I strongly believe that people in Latvia are different. We are raised in nature and we grow up learning to love it. When I was a kid my parents always took me camping and sleeping in a tent under stars and it was the best type of holiday for me. So growing up, I was connected to people who feel the same and I surrounded myself with friends who love nature, outdoors and camping.
My friend Juliana is my Latvian hero, she is a true traveler and the best outdoors explorer I know! I always say that to travel doesn't mean you have to take a long flight to the other side of the planet, travel simply means getting out of the comfort zone and that can be done in your own country, neighborhood or even your own yard.
Juliana was born in Estonia but for the whole life (except some years spent in Finland) she lived in Latvia. Like me, and sometimes together with me, she spent a lot of time outdoors because we simply did not have the access to the computer, phone or social media and a lot of money to afford an exotic vacation somewhere abroad, so grandmother's summer house and camping at Latvian lakes seemed like a perfect holiday.
Latvia is narrow and compact country. It has 500 km of sandy beaches which are easily reached from historical towns. Closeness to nature is usually the biggest surprise for tourists who discover Latvia. The natural serenity is rareness for a region that is so close to the crowded and urbanized Europe. Latvia is undiscovered! Usually, tourists who come to visit Latvia only spent a few days in the capital and leave without having much impression of the country, but only real explorers get to see and experience the diversity of Latvian nature- forests, lakes, meadows, bogs, sandy beaches and especially different campsites around the untouched wildlife.
When was the last time you slept under the stars and cooked dinner over an open fire? Or had true quality time together with your friends or family without mobile phones, computers, rush or traffic?
The reasons for camping could be different for you and many people alike.
It could be the love for being outdoors.
The only time to reflect on what life is and how to fit things together.
Waking up to the singing birds before the sun comes out, feeling of fresh air leaves all problems behind.
Perfect reason to do nothing for a weekend- or even longer. This will give you and your friends or family a chance to have a good time together, whether it’s doing sports, cooking or simply chatting near the fire.
In a lot of cases, your 4-legged friend can be tagged along with you. A lot of camping facilities allow staying with dogs so you don’t have to leave it alone.
What about the food? Fried fish, fresh-soup, mushroom stews, bbq with a bunch of greens- restaurants cannot compete.
Whatever the reason is, one thing that stands solidly is that many people see the positive impact that spending time outdoors does to your body and soul.
If you want to go to the countryside, but feel uncomfortable sleeping in tents or sleeping bags you can always stay in specially equipped places with comfort. For those people who appreciate the easy way of camping, there is a new and slightly ridiculous concept– glamping. A combination of the two words which mean - going camping with glamour. It's like regular camping, but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and cozier.
This spot is located in Sigulda- just one hour away from Riga, between thick forests, sandstone cliffs, and castles. Very specific campground for very special nature lovers right next to river Gauja. Owners offer 8 quipped tents with electricity, shared kitchen, shared toilet with hot shower and shared guest tent. Each tent is individually designed and features wooden floors, a desk and a terrace with outdoor furniture. Glamping also offers boat rental, where you can take a sunset cruise along one of the most beautiful rivers in Latvia.
Tree house Ciekurs (Cone)
Have you ever dreamed about spending the night in a tree house? If - yes, then your dream can come true!
Treehouse Čiekurs (Cone) is located in Gauja National Park, surrounded by the pine forest, 3 km from city Cēsis and 90 km from Riga. It is the most incredible place to stay with a high comfort. There are only two houses located right in the trees, so it is a great place to enjoy nature. All units are air-conditioned and include seating areas. Little fridge and kettle are also offered. Guests can use barbecue sets and stovetop, which are located in the common outdoor kitchen, 50 m from tree houses. The property has a private beach area. Visitors can try a Latvian sauna ritual or a hot tub and take a swim in a lake. There is a table tennis and golf.
The best thing about this place – you can lie in the bed and watch stars reflecting in the water.
I think this is the most incredible place in Latvia and is definitely my fav place out of all!
There is one more secluded tree house in Latvia located in campsite Miera Osta between Pāvilosta and Akmeņrags.
For each visitor to feel comfortable, owners offer gazebos, picnic space, tents, fireplace, toilets, information stands and bicycles. Here you can relax on the beach, enjoy the recreational activities and a variety of entertainment, like swimming, boating, mobile sauna on the beach, rope tracks, fishing on the sea coast or volleyball. The environment is very friendly for guests with dogs. You will be able to smoke the fish caught in the sea or enjoy the sea view, pick mushrooms and berries.
Houses of the Sun ( Saulesmaja)
Have you ever fallen asleep on the seashore watching the sunset and wake up with the sunrise lying in your bed right at the beach? You have such an opportunity in barrels in Kolka.
Saulesmājas (Houses of the Sun) offers accommodation right at the coast of Cape Kolka – where waves from two seas clash. All barrels feature a sea-view. The cabins are nice and cozy, round and sweet just like the Sun. Cape Kolka is located within a 2-minute walk. It is the place where the two seas meet and one of the rare places in Latvia where both sunrises and sunsets can be seen in the sea. Pure nature, the sound of the waves, fresh air – what else to ask for?
Camping Melnsils is located directly on the seashore, a charming place 10 km from the Cape Kolka, near Slītere Reserve. Meadows by the sea offer space for tents and set up fireplaces. You can choose double dream barrels or four-seated family barrels. Bathhouse (Latvian type sauna), just next to the seashore, which uses different birch twigs to gently hit each other (Latvian style :)).
The campsite offers a mini zoo world with fluffy animal friends – chicken, pigeons, and rabbits. There are a lot of playground for little adventurers and adults will enjoy playing badminton, table tennis or Novus tournament, or darts.
You can also rent off-road Segway, SUP, kayak, fishers’ boat, Nordic walking sticks or bicycle.
We took a kayak for two and went to take a look at barrels from a different angle. During the stay, we had a thunderstorm near the seaside and we were lucky to watch it. This was something incredible! When I woke up at night, I could not take my eyes off the glittering lightning at the sea horizon.
It is hard to imagine any trip more unique than vacationing in your own overwater bungalow.
Camping Zanzibara provides such opportunity. It is located only 15 km from Riga city center. There you will find a variety of activities to spend your day - squash, croquet, garden and table games, swimming and much more in Zanzibara and its surroundings. Guests can go swimming, fishing or canoeing. There are children’s playground and barbecue area, as well as squash courts and table tennis facilities. There are 12 rabbits in the campground that children will love. However, this place is not for loud parties and big groups. The water bungalows are created for a peaceful and romantic stay for two. Dogs are allowed only on the leash and are not allowed in the bungalows.
BB camping is a paradise for extreme lovers. It is located in Beberliņi forest park in Karosta, Liepaja – the city where the wind was born. It is the first camping that is located in Liepaja – just 7 km from the city center. BB camping offers bungalow houses, tent sites and camper park including an electrical connection point, a place where you can fill in fresh water.
Nearby is an active leisure park BB wake-park – a paradise for the wakeboarders and those who love activities on the water – SUP boards and boats. There is also a nice café, sauna and Hot-Tube.
One of the most unbelievable places in Liepaja - Liepaja forts, which are located right on the seashore. Crumbling away on the edge of the Latvian coast, a row of abandoned bunkers have formed a lovely line of ruins. This is the only place in the whole world where I can sit for hours listen to the sound of the sea and watching how the waves break the ruins.
Now you can understand why many people enjoy camping.
Come and enjoy it as well, explore true Latvia, see the beauty of the country and feel the nature. Camping is becoming highly popular in Latvia during the last few years, so I advise you to book in advance to have a chance to stay in those unique places. The best time for camping is of course summer, however, early fall up until October would be perfect as well.
If you wondering what else to visit in Latvia please check out Juliana's Instagram. Here every day she shares new unique places in the country and around Baltics. Give her a follow, you won't regret. She is also happy to help tourist, so if you have any questions just drop her DM.