Gauja National Park

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Gauja National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Riga: Private Sigulda, Turaida, and Gauja National Park Tour

1. Riga: Private Sigulda, Turaida, and Gauja National Park Tour

Embark on a personal and immersive adventure on a private van tour from Riga to Sigulda and Turaida. Customize your itinerary to your preferences and visit sights such as Gauja National Park, Sigulda Manor and Castle, and Turaida Castle. Sit back and relax in the comfort of your private vehicle and watch the landscape change from city streets to lush greenery as you head out of Riga. Make your way to Sigulda, a town near the river Gauja that is also known as the Switzerland of Latvia by locals. Marvel at the Gauja valley with its dense forests, meandering river, and the Gauja National Park. Stop to stroll through the park before seeing the Sigulda Medieval Castle ruins, the new Sigulda Castle, the Turaida Castle museum with its watchtower peering above the trees, and Gutman's Cave, the widest and highest cave in the Baltic countries. Cross the river on the optional cable car ride for a different perspective of the region or enjoy a glass of local wine made in the Cremon Winery at Krimulda Manor. See local craftsmen and women at work to gain an insight into local and cultural life before heading back to Riga. This half day tour is a must for those who have visited Riga and Jurmala before and is especially recommended for bloggers and social media fans.

Sigulda Castles, Gauja National Park: Full-Day Tour

2. Sigulda Castles, Gauja National Park: Full-Day Tour

Enjoy this tour of the beautiful Sigulda region, situated in the middle of the Guaja National Park, equipped with a fascinating audio guide for the duration of the tour. The first stop is the 19th-century New Sigulda Castle, previously belonging to Prince Kropotkin of Livonia. Afterwards, pay a visit to the nearby restored ruins of the Old Castle of the Livonian Crusader Order, dating back to the 13th century. Continue the tour for a scenic drive along the banks of the Gauja river to Gutman’s Cave, associated with the legendary romantic tragedy of Turaida Rose. The next stop along the tour is the 13th-century Turaida Castle and its Museum Reserve. Enjoy some free time and take a walk through the fascinating museum before boarding the bus to Krimulda – the mystic place of ancient Livs. Visit an 800-year-old church and wander through the labyrinth of "Lily" before continuing to Ragana (The Yard of the Witch) for some beautiful photos followed by a traditional Latvian dinner served with fresh Latvian beer.

Sigulda Hiking Tour: A Day in the Switzerland of Latvia

3. Sigulda Hiking Tour: A Day in the Switzerland of Latvia

Enjoy a full-day hiking tour in one of the Latvia's most picturesque regions. Known as the Switzerland of Latvia, the area features mountains, valleys, cliffs, and caves. Take in views of the Gauja River Valley as you cross it by the aerial cableway. Your 15-kilometer guided hike will take you through the area’s natural landscapes and through populated areas as well. You’ll help set the pace for the tour, and there’s no need to rush, as there’s plenty of time to cover the entire route. The hiking route takes you past numerous attractions, including the ruins of the old Sigulda castle, the new castle, and Goodman's Cave. Goodman’s Cave was formed over a 10,000-year period by water gradually eroding sandstone. The grotto is a protected geological site and the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. You’ll see inscriptions on its walls dating back to 1668 and 1677. You’ll hike to Piķenes Cliff and the Little Devil's Cave, and take in spectacular views from the Velnalas Cliff overlook as well.

From Riga: Full-Day Scenic Gauja River Valley Kayaking Trip

4. From Riga: Full-Day Scenic Gauja River Valley Kayaking Trip

Meet your guide in the morning and head to Gauja River Valley to begin your kayaking trip. The curving, wild nature of the Gauja River and its tributaries makes this experience one to remember, and a must-visit for travelers who like to venture off the beaten path. During your kayaking tour, see some of the most beautiful landscapes in Gauja River Valley, including stunning steep riverbanks, awesome sandstone cliffs, the dense forests of Gauja National Park, and more. Your eco-tour leader will engage you with a special “improv-travel” approach and tell you about the nature, culture, and traditions of Latvia. Paddle for 15 to 20 kilometers downstream on a truly enjoyable adventure. There are several alternative points to finish on the way so the length of the trip can be adjusted according to your wishes. After reaching your final destination, benefit from a transfer right back to your hotel in Riga, or stay in the scenic town of Sigulda.

Discover Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park In One Day

5. Discover Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park In One Day

Beginning the tour with a pick-up from the meeting point at 8:00 AM in Riga. Taking around an hour to drive to Sigulda Town.  Explore nature's trails and local highlights in one amazing day. You’ll get in touch both with the pristine nature of Gauja National Park and the cultural legacy of the area. Hiking several short but amazing hiking trails. Yet, be ready for some 10-15 km on your feet during this unforgettable day. Wander along the beautiful banks of the second biggest river in Latvia – Gauja. Upon reaching the Gauja National Park, where the adventure starts, either in Sigulda, or Krimulda of Turaida. Not rushing as you will get a chance to visit all the major sightseeing sites around Sigulda, Krimulda, and Turaida, including Sigulda and Turaida castles. Then be comfortably returned to your hotel in Riga at the end of the tour.

From Riga: Cesis, Sigulda and Turaida Private Day Trip

6. From Riga: Cesis, Sigulda and Turaida Private Day Trip

Discover the charming towns of Cesis, Sigulda, and Turaida on this private day trip from Riga. Learn basic historical information from your driver, as well as the best restaurants to stop for lunch. Depart from Riga with private transport and head to Cesis, where you'll find an 800-year-old medieval castle. Learn about its connection to the town's history and its continued expansion during the years. Then head to Āraiši Lake Castle Archaeological Park, where you can visit the castle, nominated as the Latvian archaeological monument of 2021. Check out the permanent exposition with fascinating archeological finds from the area. Next, it's on to the Livonian Order Castle in Sigulda, built in 1207, and current host to the International Sigulda Opera Music Festival. Finally head to the Turaida Museum Reserve, where you'll discover archaeology, culture, and art dating back to the 11th century.

From Riga: Gauja National Park Hiking & Sightseeing Trip

7. From Riga: Gauja National Park Hiking & Sightseeing Trip

Meet the guide at a hotel in Riga in the morning and get ready for the one-and-a-half-hour drive to Gauja National Park. Be ready for around 12-14 kilometers of hiking on hilly terrain during this unforgettable day. Start the adventure by hiking in some of the most beautiful nature trails in Gauja National Park. Explore pristine and unique forest habitats, fast-flowing salmon rivers, and enjoy "forest bathing" - be immersed in the forest atmosphere and soak it up through every sense. Travel down some of the most beautiful nature trails in Gauja National Park, well hidden in the wilderness. Explore Ligatne, a small charming 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. Get to know more about the history of this place and potentially have a taste of some local wines in the local winery. Check out one of the most beautiful towns in Latvia - Cesis and learn about its history, dating back to the 13th century and almost as old as Riga. Stroll down the historic Old Cēsis Town, see its beautiful squares, St. John's Church (built in the 13th century), the House of Harmony, House of Princesses, and other sights in this town that is both the historic and modern heart of Latvian culture. Feel the special charm and atmosphere of this town that is very different from more cosmopolitan Rīga. Visit the famous Cēsis Medieval Castle, first built in 1218 and still one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Latvia. Explore its beautiful park, dark medieval rooms, and corridors, and get to know more about its extensive history. Visit the Gauja River, and walk along the beautiful riverbanks of the longest river in Latvia. See the largest white sandstone cliff in Latvia (Sietiņiezis) and admire some of the most stunning natural landscapes of Gauja National Park, while soaking up the fresh and healthy air of pristine Western Taiga pine forest. End the tour filled with new impressions and emotions and return to a hotel in Riga (or stay in Cēsis, Sigulda, or Līgatne towns for more adventures in Gauja National Park).

Other Sightseeing Options in Gauja National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Gauja National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gauja National Park

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 21 reviews

I find Latvia, and Riga, a welcoming place in general and that positive impression has just been so reinforced, and greatly exceeded by my experience with Rolands on the kayak tour. With great environmental and local knowledge, as you would expect, Rolands went above and beyond bringing everything to life with a depth of personal experience. But he need not have done as the environment itself was so breath taking - with mist rising from an untouched natural world absolutely full of river life it felt at times like you where paddling down the Amazon or were an extra on the set of Jurassic park. More was provided than could have been expected in the tour description. I was left feeling looked after and thoroughly contented. If you want a TRULY unforgettable experience and experience a different side of Latvia, the "real Latvia" whatever that means, book this tour. You will be glad you did.

Our canoe tour of the Gauja river valley was great. Everything was excellently organized. We started from a perfect spot (tributary to the Gauja) and paddled along the most beautiful part of the river valley. This would not have been possible without the canoe transport and the perfect local knowledge of our guide. Ronalds, our guide, spoke perfect English and, thanks to his broad knowledge, was able to tell us a lot about nature, Latvian history and the current situation. The route was a good length - we were challenged but not overwhelmed, we were able to paddle to our liking, take a break or just watch and enjoy nature. The atmosphere was always good. In the end, we felt very enriched - with impressions of the wonderful nature, with information, with our own experiences and those told, with a good atmosphere. I can warmly recommend the tour.

Excellent tour, unforgettable and breathtaking. We were picked up and dropped off at our hotel. Our tour unfortunately took place in the rain but nonetheless our tour guide was excellent, encouraging and engaging. Truly magnificent location and marvellous views of Sigulda, castle and Gauja national park. Worth your money, in all aspects!

Nice walking ways, a very infotaining tour to extraordinary places and a lot of facts about Latvia and its inhabitants, too. I enjoyed it a lot and would highly recommend it!!

Fantastic tour! The guide was very informative and knowledgeable. Highly recommend this