Hiking in Latvia. Where to find the best trails?
Latvia is perhaps best known for its cosmopolitan city of Riga . But outside of the bustling capital are delightful little towns like Cesis and Sigulda, which offer hiking, biking, canoeing and plenty of other outdoor adventures.
Given its size, the small Baltic country sets aside a surprising amount of space for outdoor recreation. The white-sand beaches on the coast are most appealing, especially in summer.
Inland, you’ll find a range of natural landscapes, including acres of ancient forests, picturesque lake country and quaint pastures where cattle graze.
The best way to see the country is on foot. Let’s take a look at the best places to hike in Latvia, from short but pleasant day hikes, to challenging long-distance trails.
Latvia’s National Parks
If you’re planning a hike in Latvia, what better place to start than the country’s four national parks? Home to an abundance of wildlife and a rich tapestry of landscapes, each park offers something unique.
National Parks in Latvia
Forests, lakes and beaches are the hallmarks of the Latvian countryside, but there are also waterfalls, swamps, sleepy villages, healing mud baths and plenty of outdoor activities, all thanks to a network of easily accessible hiking trails.
Gauja National Park
Latvia’s first national park is home to untouched forest wilderness, disturbed only by the flowing Gauja River and its sandstone cliffs. In fact, it was created in 1973 to protect the country’s most valuable natural landscape.
Gauja National Park
In addition to the spectacular scenery, the park offers a wide range of activities at any time of year. Hiking, biking and camping are the most popular, but canoeing, rafting, caving and even bungee jumping are also available.
There are also many cultural and historical monuments to visit, such as the medieval castle of Sigulda, the Turaida Museum Preserve, the Old Town of Cesis and others.
Ķemeri National Park
A network of boardwalks, dirt trails and lookout towers defines hiking in Ķemeri . The park is a predominantly wet area, so marshes, lakes and mossy forests can be found here. There are lots of fantastic outdoor activities associated with this, including rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, and wading shoes!
Kemeri National Park.
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Kemeri was known for its therapeutic mud and spring water. It was a popular spa resort. Despite its pungent odor (not too much like the smell of rotten eggs), the sulfurous water is quite drinkable and boasts numerous health benefits.
Other attractions include Lake Kanieris with its bird-watching tower, the pine-covered dunes of Green Dune and the charming meadows of Dunduri.
Slītere National Park
Located on the hauntingly beautiful Kolka Peninsula on the shores of the wild Baltic Sea, Slitere is home to a number of ecosystems, including broadleaf and coniferous forests, swamps, marshes . Thousands of years ago, this landscape was once part of an ancient shoreline that existed before the freshwater Baltic Ice Lake became today’s Baltic Sea.
Slītere National Park
There is an excellent network of hiking trails in the park, the best of which is the 2.2 km long Slītere Nature Trail. The chain of boardwalks runs from the Slītere lighthouse through lush marshes, pine forests and fern thickets. The towering red lighthouse is the gateway to the park, and you can climb it to admire a stunning view of the Gulf of Riga all the way to Estonia.
The park is home to moose, wild deer, buzzards and beavers, as well as gray wolves and lynx, although they are extremely rare.
Razna National Park
Founded in 2007, Razna is Latvia’s newest national park. Surrounding Lake Rāzna is a quiet nature reserve in the historical region of Latgale known for fishing, sailing and horseback riding. Lake Rāzna is often called the Latgale Sea because of its idyllic sandy beaches and seemingly endless views of its waters.
Rāzna National Park
Two popular trails in the park are the peaks of Lielais Liepu Kalns (Great Lime Hill) and Makonkalns (Cloudy Hill). Both “peaks” are less than 300 meters high, so most of them are easy to reach. At the top of Lielais Liepu is the highest observation tower in Latvia at 34 meters, from which you can enjoy a striking view of the region’s numerous lakes.
10 best day hikes in Latvia
1. Talsi Bumpers Charming Loop 18.5 km / 4-6 hours / Talsi, Courland
2. Viesata river loop 8,2 km / 2 hours / Talsi, Courland
Big Kangari trail 2,4 km / 1 hour / Tinuzhi, Vidzeme
4. The Dunik Bog Trail 10,8 km / 2-3 hours / Dunik, Courland
5. Great Kemeri bog walk 5 km / 1-2 hours / Kemeri National Park
6. Riva river circles 15,4 km / 3-4 hours / Jurkalne, Courland
7. Turaida castle-museum-reserve Loop 4.7 km / 1-2 hours / Gauja National Park
8. Kazdanga Park Nature Trail 9 km / 2-3 hours / Kazdanga, Kurland
9. Trail to Daugavgrivas lighthouse, pier and bashnia 11,1 km / 2-3 hours / Piejra
10. Lilaste beach trail 12,4 km / 2-3 hours / Piejra
5 Long-distance hiking routes in Latvia
For those looking for something more challenging, you may be interested in one of the following multi-day hikes.
Long-distance hiking trails in Latvia are usually divided into 20 km sections, so it is not necessary to walk the entire trail. Certainly, it is possible to pass any of the sections as a one-day trekking tour “from one point to another” or to divide them into shorter trails at will.
Baltic coastal walking trail
Distance: 581 km Duration: 30 days
Latvia’s most famous hiking trail stretches along the entire 480km coastline. Starting at the Lithuanian-Latvian border and ending at the Latvian-Estonian border, the Latvian section of the Baltic Coastal Hiking Trail includes many landscapes.
5 long-distance hiking trails in Latvia
In addition to the white-sand beaches and pine dunes of Slītere and Ķemeri National Parks, the trail passes through a long line of seaside villages in Jūrmala.
The 1,400-km Baltic Coastal Trail crosses the entire coast of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and is the final section of the 5,000-km European route E9, which runs from Portugal to the Estonian-Russian border.
2 The Baltic Forest Trail
Distance: 625 km Duration: 28-36 days
If you prefer the quietness of the forest, the Latvian section of the Baltic Forest Trail is an ideal alternative. If you don’t want to hike the whole route, a popular option is to start hiking in Riga and walk to the Lithuanian or Estonian border to cover about half the distance.
5 long-distance hiking trails in Latvia
The entire 2,100 km long Baltic Forest Route runs through the most dense forest areas and national parks in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The route is a continuation of the European long-distance hiking trail E11, which is 2,560 km long and runs from The Hague in the Netherlands to the Polish-Lithuanian border.
3. Kamino Latvia
Distance: 320 km Duration: 17-20 days
The Camio de Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a network of ancient paths crossing Europe. Eventually they all lead to the sanctuary of the Apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Although Latvia is one of the last places in Europe to submit to Christianity, it also offers its own pilgrimage site.
An alternative to the popular Spanish route is the less popular Latvian Camino de Santiago. The Latvian section begins in the historic town of Valka on the border with Estonia and runs through the country to the Lithuanian border. On the way it passes through the historic cities of Valmiera, Cesis, Sigulda and, of course, Riga.
4. The ancient valley of the river Abava
Distance: 100 km Duration: 4-6 days
At the end of the last ice age the glaciers retreated in this part of Europe and left behind a crescent-shaped Abava Valley. Dense oak forests, picturesque villages and a mysterious network of caves dot the river banks.
5 long-distance hiking trails in Latvia
Today, nature parks, vineyards, several rapids and the charming medieval town of Kuldiga attract hikers and day hikers from all over Latvia. A popular alternative to hiking is canoeing on the Abava River.
Distance: 1 836 km Duration: 90-100 days
Launched in 2014 to celebrate the centenary of Latvia’s independence, the 1836 route runs along all 1,836 km of Latvia’s borders. Along the way, the route goes around Latvia and looks into every corner of the country. By default the route also covers the whole Latvian part of the Baltic coastal walking trail.
Best Hiking Trails in Latvia
On this route, I tried to get around all the attractions of this beautiful old city. I was lucky to do this in the spring in light sunny weather. Dome Square, Peter’s Church, Riga Castle, Rozengrals resta.
Karli – Amata river – Zvartes iezis (Latvia)
Summer hike along one of the most winding rivers in Latvia – Amata. 2/3 of the path runs directly along the river bank, with many picnic areas. The river itself is not deep, sometimes you can see the bott.
Liela Ellite – Lichu Langu klintis – Lodes karjers
Very scenic sightseeing hike. It begins with the arches of a natural formation with a spring, in the common people “Liepkaya Hell” or “Devil’s Stove”. In fact, there is only one such type left in Latvia. T.
Sigulda all attractions (Latvia)
A circular route through all the attractions of this beautiful city. I tried to get around all the iconic places in one go. In the text I will not list everything that I saw. Waypoints with photos will tell .
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Cesis – Raiskuma lake – Red Cliffs (Latvia)
A circular route with a visit to Lake Raiskum and the Red Caves. The road is well paved everywhere, mostly forest soil or sand. There are many places on the lake for p icnics and overnight stays. You can .
Lielais Ķemeru tīrelis – Kemeri Raised Bog (Latvia)
Grimpen Bog, or Hound of the Baskervilles, is at least a very apt name for this place. In fact, a very calm and easy route. The swamp itself is well equipped with wooden paths, many benches have been made .
Latvia. T/C ‘Origo’ Riga – ‘Majori’ Jurmala
Journey from the center of Riga to the resort town of Jurmala (Majori). If you want you can walk this way non-stop + / – 4 hours, but depriving yourself of the opportunity to gaze at the beauty of the cities and nature around. The way lies along the ace.
Kemeri National Park (Latvia).
The route is of medium difficulty and is more suitable even for cyclists and skiers in winter. Smooth dirt and forest paths. At the third kilometer, be sure to turn right to look at the swamp with the sme.
Līgatne – Skalupes – Lustuzis – Anafabrikas klintis
Sunday walk through the beauty of Ligatne. Major landmarks along the way are marked with photo flags. I especially liked the Gauja with its rocky coast and the caves (Anafabrikas klintis) in Ligatne itsel.
Latvia. Jurmala ( Majori , Dzintari , Bulduri , Lielupe )
A circular walk around the resort town of Jurmala. Beautiful views, fresh air, good roads will not leave anyone indifferent. Especially the beach with good quartz sand on which it is pleasant to walk will be remembered. In advance of the village.
Latvia. Spiral around the center of Riga
Walk around the center of Riga in the form of a spiral. It was just interesting to make this figure around the city. Nothing difficult of itself this route is not. It was missing a lot of interesting places because of the shape of the route. Poetom.
Remake. A la. ) of the Russian Trail of Courage (Latvia).
http://www.natrope.com/about.html TRAIL OF COURAGE – a comprehensive walking marathon that allows you to test yourself on one of four distances: 110 km (sport); 70 km (basic); 45 km (elementary); 15 km (children’s). Marathon.
Route: “Ozolkalns” – Ciruliši Nature Trails – bridge over the river Gauja – red rocks – along the banks of the river Svesupīte – along the banks of the river Lencupe – lake Rajskums – bridge over the river Gauja – “Ozolkalns”.
Latvia. Daugavgriva mol – Bolderaja
Complete hike around Daugavgriva peninsula from the breakwater along the perimeter of the whole area. For art lovers on the way you will meet unusual stone sculptures on the way. The author lives across the street in a house and claims to have made everything.
Brasla river (Latvia)
The route along the Brasla river. Moderate ascents and descents are expected in the first half of the route. This is compensated by the beautiful views of the naked caveman and the river itself. True, in t.
Latvia. Priedaine – Bolderaja
A walk from Priedaine station to Bolderaja fortress along the river Lielupe. The path goes along the rough terrain: forest paths, sand and asphalt. The crown of the hike is the old fortress, where you can have a great time. Mini.
100 km in 24 hours
The idea to walk 24 hours non-stop came unexpectedly during a celebration of something there … on a bet with a friend . The prize was six bottles of cognac, which according to the plan had to drink together. The hike kept getting postponed and tapered off.
Latvia. Around Rigas HES and Keguma HES
A full-day hike around two HES (Riga and Keguma). All the way along the asphalt or dirt track nearby. Very beautiful views open from the walls of the Riga GES. As the path runs along the road .
Imanta and vicinity (Latvia)
Vokresny walk to neighborhood Imana and vicinity. The main attractions of this tour is the wood viewing tower and Bolderāja quarry, where you can sunbathe and swim in summer. В.
Latvia. Bergi – Riga – Jaunmarupe
A weekend hike across the city of Riga. The task was to walk from east to west through the city, taking the extremities. Overall, if you do not stop for a long time, everything can be done in 5 hours. Probably best to do it in years.
Lucavsala – Zakusala – TV Tower (Latvia)
The route along the perimeter of the two islands is crossed by the “Island Bridge”. On the ground floor there are equipped recreation areas on both sides. Where there are beaches, playgrounds, parking lots.
Garupe – Gauja – Garciems (Latvia)
Walking tour along the sea, visiting the mouth of the river Gauja and the forest park along the water. It was about 50/50 sand and forest ground. All easily combined with swimming and a stop to sunbathe.
Lilaste – Gauja – Lilaste (Latvia)
It is rare that you can walk the lake, the river and the sea at the same time. This is the route when everything is included. Summer sunny weather and good mood) In general, not a long and easy route, which is mainly present.
Easter 2021 – All Orthodox churches in Riga.
Ring Route around all Orthodox churches of Riga and on Easter Holidays 2021. The route flags all the churches that currently exist, including the currently closed St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church.
Latvia. Riga – Jelgava monastery – Riga
Extremely pleasant pilgrimage walk to Jelgava convent and back. True, it took 18 hours, but it was worth it. Was lucky with the weather and with mood. On the road mostly dirt pavement, although .
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