Cycling is a popular pastime among the local people in Latvia with about a quarter of the population owning a bike. The largely flat terrain and interesting mixture of coastal scenery, castles, national parks and medieval towns means Latvia is well suited to touring by bike, particularly for those looking for a leisurely ride with cultural interest.
Latvia lies in northern Europe on the Baltic Sea. Most of the country is less than 100 metres above sea level and is composed of fertile lowland plains, a mosaic of vast forests alternating with fields, farmsteads, and pastures. Latvia’s shoreline is largely undeveloped —lined with pine forests, dunes, and long white sand beaches.
Riga is the lively capital and largest city in the Baltic States. Founded over 800 years ago, Riga’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is noted for its Art Nouveau architecture. Despite being subject to centuries of foreign rule, most recently as part of the Soviet Union, the Latvian nation has proudly maintained its identity through language, culture and music.
Latvia is culturally and historically very closely tied with Estonia and many cyclists combine the two countries along with Lithuania. Each country complements the other and the short distances make a cycle tour of the three Baltic countries an interesting proposition.