Latvia is the central country of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and is located in North-eastern Europe on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. It consists of fertile lowland plains and moderate hills, with most of its territory less than 100 metres above sea level. It has an extensive network of rivers, thousands of lakes and hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches.
Nature & culture of Latvia
With over 44 percent of its territory covered by forests, a vast network of free flowing rivers and thousands of lakes, Latvia is one of Europe's best preserved havens for a wide variety of wildlife. Over 27 thousand species of flora and fauna thrive in natural settings that are still relatively undisturbed by man. Many rare species, such as the black stork and lesser spotted eagle, make their homes in Latvia’s mixed forests, marshes and meadows. There is also an abundance of otters, beavers, lynx and wolves, as well as great concentrations of deer, elk, fox and wild boar. Bird-watching is particularly rewarding in Latvia, especially in the coastal areas and wetlands during annual migration periods. (Source www.li.lv)
Latvian forests are located in a mixed forest zone consisting of northern coniferous and southern deciduous trees. You will find a pine forest next to a linden tree forest and a diverse spectrum of other species throughout. Because of the unique climate and terrain, nearly one quarter of Latvia's forests grow on wetlands. Many plant and animal species have found a home here. The existence of the wetland forests ensures a high standard of biological diversity. Several of Latvia's forests meet the criteria for a natural forest. Latvia's forests afford a rich supply of berries, wild strawberries, blueberries & raspberries. (Source www.li.lv)
Lakes & Rivers
Latvia has over 12,500 rivers that stretch for 38,000 kilometres, as well as 2,256 lakes that are bigger than 1 ha, with a collective area of 1,000 sq. km. Eastern Latvia, where many of these lakes are found, is known as "the Land of the Blue Lakes". Nearly all inland waters are pollution-free and ideally suited for swimming and fishing, also great for canoeing and rafting. Although some of Latvias rivers have had their courses straightened, most large- and medium-sized rivers retain their natural contours. As a result, their banks are home to such now rare European wildlife as otter, beaver and common kingfisher. (Source www.li.lv)
The sea and coastal zone, which stretches 497 kilometres along the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, is an important part of the Latvian landscape. Sand dunes of up to 36 metres, sandy beaches, rivers and their estuaries, forests, marshes and lakes form a continuous ecosystem that has developed as a result of the interaction between the land and sea.
This zone is still home to picturesque fishing villages that appear to have stepped out of a page in history. These villages were originally settled by the Livs, an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe that lived along the Baltic coast. (Source www.li.lv)
Interactive presentation about Latvia
See other tourist impressions about Latvia
Asa and Hakan are tourist from Sweden who came here to see what Latvia is all about. Follow the series of how this couple gets to know Latvia better.
"Asa & Hakan in Latvia"- Introduction video
Brochures, Booklets & Newsletter
Videos about Latvia
See great videos introducing you to Latvia here.
"Welcome to my country"
Latvia is in the heart of Europe and on its way to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This 5-minute video takes you on a musical tour of Latvia today the people and the very special places that make it one of the Baltic Sea's natural and cultural treasures.
This video has won the Grand Prize in the international tourist film festival "The Viter Mandriv" (Wind of Travel) in 2004, Ukraine. The video was pronounced to be the best in category "Tourism promotion". (Source www.li.lv)