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Kite boarders’ paradise

We will also bring you a few places of kite boarding bliss in Latvia. (Kite boarding uses a board that resembles a snowboard, and a large kite serves as a sail.) On the Kurzeme coast, Liepāja is obviously a popular choice: a beautiful city on the sea with a vast, sandy beach and wind that never subsides. There is a reason why Liepāja is known as the birthplace of the wind. Moreover, the stretch of the beach in Liepāja between Pērkones and Jūrmalas streets is dedicated to kite boarders, or kiters. Sailing can also be done in the nearby Lake Liepāja, particularly with the easterly winds.

In real – westerly – winds, seasoned kiters make their way up to Akmeņrags, between Liepāja and Pāvilosta. This is an especially wild spot with extra high waves, a source of adrenaline like you have never experienced before. The Mecca for real wind fans is Pāvilosta: a small, tranquil and very attractive fishing town, and when the summer comes, it is taken over by kite boarders and windsurfers from near and far. The sailing opportunities are immense. Jūrkalne is a unique place in Latvia with its famous coastal bluffs, but it also offers really high, foam-crested waves.

Meanwhile, if you go to Mazirbe or Oviši, you can combine sailing with romance on the little-touched northern Kurzeme beach and the Livonian Coast. Cape Kolka is a popular sailing location among enthusiasts of all wind sports. The cape is an unusual natural formation in Latvia whose geographical characteristics mean that there will always be wind (Cape Kolka is the headland with the deepest protrusion into the sea in Latvia and the only place where both a sunrise and a sunset can be observed). And between sailing sessions, try a bite of freshly smoked flounder!

We have to also mention Ventspils, which boasts a well-appointed beach and special structures to make folding sails and kites easier, with a water park adjacent to it where families with children can enjoy themselves. On the Kurzeme shore of the Gulf of Riga, sailing fans frequent Ģipka, Mērsrags, Engure, Bērzciems (an especially popular place with kite boarding beginners, as it has a lagoon that lends itself very well to practice) and Ragaciems, a mere 50 km from Riga.

In Jūrmala, kiters gather in Pumpuri, while the closest beaches to Riga that are popular with kiters are Vakarbuļļi in Bolderāja and Lake Ķīšezers on the Jaunciems side. On the Vidzeme coast, depending on the wind, locations close to Riga which kiters go to are Vecāķi, Kalngale, Lilaste and Saulkrasti, where you can even get advice from instructors at the Koklītes recreational centre. Vitrupe and Salacgrīva are also sought-after, where kiting can be done between port breakwaters.