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2 Days in Courland - Historic Towns, Food and Nature (All Inclusive)

A really eventful private all inclusive (yes, also accomodation and all of your meals) two day trip in a comfortable air conditioned vehicle to the western part of Latvia - Courland. You'll see and experience so many things that after these two days, you'll feel like it's been a week.
Besides Liepāja, the main highlight of this tour, you'll enjoy:
Lots of natural wonders like a hike on a peat bog, view over Europes widest waterfall, a sight of seashore cliffs at Jūrkalne, a footbridge and bird-watching tower on a lake, Latvia's most beautiful beach and some magnificent parks;
Lots of cultural heritage like wine tasting at former worlds northernmost wineyard, trying Latvian traditional cuisine in the Art-noveau market of Liepāja, visiting former military prison (a prison lunch included) and much more;
Guided walks through historic streets of Liepāja, Kuldīga and a few nice smaller towns;
The tour is highly customisable, if you want any changes to the itinerary, just get in touch.

per adult from

$601

AUD

Duration

2 days

Pickup

Hotel pickup available

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • 1x Breakfast
    • 1x Dinner
    • 2x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 1 night
    • Everything
    • Entry/Admission - Sabile Wine Mountain
    • Entry/Admission - Garden of Dolls
    • Entry/Admission - Pētertirgus
    • Entry/Admission - Karosta Prison
    What's excluded :

    • Day 1: Heart of Courland - Kuldīga, Sabile, Kandava

      Stop At: Lielais Ķemeru tīrelis, Slampes pagasts, LV-3133, Latvia
      The Kemeri Bog is more than 8000 years old and is one of the biggest bogs in Latvia. In 2013 a boardwalk was set up to create a route through the most beautiful parts of the bog. The boardwalk takes visitors to the world of moss, small pine trees, deep pools, tiny dark lakes, and the smell of wild rosemary. The astute visitor will notice the carnivorous plant of sundew, and a variety of birds – wood sandpipers, white wagtails, tree pipits, and also hear cranes further away. Those who prefer shorter strolls can take the short route (1.4 km), while those who choose the great arc (3.4 km) will be rewarded with the opportunity to climb an observation platform that offers a magnificent view of the bog from above.
      Duration: 2 hours

      Stop At: Kandava, Kandava, Kurzeme Region
      Territory of Kandava was inhabited by Finnic tribes until 10th century when Curonian Baltic tribes took over. A settlement grew around Curonian hillfort, and it is first mentioned in 1230 in a peace treaty between the Livonian knights and Bishop of Riga. Local residents was forced to accept Christianity, pay annual tribute and participate in crusading campaigns against pagans. The knights built a stone castle around 1257 and it was inhabited up until 1750. Now there's just some ruins left, but together with the little colorful houses on the cobblestoned streets, they do make for a nice walk.
      Duration: 45 minutes

      Stop At: Sabile Wine Mountain, Sabile Latvia
      The Wine Mountains can be definitely considered the symbol of Sabile, you can even see a bunch of grapes in the coat of arms of the town. The vineyard was established here by the Baltic Germans already in 14th century, but much of improvement and glory came during the rule Duke Jacob of Courland.
      You're going to see the winehill from a viewpoint up top and then walk through the garden, see the vines (approximately 30 different varieties) up close. After that you'll taste the wines made from the grapes growing here, in the Abava valley.
      Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

      Stop At: Garden of Dolls, Rigas iela 17, Sabile 3294 Latvia
      Sabile is mostly known for its wine-hill, but the town itself is worth a stroll as well. Sabile's old town is but a few blocks, the main square with a nice view over the river and the synagogue, and then there's the quaint "Doll garden" - a small and strange back yard filled with hundreds of pale straw dolls. There are over 200 dolls with more appearing each year. Most of them are doing everyday things - cooking, riding a bike, working in construction. The dolls are all the creation of one woman who tends to knock around the garden. She doesn’t seem to have any set explanation for the garden, simply saying, “They are just dolls.”
      The straw figures of policemen, singers, children, and parents all have a face that has been painted or drawn on their blank, fabric heads. Unsettlingly, they all have a similar grimace that can seem a bit… unsettling.
      Duration: 30 minutes

      Stop At: Kuldiga, Kuldiga, Kurzeme Region
      Kuldīga is probably most recognised by what Latvians love to call the "widest waterfall in Europe" - rapids on river Venta, but the town's real appeal comes from it's quiet medieval streets. You won't meet a lot of camera clicking tourists there (it's just too far from Riga for your regular daytripper), so you can have all the beauty to yorself. Kuldīga (or Goldingen as it was called back then) was the capital of the Duchy of Courland for a few decades during the turn of 16th and 17th century and even though Kuldīga lost it's strategic and political importance during the Great Northern War there's still a lot of evidence of it's heyday. Those streets, buildings and bridges ar so well preserved that they're often used as a set for period films.
      Here you'll have a guided tour around the old town and a visit to the Old Bridge and the Venta Rapid as well. Even though it's just 2 meters tall, it's still the widest waterfall (up to 270m) in Europe :)
      Duration: 2 hours

      Stop At: Jurkalne, Jurkalne, Kurzeme Region
      The Jurkalne Bluffs (or Cliffs) are one of the most picturesque parts of Latvia’s seashore, with a quiet beach untouched by civilisation and bluffs of up to 20 metres high. Recently CNN travel included Jurkalne Bluffs in their "20 most beautiful places in Europe" list - so it's definitely worth a visit, right?
      The stairs that lead from the top of the bluffs to the beach have been replaced many times, due to the shore receding after powerful storms. The shore can recede as fast as a few metres a year.
      Duration: 30 minutes

      Stop At: Liepaja, Liepaja, Kurzeme Region
      If you start your research on Liepāja by reading it's history, it might not seem as nice place to be - a port city of red-brick warehouses, moored torpedo boats and an old military prison for the main attraction. But in reality Liepāja is tucked between a lake and the Baltic sea, has some of the nicest beaches on the whole of Latvia's 500km coastline, it boasts a large amount of Art Noveau architecture, including the 1910 built Peter's Market (second only to Rīgas Central Market), beautiful churches of all denominations, a marvellous seaside park and a lot of events all around the town. Liepāja has generated disproportionate number of most well known Latvian bands and musicians, so you'll see them all around.
      Depending on the time you arrive and the time of the sunset you might go on either a short walk or a proper walking tour of the most impotant and beautiful places and leave the rest for the next morning.
      Duration: 2 hours

      Meals included:
      • Lunch: Lunch in a rustic restaurant near Sabile - a chance to try what the locals eat
      • Dinner: Dinner in hotel's restaurant or similar highly rated place
      Accommodation included: Overnight at Art Hotel Roma or similar, depending on availability (the earlier you book, the better the chances).

      Day 2: Liepāja and the way back to Rīga

      Stop At: Liepaja, Liepaja, Kurzeme Region
      You'll start the morning with a tour of the historic center and seaside park/beach. Then do a driving tour of the Neighbourhoods of Liepaja. Since your driver/guide is born and raised in Liepāja, he'll give you the local's perspective. First - to the lakeside, a place that used to be pastures for the residents, but now - soviet block apartments. There's still some pastures left, but they're turned into recreational area with some beaches, boardwalks and a bird watching tower. Then you'll go through some areas of old wooden houses, and drive on to Karosta (literally - War Port), a naval base, originally constructed in 1890s for Tsar Alexander III of Russia. It consisted of a large man-made harbour including an inland submarine warren. Now it's a very popular place for artists, since there are the scenic seascapes with partially blasted fortresses on the Baltic shore. There's the czar-era mansions used by admirals, an impressive Russian Orthodox Naval Cathedral, underground bunkers, etc.
      Duration: 3 hours

      Stop At: Pētertirgus, Liepāja, LV-3401, Latvia
      Liepaja's main grocery market, St. Peter's Market. The building itself is magnificent- an Art Noveau masterpiece from 1910. You'll have a short tour around the market and taste some seasonal Latvian traditional foods.
      Duration: 1 hour

      Stop At: Karosta Prison, Invalidu iela 4, Liepaja 3414 Latvia
      The prison started functioning over 100 years ago. This is the only military prison in Europe open to tourists. The prison nobody has ever ecaped from. In different lists Karosta prison is named as the most surprising and most unusual hotel in the world - yes, you can spend a night in there and get treated like an actual prisoner. If you wish to switch your regular hotel to accomodation like this, get in touch early and we'll organize that. Otherwise you'll have a lunch in the prison canteen and a guided tour (prison's local guide) through the place. Being treated awful is an option too :)
      After the visit you'll start driving back to Riga.
      Duration: 2 hours

      Stop At: Skrunda, Skrunda, Kurzeme Region
      Since the former military town now belongs to the Armed Forces and is off limits to visitors, we can only stop at a roadside and catch a sight from distance. Skrunda-1 is a ghost town and former Soviet radar station. It was the site of two Dnepr radar installations constructed in the 1960s. A Daryal radar was being built there before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Skrunda was strategically important to the USSR as its radars covered Western Europe. The two radars were the most important Soviet early warning stations for listening to objects in space and for tracking incoming ICBMs.
      On 4 May 1995 the 19-storey tower that housed the Daryal radar system was blown up. The demolition that cost 7 million USD was sponsored by the United States, the Soviets main nuclear rival.
      All materials of value were carried back to Russia when the last Russian troops left in 1998; the 60 buildings that comprised the former town, including a school, barracks and an officers club, remained.
      Duration: 5 minutes

      Stop At: Riga, Riga, Riga Region
      Return to Riga around 19:00.
      Alternatively, if you're willing and still not tired, you can have one more hike on a boardwalk in a bog called Cenas Tīrelis. In that case you'd return to Riga a few hours later obviously. You can decide that on the way, since this would be the last place to visit and doesn't affect anything on the itineraty except your time of return to hotel in Riga.
      Duration: 2 hours

      Meals included:
      • Breakfast: Breakfast in your hotel.
      • Lunch: Lunch in Karosta Prison + Snacks in Liepāja Market
      No accommodation included on this day.
    • Departure Point :
      Traveler pickup is offered
      If you're anywhere within reasonable distance from Riga we have no problem picking you up.Airports
      • Riga Airport, Riga Latvia
      Ports
      • Rīgas Pasažieru osta, Eksporta iela 3A, Ziemeļu rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
      Departure Time :
      8:00 AM
      Return Detail :
      -
      Hotel Pickup :
      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • Not wheelchair accessible
      • Stroller accessible
      • Service animals allowed
      • Near public transportation
      • Infant seats available
      • Most travelers can participate
      • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
    • If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
      If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
      If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

    Language

    English

    Age Req.

    -

    Fitness Req.

    None

    Group Size

    4

    Organised by Honest Tours

    Activity ID: V-144956P11

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