Nature and Culture
Baltic

Nature and Culture

Worldwide, forest bathing is fast becoming a trend with companies targeting overwhelmed city dwellers and cashing in on the promise of recharging your batteries and restoring your inner balance. In the Baltics, we’ve never really lost touch with nature. In fact, “we’re heading outdoors” may well be the most common answer when inquiring about someone’s weekend plans.

White water rafting in spring, wild swimming and cycling in summer, foraging in autumn and cross-country skiing in winter aren’t just special interest activities, they’re what Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians love to do and share with their visitors. We can help plan your perfect route, combining active adventure with visits to ancient castles, artisan workshops and farms.

Naturally, some of the most popular spots to indulge in outdoor pursuits and get a feel for rural living and local history sit within the Baltics’ lusciously green and richly forested national parks.

National parks in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – protecting our nature and heritage

National parks in the Baltics are key areas for the preservation of nature, but also encompass historical towns and villages, sites and attractions. Hiking trails and cycle routes snake through the parks, and many can be discovered through their waterways by canoe or raft. In autumn, the forests become foraging grounds. If you see a local armed with a knife and basket, don’t run! They’ll be out looking for berries and mushrooms such as the prized chanterelle. What else can you expect at the parks?

best hiking destinations
Latvia

Gauja National Park

Latvia’s largest national park is easily accessible by public transport through the towns of Sigulda, Cesis and Valmiera – excellent bases from which to explore, with a wide choice of accommodation and restaurants. Major historical attractions include Turaida Museum Reserve, the medieval Cesis Castle, the Secret Soviet Bunker in Ligatne and Valmiermuiza Brewery.

Estonia

Lahemaa National Park

On the shores of the Gulf of Finland, Estonia’s largest national park is known for its stony and sandy beaches, bogs and dense forests – home to wild animals including lynx and bears. The manor estates of Palmse, Sagadi and Vihula are popular stopovers. In the town of Hara, a major draw is the former Soviet submarine base.

Lithuania

Dzukija National Park

Lithuania’s most forested area with 85% forest coverage! The park’s 30 waterways make it a top choice for boating. Here, wooden architecture dominates with quaint villages such as Zervynos and Musteika providing a glimpse of what life used to be like in the area. The 18th century Baroque churches in Liskiava and Merkine are highlights.

There are many more national parks in the Baltics. We’re happy to recommend the best option for you based on your interests!

Artisan workshops in the Baltics - keeping tradition alive

In spite of industrialisation and globalisation, Baltic peoples have not only managed to maintain their natural surroundings, but also to keep tradition alive. Heavily inspired by nature, many locals devote themselves to the ancient crafts and skills, which are typical of the region.

To help ensure a future for their craft and to pass down interest to younger generations, numerous craftsmen now welcome visitors into their homes and workshops for tours and hands-on masterclasses. You could find yourself shaping a loaf of hearty rye bread before sliding it into a wood-fired oven and later devouring a thick slice slathered in hemp spread or honey. You might prefer a guided walk through the fields and forests with a herbalist to explain the properties of local flora, which are used in herbal tea blends and traditional medicine. Or perhaps you’d rather get your hands dirty in a pottery studio?

Local wine tasting is a sophisticated option. Though some winemakers have been experimenting with grapes, most Baltic wines are fruit-based. Sparkling rhubarb is a great one to start with.

Whatever your choice of activity, Baltic Nature Travel can put together an itinerary to include a mix of outdoor and indoor time with a natural or historical angle depending on your preferences.

Corporate events
Latvian herbal tradition workshop

get in touch to discuss how we can help you

discover the best alternative things to do in the Baltics!

What travelers say about us

Barry Toward
Barry Toward
2022-09-18
We have just spent 9 days travelling through the Baltic countries with Valdis as our guide. Although the itinerary and accommodation had been pre-arranged Valdis supported our trip brilliantly, bringing to life the individual countries with city walking tours, nature trails and visits to other sites. He is great fun, extremely knowledgable and became an integral part of our small group. His contribution to our holiday played a key part in making it a great and enjoyable experience (and he recommends good places to eat!)
Sam Paliwal
Sam Paliwal
2022-09-02
If you are looking to go to the Baltic's on an active vacation, make sure to check out Baltic Nature Travel as your travel advisor. We recently finished a 10-day self-driving tour of the Baltic's and wanted to have an active trip whilst not missing out on all the cultural highlights of the region. Valdis, the owner of Baltic Nature Travel was very responsive and organized a trip that included kayaking, long distance bicycle riding, hiking in different forests, cooking activities, cultural highlights, hot-air balloon riding, etc-- all in a matter of 10 days and customized the trip to our liking. We were very satisfied with his responsiveness to our needs and his ability to stay ahead and plan various activities appropriately. Just to give you one example of Valdis's ability to think ahead: in one of the hotels, they have very limited parking. On his own initiative, Valdis made a to call to the hotel and reserved a parking spot for us for the one night that we were going to stay at that hotel. It helped out a lot, as we had to leave very early in the morning. There are other numerous examples where he was available to answer questions and help us as necessary, both before and during the trip. He is an excellent guide, calm and collected and his team of guides around the region were quite knowledgeable and fluent. The accommodation for the trip were quite good and and they can be easily adjusted based on your budget. I highly recommend his touring company for your Baltic travel experience and would like to add that as a person he's very likable and easy-going.
Lajos Nagy
Lajos Nagy
2022-07-23
A perfect series of daily hiking tours and town walkarounds. I especially was amused by the jungle-like forests and friendly conversations along the way. Everything was perfectly planned and organized, I definitely recommend, worth thousand-times more than simply visiting cities in a rush.
Tom Demandt
Tom Demandt
2022-05-30
We had an excellent day hike with our guide Valdis. He was very friendly, very service minded and knowledgeable. The hike through Gauja National Park was really beautiful. Heartily recommend for anyone looking for an active day trip outside Riga.
Sergey Zhuravlev
Sergey Zhuravlev
2022-02-28
I enjoyed the hiking tour in the Beberbeķi-Skulte regions of Riga. The route was mainly through the forest, so this is a great opportunity to get away from the city bustle and daily routine and to spend a few hours in nature. The tour guide Valdis is very friendly and he has a lot to tell about the area. I am looking forward to the next tour and recommend joining it.
Sa Si
Sa Si
2022-02-15
I had a wonderful hiking tour trough Kemeri National Park with Baltic Nature Travel. Valdis is a very well informed and nice guide! I would totally recommend a tour with him!
aarpr
aarpr
2022-01-24
Really nice activities and tours by Valdis. Highly recommended. Definetely I will repeat soon.
Eimear Friel
Eimear Friel
2022-01-18
Thoroughly enjoyed my hike with Valdis and Solveiga. It was exactly what I hoped for. Perfect for someone looking to explore more of Latvia but nto sure where to go!
Fiona Koe
Fiona Koe
2022-01-18
Awesome hike, beautiful scenery. Valdis was very friendly and knowledgeable. Will recommend

Leave a review

Tell us about your experience!

About the booking terms & conditions

Travel insurance needed? Read more

Baltic Nature Travel
Baltic Nature Travel
Baltic Nature Travel