Latvia » Bicycle Tours
Bicycling through the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania you get a perspective on history that ranges from the Hanseatic League cities of the 13th and 14th centuries to the 20th century attempts of the Soviet Union to assimilate them as buffers to the West. These three small countries are together no bigger than Washington State and yet are as diverse as they can be. Estonia's language is more closely related to Finnish than to the neighboring Slavic languages in Latvia and Lithuania. In the post-Cold War period Estonia has emerged as a high-tech powerhouse while Latvia and Lithuania, to a greater degree, struggle to break away from their agricultural past and the influence of fifty years under the Soviet Union.
Bicycle touring through the Baltics is like bicycling in the northern part of the US as the great North European Plain has been heavily glaciated during the last ice age. You'll bicycle through pine, birch and spruce forests, past lakes and bays along the Baltic Coast and you'll visit small farm villages. Unlike North America you'll stop in the once-great cities of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, all of which are reinventing themselves as modern, vibrant European capitals.