Driving The Kurzeme's Coastline: Kaltene Stony Beach - Kolka - Ventspils - Kuldiga Waterfall

After being packed like sardines for about 14 hours (it's a very long flight from San Francisco to Latvia), the next day we decided to hell with getting adjusted to the time zones, let's see some Latvia! (I think my husband was saying Yes to this being on autopilot.) So around 7 am, I believe, we were already in the car traveling along the scenic Kurzeme Coastline. Our first destination that day was set as Kolka. Honestly, such rush in starting traveling was because of the weather forecast (rain every day as always), so my parents and I wanted to show my man the best part of my country in good sunny weather. Of course, the forecast was changing every 12 hours, so when we saw the sun on our iPhones, we immediately knew we shouldn't waste any time on something like stupid old jet lag. Additionally, I was at Kolka once, many many years ago and, honestly, saw nothing in between or beyond Kolka so I was very excited to take pictures of some truly spectacular, untouched beaches. 

Kolka is a must-visit when traveling around Latvia. It's the meeting point of two seas, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, as well as of people and nature. Very beautiful and isolated beach at the foot of a pine forest. My mom put together a very nice picnic for us using leftovers and hot coffee so we could enjoy the meal in complete peace. I must say, the journey itself to this place is going through the pine forest along the sea. While driving, you can see a few paths leading to one of the most beautiful long beaches on the Gulf of Riga. I was stunned by its beauty and couldn't understand why it took me so long to see it. Closer to Kolka, there is another interesting and unique beach, Kaltene Stone Beach. We came there early enough in the morning to see a very big family of beautiful swans quietly floating on the mirrored surface of water among the stones. After finishing our breakfast at Kolka, we headed to Ventspils. The road again went through the pine forest but now along the Baltic Sea. So we stopped to see another long and scenic beach. I don't remember the name of the entrance we used, but it was so beautiful. And the path that lead to the beach went also through a beautiful view of a river. I didn't know Latvia has all this amazing nature. The water was still and the air full of sea salt. Then Ventspils... I am pretty sure it was my first time in Ventspils. I wasn't too impressed by the city itself (plus we couldn't find any open cafe or restaurant there for lunch), but the lighthouses and the beach did find their way into the depth of my heart, beautiful and dramatic, the way I like it when taking photographs. The color of the sea there is a rich dark green. It was unusual for me to see, as I got used to know my sea in Jurmala in more of an amber color. After not finding food in Ventpils, we went to Kuldiga looking for some food and waterfalls. So you know, right here in Kuldiga, you'll find the longest waterfall in Europe. Very beautiful right at the edge of old town. The main street in Kuldiga is gorgeous and had a few open restaurants. We stopped at the restaurant of the little Hotel Jekaba Seta and were very pleased with the menu, taste, look and feel, service and especially the good democratic prices. It gave us a nice ending of a very long day.

It was, indeed, a very long day full of emotions building new memories. A day when I saw my own country with new eyes, with eyes of a traveler. A day when I fell in love with Latvia all over again.

Coastline of Kurzeme (Gulf of Riga Side)

Kaltene Stony Beach

Kolka

Coastline of Kurzeme (Baltic Sea Side)

Ventspils

Kuldiga

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Restaurant at Jekaba Seta Hotel. I so do recommend it!

Restaurant at Jekaba Seta Hotel. I so do recommend it!