Hike Gauja valley, Latvia's Forest Trail
LONG DISATNCE HIKING TOUR (SELF-GUIDED)

Hike Gauja valley

  • 7 days / 6 nights
  • ~110km
  • Gauja National Park

Program

DAY 1. : ARRIVAL IN RIGA

Arrival in Riga airport. Optional transfer from the airport. Check in the hotel.

Hiking distance: 0 km

Overnight: private room in a hotel in Riga

DAY 2: GAUJA VALLEY, RAMKALNI – 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;

Overnight: private room in a hotel in Sigulda;

Meals included: Breakfast in the hotel;

Meals options: dining options in Sigulda.

DAY 3: GAUJA VALLEY, SIGULDA – LIGATNE

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

Overnight: private room in a boutique hotel or a guest house in Līgatne

Meals included: Breakfast in the boutiques hotel no breakfast but a kitchen is availabe in the guest house;

Meals options: dining options in the Līgatne.

DAY 4. : GAUJA VALLEY,  LIGATNE – CESIS

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

Overnight: two options private room in hotel Cēsis (further from the trail) or a guest house in Cēsis (closer to the trail)

Meals included: Breakfast in hotel;

Meals options: dining options in Cēsis.

DAY 5: GAUJA VALLEY, CESIS – CAUNITES

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

Overnight: shared room in a guest house in Caunītes

Meals included: Breakfast in hotel (in the guest house no breakfast options);

Meals options: No dining options in Caunītes

DAY 6: GAUJA VALLEY, CAUNITES – 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

Overnight: hotel in Riga

Meals included: None

Meals options: Please bring your food for breakfast. Dinner options in Valmiera or Riga

DAY 7: DEPARTURE FROM RIGA

Optional transfer to Riga airport.

Meals included: Breakfast in hotel

Reserve this trip
Season

From May to October

Price per person

2 persons traveling – 530.00 EUR p.p.

3 persons and more traveling – 530.00 EUR p.p.

4 persons traveling – 490.00 EUR p.p.

5 persons traveling – 490.00 EUR p.p.

6 persons and more traveling – 490.00 EUR p.p.

Included
  • 2 overnights in Riga in centrally located hotels with breakfast;
  • 4 overnight in a guest house with breakfast per program;
  • GPX file of the Forest Trail;
  • Transfer from Riga to Rāmkalni;
  • Transfer from Valmiera to Riga;
  • The details and contacts of the pre booked accommodations.
Not included
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Water
  • Any hiking gear
Optional
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel – 55 EUR (1 – 3 persons);
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport – 55 EUR (1 – 3 persons);
  • 6 x Luggage service to the next accommodation – 550 EUR (2 – 6 persons) .
What to bring with you
  • Every day at least 2 l water per person as a minimum
  • Snacks and lunch for breaks and picnic
How to dress

Please, dress accordingly to the weather forecast! Due to very changeable weather, layering is key to enjoying the hike, and rain protection is a must-have. Any comfortable shoes or sandals are good enough for this hike.

Level of dificulty

Long distance hike that requires endurance for walking hours and hours at a steady pace. On the trail are a few steep climbs. Most of the walking time will be on small footpaths through the woods and countryside roads.

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What travelers say about us

EXCELLENT
36 reviews on
K G
K G
2024-03-11
I joined Valdis for Gauja national park tour and experience breathtaking views, beautiful cave, Plus the experience to see the inside of luge and skeleton track. It’s an unforgettable experience to see something outside the Riga! Highly recommended!!!
Carmen Daams
Carmen Daams
2023-09-22
I took the Kuldiga trip with Valdis. The experience was amazing. The entire day was great. He is a great guide, and knows a lot of interesting information. He would definitely make your whole experience even better. Kuldiga is such a captivating city, very unique with a very special style and soul. If you are visiting Latvia, don't hesitate to take this trip, it is a "must".
Stanley Wallerstein
Stanley Wallerstein
2023-08-29
Great Tour and great guide. Baltic Nature Travel is excellent.
Maria M Andrade
Maria M Andrade
2023-08-28
Valdis organized an absolutely wonderful 10 day trip to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania trip for my sister, a friend, and myself. He arranged all details including our private chofer and tour guide up the last detail. He went far and beyond when he knew I had an accident in Estonia. We met him Latvia and he make us feel welcome. He recommended the most amazing restaurants for us and he took care of my doctor needs where he was the interpreter. In every country we had the best guys one can possibly ask for. All hotels were walking distance from city centre. Thank you Valdis we will always remembered this trip!!!!
Sarah Daniels
Sarah Daniels
2023-08-21
Thank you, Valdis, for helping my family have a wonderful two week trip to the Baltics! Your advice and recommendations were very helpful, and our tour guides in 4 different cities were each outstanding! I highly recommend a vacation in the beautiful and fascinating Baltics, and I highly recommend using Valdis to help you plan it.
Rita Derencius
Rita Derencius
2023-08-09
Tours and tour guides, Tomas and Mindaugas, exceeded my expectations. We were able to curate our tour of Lithuania. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and adapted the tour based on our input. Valdis was responsive and easy to work with. Extremely happy we chose to have private tour guides. Best trip ever!
Deniz Demirors
Deniz Demirors
2023-08-08
Valdis did amazing job to organize us a 15 day, 14 night self drive adventure trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Thanks to his valuable advise before and immaculate documentation with names of the locations, guides etc we had a magical experience. We hiked, biked, walked, beached and off course drive all over in all 3 beautiful countries. We felt very safe. Everyone we met were very friendly. The car was delivered to our first hotel in Tallinn and picked up from last hotel in Vilnius. They were professional and kind people. We encountered few minor issues but Valdis resolved very promptly so our program was not impacted. We met him in Riga as he was our guide. Thanks to Valdis & his team of guides we had an unforgettable time and experience. Valdis is very gently, kind, hears his clients wishes and makes adjustments in his existing programs. Job well done Valdis. Thank you very much.
Catherine Herway
Catherine Herway
2023-06-24
These are the only places on earth where eastern and western architecture can now meet in harmony. The architecture tells a social history translated into excellent English on this tour! The hotels were clean, comfortable, and safe. The food was outstanding as well, I only wish I had more time!
Artur Iwański
Artur Iwański
2023-05-03
A very good and interesting guide. Customized trips - which is very useful. If you want to get to know Latvia (which is worth it!) there is no one better. Highly recommended.

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Baltic Nature Travel
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