Latvia tours for seniorsOdyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across the Baltics and beyond. We explore Latvia’s incredible natural beauty, its Hanseatic city state heritage, its National Heritage Sites, and fascinating cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Latvia, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people. Latvia is one of Europe‘s hidden gems and certainly one of the more interesting Baltic countries in Northern Europe now it is free of the Soviet Union. Latvia‘s capital, Riga, is home to architectural jewels both medieval and modern, including in old Riga, the old town, the 13th century Riga Cathedral and the world’s most extensive collection of Art Nouveau architecture. Outside the capital, Latvia can claim some of Europe‘s most pristine landscapes, including the dense forests of the National park network and beautiful sandy beaches and a seaside resort or two on the Baltic sea. Join Odyssey Traveller on one of our Latvia tours, as we uncover the fascinating history via a medieval castle as well as a Medieval old town plus the natural beauty of one of Europe‘s most underrated countries as part of a Latvia tour package.
Tours of Latvia
Crafted tours for World Travellers
21 daysSep, May
Baltics Small Group Escorted Tour: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania
Visiting Estonia, Finland
An escorted small group tour to the Baltic States of Europe that explores the key destinations of this region starting in Berlin, then making its way through Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and concluding in St. Petersburg. Each day has scheduled itineraries supported by local guides who share knowledge and authentic experiences of the places visited. This is small group travelling to the Baltics for like minded people.
From A$13,250 AUDView Tour
Articles about Latvia
Riga Cathedral, Latvia
One of the most recognisable features in the Latvian capital, Riga Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the largest medieval church in the Baltic states. Found in 1211, the cathedral has been updated and renovated over the centuries meaning the architecture is an amalgamation of different styles from the 13th to 18th centuries. The majority of the church is in the Gothic style, built in the 15th century but the oldest portion has Romanesque features and the tower is 18th-century Baroque. While the cathedral is still used for church services, the complex includes the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. This museum features more than 500,000 archival items and tells the story of 800 years of Riga's history.
Turaida Castle, Latvia
The beautiful Turaida Castle looks like it came straight off the pages of a storybook. One might expect to see a princess peering down at them from the castle's tall cylindrical tower, built in 1214. A medieval castle on a strip of land between two ravines at Gauja River, Turaida Castle is the highlight and most visually impressive element of Turaida Museum Reserve. The reserve encompasses the castle and the surrounding area and includes small galleries and exhibits, an art studio and a sculpture garden. Within the castle, there is a museum which offers an insight into the history of Livonia between 1319 and 1561. The name 'Turaida' comes from the Livic language and translates to 'Garden of Gods', which is a fitting name from the largest protected cultural monument and the oldest visible castle in the country. Less than an hour's drive from Riga, Turaida Castle is a must-see.
Rundale Palace, Latvia
80 km south of Riga, the Latvian capital, one will find Rundale Palace, a magnificent Baroque and Rococo-style mansion used as the summer residence for the Dukes of Courland. Often referred to as the 'Versailles of Latvia', the dazzling complex features wonderful formal gardens and the grand residence is a sumptuous monument to aristocratic opulence. The gardens and around 40 of the palace's 138 rooms are open to visitors and feature glimpses into the everyday life of 18th-century aristocrats.
Questions about Latvia for senior Travellers
Baltic State History: The Definitive guide for Senior Travellers
History of the Baltic States The term “Baltic states”–used to describe the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania–is a geopolitical term, a shorthand to group together these three Northern European sovereign states. But though the…
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries for its small group Latvia tour. Specifics are always outlined in your small group tour of Latvia tour itinerary. Latvia has an excellent bus network, offering extensive transportation coverage across the country. Latvia‘s rail network connects Riga with several destinations, including Tukums, Liepāja, Daugavpils and Skulte, though may be somewhat limited as an option for reaching more isolated locations. Taxis are plentiful and easy to find in Riga and other main cities.
As with other tours, Odyssey’s small group tour of Latvia stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels in Riga, the Latvian capital, typically we choose hotels in the old town with easy access to public transport and a local walking tour for a guided tour of Riga‘s old town. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments as part of the vacation package experience.
Odyssey always engages local guides for any guided tour with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit in Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia as you tour the Baltic countries.
Geography, environment & weather
Latvia is situated alongside the Baltic coast, and covers an area of 64,589 square kilometres. The country is very flat, with 98% of Latvia’s surface lying under an elevation of 200 metres. Latvia holds over 12,000 rivers and over 3,000 lakes, while woodlands cover 52% of the country.
Latvia’s climate is tempered by the Gulf Stream flowing across the Atlantic Ocean, and experiences mild summers and cold winters. Depending on the season you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.
World Heritage Sites
Latvia has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with another 3 on the Tentative List. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/lv). The listed sites currently include:
Historic Centre of Riga, Latvia‘s capital , is filled with hundreds of buildings in the distinctive Art Nouveau and is an important part of any sightseeing tour.
Struve Geodetic Arc, a remarkable multinational project involving Latvia and several other nations involving a chain of survey triangulations to measure a portion of the world’s surface.
Festivals & events
Numerous festivals and events dot the calendar in Latvia. One of the biggest events in Latvia is the Latvian Song and Dance Festival. Held every 5 years, the festival brings together tens of thousands of performers for mass performances of folk songs and classical choir songs, with orchestral concerts and exhibitions of photography, art and folk craft also staged. The Staro Rīga Light Festival is an eye-catching event, with the bridges, buildings and squares of Riga illuminated by elaborate light shows. Other notable events include the Riga Opera Festival in June and Autumn Chamber Music Days.
Latvia: A Short History, by Mara Kalnins
The Case for Latvia, by Jukka Rislakki
Latvia: A Love Declaration in 35 Pictures, by Jacques Sauvage
Lāčplēsis, by Andrejs Pumpurs
Eating & Drinking
Latvian cuisine is built around starch, vegetables, meat and fish. Rye bread occupies a central part of the Latvian diet, with Latvians consuming around 50kg of rye bread a year. Indeed, rye bread is not only included as an accompaniment to most meals, but is also served as a dessert in the form of rye bread pudding, made from sweetened rye bread, fruit, cinnamon, and whipped cream. Given the many lakes and waterways that thread through Latvia, fresh fish are abundant and are widely consumed, with smoked fish a staple of Latvian cuisine. Other notable Latvian dishes include rasol (a potato salad made out of layers of meat, eggs, vegetables, mayonnaise and sour cream) and pelmeni (dumplings made from unleavened dough and filled with minced meat, vegetables or cheese).
Latvians will often wash down food with either Riga Black Balsam (a liquer made with a range of herbs including pepper, ginger, linden flower and rasberry), or kvass, an alcoholic beverage made from rye bread.
Health & Safety
Generally speaking, Latvia is safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling. Street crime does sometimes occur in major cities, including bag snatching and pickpocketing, so pay close attention to your belongings and to your personal security.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Latvia’s electricity supply runs at 230V and 50Hz. Latvia uses both Type C and Type F plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.
The Best of Latvia
Rundāle Palace, an opulent 18th century palace built in the Baroque-style.Read More
The largest medieval cathedral in the Baltic states, Riga Cathedral features an impressive museum and hosts regular organ concerts.Read More
Turaida Castle, a striking medieval castle built in the 13th century.Read More
The geographical wonders offered by Iceland and Greenland left me in awe. The grandeur and spectacle of the countryside is breathtaking. Our leader (Rob) was excellent: well-researched, friendly, organized and good-humoured.
Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour
I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.
Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour
The country was apparently calm and safe. People were friendly and helpful. Such a pity there has been such a down turn in tourism. Ros & Tony S. Sep '17
Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour
We felt safe in Turkey and found the people friendly and helpful. Prices were excellent and the food almost universally magnificent. There is so much to see in the natural and built environment and the wonderful archaeological sites. It is sad to see the ordinary people and businesses suffering from the lack of tourists. Mary B. Sep '17
Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour
Our guide Filiz was wonderful, very well informed, historical insights very helpful, her care for our well being exceptional. Could not have wished for a better tour leader.
Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour
Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.
Errol H. June 2017
Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour
Wife Brenda and I just completed Odyssey tour in UK entitled “Canals and Railways” led by Mal Bock. Absolutely superb, and Mal’s leadership faultless. Extremely good value considering only seven guests, superb local guides and drivers, a most comfortable coach with seating for 24. . Hotels chosen were excellent, most with real character, not places one would have chosen without local knowledge and recommendation, . My wife and I have visited the UK many times- I was born there, but we saw so many places which were new to us. Thank you Odyssey!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain
We found all the guides in each place excellent, some more than others, but always knowledgeable and obviously in love with their chosen careers. David our coach driver was excellent also, coping with some difficult situations with a cool head and providing us with a running commentary on a country he knows so well - especially Norfolk his home county!
Sally and Angus H. June 2017
Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour
What is the time zone for Latvia?
Latvia has a single time zone, Eastern European Standard Time (UTC+2). Daylight savings start on the last Sunday of March and finish on the last Sunday of October.
Is tipping customary in Latvia?
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping isn’t very common in Latvia, though tips are appreciated. At restaurants, a tip of 5-10% of the bill can be left if you felt you received good service.
What is the internet access like in Latvia?
Wifi is widely available in Latvia, with most hotels, cafes and restaurants providing free Wifi.
Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Latvia?
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Latvia. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Articles about Latvia published by Odyssey Traveller:
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to Latvia:
Responsible Travel Tips for Latvia
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although some locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums & galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of euros in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.