The resort town of Saulkrasti, which arose on the site of a 19th-century bathing resort. with the German name Neubad, it seems to be small. True, it is strongly elongated along the seashore, which makes it seem much larger. The Latvian name of the city can be translated as “shore of the sun”, which describes it very well in terms of tourist attraction. The main “profile” of Saulkrasti is a vacation by the sea, on a sandy beach several kilometers long.
Despite its modest size and quite pronounced provinciality, Saulkrasti is a historical and interesting city. If you just go around it slowly, you can easily keep within 10 minutes. But if you are seriously interested in its past and the beautiful surrounding nature, then the walking route through Saulkrasti and its environs can stretch for 10, or even all 15 km. For Latvia climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
The most famous point on the beach and one of the most prominent sights of Saulkrasti is the White Dune.
How to get there
Saulkrasti is almost equidistant from Riga, Sigulda and Limbazi, being at a distance of 40-45 km from them. The easiest way to get here is by car from Riga along the highway that connects the capitals of Latvia and Estonia. It only takes about 45 minutes to drive. Another option is by train (direction to Skulte) or by bus (to Ainazi/Limbazhi, buses run very often).
Saulkrasti officially appeared on the world map in 1933, although the first Liv settlements in these places are mentioned in the chronicles of the 12th-13th centuries. Even in the first half of the 19th century. the city acquired an exclusively resort status, which continues to maintain to this day. And in the 20th century Saulkrasti was especially fond of painters for the beauty of the local shores.
The coat of arms of the city depicts the sun setting (or rising?) over the sea, and below it are four white stripes on a green background. These white stripes symbolize the four rivers on which Saulkrasti stands and the five villages that united to form the city. The image conveys its spirit very well: pastoral, quiet, semi-rural and quite far from the worries of the “big world”.
In Saulkrasti, in Katrinbad, which is near the White Dune, you can still see two lime trees planted by Empress Catherine II in 1764.
Entertainment and attractions Saulkrasti
It seems that in Saulkrasti everything is somehow connected with the sea or the sun. The Saulkrasti beach stretches for as much as 17 km, and in its different sections the character and relief are also different. Its most famous point and one of the most prominent sights of Saulkrasti is the White Dune. It is located at the place where one of the four rivers of Saulkrasti, Inchupe, flows into the sea. The height of the dune is about 18 m, and this is a favorite place for citizens and tourists: the view of the bay from here is excellent.
The age of the White Dune of Saulkrasti is at least 350 million years.
Another “sunny” attraction of Saulkrasti is the Sunset Trail. This hiking route, which is approximately 3.5 km long, follows the seashore, partly through the forest. In the forest, it is worth slowing down for a while to admire a couple of dozen magnificent pine trees, the oldest of which have been growing here for about two centuries.
In addition, the square in the center of Saulkrasti is named after the Sun. During the summer it is a popular venue for outdoor film screenings and live music performances.
The city also has several parks, of which the most popular, perhaps, is the seaside park Piezhur. Its territory includes a section of the coast between the White Dune and Lilaste, it is overgrown with magnificent old trees. Another park was designed in the likeness of English landscape parks in the first third of the 19th century. This is Neubad, which received the same name as the resort, which was founded on the site of the current Saulkrasti in 1823.
And on the territory of the Piezhur Park there is one of the first nudist beaches that appeared in the country.
A not very large-scale and not particularly well-known event outside the country, which is held annually in Saulkrasti, is the Saulkrasti Jazz Jazz Festival. It is played mainly by local teams. The festival has been held in the city for more than 15 years in a row.
The resort town offers its guests opportunities for cultural leisure. Take, for example, the local Bicycle Museum: after all, there is only one such museum in Latvia. Here you can learn about the history of the production of “two-wheeled friends” in the country until the middle of the 20th century, visit a retro workshop and a completely modern store.
2 things to do in Saulkrasti:
- Rent a bike and ride along the excellent cycling routes of the Vidzeme region.
- Spend a day at the Marine Park “Center” for sports games on the beach.
In addition, there are a couple of nice and rather interesting churches in Saulkrasti. The main city church, Peterupsky, was rebuilt many times, and its current appearance dates back to 1856. In the same year, J. Miller painted an altar image for him, taking as a basis the well-known work of Peter Cornelius, which he created for the church of St. Ludwig in Munich. The second church, Roman Catholic, was built only in 1998, but its altarpiece also has an interesting history. He copies the vision of the Polish nun Faustina, in which in 1931 the Savior appeared to her.
Surroundings of Saulkrasti
About 8 km from Saulkrasti there is an interesting museum dedicated to the most honest man in the world – Baron Munchausen. As you know, the legendary baron lived with his wife in the capital region of Latvia, Vidzeme. The museum has a small exposition of wax figures and Munchausen gizmos.