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

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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 Rāmklani;
  • 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

Barry Toward
Barry Toward
2022-09-18
We have just spent 9 days travelling through the Baltic countries with Valdis as our guide. Although the itinerary and accommodation had been pre-arranged Valdis supported our trip brilliantly, bringing to life the individual countries with city walking tours, nature trails and visits to other sites. He is great fun, extremely knowledgable and became an integral part of our small group. His contribution to our holiday played a key part in making it a great and enjoyable experience (and he recommends good places to eat!)
Sam Paliwal
Sam Paliwal
2022-09-02
If you are looking to go to the Baltic's on an active vacation, make sure to check out Baltic Nature Travel as your travel advisor. We recently finished a 10-day self-driving tour of the Baltic's and wanted to have an active trip whilst not missing out on all the cultural highlights of the region. Valdis, the owner of Baltic Nature Travel was very responsive and organized a trip that included kayaking, long distance bicycle riding, hiking in different forests, cooking activities, cultural highlights, hot-air balloon riding, etc-- all in a matter of 10 days and customized the trip to our liking. We were very satisfied with his responsiveness to our needs and his ability to stay ahead and plan various activities appropriately. Just to give you one example of Valdis's ability to think ahead: in one of the hotels, they have very limited parking. On his own initiative, Valdis made a to call to the hotel and reserved a parking spot for us for the one night that we were going to stay at that hotel. It helped out a lot, as we had to leave very early in the morning. There are other numerous examples where he was available to answer questions and help us as necessary, both before and during the trip. He is an excellent guide, calm and collected and his team of guides around the region were quite knowledgeable and fluent. The accommodation for the trip were quite good and and they can be easily adjusted based on your budget. I highly recommend his touring company for your Baltic travel experience and would like to add that as a person he's very likable and easy-going.
Lajos Nagy
Lajos Nagy
2022-07-23
A perfect series of daily hiking tours and town walkarounds. I especially was amused by the jungle-like forests and friendly conversations along the way. Everything was perfectly planned and organized, I definitely recommend, worth thousand-times more than simply visiting cities in a rush.
Tom Demandt
Tom Demandt
2022-05-30
We had an excellent day hike with our guide Valdis. He was very friendly, very service minded and knowledgeable. The hike through Gauja National Park was really beautiful. Heartily recommend for anyone looking for an active day trip outside Riga.
Sergey Zhuravlev
Sergey Zhuravlev
2022-02-28
I enjoyed the hiking tour in the Beberbeķi-Skulte regions of Riga. The route was mainly through the forest, so this is a great opportunity to get away from the city bustle and daily routine and to spend a few hours in nature. The tour guide Valdis is very friendly and he has a lot to tell about the area. I am looking forward to the next tour and recommend joining it.
Sa Si
Sa Si
2022-02-15
I had a wonderful hiking tour trough Kemeri National Park with Baltic Nature Travel. Valdis is a very well informed and nice guide! I would totally recommend a tour with him!
aarpr
aarpr
2022-01-24
Really nice activities and tours by Valdis. Highly recommended. Definetely I will repeat soon.
Eimear Friel
Eimear Friel
2022-01-18
Thoroughly enjoyed my hike with Valdis and Solveiga. It was exactly what I hoped for. Perfect for someone looking to explore more of Latvia but nto sure where to go!
Fiona Koe
Fiona Koe
2022-01-18
Awesome hike, beautiful scenery. Valdis was very friendly and knowledgeable. Will recommend

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Baltic Nature Travel
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