Did You Ever Consider Latvia as a Beach Destination?

Jūrmala Beach, Latvia

I wanted to visit Latvia since I learned about its strategic war location in high school. I figured as the heart of Europe, it would have a diverse culture with even more diverse architecture. It wasn’t a wrong assumption and Riga’s role as the European Capital of Culture this year is proof. What I didn’t realize is that it’s home to great adventures in Sigulda, including bobsledding, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and a Tarzan park, and the town of Jurmala is an extremely popular beach destination. With therapeutic thermal waters, peat mud, pine forests, healthy maritime climate, dunes, and beaches covering 32.8 kilometres, Jurmala is the largest resort city in the Baltic States. Since it’s too cold for swimming , I wasn’t exactly looking to get in the water but seeing the Baltic Sea was on my list this year so I made the short drive from Riga to Jurmala to check another item off of my 2014 list. What I found was more than a check mark; it was magnificent!

Jurmala, Latvia

A wide, sandy, well-maintained beach spread out before my eyes with historic wooden architecture in the backdrop. Although not out in the winter, the beach is filled with volleyball courts and loads of water-front hotels. It reminded me of Virginia Beach yet it’s in the middle of the Baltics.

Jurmala, Latvia

The beach is covered in white quartz sand and “The Blue Flag”, which is a sign of a high quality, safe, and well-equipped beach. With free WiFi coverage and soft, rolling waves, I could have stayed there all day even though it was too cold to swim. Seeing the Baltic Sea was on this year’s list but next year I will need to add, “Swim in the Baltic Sea” to ensure that I return.

Jumala Beach, Latvia

I’d never considered Latvia as a beach destination but I’m learning that it has way more to offer than just a strategic location.

27 thoughts on “Did You Ever Consider Latvia as a Beach Destination?

  1. For a few seconds, I was thinking: “Isn’t Latvia where Doctor Doom is from?”. Then, after doing some fact-checking I learned that he’s from Latveria. Enlightened by your post; thanks.


  2. There was no mistake that you picked up Jurmala for your bucket list. During the Soviet era Jurmala had the major and one of the most prestigious music festivals for the entire USSR. I think they called it international but one should have taken this with a sense of humor;). On the Soviet TV Jurmala always appeared as a fine beach destination available only for celebrities and TV stars. I bet during the summer time it’s even more spectacular!


  3. Hmm, I would never have considered a place that far north to be a beach destination. While I do suppose the air temps could be fine in the summer I would imagine the water to be too cold for me


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  5. There are many great places in Europe. Croatia for example before the war, was considered a popular beach destination for us Brits – my brother in law went and had an amazing time in the early 90’s!


  6. Thanks for liking my post. Your posts always transport me to the location you are currently traveling too. So beautiful, I’d never have thought of this as a location to visit..but then your posts always inspire me to at least give it a thought! Much love and light to you and have a blessed day!


  7. I loved Jurmala when I was there, I fell in love with an old abandoned house very near the beach, which I am sure you saw too. I also have a post in my blog about Latvia and latvians in general.


  8. Interesting comparison to Virginia Beach (grew up going there for summer vacations). I have a friend who’s have Latvian so it’s always made me curious about this country and this post has spiked that curiosity even more. Great recap!


  9. I’ve never been to Latvia,even though it’s not that far from my hometown. But I know it’s beautiful country to visit. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.


  10. In answer to your question – no I have never considered Latvia as a travel destination let alone a beach destination. Latvia is now on my list .. as soon as I figure out exactly where it is. My 7th grade geography class is failing me now. 🙂


  11. For all who ask about temperatures durings summer in Latvia – it gets pretty hot, if you’re lucky to visit somewhere in july/august. The water temperature in Baltic sea is about 18 to 22 C, and in lakes and rivers even hotter. And locals like myself, we used to open swimming season when water is 16C, it’s the limit to start swimming with comfort :))

    Please do come here and see for yourself! Other great cities by the sea are Liepaja, Ventspils, Kolka, Saulkrasti, Vecaki, Salacgriva, Ainazi, and Tuja.


  12. Great pictures and neat information. Thanks for letting me travel with you and see such interesting sights. Please make sure you get there to swim in the summer. The beach looks lonely and needs your company.


  13. I’m so glad I found your site Lesley, thanks for stopping by mine :).

    In another life, I would be a traveling, experiencing and writing all about it. Who knows, maybe in a few years that will be my life :). I was fortunate enough to have gone on a European Cruise last September and had a sudden, unexpected love affair with Dubrovnik, Croatia. There is something about the ancient culture there, and the mysterious Illyrians, that sparked my heart and inspired a historical romance that I’d love to draft the next time my feet hit that fertile soil.

    Until then, I will live vicariously through your adventures 🙂


  14. Thanks for introducing Latvia to me and everyone else. I don’t think I ever heard anyone say they were going to Latvia, so thanks for the education. It would be amazing to see what it looks like during the height of the summer months. Travel Safely….now off to….:)


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