In this article, I will share some notes and points of interest from our latest trip to Latgale at the start of August 2022. to celebrate my 37th birthday.
Our trip actually started a few days earlier on the other side of Latvia. Since this Summer we own a little summer house near Liepāja. Also, we have an apartment near Kuldīga, and back in that Summer, we had a flat in Riga. We started from Jēči with a stop at Pape, Vilgāle, and an overnight stay at our Apartment in Riga.
The next morning we left from Riga towards Latgale with a booked guesthouse in the evening near Varakļāni. There are several highways taking towards Latgale. We chose E22 highway, through Pļaviņas, Koknese, and Jēkapils.
One of our first stops in Latgale was the Quail Farm Olala in Koknese, we decided to include this place in our route as we have an acquaintance from the Georgia times somehow involved in this business. Next to the Quail Farm is located the impressive Koknese castle, which alone is already worth spending a few hours at. From Koknese we headed towards Varakļāni, with a stop in Jēkapbils. Spent about an hour at Jēkabpils LIDL store buying goodies for the next few days. Lidl was our favorite store in Latvia during the Summer of 2022.
Arriving in Varakļāni we wandered a bit around, found the interesting Varakļāni palace, and as it was already evening header for our guest house - Odumiņi where we had a lovely barbeque, sauna a good sleep.
The next morning I suggested we should go to Rezekne to have our morning coffee. Rēzekne from our guest house was about 40 km. Arriving in Rēzekne, we felt a bit disappointed as it was hard to locate a decent coffee place. In the end, we barely found a local Latgalian coffee house Kuup, which was awesome. Now we spent a few hours in Rēzekne, visiting Rēzekne Castle ruins and Rēzekne cathedral.
From Rēzekne, we headed towards Dagda. My great-father originally is from that part of Latvia. We headed to the village Andzeļi, where the impressive Lake Ežezers is located. Tried to swim. While in the area also visited Piloru oak grove and from here headed towards the jewel of Latgale, the Basilica of Aglona, but before that made a stop at Christ the King mount and had a very hearty dinner at Somersēta restaurant in Aglona.
After spending a good time at Aglona Basilica we headed to our next guest house, where we had booked a glamping stay in a tent next to the Vabole lake at Laimes taures. The hosts had prepared a delicious birthday meal and we finished the evening in a hot pool with beautiful views. In the morning, before departure took a boat ride among the swans.
Guest house Laimes taure was located just some 20 km from Daugavpils, we decided to make a quick at the second largest Latvian city, before returning back to Riga. In Daugavpils visited only Church hill Daugavpils and returned back to Riga via the P73 highway near the Lithuanian border (via Ilūkste, Subate, Aknīste, Nereta, Valle, Vecumnieki, Rīga)