Jurmala, which means "seaside," is a lovely 20-mi-/32-km-long cluster of 14 historical centers on the shore of the Gulf of Riga (promotionally known as the Baltic Riviera), 10 mi/15 km west of Riga.

The most popular points are Majori and Dzintari. Several international music festivals are held in Dzintari regularly. Majori, in turn, is a perfect place for a stroll, with a nice pedestrian walkway lined with small souvenir shops, ice-cream parlors and sidewalk cafes. Bulduri has the most sumptuous mansions of the 19th century, and the sea is rather shallow there.

The area abounds with wide beaches, dunes and elegant cottages near piney woods. Latvians go there to enjoy the area's spas, mineral springs and therapeutic mud. Beaches meet the European Union's water-quality standards, and the shallow waters are frequently warm. Amber can occasionally be found on the beach after a storm.

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