BEST SKI SLOPES AND SNOWBOARDING PARKS IN LATVIA
Asking where to ski in Latvia might not be your first question, once you’ve arrived during the winter months. It’s more likely you’d ask: can you ski in Latvia? We all of course know about cross country skiing and Latvia is definitely a great place for that with large areas having a completely flat terrain, however, head towards west or north from Riga and you’ll find some hills that Latvians have turned into proper ski slopes. With the highest point in Latvia being lower than the highest point in Netherlands it’s a tall order(no pun intended), but this small nation of 2 million loves to get the most out of winter and we’re actually pretty good when it comes to going down hill.
Generally there are two possibilities when looking to do some downhill skiing or snowboarding and both will involve driving out of Riga. If you head towards west you’ll find places like The Swedish Hat in the picturesque Kandava parish, Jēkaba Grava near Tukums or if you’ve planned a trip to Ventspils there’s always a possibility to visit Lemberga Hūte, a slop named after the mayor of the city. It was built after a major street renovation using the old rubble to build the mound. Milzkalns (the huge hill in Latvian) is regarded one of the best winter resorts in the whole country, with something for all – begginer slopes, extreme border cross run, a snowboarding park and a slope for those who’d rather go down in an inner tube.
Heading north you’ll find a resort at Latvias highest peak – the Gaiziņkalns, standing 311.5 m tall, offering way more than just skiing, even their own carnival. And then there’s the Big Two – Žagarkalns and Ozolkalns. Two of the arguably most popular ski slopes with Latvians, especially those living in Latgale and Vidzeme. Don’t be surprised to see Estonians and Lithuanians too. These two resorts are located very close to each other, in close proximity to Cēsis city. Between the two there’s a regular bus transfer if you’re trying to hit as many slopes as you can in one day and joint ski passes are available. Žagarkalns has the most slopes and a snowboarding park while Ozolkalns has the longest slope in Latvia stretching 500 meters. It might not be much but that’s all we got and if you’re a beginner a Latvian slope is definitely a good place to start. With friendly prices, English speaking instructors and no need to worry about great altitude changes skiing/snowboarding in Latvia is a thing to experience(to actually believe it’s possible). Have fun and stay safe!