ALA bilingual tours of Latvia set for July, August

The American Latvian Association (ALA)  is once again organizing a bi-lingual trip to Latvia, “Hello, Latvia/Sveika, dzimtene,” for adults and families – the 12th one of its kind since 1997. The dates are from July 29 through Aug. 12. 

According to the ALA tour organizer Anita Juberts, “the ‘Hello, Latvia/Sveika, Dzimtene!’ trips are particularly well suited to adults of Latvian background who want to introduce their English speaking spouses or children to Latvia, as well as for those whose Latvian may be a bit rusty and who appreciate the full-time bi-lingual guide and the bilingual trip information.

“The trip provides a comprehensive overview of Latvia—both geographically and culturally,” she said. “The itinerary includes in-depth time in Rīga as well as a tour of Latvia’s historical four provinces. This year’s itinerary includes a special emphasis on Kurzeme – with a side trip to the Lithuanian Baltic Coast and the city of Palanga with its famous Amber museum.”.

The tour starts from either Chicago or Newark, N.J., and is capped at a maximum of 20 participants (with a minimum of 10). The fee includes double occupancy accommodation and meals. Admission to museums and events is included in the program.

This year’s tentative itinerary also includes a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum in Rīga, the Latvian National Archives, the Sigulda Opera Festival Gala Concert, the Bauska Castle ruins, the restored Rundāle Castle, a tour of Cēsis, the writer Kārlis Skalbe’s memorial home and museum, the Aglona Basilica, a visit to a Latgallian potter’s studio, and a stop at an ethnographic homestead where participants can sample country home cooking—Kurzeme style. The tour will also include visits to the ports of Liepāja and Ventspils and beach time on the Baltic Sea, as well as a visit to the legendary resort town of Jūrmala.

Trip participants will be signed up in the order their applications are received. Trip applications can be downloaded from the ALA website, (click on “Visit Latvia”). For further information, call Juberts at +1 (301) 340-8719 or e-mail her at

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