Air Baltic has direct flights from Lisbon and soon from Porto to Riga, the capital of Latvia. And 2023 is the best year to land in the Baltic.
Riga was, at the dawn of World War I, the third largest city in the Russian Empire. The Germans, Poles and Swedes preceded the Russians in controlling this strategic trading center on the Baltic Sea.
In 1918, it became the capital of the new independent state and passed under the Soviet yoke in 1940 to return in 1941 to the Germans, this time the Nazis, who transformed it into the capital of the Reichskommissariat Ostland, a region that included Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and part of Belarus.
After the return from the Soviet Union, it was inhabited by Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians.
It’s good to see that Riga has many answers for the current situation in Ukraine. Also because 40% of its population is still Russian.
And visiting it to understand it is already possible by catching a direct flight from Lisbon and, from May, from Porto, on the national airline Air Baltic.
In addition to a complex history, the capital of Latvia is home to a Historic Center listed by UNESCO and the Mesaparks Great Bandstand, an arena that every five years receives tens of thousands of soloists for a festival also consecrated by the United Nations agency as intangible heritage of humanity. along with the traditions of neighboring Lithuania and Estonia. .
The twenty-seventh issue is scheduled to be released next July.
And because we are talking about events, cross the border to the south and exit 295 kilometers further, in Vilnius. For all these reasons and one more: the Lithuanian capital celebrates its 700th anniversary this year.
This means celebration, in addition to the fact that the country is the stage for international events such as the EuroLeague Final Four in basketball, in the city of Kaunas, in May, or the NATO Summit, in July in the capital.
Also scheduled for July is the international music festival As Young As Vilnius and the “Second Christmas by the sea”, which Lithuanians call Klaipéda Maritime Festival, which combines cultural and sporting events and a sailing show.
Before that, June was the month of the Solstice Festival, on the night of June 24th, the shortest of the year, in Kernavi, the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There, the place is dedicated to pagan rituals such as jumping over bonfires or going out at night in search of the non-existent fern flower, a magical flower of the Baltic peoples.
How to go
Air Baltic has direct flights from Lisbon and soon from Porto to Riga,
The capital of Latvia. And 2023 is the best year to land in the Baltic from Lisbon
In April, Air Baltic will have another direct flight from Lisbon on Saturdays, in addition to flights on Tuesdays and Fridays from Porto
Direct flights from Porto start on May 1st with two weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays.
Among the baltic capitals
Air Baltic has three connections from Riga to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and four flights to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
Average flight time
Between 4:30 am and 4:45 am in Lisbon
And between 4:05 am and 4:25 am in Porto
Round trip from 255 euros from Lisbon and 335 from Porto. From there, there are excursions to Vilnius and Tallinn from €29.
Latvia is known as “the country that sings” and this is crystallized in the National Festival of Song and Dance, which takes place every five years. Now, the 27th edition, which marks the 150th anniversary of this unique cultural event, runs from June 30th to July 9th. In addition to gathering thousands of priests in a square recently rebuilt for this purpose (an architectural feat worthy of a visit), the festival is in the hearts of Latvians because it is a symbol of non-violent resistance. And it worked to locate in the decades of Soviet rule.
Gediminas Castle, which belonged to Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, is considered the founder of Vilnius after mentioning the city in a letter to foreign merchants in 1323, and hosts an interactive exhibition with copies of that letter until August 27th. It was originally kept in the archives in Riga, Latvia, and this year in Vilnius to celebrate its 700th anniversary.