Everyone who visits Latvia is amazed by how green and natural everything is – how it looks, tastes and feels. With vast forests and spacious plains Latvia well deserves its label as one of the greenest countries in the world. Explore the interactive 360-degree virtual tour to see it yourself!
Latvians love to spend their free time close to nature and many dream of having a country house or at least a small garden where they can escape from everyday life. In summer and autumn Latvians flock to the forests to pick berries and mushrooms. This activity is so popular that Latvia can justifiably be called the nation of mushroom pickers.
As Latvians are keen to reinterpret tradition in a creative light to get the best from traditional elements, digital solutions have helped raise mushroom picking to a new level. Take the Sēnes Latvijā (Mushrooms in Latvia) app as an example. There are more than 300 edible mushroom species in Latvia and the app helps to recognise them.
Need-to-know facts about Latvian nature
Moon cows – or Latvian blue cows. Yes, they are indeed naturally blue and are not painted. One legend says they are misty blue because they come from the sea. This unique breed of Latvian cow originates from Kurzeme.
Sunstone – or amber from the Baltic Sea. The resin yielded by pine trees 40 million years ago has been transformed with the help of the Baltic Sea into the amber we know today. After every storm that passes, it is worth taking a walk along the seacoast to hunt for it. Amber in Latvia is collected and processed manually and with a lot of care. It reflects our identity and Latvians themselves are sometimes called “Amber Latvians”.
Storks. These long-legged birds are easy to spot in Latvia. There are 65 white stork nests per 100km2 – one of the highest concentrations in the whole of Europe and a reflection of how healthy and rich our nature is. Latvians believe that storks bring luck and are happy when a nest is built close to their homes.
The way we celebrate. Nature is close to us in many ways and has an influence on how we celebrate.
At Easter we use natural materials to colour eggs, and the ritual of swinging is not only believed to repel insects during summer, but to encourage fertility.
Midsummer or the Summer Solstice is when we feel our inner child is in touch with nature. Nature is in full spirits. We stay up all night and burn bonfires to ensure the continuity of light during the dark hours. Field flowers are used in wonderful wreaths.