While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

If you haven't begun the ski season yet, now is the time. We’ve put together a guide to the best slopes in Latvia: from pleasant and secluded ones in the woods to professional sports centres.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Lucavsala and Uzvaras parks

Spending some time in the fresh air skiing is actually possible within the city limits. Lucavsala and, as of this year, Victory Park offer this opportunity.

The 900 and 1000 metre long tracks are designed for short ski runs. If you want a more serious exercise, you can hire a professional instructor and turn your trip into a training session.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

In order to circumvent the whims of nature, the track in Victory Park is covered with artificial snow. At Lucavsala, however, the snow is real. On the website there is a live video broadcast to assess the skiing conditions and find out everything about the operation of the slopes and equipment rental, as well as find an instructor.

Opening Hours: the parks are open from 10:00 to 21:00.

How to get there: take trolleybus 19 to Lucavsala to the stop of the same name.

Victory Park can be reached by different transport: tram 10 to Slokas iela or buses 4, 4z, 7, 8, 21, 25, 38, 39 to Slokas iela.


Mežaparks, known as the green heart of Riga, offers 3.5 kilometres of illuminated ski tracks in winter. During daylight hours, you can also take a ride on the paths adjacent to the main track, which makes the route longer.

After outdoor activities you can take a break and have a bite to eat in one of the park’s cafes.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Opening hours: the park is open 24 hours a day. The slopes are available for skiing when there is a good amount of snow. The equipment delivery point at Kokneses prospekts 39 is open on weekdays from 12:00 to 21:00 and on weekends from 11:00 to 21:00.

How to get there: tram 11, buses 9 and 48 run to Mežaparks all the way to the Zoo. You can also take trains that go to Skulte or Saulkrasti to Mangali station.

If you are travelling by car, you can park in the free car park on Meza avenue, free of charge for 4 hours on Viestura avenue or in the former ice skating rink.

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Bikernieku trase

If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city into nature without spending hours travelling, go to Bikernieku mezs. This is probably the most picturesque ski track in Riga. 

The complex offers three laps of different lengths – from 1100 to 4900 metres. On all routes the lights stay on until 23:59. The wide track is suitable for both classic and skate skiing. If you are just learning the ropes, you can hire an instructor.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

The sports centre has a New Year’s present for all lovers of active winter recreation: now the natural snow cover on the track around Lake Linezers is supplemented with a layer of artificial snow. Therefore, even during the “warm” winter days you can safely go skiing on the Lake Linezers course.

You can easily come here as a family – both adults and children can rent ski equipment for a run. Plus, if you get tired of skiing, you can go on a hike. Food and drink are worth bringing along.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia
While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Opening Hours: You can ski in the park with your own skis from early morning to late evening. However, you can rent equipment on weekdays from 11:00 to 21:00, Saturday from 9:00 to 21:00 and Sunday from 9:00 to 19:00.

How to get there: Bikernieku trase is only 10 km from the centre of the capital. It takes about 20 minutes to get there by trolleybuses 14, 18, buses 5, 15, 16 and 31. Just plan your route to reach S. Eizenšteina Street 16.

Drivers can leave their cars at S. Eizenšteina 2 near the base office or at the Audio Centre.

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Zilie kalni, Ogre

The best place to reconnect with nature, enjoy silence and tranquillity is the so called Blue Mountains. In winter, this natural park in Ogre turns into the longest ski track near Riga. The 12 kilometres of natural landscape from Ogre to Ikšķile is a real find for avid skiers!

You will be skiing surrounded by coniferous forests and along a quarry. The small downhill and uphill sections of the trail will make your skiing experience more exciting. If you want to take a break along the way, you can admire the snow-covered scenery from the observation tower. 

The route is lit in the evening hours and there are resting places, barbecues and restrooms throughout the area.

After skiing, we recommend hanging around in Ogre for a while. The streets, trees and squares here are usually beautifully decorated with garlands. Take a wander around the town and feel the holiday mood again, even on the most ordinary day.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Opening Hours: The park is open 24 hours a day. All necessary sports equipment can be hired on site on weekdays from 16:00 to 22:00 and at the weekend from 10:00 to 22:00.

How to get there from Riga: there are two ski trail starting points in the park: in Ikšķile and Ogre. There are buses and trains from Riga to Ikšķile and Ogre. 

The best way to get to the Blue Mountains from Riga is by car, which will take you about 30-40 minutes.

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Smeceres sils, Madona

It will take 2-3 hours to get to this ski spot from Riga, but it is worth it. Smeceres sils is the largest professional sports base in Latvia, created not only for a leisurly afternoon, but also for those who consider skiing as their passion. 

It is here in Madona where international winter sports competitions are organised. In Smeceres sils, a professional ski track of different terrain and difficulty level extends for 30 kilometres. During competitions, there are 3 and 5 kilometre long tracks available for visitors. You also have the opportunity to learn biathlon skiing here.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

There is everything here to ensure the time spent in the complex is comfortable. Visitors can count on renting the necessary equipment, lighting on the tracks until 9pm, warm changing rooms, a recreation area with a view of the tracks, training with an instructor, a cafe and even a sauna. If you don’t want to go home the same day, you can stay overnight at a local holiday centre.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia
While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Before you set your skis towards Madona, check the weather forecast. Only 3 kilometres from the general tracks, snow cannons provide permanent snow cover.

Opening Hours: Smeceres sils is open weekdays from 9:00 to 20:00, Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. Inventory pick-up stops two hours before the base closes.

How to get there from Riga: the easiest way to get to the base is by car. By public transport you need to get to Madona by bus or train and then take bus 3163 – it goes directly to the sports centre.

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Mailes, Madona

If you fancy a more secluded location, there is another sports and leisure ski resort near Madona – Mailes. It is not inferior in quality to the larger resort and claims to be the best cross-country skiing track in Latvia. 

On the territory there is a ski stadium, bathhouse, equipment rental, and overnight accommodation. And the most important thing: the track consists of rings of different lengths – from 1 to 5 kilometres, and a “people’s trail” of up to 30 kilometres. The tracks are suitable for different skiing styles.

Opening Hours: Check the Facebook page for opening hours. At the weekend, you can come at any time. To rent equipment you’ll have to call in advance +37128626845.

How to get there from Riga: This remote complex can be reached by car. From Pļaviņām to the Ērgļu road go to Odziena, turn right to Vietalva and follow the signs. 

From Madona take the Pļaviņas road to Veckalsnava, turn to Jāņukalns and go through it towards Koknese. “Mailes”’ is located right in front of Vietalvas. The journey will take about 2 hours.

Fischer, Sigulda

Sigulda, “Latvia’s Switzerland”, is a place of attraction for Riga residents and tourists during any time of the year. In addition to the picturesque landscape, the town offers many recreational opportunities for the whole family. 

The Fischer Centre has already become a landmark for skiing enthusiasts over the years. After all, on its territory there is the only slope in Eastern Europe with a unique freezing system. Thanks to this system, the availability of snow cover does not depend on changing weather conditions. That is why the ski season here starts earlier and ends later than usual. The length of the artificial track is almost 1300 metres, but in snowy winters the length of the track increases to 9 km. 

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Here you can rent equipment or buy goods from the local shop, change clothes, workout on TRX machines, take a shower after training or go to the sauna. There are vending machines with drinks and snacks on the premises.

Learn to stand on skis or improve your skills with the help of experienced instructors. For biathlon enthusiasts, the centre offers the opportunity to shoot a laser gun.

Opening Hours: the centre is open from 8:00 to 21:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 to 20:00 at the weekend.

How to get there from Riga:  both buses and trains run to Sigulda. From the bus or railway station, buses 6255 and 3113 will take you to Kakisi and Kakiskalns stops, from where you can walk to the base. By public transport the journey will take over an hour, but by car about 50 minutes. 

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Vanagkalns is a place where you will be warmly welcomed in the coldest season of the year. A place where skiing is not just a sport, but a way of life. Raimonds Dombrovskis runs the big farm in Vidzeme. He is an adventurous man who has been challenging himself all his life, both in professional sport and personally. He is an American biathlon champion, an athlete whose outstanding achievements have been made into films, as he has travelled 6700 km across North America on roller skis.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Raimonds and his wife Olga have become an example of how to run a farm efficiently, becoming a centre of attraction for more and more volunteers who willingly participate in the development of the ski area.

People come to Vanagkalns not only for the skiing, but also for the hearty atmosphere. Home-cooked food, baths, fireside chats, live music on Fridays and overnight stays in the guest house attract hundreds of skiers from all over the world every weekend. 

40 kilometres of gentle slopes and terrain where everyone can find a course to suit their sporting tastes. During the day, everyone is allowed to use the slope for free. For a fee, the bravest can go night skiing on the illuminated route. 

There is also equipment hire at the base. A professional skier will help you prepare your skis. You can also buy new or used equipment.

Opening Hours: always open

How to get there from Riga: the easiest way to get to Vanagkalns is by car and it will take a little over 2 hours.

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Zelta krogs

Not far from Vanagkalns, the Zelta krogs ski slopes are for lovers of authentic places. This place exists thanks to another enthusiast by the name of Jānis Melbārdis. The owner prepares the slopes by his own efforts in harsh weather conditions, sometimes at night, because he is in love with the sport and wants to create a unique place for everyone who shares his feelings.

The 35 kilometres of the track runs among picturesque hills and meadows. You can choose from 6 courses of different lengths. The track is suitable for both classic and skate skiing. By the way, the pistes connect with the Vagankalns and Krepšēniem areas and form a total ski network of up to 50 kilometres! The use of the slopes is available for a donation.

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

Since January 15th, the guest house “Golden Pub” has been opened in the ski resort. The cottage offers cosy family rooms, a guest room with a fireplace, a shared kitchen, parking and ski equipment rental.

Opening Hours: Follow updates on the Facebook page or call: + 371 26 333 814.

How to get there from Riga: It takes just over 2 hours by car.

Mezinieki, Aluksne

Another place that will not leave any skier indifferent is the Mezinieki Sports Centre. It is located two kilometres from the town of Aluksne. The very name of the place promises unforgettable skiing in the bosom of unspoilt nature, surrounded by hundred-year-old trees.

The quality of the track is already evident from the fact that it is used by professional athletes. The steep descents and ascents are suitable for those who like to test their strength. You can choose either a short skiing trip in the forest or an intensive training, as the length of the tracks varies from 1 to 5 kilometres. It’s possible to ski up to 21:00 on the 3 kilometre route when it is lit up. 

Due to the fact that the town is located on the Vidzeme hills, you can count on the fact that the slopes will be covered with snow throughout winter. If you want to spend more time in this magical place, you can stay overnight in the guest house “Paideri” near the centre.

By the way, the webcam on the city’s website allows you to check the condition of the slopes in real time.

Opening Hours: round the clock. Lighting on weekdays until 21:00. All necessary equipment can be hired on the spot, having called in advance with your specific request. You can leave your belongings in secure lockers.

How to get there from Riga:  It is not a long way from Riga to Aluksne, the fastest way to get there is by car – about 3 hours, or by direct bus to the city – over 4 hours.

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Raimaks, Talsi

The Kurzeme region is also a great place to visit. In the Talsi area, the Raimaks sports club offers three tracks of varying difficulty. The 1.3, 3 and 6.2 kilometre circuits are both gentle and hilly. The highest point is at an altitude of 200 metres. However, lighting is only installed on the shortest distance. 

Opening Hours: you can enjoy winter and skiing every day from 9:00 to 21:00. All changes in the schedule are published on the Facebook page

While it’s snowy. Where to find the best ski slopes in Latvia

How to get there from Riga: There are two buses available by public transport. First of all, take a bus from Riga to Talsi, and from the bus station take one of several buses travelling in the direction of Mundigciems, where the sports centre is located.  

The journey by car will take less time, just under 2 hours.

Author : editor nbhd
Date: 23.01.24