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Latvia Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

To the west, the Latvian coast benefits from a maritime climate, while the hinterland in the east has a continental climate. Between June and September, days are pleasantly warm and often sunny. Winters are long and harsh, with temperatures in Riga rarely rising above freezing between December and March. Even in April they can be as low as 5ºC. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with the heaviest rainfall in August. Snowfall is common in the winter months.

Required clothing

Light to medium weight clothes are worn during summer months. Medium to heavyweight clothes are needed during spring and autumn, and heavyweights for the bitterly cold winter. Rainwear is advisable all year.

Geography

Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Russian Federation in the east and Belarus in the southeast. The country is divided into five broad regions: Riga in the north, Kurzeme and Zemgale in the west and Vidzeme and Latgale in the east.

The country is reasonably flat. A long sandy coastline is backed in places by undulating sand dunes and low sea cliffs. In Latgale, in the east, the landscape is noticeably different with rolling hills and myriad lakes. Wherever you are in Latvia you don't have to travel far to find dense forest. In addition the country boasts about 12,000 rivers. Latvia's longest river, the Daugava runs through Riga. Meanwhile, the Gauja River is at the heart of the country's best-known nature reserve, the Gauja National Park.