Latvia is an epic country for adventure bike riders thanks to its stunning forests and awesome trails. If you’re planning a motorcycle trip there, then have a read of this packed Latvia motorcycle travel guide first! It’s filled with helpful info, riding routes, top tips and loads more to help you make the most out of your motorcycle adventure in Latvia.
Latvia is a small country in the center of the Baltics. It is rich in culture and history preserved over the centuries and old buildings that have survived to this day. Before Latvia’s independence, it was always occupied by empires, kingdoms, guilds and colonists. This left Latvia with many war-related monuments, museums, stories and tales.
However, despite the occupation, Latvia and Latvians have managed to keep their unique culture, unique language, crafts, cuisine, songs and traditions alive. Most of the country is very sparsely populated or nonexistent and mostly forested. This small country has a lot to offer, with vast grasslands and dense forests stretching from the coast to the border, perfect for bike touring and touring. Makes the heart of nature lovers soar. Wild camping is also allowed here, so spending a night camping under the stars in Latvia’s beautiful nature is no problem.
Latvia motorcycle paperwork
Visas – Most countries’ citizens are not required to have a visa if visiting Latvia for less than 90 days.
ID card or passport – Required, and since 26.6.12 it has also been obligatory for children travelling within the EU to have their own identity document.
International Motor Insurance Card – Green Card is mandatory.
Vignette – Only needed for vehicles over 3001 kg weight.
To learn more about necessary paperwork, please visit the official government website for up-to-date information and covid related restrictions.
Entering and exiting Latvia by motorbikeLatvia is part of the European Union and the Schengen Area. Therefore, Europeans can freely cross the border by land or sea without stopping at the border. If you are entering Latvia from Russia or Belarus, you have to go through a lengthy border crossing process and there are some restrictions on what food, drink and fuel you can bring across the border.
Hidden away in the northern part of the European continent, Latvia offers a remote and unspoilt nature.
When is the best time to visit Latvia?
The best times for motorcycle tours in Latvia are usually late spring, summer and early autumn. Latvia is a country in the northern hemisphere, so the average summer temperature is around +19 degrees Celsius, but it can go up to +30 degrees depending on the day. Please bring swimming trunks and a warm hat just in case. The longest day is around the summer solstice on June 21st, which is also the time when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
In addition to mosquitoes, horseflies and ticks should also be considered when traveling in Latvia. As a preventative measure, vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is recommended.
Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA, housed in a modern building constructed to feature authentic elements of the original historic structure, is located in the Old Town of Riga. This 4-star hotel offers a selection of wellness facilities and air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi. The rooms feature elegant décor in the shades of brown and beige. Each comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a minibar and tea/coffee making facilities, as well as a safety deposit box. Featuring a hairdryer, the private bathrooms also come with free toiletries. Some rooms offer free spa centre access, including a hot tub, a swimming pool and a sauna.
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Accommodation and costs
Bike tours in Latvia invite you to experience both nature and hotels. Sleeping outdoors in a tent near a lake or river allows you to soak up the country’s tranquil natural beauty, have a campfire, listen to the sounds of nature and breathe in the fresh air. . Also enjoy the cultural, culinary and bathing experiences of many guesthouses and hotels in Latvia.
If you want to stay indoors, most guesthouses are affordable and there are plenty of options in the countryside. The best thing about guesthouses is that they usually have a sauna, which is a big plus in Latvia. If possible, we recommend performing the sauna ritual with a professional bather. You will feel reborn and enjoy the pleasant aroma of the sauna on your skin. This is absolutely perfect after a long day on the bike.
Cafe Hotel Rudzons lies in the centre of a small town of Madona, only 500 metres from the bus station. Free Wi-Fi is available everywhere in the hotel. Every room in the hotel is designed in a different, modern style with individually designed furniture. There is a private bathroom with either a shower or a bath in every room. Bathrooms have heated floors. Breakfasts are served in the hotel restaurant. There is also a café in the hotel. Guests can use free, public parking.
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Hoteld are cheap, plentiful and usually include a sauna!
Bike camping in Latvia
Wild camping is officially permitted in Latvia unless specifically prohibited. Latvians are very friendly and tolerant of wild campers. However, a few points should be noted. If you camp outdoors, we recommend using the LVM GEO app to find public wild campsites within the National Forest.Here are some guidelines and advice for bike camping in Latvia.
Overnight stays in nature reserves and national parks are only permitted to a limited extent.
Accommodation on private property is only permitted with the owner’s permission.
Overnight stays in urban areas, metropolitan areas and near residential areas are prohibited.
You can set up a tent in the forest or set up a controlled bonfire.
Please do not throw away your trash and take it to the nearby trash can.
There are no dangerous animals or other creatures that can attack you.
The socket type is C+F.
Tap water is drinkable in most places.
The currency used is the Euro and there are payment terminals in most places.
Hotel Jelgava, Lielā iela 6, Jelgava, LV-3001, Latvia
The Hotel Jelgava is ideally situated in the very centre of the city, just a few steps from Jelgava Palace and just a 10-minute walk from Jelgava’s bus station. It is close to the city’s commercial centre, shopping centres, bars and night clubs, as well as the main tourist attractions. The property’s Central Cafe Jelgava restaurant serves European and traditional Latvian cuisines. During the summer season guests can relax at the Bird Garden summer terrace.
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Latvia is a safe destination for tourists, especially enduro bikers, away from the capital where tourists are most at risk of being scammed or robbed. You don’t need to carry pepper spray to repel people or animals.
All vehicles must have their headlights on – even during the daytime.
Within built-up areas: 50 km/h
Outside built-up areas: 90 km/h
Dual carriageways (expressways): 110 km/h
There are no road tolls
Emergency number is 112
Legal alcohol limit when driving is 0.05% (50 mg/100 ml blood)
It is not mandatory to carry a first-aid kit or high-visibility vest.
The main highways are in fairly good condition but since most of the road is from the soviet era, there are many roads that have potholes – so be careful and watch out for them. The regional roads are mostly gravel roads but the city connected roads are asphalt. So, the general road conditions are good and great for adventure bike riders.
Driving is on the right side.
Behave on the road and be polite to other passing vehicles or pedestrians.
Off-roading is not allowed, but trail riding is allowed if it’s not in a park or the trail isn’t for mountain bicycles.
Enduro: TET Latvia
One of the most important and recognized routes for enduro riders in Latvia is the Trans European Trail which goes through Latvia in three separate sections that connect with neighbouring countries. This trail is mostly gravel but on some parts it has a lot of sand or mud that will make you sweat a bit but then again, it’s going to make a great camping story!
Latvian Border Tour
Or you can go on the same adventure motorcycle trip around Latvia’s border that the Outduro team set in 2021. It’s a more relaxed type of trail suitable for bigger adventure motorcycles. This route doesn’t go just along the border but in some places, it goes more inland to reach more interesting destinations.
On this route, you can enjoy the coastal side with the beautiful seashores and seafood like smoked fished or go deeper into the inland and find peace in the dense forests, stay in a guest house and enjoy the traditional drink shmakovka (moonshine) that’s made in Malnava.
Trails found on Wikiloc – There are many trails added by locals suitable for many different types of transportation or just go on a hike near a campsite
Tower Hotel, Pāvila iela 29, Ventspils, LV-3601, Latvia
Situated in Ventspils and with Ventspils Beach reachable within 2.4 km, Tower Hotel features concierge services, allergy-free rooms, a garden, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. This 5-star hotel offers a shared kitchen and luggage storage space. The property is non-smoking and is set 49 km from Glen Pinku. At the hotel, rooms are fitted with a wardrobe, a terrace with a city view, a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, bed linen and towels. Tower Hotel offers some rooms with pool views, and each room has a coffee machine.
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The luggage you carry depends on what type of motorcycle tour, trip or adventure you’re on. If you’re riding off-road then you’ll need to pack lighter and it’s more beneficial to have soft luggage over hard. Here’s a bunch of luggage articles to help you plan your setup for a motorcycle ride in Latvia.
I would also recommend taking more camping gear and kitchen cutlery items with you like a pan or a smoker. Take your fishing equipment with you or rent it out and then prepare the meal yourself or together with your riding buddies. Adventure bike riding in Latvia means you can live out in the wilderness for longer than in other countries so it’s a great idea to be well fed and enjoy your food while doing it!
You don’t need extra fuel cans or tyres since there are many fuel stations and big cities have motorcycle workshops. If you’re in Riga and need technical assistance then you can get in touch with us at Outduro as we have a motorcycle workshop and can quickly assist you if necessary.
Camping ground “Oši” near the Baltic sea on a steep bank – enjoy the sunset.
Northern forts in Liepāja – crumbling forts that make for some haunting seaside ruins.
Mazirbe Boat Cemetery – Abandoned vessels that are destined to be reclaimed by the forest.
Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center – This impressively complicated radioastronomy research centre was once a tool of Soviet spies.
Araisi Lake Fortress – This wooden recreation of a 9th century lake village looks as though it was built yesterday (which it relatively was).
Sergei Eisenstein Memorial House – A unique museum dedicated to the famed Soviet director and other cinema greats.
Turaida castle – Recently reconstructed medieval castle that was built in the 13th century.
Liva Hotel, Lielā iela 11, Liepāja, LV-3401, Latvia
The centrally located Hotel Liva is Liepaja’s largest hotel and is within walking distance of Liepaja’s main attractions. Liepaja’s sandy beach is a 10-minute walk away from the hotel. The hotel’s Restaurant Upe is one of the top restaurants in town. A healthy and hearty buffet breakfast is offered there. Delicious cuisine is served during lunch and dinner. The restaurant bar has the longest bar counter in the Kurzeme region and offers a wide assortment of beverages.
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Your turn! Get out there and enjoy all the incredible riding Latvia has to offer!