or bike paths through interesting countryside plus stops in all of the major cities and towns.  Our small group got on very well together.
    Simon Flowers, Switzerland, 2015 (self-guided tour of the Baltics: Tallinn to Vilnius)
  • Yes we had a good trip. Saw some nice nature and pleasant villages. The hotels were also good. And the bikes. The driver drove us fast and safe from / to Riga. And we were lucky with the weather. Just a few drops of rain the last day. Mostly sunny. It rained a lot more in Sweden during that week. Best regards,
    Hans Brandtberg, Sweden, 2013 (tour SG1, along the Lithuanian Seaside)
  • Hi Saulius, We had a great time on our trip, and would recommend you to anyone. If you ever figure out how to do a Helsinki - Tallinn via St Petersburg ride, we'd be in!"
    Richard Seton, USA, 2014 (self-guided tour of the Baltics: Tallinn to Vilnius)
  • Our cycling-group has spent 10 days in Lithuania and explored your country on Baltic Bike Travel route “Vilnius-Curonian Spit-Klaipeda" – we all want to thank you again for your efforts and great assistance in planning and organizing our individual intentions to realize our this years cycling idea.
    Ludwig Enser, Germany, 2012 (tour SG2, Lithuania – from the capital to the Seaside)
  • Now we are back from a most interesting and well-organized "Baltic Capital City" guided bicycle tour. We have cycled in France, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic and Ireland in all kinds of landscapes ... so we have some guided cycle tours to compare with. My husband and I are so very satisfied with the whole tour. It was just what we expected except for some extra positive factors...
    Anita Bostrom-Baversten, Sweden, 2011 (tour G1)
  • We have arrived home after the Baltic Bike trip with Ramos from Vilnius to Talinn. It was fantastic, absolutely wonderful. We've done bike trips in Europe and the US with other groups and this trip was the very best. Of course we loved the country side and the weather was an unexpected bonus.
    But the real advantage of this ride was Ramos. He is a leader with knowledge beyond any tour guide.....he offered us information on the history, the culture, the geography, the religion, the botany....everything.....the best teacher/guide possible. But, beyond that, his personality is ideal for this....he understood group dynamics and the group really connected because he drew us together; building bridges between the German speakers and the English speakers, providing humor, music, etc. And the biking was perfect....the distances worked well, the scenery and places he chose to stop were ideal.
    You've done a really good job with the pace of the trip...the 2 days in Klaipedia, 3 in Riga, 2 on the island. Good hotel, simple logistics (for the guests anyway) And, the stops were at interesting places. Albinis was a really good driver and such a friendly, helpful person to have with us. Due to an old injury, I spent one afternoon on the bus. Albinis was informative and made me feel less badly about missing the biking....a really caring man and very careful with the bikes.
    Anne Badanes from USA, 2018 (G1 - guided tour of the Baltics from Vilnius to Tallinn)
  • Wishing to see a part of the world we knew little about, we 6 friends took a chance on BalticBike and were not disappointed. We had great support on our custom trip from Vilnius to Tallinn, including the support we had for an unexpected trip to the emergency room in Lithuania.  The contrast of the capital cities and the rural national parks was visually impressive.  We would not hesitate to recommend BalticBikes, professionally managed from start to finish.
    Marion Leff and co. - USA, 2018 (self-guided supported cycle tour from Vilnius to Tallinn, SG11)

Welcome to Latvia

Brimming with confidence, this enigmatic little country has big plans. Proud owners of the largest Baltic capital Riga, Latvians have fully embraced the western way of life and are arguably the most glamorous of the Baltic trio.
Latvia's confidence is infectious and an attractive aspect of the country, Riga is a bustling, cosmopolitan city, with a beautiful old town and gorgeous art nouveau district, there is plenty to see and do and an excellent Opera festival each year.
Latvia has some wonderful beaches and pretty countryside with grand manor houses and historic villages.
In Latvia you can particularly observe a Russian legacy, 30% of the population is Russian and in Riga this is especially noticeable compared with Tallinn and Vilnius.

Short history

In the 12th century AD crusaders were sent to convert one of the last Pagan nations in Europe: Latvia. Missionaries had been sent into the country before, but their efforts had been in vain. The Latvians just refused to be Christian. Finally, it was decided that Latvia would have to be converted by force. Crusaders built a settlement called Riga, near the coast, and conquered Latvia. These crusaders were known as “knights of the sword” and they joined the famous Tectonic knights in 1237. After this Riga flourished, becoming a large trading city, selling things such as furs, honey and wax to larger countries like Russia. Latvia was then controlled by Poland (1561), Sweden (1629) and Russia (1721). Then, like all the Baltic nations, Latvia was captured by both Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany consecutively. Latvia was owned by Russia until WW1, when it was taken over by Germany. Once the Germans surrendered Latvia declared her independence… but a year later was invaded by Soviet Russia. The Germans then drove out the Communists and left Latvia themselves in 1919. Latvia was again announced independent but it wasn’t to last. The country joined the League of Nations but was hit badly in the 1930s by the Great Depression. Around this time Hitler was growing in popularity and Europe was well on the way to another World War. Russia and Germany’s Nazi-Soviet pact meant they planned to divide up Eastern Europe, so Soviet Russia got Latvia. Latvia became part of the Soviet Union in August 1940. Anyone who tried to resist was shot or deported to Siberia. Of course, Hitler didn’t keep his promise to leave the Soviet Union alone, and invaded July 1941. This meant Latvia came under German control, and it wasn’t any better than Soviet control. 75,000 Latvians were killed or deported. Once Germany lost the war Latvia was once again handed to Russia, until their independence in 1991.

Partnership & Membership