Nature and Culture
What to see and experience in the Baltic?

Nature and culture travel

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 Hikes in Europe

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.

Lahemaa Baltic trails

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.


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.

Ancient craft workshop
Latvian herbal tradition workshop

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What travelers say about us

36 reviews on
Annette Ihrman
Annette Ihrman
The tour was very versatile and a good addition to our trip to Riga. We can recommend it!
I joined Valdis for Gauja national park tour and experience breathtaking views, beautiful cave, Plus the experience to see the inside of luge and skeleton track. It’s an unforgettable experience to see something outside the Riga! Highly recommended!!!
Carmen Daams
Carmen Daams
I took the Kuldiga trip with Valdis. The experience was amazing. The entire day was great. He is a great guide, and knows a lot of interesting information. He would definitely make your whole experience even better. Kuldiga is such a captivating city, very unique with a very special style and soul. If you are visiting Latvia, don't hesitate to take this trip, it is a "must".
Stanley Wallerstein
Stanley Wallerstein
Great Tour and great guide. Baltic Nature Travel is excellent.
Maria M Andrade
Maria M Andrade
Valdis organized an absolutely wonderful 10 day trip to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania trip for my sister, a friend, and myself. He arranged all details including our private chofer and tour guide up the last detail. He went far and beyond when he knew I had an accident in Estonia. We met him Latvia and he make us feel welcome. He recommended the most amazing restaurants for us and he took care of my doctor needs where he was the interpreter. In every country we had the best guys one can possibly ask for. All hotels were walking distance from city centre. Thank you Valdis we will always remembered this trip!!!!
Sarah Daniels
Sarah Daniels
Thank you, Valdis, for helping my family have a wonderful two week trip to the Baltics! Your advice and recommendations were very helpful, and our tour guides in 4 different cities were each outstanding! I highly recommend a vacation in the beautiful and fascinating Baltics, and I highly recommend using Valdis to help you plan it.
Rita Derencius
Rita Derencius
Tours and tour guides, Tomas and Mindaugas, exceeded my expectations. We were able to curate our tour of Lithuania. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and adapted the tour based on our input. Valdis was responsive and easy to work with. Extremely happy we chose to have private tour guides. Best trip ever!
Deniz Demirors
Deniz Demirors
Valdis did amazing job to organize us a 15 day, 14 night self drive adventure trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Thanks to his valuable advise before and immaculate documentation with names of the locations, guides etc we had a magical experience. We hiked, biked, walked, beached and off course drive all over in all 3 beautiful countries. We felt very safe. Everyone we met were very friendly. The car was delivered to our first hotel in Tallinn and picked up from last hotel in Vilnius. They were professional and kind people. We encountered few minor issues but Valdis resolved very promptly so our program was not impacted. We met him in Riga as he was our guide. Thanks to Valdis & his team of guides we had an unforgettable time and experience. Valdis is very gently, kind, hears his clients wishes and makes adjustments in his existing programs. Job well done Valdis. Thank you very much.
Catherine Herway
Catherine Herway
These are the only places on earth where eastern and western architecture can now meet in harmony. The architecture tells a social history translated into excellent English on this tour! The hotels were clean, comfortable, and safe. The food was outstanding as well, I only wish I had more time!
Artur Iwański
Artur Iwański
A very good and interesting guide. Customized trips - which is very useful. If you want to get to know Latvia (which is worth it!) there is no one better. Highly recommended.

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Baltic Nature Travel
Baltic Nature Travel