How to enjoy the winter in and around Tukums
January 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 the perfect time of the year to enjoy the nature, explore and experience it and hide from the crowds.
Winter means skiing!
A snowy winter 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.
You can enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding at the recreation centre “Milzkalns” near Tukums. Worth noting is that if you choose to ski on Milzkalns, you will find yourself in a true fairy-tale, 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. From mid-January, a snowboarding track is also available. Those who love skiing and snowboarding must bear in mind that the visit must be arranged in advance using the application Bookla where the visit can be booked 2 days in advance, and every day from 13.00 you can book a time for another day ahead.
From mid-January, Milzkalns will also offer a trail 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 cross-country skiing trail is also levelled out and prepared with tracks for classic strides and a wide enough space alongside for gliding strides. Equipment hire also offers 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 working days from 10.00 until 20.00, on weekends and holidays from 9.00 until 20.00, 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: Address: "Dižkalni", Smārdes rural municipality, Engure municipality. Telephone: 26222333, www.milzkalns.lv
The cross-country skiing trail of the recreation centre “Sveikuļi” near Tukums can be enjoyed during the daylight hours. Skiing equipment hire is also available at “Sveikuļi”. The skiing trail can be used by those who hire the equipment, as well as skiers using their own equipment (fee EUR 2 per person).
While present in 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 trail 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 skiers may use the skiing set (skis, boots, poles) received from the hire for up to 90 minutes and only on the trail prepared by a trail groomer. Address: “Sveikuļi”, Tume rural municipality, Tukums municipality. Telephone: 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 3 trails and also offers equipment hire. Skiers are welcomed here on weekends — Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00 until 17.00. Pricing: equipment hire EUR 7/hour; using own equipment EUR 3 skiing all day. The Cinevilla team will offer tea to the visitors, but any other treats must be brought along from home. Address: “Hederas”, Slampe rural municipality, Tukums municipality. Telephone: 28606677, www.facebook.com/CinevillaEvents
Skiing on Pauzers
Thanks to the beautiful gift of nature — the snow, a cross-country skiing trail is created in Tukums, on Pauzers meadows (300 m small lap and 1000 m large lap), with tracks for the classic stride, gliding stride and freestyle. At the moment, no equipment hire is offered, but those with their own skiing equipment are welcome to enjoy the trail.
To avoid unnecessary crowding and to observe the Covid-19 restrictions, the organisers ask to ski in a clockwise direction at a distance of at least 2 metres, unless you are from the same household, and do not congregate on the sides of tracks. We ask that cars are parked by the football pitch, where you should also change into the necessary clothing and get ready for skiing; face coverings must be worn.
This is a natural snow cross-country skiing trail, which is maintained daily with suitable equipment (this will be ensured by the Tukums Town Culture Centre). Therefore, we ask that the territory is only used for skiing and that you avoid walking on it. This will ensure that everybody can enjoy skiing for as long as possible.
Special Offer by Jaunmokas Palace
Enjoy the snowy walks at the jaunmokas Palace by hiring snow shoes!
To enjoy a dreamlike and exciting winter fairytale walk around the Jaunmokas Manor 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.
After the walk around the grounds, the Jaunmokas Manor hosts offer a hot tea or coffee that can be bought at the manor information centre, or enjoy a delicious meal from the Family Restaurant (must order in advance, by calling 26187442).
A walk with an audio guide or by orienteering
The Jaunmokas Manor offers to enjoy the culture while breathing fresh air at a time when the indoors exhibits of the museum are closed. While on the walk around the manor grounds, you can bring along an audio guide and 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.
Another new offer to mention is the possibility to buy the task kit put together by the Forest Museum for individual remote exploration of the museum exhibits. It includes orienteering at the manor park, a crossword puzzle about Latvian birds and animals, and children together with their parents can create their very own bookmark and colour their favourite animals on the shapes sheet.
Address: Jaunmokas Manor, Tume parish, Tukums region. Tel.: 63107125, 26187442, www.jaunmokupils.lv
Explore New Zealand and Latvia at the same place
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 Saturdays and Sundays. The forest of Valgums has two walking trails: The New Zealand landscape trail with more than 40 large-scale photographs by Andris Apse — the nominee landscape artist 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 a walk through the name-day maze, check out the wind bell and the mirrored pavilion of Leonardo da Vinci — these are excellent places for photo-ops where you would struggle to 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 — Saturdays and Sundays from 13.00 until 19.00. A lovely gift for families: during the state of emergency — free admission to pre-school children and school-age children, but the admission for adults is EUR 5, while senior citizens and people with disabilities — EUR 4.
If you go to “Valguma pasaule”, you can also stop by at the local picnic sites. When buying the Barefoot gingerbread or the charity candle, the art trails are free of charge to visitors. The only condition: the picnic sites (with a bonfire and lights) may only be used by the same household members (duration of use — no longer than 1 hour).
Address: “Valguma pasaule”, Smārde rural municipality, Engure municipality. Telephone: 63181222, 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 you might encounter surprises on your walks: perhaps you will have to wade through deep snow drifts or maybe the trails will be so well-walked that you won’t be able to get lost.
The most popular trail to visit in our area, 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 Jāņupīte Nature Trail – referred to by the locals also as the Jānītis Trail in the area of Dzirciems. When travelling from Tukums towards Dzirciems, before you reach Dzirciems, on the right-hand side, you will notice “Jānīšu ceļš” (“Jānītis’ Road”). Turn there and you will be at the start of the trail. Here, you can explore the forest, hills and ravines. Along the trail, picnic grounds are set up, so you can bring along sandwiches and warm drinks.
The Trail of Viesata River Bends – set up 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 Gallows Hill Trail - a trail has been set up at the Gallows 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 Gallows 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 by legends of werewolves of Kurzeme, while the Buck’s Hill trail will allow you to experience a wonderful forest as you hike 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 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, 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 of 36 copies of paintings 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
The display-window exhibition “January ‘91”
The display-window exhibition about the barricades as an important and emotional moment that nearly everyone holds dear in their memories.
At the moment, when museums are closed to visitors, from the 13th until the 27th of January, the residents and guests of Tukums, when going on a walk around the town, can spend a moment to look back at the important times in the history of Latvia, by visiting the new display-window exhibition “January ‘91” at the Art Gallery “Durvis”. 30 years ago, countless activists took part, gathered, travelled to Riga, sat by bonfires and prepared to fight for the independence of Latvia. Observers and silent supporters stayed at home — from little children to the elderly alike. The exhibition shows the prevailing mood in people’s lives, when anxiety, fear and uncertainty reigned in each house and apartment.
The display windows at the gallery “Durvis” will showcase a living room of a resident of Tukums with a radio reporting in the background, socks being knitted and a telephone call being awaited. Whereas, in the kitchen, sandwiches and hot tea are being made in haste to send to relatives and friends, who are in Riga on the cold winter days.
The exhibition was organised in co-operation between the Tukums Town and History Museum “Pils tornis”. Address: Gallery “Durvis”, Brīvības laukums 21, Tukums.
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! And let’s remember — on weekends, stay at home after 10 pm!