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7 days Self Guided Hike in Gauja National Park

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Latvia

Trip Length

7 days

Availability

May - October
Created by

7 days Self Guided Hike in Gauja National Park

Known as Latvia’s forest trail, it takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city to a peaceful place. You can be alone, inhale the refreshing air of the pine forest, relax in the sun-heated moss, and think about nothing. The Forest Trail is a long-distance hiking route that starts in Riga and leads through the most forested lands. The total length of the Forest Trail is approximately 1060 km, however on this 7 Day trip you will hike roughly 110km.

Description

Known as Latvia’s forest trail, it takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city to a peaceful place. You can be alone, inhale the refreshing air of the pine forest, relax in the sun-heated moss, and think about nothing. The Forest Trail is a long-distance hiking route that starts in Riga and leads through the most forested lands. The total length of the Forest Trail is approximately 1060 km, however on this 7 Day trip you will hike roughly 110km.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Riga

Welcome to Riga! Time for you to check into the hotel before exploring the city. Riga is a perfect blend of rich history and cutting edge cool. Gothic spires dominate the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town whilst striking art nouveau facades reflect the artistic influences from eastern and northern Europe.

Visit the city’s war museums to uncover turbulent tales from WWII and the Soviet occupation throughout the 20th century. Unravel a treasure trove of picnic goodies at the Central Market and take a sip of Black Balsam in one of the trendy bars across town. Situated to the north of the Old Town, the Art Nouveau District is home to one-third of the city’s Art Nouveau buildings.

The Art Nouveau style is most commonly represented in multi-story apartment buildings and is distinguished by opulent decoration in the form of sculptures and/or stained glass as well as ornaments incorporated into the overall architecture of buildings.

Hiking distance: 0 km

Visit the city’s war museums to uncover turbulent tales from WWII and the Soviet occupation throughout the 20th century.

Optional Activities

  • Transfer To Hotel

Accommodation

3 star Hotel in Riga including breakfast

Day 2

Gauja valley, Rāmkalni – Sigulda

Transfer from Riga to Rāmkalni and start your journey.

From “Rāmkalni” the Forest Trail wanders up the steep banks of Gauja valley, passes through Gauja village and comes back down. Then it crosses river Lorupe and continues along the bends of river Gauja, passing one of the most spectacular outcrops of the river, the Velnala Cliffs, goes up to Ķeizarskats observation spot and circles down to Ķeizarkrēsls, adventure park “Mežakaķis” at Kaķīškalns and the Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track.

Hiking distance: 19 km

Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel;

Meals options: Dining options in Sigulda.

Forest Trail wanders up the steep banks of Gauja valley, passes through Gauja village and comes back down.

Activities

  • Hike

Optional Activities

  • Dinner

Accommodation

Private room in a Hotel in Sigulda including breakfast

Day 3

Gauja valley, Sigulda – Līgatne

After passing through Sigulda, the Forest Trail follows the River Vējupīte to Mound Paradīzes, where a steep staircase leads down into the ancient valley of Gauja River and the ravine of River Vējupīte.

It continues to wind down smaller paths through meadows, crossing small rivers whose banks reveal sandstone outcrops.

The last six kilometres of this section follow a smaller path down Līgatne Nature Trails.

As it draws closer to Līgatne, the Forest Trail moves up the hills of Gauja valley, before descending back down into the deep ravine of Līgatne River, where the village of the former Līgatne Paper Mill is located.

Hiking distance: 24 km

Before descending back down into the deep ravine of Līgatne River, where the village of the former Līgatne Paper Mill is located.

Activities

  • Hike

Accommodation

Private room in a boutique hotel or a guest house in Līgatne

Day 4

Gauja valley, Līgatne – Cēsis

One of the most scenic parts of the Forest Trail stretches along the historic village of the Līgatne Paper Mill, passes Spriņģi Rock, curves along Skaļupe Trails and the Mythological Trail, stops at one of the most secret sites on this side of the Iron Curtain, the Soviet Bunker, then continues along Roči Nature Reserve, crosses Amata (the most beautiful and rockiest part of the river) and finally comes to Zvārtes Rock. Next, the Forest Trail runs along the high banks of Amata valley and follows the historic Cēsis–Riga “highway” (now a small rural/forest road with old mileposts) to Rakši, then ascends up the Vāļukalni hills and Ozolkalns, following along the River Gauja until it meets Cīrulīši Nature Trails. It comes to a stop at Gaujas street, but travellers may continue down the path for a further 2.8 km to Cēsis, spend the night there, and continue walking on the following day.

Hiking distance: 26 km

Meals included: Breakfast in hotel;

Meals options: Dining options in Cēsis.

Forest Trail stretches along the historic village of the Līgatne Paper Mill, passes Spriņģi Rock, curves along Skaļupe Trails and the Mythological Trail.

Activities

  • Hike

Accommodation

Overnight: There are two options available. Either a private room at Hotel Cēsis (further from the trail) or a guest house in Cēsis (closer to the trail)

Day 5

Gauja valley, Cēsis – Caunītes

The Forest Trail follows small roads and trails through the woods up until the water tourist camp “Lenči”, winds through the ever-changing terrain past Ērģeļu Cliffs and enters the ancient valley of Gauja River.

Having passed Ērģeļu Cliffs, the trail turns back towards Cēsis, but then veers off towards Rāmnieki in Pieškalns, crossing the river.

After the water tourist camp “Jāņarāmis” the Forest Trail enters a beautiful, bright pine forest, proceeding through the woods until it reaches “Caunītes”, which is one of the most beautiful places on the banks of the Gauja River.

Hiking distance: 23 km

Please note there are no dining options in Caunītes

The trail turns back towards Cēsis, but then veers off towards Rāmnieki in Pieškalns, crossing the river.

Activities

  • Hike

Accommodation

Overnight: Shared room in a guest house in Caunītes

Day 6

Gauja valley, Caunītes – Valmiera – Riga

From Caunītes, the Forest Trail leads through mesmerising pine forests and wetlands, across and around hills and slopes.

One of the most beautiful views of the River Gauja opens from Sietiņiezis, and it might be worth devoting some extra time to visit the Sietiņiezis Nature Trail.

The further road stretches along farmsteads and through forests, until reaching Valmiera.

Transfer from Valmiera to Riga.

Hiking distance: 20 km

One of the most beautiful views of the River Gauja opens from Sietiņiezis.

Activities

  • Hike

Accommodation

Overnight: Hotel in Riga

  • Dinner options in Valmiera or Riga
Day 7

Departure from Riga

Final day in Latvia, explore the city further before taking a transfer to the airport.

Optional Activities

  • Airport Transfer

What's Included

Accommodation

2 overnights in Riga, in centrally located Hotels with Breakfast; 4 overnights in a Guest House with Breakfast

Ground Transport

Transfer from Riga to Rāmklani; Transfer from Valmiera to Riga; Optional Transfer from Riga to Riga International airport on the final day.

GPX File of the Forest Trail

A GPX File with geographic information such as waypoints, tracks, and routes.

Flights

Flights and Travel Insurance are excluded

Meals

Breakfast included

Created by
Valdis Ceics

If you are the type of person that seeks for adventures we have the solution for you. On our Group Tours, Private Tours or Independent Tours I will bring you into nature, explore the local culture and traditions. Join my trips or come with your own adventure idea, and we will make it happen. Experience nature, explore the local culture and traditions of the Baltics. With over 7 years experience in planning, leading, and guiding tours I decided to become an entrepreneur and Travel Creator sharing my passion for the outdoors, adventure and create travel experiences that shares great emotions, knowledge, and understanding of culture and history.

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Valdis Ceics can customise and book any and all elements of this trip for you


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