A beach scene in Jurmala, Latvia
Photo by Bryan Ledgard  –  Link

Jurmala

Latvia

Just 20 minutes by car from Riga, Jurmala is a seaside resort in Latvia with calm beaches, dense pine forests and an array of eclectic architecture in the town centre. Visit Jurmala to get back to nature with a stroll through the Dzintari Forest Park or an afternoon relaxing on Jurmala Beach.

Places to visit in Jurmala

This former fishing village on the Gulf of Riga has won the hearts of travellers for over 200 years, especially those on the search for health and wellness.

Visit the ornate wooden Racene Bathhouse, built in the early 1900's, for a taste of the Jurmala's history as a spa destination. This abandoned bath house, which resembles a large gingerbread house right on the beach, was once home to various baths heated by sea water. In the Soviet era, it served as the spa centre of Jurmala, but these days it has been neglected.

Sulfur springs and a grand sanitorium are some of the main points of interest in Kemeri National Park, a 15-minute drive from Jurmala. You could spend all day here exploring the nature trails at Lake Sloka, bisiting the unique Kemeri Bog and trying to spot birds on the Dunduri Meadows.

Another point of interest in Jurmala is the Dzintari Concert Hall, an iconic venue that hosts annual jazz and classical music festivals. It's almost entirely open-air (it has a wooden roof but no walls) and is mere metres from the sea, giving it an exciting, at-one-with-nature feel.