Unique Forest Trail in Gauja National Park: Self-Guided Hiking Trip
- Hike the most beautiful places of the famous Gauja National Park
- Discover up to 5 most beautiful sections of the new long-distance “Forest Trail” in Latvia
- Enjoy one, two, or three days of hiking on the pristine forest trails, ravines & steep banks of the beautiful Gauja River
- Feeling physically fit and adventurous? Cross the whole Gauja National Park from Rāmkalni to Valmiera City by doing more than 100 km in five days
- Spend your evenings and nights in the famous Sigulda, Līgatne, and Cēsis towns
- Admire the rare and protected forest habitats on our way
- Enjoy wilderness far away from crowds and masses
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Day 1: Pick-up
Take a good breakfast, pack your lunch box and meet your guide at your hotel in Riga. Get ready for about one hour drive to the Gauja National Park.
Day 1: Self-Guided Hike: Rāmklani - Sigulda
Start your hiking adventure with one of the most beautiful hiking sections in the gorgeous Gauja River Valley. Enjoy walking on secluded forest trails, along the wild banks of Gauja River – the longest river in Latvia. Admire impressive sandstone cliffs on your way. Discover all types of forests from pristine pine woodlands to deciduous forests on the riverbanks. This hiking section is less than 20 km (12,5 miles) to go. Depending on your speed it takes 5 – 7 hours to complete. Your guide will provide you will all the necessary instructions and will keep in touch with you if necessary. Hiking difficulty level: MODERATE
Day 1: Overnight in Sigulda Town
End-up your first day hike in your prebooked hotel in Sigulda Town. Sigulda is the major hub for nature adventure seekers in Gauja National Park. Set up in one of the cozy hotels or guesthouses here (pro tip: choose one with sauna included). Have a delicious and filling local meal in one of the great local restaurants. Get some snacks in the local shop and have a good rest before your next day’s hike.
Day 2: Self-Guided Hike: Sigulda - Līgatne
Have a good breakfast, pack your lunch pack, and get ready for another exciting hiking adventure today. From the top of the beautiful Paradise hill (one of the top local sightseeing spots) get back to Gauja River Valley and follow the route along Gauja River. Enjoy secluded forest trails and natural meadows. Cross a set of natural ravines formed by small clean streams of Gauja National Park on your way. By the end of your hike reach the steep beautiful banks of Līgatne River (one of the fastest rivers in Latvia) and eventually get into Līgtne Town. Be ready to hike around 24 km (15 miles) today and spend some 7 – 8 hours on your way. Hiking difficulty level: MODERATE
Day 2: Overnight in Līgatne Town
Get well-deserved rest and spend a night in a pre-booked guest house in Līgatne Town. Spend your afternoon and evening exploring the small and charming Ligatne town hidden in the beautiful forests of Gauja National Park. Have a look at the beautiful scenery and some of the (more than 300) unique man-made caves made in the awesome sandstone cliffs. Check out popular Līgatne Nature Trails. Get to know more about the history of this place and maybe have a taste of some local wines in the local winery. Have a filling dinner in any of the local restaurants. Get some snacks in the local shop and have a good rest before your next day’s hike.
Day 3: Self-Guided Hike: Līgatne - Cēsis
Time for the most difficult but also the most rewarding hiking day today. Cross Līgatne old pulp factory village. Get on the “Forest Trai”l again and have a look at the currently famous but in Soviet days top-secret Soviet bunker on your way. Cross the bridge on Amata River – one of the biggest and fastest tributaries of Gauja. Admire the most beautiful cliffy banks of Amata River on your way and reach the famous sandstone cliff Zvārte. Have a look from the top of the cliff and follow the former “highway” Cēsis – Rīga on the top of the steep Amata Riverbank. Don’t worry it is currently just a small and wild country/forest road – perfect for walking. After several challenging ups and downs get back to Gauja Riverbank again and enjoy sandstone cliffs and water springs in Cīrulīši nature trails. Reach Gauja Street in Cēsis Town and there are ca. 3 km left to go to the Cēsis Old Town. Be ready for a fairly difficult 26 km (16 miles) hike today. You’ll spend some 8 – 10 hours on your way. Hiking difficulty level: HARD
Day 3: Cēsis Town
Now it’s time to check out one of the most beautiful towns in Latvia – Cesis. Its history dates back to the 13th century and it is almost as old as Riga. Cēsis is both the historic and modern heart of Latvian culture. Stay overnight in one of the pre-booked hotels or guesthouses. We recommend staying at least one night here. Alternatively, you can have a quick look around and we’ll get you back to Riga the same day. Stroll down the historic Old Cēsis Town, see its beautiful squares, St. John’s Church (built-in 13th century), The House of Harmony, House of Princesses, and other sigh-seeings. Feel the special charm and atmosphere of this town that is very different from more cosmopolitan Rīga. Visit the famous Cēsis Medieval Castle. The castle was first built in 1218 and is still the best-preserved medieval castle in Latvia. Explore its beautiful park, dark medieval rooms, corridors, and get to know more about its history turns.
Turaida Museum Reserve and/or Cēsis Town
Enjoy a partially guided experience in Turaida Museum Reserve (near Sigulda) and/or in Cēsis Town. Depending on the hiking days you will get one or another, or both.
OPTIONAL: Two more days of hiking to Valmiera Town
Feeling physically fit and adventurous? Ad two more hiking days from Cēsis to Valmiera Town (23 and 20 km respectively) thus reaching more than 100 km in five days. On 5 days’ hiking trip you will cross the whole Gauja National Park. In these two additional hiking days, you will see more sandstone cliffs on the Gauja Riverbanks including the famous white sandstone cliff “Sitiņieziezis, pristine and natural pine forests, and traditional Latvian rural areas on your way. Please indicate if you want a five-day hiking trip in your pre-booking request.
Transfer back to Riga
Filled with plenty of fresh air and a pack of new impressions and emotions get back to Riga. Stay in Sigulda, Cēsis, or Valmiera Town if you want to explore them a couple of days more. Or add an awesome kayking adventure in Gauja River with us on the top of your hiking trip.
Important Before You Go!
- For beginners, we recommend doing a one or two days hike
- Both two and three days’ hikes can be started from Sigulda or from Cēsis Town (as you wish)
- One day’s hikes can cover any of the “Forest Trail” sections of your choice
- Some hiking sections are relatively easy to do, while some have steep ups and downs with a longer distance to cover in one day. We’ll help you to choose the best combination just for your needs. For beginners and more relaxed hiking enthusiasts, we recommend doing a one or two days hike. Your guide will provide you will all the necessary instructions and will keep in touch with you.
- A partially guided tour will be combined with your transfer either in Turaida Museum Reserve (near Sigulda) and/or Cēsis Town. The place will depend on the chosen hiking route and the total number of hiking days.
- 3 full days partially guided tour will proceed according to the trip itinerary. You will leave Riga at 8 am on the first day and will be back by 5 pm on the third day. The timings can be adjusted upon your request along with the necessary changes in the trip itinerary. The tour guide can solely change the itinerary because of the weather conditions, safety concerns, and external circumstances that the tour operator is not responsible for.
- The final price of the tour will depend on the group size and selected accommodation.
- Local guesthouses, hotels, or apartments will be booked according to your chosen category but limited to availability. The final price depends on group size, chosen category, and availability Accommodation booking costs won’t be refunded in case you cancel the tour.
- Please check out the weather forecast, wear appropriate clothing, comfortable shoes, and be prepared for changing weather conditions depending on the season.
- All our tours are small like-minded group adventures
- All tours can be narrated in English, Russian or Latvian.
- There is max. 8 people and max. 7 children in the group. All the children must be accompanied by at least 1 adult. The adult is this tour must be 18 years or older.
- For the groups with small children (under 7 years) please contact us for individual arrangements.
- By selecting the date in the calendar below you will send us a pre-booking request, and we will come back to you with all the details.