Victorious Ventspils in pictures

VENTSPILS, Latvia — As is the tendency in the Baltic states, most tourists miss out on much of what the three countries have to offer because they only explore the capital cities before heading back to the airport.

This is a shame, because it means they don’t get to see places like Ventspils.

Famed since the Middle Ages for its ice-free port and shipbuilding, the Latvian coastal city of Ventspils can now boast the best football team in the Baltics.

Latvians are famous for their reserve, but that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t active. Though the city has only 40,000 residents, it’s hardly sleepy and to capture its energy I put together this photo essay with several talented photographers.

Photo by Anjči.

FK Ventspils' Visvaldis Ignatāns dribbles the ball downfield at a recent match. Photo by Mārtiņš Bruņenieks.

Ventspils fans celebrate the team's victory with flares. Photo by Mārtiņš Bruņenieks.

Ventspils footballers aren't the only ones on the run in the coastal city. Here a beach triathlon kicks off. Photo by by Zilupe.

Bikers race along the harbor. Photo by Ilya Boyadin.

A canoe disembarks during a boat festival. Photo by Nuakin.

Canoeing in Ventspils harbor. Photo by Nuakin.

Kiteboarding off the Ventspils beach. Photo by by Reinis Lismanis.

A Ventspils Kite boarder. Photo by Reinis Lismanis

It's northern neighbor Liepāja doen't have a monopoly on live music, either. Here the Latvian rock band Xenos plays a show in Ventspils. Photo by Romans Kundeckis.

Of course it wouldn't be a beach town without a beach party sometimes. Photo by by Reinis Lismanis.

Brazilian samba artist Tiago Loei plays at a beach concert in Ventspils. Photo by Reinis Lismanis.

Ahh, Ventspils' beaches. Certainly the best reason to visit this summer. Photo by Anjči.

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