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Introducing Sigulda

This enchanted town stands on the southern edge of a picturesque, steep-sided, wooded section of the Gauja Valley and is spanned by a string of medieval castles and legendary caves. Just 53km east of Rīga, it is known locally as the 'Switzerland of Latvia', although that title is a bit deceptive - the surrounding area is very pretty, but don't expect towering snowcapped peaks. That said, the bogs, green rolling hills, old wooden farmhouses and fields of yellow flowers create some pretty dreamy-looking countryside.

Sigulda is a minor health resort and winter sports centre, with an Olympic bobsled run snaking down into the valley. It also is the primary gateway to the beautiful Gauja National Park, located northeast of town. Sigulda itself offers some excellent sleeping options - get away from hotels and check out the charming country guesthouses.