For travelers, the best thing about Latvia is that it is so compact. Its 500 km of sandy beaches are easily reached from historical towns, where medieval Hanseatic foundations support baroque and art nouveau buildings that become venues for cultural festivals during the summer.
Here, there is always something to celebrate. In July alone, there are 8 festivals during the month, two that are featured here, reveal this Baltic country’s lively, captivating energy.
Sea and Fishermen Festival
The Sea and Fishermen Festival is one of the oldest traditional festivals, celebrated since 1936. The festival is always held along the entire Latvia`s seashore the second weekend of July, this year from July 9-10, 2011. The festival is dedicated to powerful nature and people, whose daily life is closely connected to the sea – fishermen, seamen, and those involved in fish processing. A great variety of activities, concerts, exhibitions, movies, dances, games, sports competitions, attractions for kids, fish fairs, and boating are offered to visitors during these days. Special seafood and local beer are an integral part of the festival.
Positivus Festival 2011
The Positivus music and art festival, July 15-16, 2011, is the largest of its kind in the emerging Baltic states and delivers an eclectic mix of musical genres and an inimitable atmosphere to the 20,000+ festival goers passing through its gates each day. Positivus Festival is a budding attraction to locals and Europeans alike. The festival site in Salacgriva, Northern Latvia, is accessible from all Europe via Riga International Airport, only 120 km away. The breathtaking scenery of the festival’s location, set in the woods next to the beach of a beautiful coastal town, together with a friendly and open crowd, makes it a different experience even for experienced festival-goers. Positivus Festival 2009 was voted into the finals of UK Festival Awards as the Best Overseas Festival.
Latvia has been a trading hub for over 800 years, and the country is well versed in providing a warm welcome. The people of Latvia are hospitable and cheerful, friendly and open towards visitors, and able to get on with anyone, as throughout the centuries they have gained a vast culture heritage. Latvian people treat the cultures of other people with understanding, and being a European Union state, it is a safe country.
At the same time Latvia is a contemporary European country, and its capital city of Riga – a modern metropolis, in which historical architecture, unique in Europe, alternates with the modern; one can feel the breeze of a centuries-old history and relax in modern night clubs, restaurants and comfortable hotels. In addition to Riga, its spectacular gateway, there are 6 other UNESCO World Heritage sites.
With such a variety of things to do and explore, it is best to follow the country’s advice, which states: Latvia is best enjoyed slowly.