How to Enjoy the Winter in the Vicinity of Tukums
December 2021 has started with a real winter — snow all around, you can go skiing and the autumnal darkness has been replaced with the shining brightness of white snow. This is why the winter is a wonderful time of the year to go enjoy the nature, explore and experience it, as well as to hide from the crowds.
Winter means skiing!
Winter with snow means skiing! In the area of Tukums you can enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding, as well as cross-country skiing along tracks or simply go to the forest on skis.
Downhill skiing and snowboarding are offered by the recreation centre “Milzkalns” near Tukums. Worth noting is that if you choose to ski on Milzkalns, you will find yourself in a true fairytale, because skiers can enjoy not only the slopes but also a longer cross-country skiing adventure through a magical forest. A children’s slope is available for the kids. Please see information about the availability of slopes on the website www.milzkalns.lv. Enthusiasts of downhill skiing and snowboarding must bear in mind that you have to book your visit in advance on www.bilesuparadize.lv or via the app Bookla. To make it easier to hire the equipment, download the equipment hire questionnaire, complete it and hand it in to a staff member; start queueing for equipment hire approx. 20 km before you arrive using the mobile app BinaryQ.
When the weather is right, Milzkalns also offers a track for cross-country skiers. It is about 600 m long, illuminated in the evening, and it is free of charge. Like the downhill skiing slopes, the distance skiing trail is also levelled out and prepared, by making tracks for classic strides and leaving a wide enough space next to it for gliding strides. Equipment hire includes also cross-country skiing equipment. An extra bonus for the cross-country skiers is that no prior booking is required in the application Bookla.
The slopes are open on weekdays from 12.00 until 21.00, on weekends and holidays from 10.00 until 22.00, however you can always find up-to-date information on skiing or snowboarding, equipment hire and the working hours by visiting the website or social media pages of Milzkalns. Address: "Dižkalni", Smārde parish, Tukums region. Tel.: +371 26222333, www.milzkalns.lv
Cross-country skiing track of the recreation centre “Sveikuļi” near Tukums can be used during the daylight hours. Skiing equipment hire is available at “Sveikuļi”, too. The skiing track is available for a fee and can be used by those, who hire equipment, as well as for those having their own gear.
Within the territory, skiers must, of course, keep a safe distance from one another: at the recreation centre, it is 2 m apart, while on the skiing track it is 8 m. Bear in mind that the ski hire, receiving, measuring and returning the equipment is taking place only outdoors. You must wear a face covering while present at the hire facilities. Only members of the same household will be served simultaneously. The skier may use the skiing set (skis, boots, poles) received from the organisers for up to 90 minutes and only on the tracks prepared by a snow groomer. Address: “Sveikuļi”, Tume parish, Tukums region. Tel.: +371 29232026, www.sveikuli.lv
Cross-country skiing from 16 January, while the snow cover lasts, will also be available at the film park CINEVILLA. The park has 4 tracks and also offers equipment hire.
The tracks are designed for those who like the classic stride, but running parallel the large track loop, there will also be a 3 m wide track for the gliding stride. An excursion track has also been set up winding through the “Cinevilla” town with street props.
Skiers are welcomed Cinevilla on weekends — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00 until 17.00. Costs: equipment hire – 7 EUR/1 hour, 10 EUR/2 hour. The Cinevilla team will offer skiers coffee and there will also be a bonfire to warm up by. Address: “Vidusvecvagari”, Slampe parish, Tukums region. Tel.: +371 28606677, www.facebook.com/CinevillaEvents
Special Offer by Jaunmokas Palace
Enjoy the snowy walks with snow shoes
To enjoy a dreamlike and exciting winter fairytale walk around the Jaunmokas Palace park on snowy days, you can hire snow shoes (EUR 3 / hour). The manor grounds are very vast and large enough to enjoy a leisurely walk in a safe way. You can go exploring the oak-tree wood, the apple orchard, the lime tree alley, alongside roses and rhododendrons that are deep in winter hibernation. If the snow drifts are deep enough, the shoes will keep you from sinking into the loose snow. If there isn’t as much snow, they will help you stay upright. In any case, unprecedented experiences are guaranteed, as you take in the scenic landscape of the manor park.
There are 15 QR codes set up around the park territory for a walk with a purpose, containing more information about the estate history, objects of interest and landscaping. While on the walk around the manor grounds, you can bring along an audio guideand learn something new and exciting about this hunting lodge and its history.
To make sure that the narrative feels more personal and interesting, the content was prepared to ensure that the listener is greeted and taken on the tour through the manor rooms by the first owner of the manor, the former mayor of Riga George Armitstead. The guide text and information in QR codes are available in Latvian, Russian, English and Lithuanian. The text in Latvian has been voiced over by the actor Jānis Skanis, who has often played the host of the Jaunmokas Manor at festivities.
Orienteering in the manor park is available for those enjoying more active recreation (EUR 1 / person). The game will require creative co-operation in a strategic task – by answering questions on the work sheet, to find specific objects at the park and to find out something interesting about them. During the quest, the guests will learn about the diversity and richness of the nature in the park.
After a walk around the Jaunmokas Manor on weekends (and on weekdays by booking in advance) you will have a chance to enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant “Corner’s”.
The manor is also available to visit “in green mode” every day from 9.00 until 17.00. Address: Jaunmokas Palace, Tume parish, Tukums region. Tel.: +371 63107125 or +371 26187442, www.jaunmokupils.lv
The art trail an a winter picnic on the edge of a forest
The Art Trail of the recreation centre “Valguma pasaule” also in the winter offers to explore the forest and the large-scale photographs set up in it – to see the vast landscapes of New Zealand and the inhabitants of Latvian forests all in the same place at the Art Trail in the forest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The forest of Valgums has two walking trails: The New Zealand landscape trail with more than 40 large-scale photographs, whose author is Andris Apse — a nominee landscape master of the year 2020 of New Zealand, and the other is the walking trail right here in the nature of Latvia at the Ķemeri National Park and in photographs by Andris Eglītis. You can also enjoy the walk through the name-day maze, the wind bell and the mirrored pavilion of Leonardo da Vinci — excellent places for photo-ops where you can’t take a bad photograph. Allegedly, it is most romantic here when the dusk starts to set in. The centre is open to visitors on weekends — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 13.00 until 19.00. You can also walk along the Trail of Nature’s Paintings.
A new addition this winter at “Valguma pasaule” is the spruces painted by Māris Subačs and the large mirror spruce, lights in the Sun symbol, and a winter picnic on the edge of the forest with a meal in the romantically decorated meeting hut. On weekends, from Friday until Sunday, from 12.00–20.00, the visitors will be welcomed at the restaurant “in green mode”. Address: “Valguma pasaule”, Smārde parish, Tukums region. Tel.: +371 63181222 or +371 29414022, www.valgumapasaule.lv
Winter adventures on nature trails
In the winter, adventures on nature trails are guaranteed, because after a lot of snowing, the scenery looks a lot different from other seasons and, possibly, on your walk, you might encounter surprises: perhaps you will have to manage deep snow drifts or maybe the trails will be so well-walked that you can’t get lost.
In our area, the most popular trail to visit, of course, is the Big Ķemeri Bog trail and other nature trails in the Ķemeri National Park. So, instead of advertising these, we will offer 5 alternatives to explore during the winter.
The Trail of Viesata River Bends – running on the banks of the picturesque Viesata River, where you can play boardgames in open air, as well as organise a picnic. While exploring the trail, you can enjoy the steep banks of the river, visit the forest and see the big boulder Spuņņakmens. You will want to spend a long time on the trail!
The Hanging Hill Trail – a trail has been set up at the Hanging Hill (Kartavkalni) in the area of Jaunpils, where the little Bikstupīte stream flows, to walk its meandering bends and see the large larch tree alley, the spruce tree stand on the hilly terrain, the Hanging Spruce (Karātavu egle), the ancient hill-fort rampart and a plant diversity with rare tree species, as well as try to spot abandoned and new beaver dams. Dedicated picnic sites are set up approximately half-way through the trail.
Rauda Forest Trails - the Werewolf Trail and the Buck’s Trail are short hiking routes in the forests near Tukums. The Werewolf Trail will take you to a part of the forest entwined in legends of werewolves of Kurzeme, while the Buck’s Hill trail will allow you to experience a wonderful forest as you walk the so-called Buck’s Back. The walk will be longer if you travel to the starting points of the trails from Tukums on foot, instead of taking a car.
The Sea Trail (Jūrtaka) is a section of the European long-distance hiking route E9. The route starts at the St. Vincent’s cape in Portugal and ends in Narva-Jõesuu in Estonia where the Narva River flows into the Gulf of Finland. In Latvia, the trail runs along the Baltic seashore and in our vicinity it stretches along the Mazjūra (the Gulf of Riga) from Mērsrags to Ragaciems. There are two sections: Mērsrags – Engure and Engure – Ragaciems. All you need to do is plan how to get to the start point of the route and who will then take you home from the finish line, and then set out on your journey! More information about the route not only in our area, but along the entire shore can be found here.
Look up and see art
The Tukums Art Museum is offering an unusual walk around Tukums. Did you know that copies of paintings from the Tukums Art Museum are placed on lantern poles in the Tukums Old Town? This is an excellent opportunity of a walk for the whole family to see the works of classic Latvian painters, while we wait until we can visit the museums and see the original paintings in person.
There are a total 36 painting copies on lanterns on Harmonijas and Dārza streets. When you look up, you’ll see the art works of the local artists of Tukums — Ansis Artums, Leonīds Āriņš, Kārlis Neilis, Ilze and Alberts Pauliņi, as well as the Latvian masters — Janis Rozentāls, Voldemārs Tone, Jēkabs Kazaks, Jānis Tīdemanis, Johans Valters, Augusts Annuss, Kārlis Miesnieks among others.
Go on a walk around the town and receive positive emotions from the snowy Tukums and the Tukums Art Museum painting exposition on lantern poles! Read more about the Tukums Art Museum and its collection here www.tukumamuzejs.lv/makslas-muzejs
When visiting places where you might encounter also other people, we ask not to gather in crowds and keep a distance from others, as well as cover your mouth and nose. We will only be able to create and enjoy a festive mood when we take care of our own health and that of others, so we ask the locals and guests of Tukums to be responsible and to observe the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers and COVID-19 restrictions.
See you in Tukums in the winter!