May 19

Gauja Nationa Park- natural, cultural and historical treasure of Latvia

Gauja, Latvia www.traildino.comLatvia invites you to discover a unique location by its natural, cultural and historical diversity- The Gauja National Park. It is known that the park is dating from 1973 and it has more than 90.000 hectares of green beauty. For a full experience reserve yourself more than one day to go about and explore.

A major interest should be given to the caves in the area: Guatmanala, a very large cave, Kalejala, impressive by its length, Liela Ellite or Velnala. For hiking The Ligatne Nature Trails is highly recommended because it offers the opportunity to observe wildlife, animals in their natural habitat, and excellent spots for bird watching. For impressive views there are the cliffs and the sandstone outcrops. The beautiful colors of the outcrops can vary from red to yellow and gray. The red cliffs are maybe the most picturesque and can be seen on the banks of the Ligatne River, the Lustuzis Ridge and Anafabrika Cliffs. It has been discovered that most of them formed 350-370 million years ago.

The Gauja National Park is also a source of inspiration culturally and historically. A trip in the area is like going in a personal and cultural quest. There are three towns (Sigulda, Cesis, Straupe), six Medieval castles and nineteen ancient castles to be admired and discovered along the way.  If you want to get in the atmosphere of medieval times, you can enjoy a day in Cesis Old Town. A unique feeling you will experience as well if you decide to take a tour of the Turida Museum Reserve, Ungurmuiza Manor, Ligatne Paper Mill or Araisi Lake Castle.

Those in search of high adrenaline experiences will not be disappointed. Rides down the Sigulda Luge and Bobsleigh Track are organized all year round. If bungee jumping is your thing, then you should try the cable car in Sigulda. It is suspended above the Gauja River at a height of 43 meters. Here is also the highest climbing tower in Europe, at Vells.

Taking a boat down the Gauja River opens up new perspectives on the outcrops in the valley. Boating is safe here from May to October. There is also the option of camping over night on one of the shores for a good night rest. Springtime floods are changing the dynamic of the river and many adventurous people are happy to go boating on the Ligatne and Amata rivers at that time.

Cycling is really favored here. Tourists can go cycling from May to September. Many biking paths near Sigulda like Ramkalni, Apalkalna or Ezu are the delight of those who love this sport.

If you decide to visit in winter then you might be looking for a skiing experience. Tracks like Kordes, Pilsetas, Reina, Zagarkalns are great to try your skiing skills and these are just a few of them.

Having so many entertainment options in a National Park makes a tourist feel like a kid in a candy store: happy and willing to try them all.

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