Liv Coast (Slītere NP)

Liv Coast covers the northwestern tip of Latvia. This forested thinly populated area is notable for its animals and pristine nature, organized into a Slītere National Park.

However it is arguably even more famous for its indigenous population, the Livs (Livonians). They used to speak a language very different from Latvian. Unfortunately, assimilation made the language to disappear (the final native speaker died in 2013), but the remaining Livs still cling onto their heritage (a Liv community home stands in Mazirbe village). Government policy discourages settlement of non-Livs in the area as well as opening tourist institutions, hoping that by limiting outsider influence more of the Liv culture could be saved (although this policy may have came too late).

Liv community house in Mazribe, one of historic Liv villages, opened in 1938, is one of the few remaining Liv institutions
Liv community house in Mazribe, opened in 1938, is among the the few remaining Liv institutions. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The line of Liv villages ends in the Cape of Kolka. It is a popular location for camping and fishing. It is also interesting to stand at the cape and look back at two very different coastlines: one with a large beach on the northern bank and a constantly eroded one at the western bank (more and more trees fall into the sea every year). Parking near Kolka cape is paid and somewhat expensive, however.

Trees getting washed as the sea slowly erodes the shoreline near Cape of Kolka
Trees getting washed as the sea slowly erodes the shoreline near Cape of Kolka. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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