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Gauja National Park in Vidzeme is the largest national park in Latvia, with an area of 917.86 km² running from north-east of Sigulda to south-west of Cēsis along the valley of the Gauja River, from which the park takes its name.

It was established in order to protect slightly disturbed natural areas, promote nature tourism and ensure sustainable development in the area. National park is characterized by a high biological diversity, rock outcrops and varied terrain shapes, springs, picturesque landscapes and many historical and cultural monuments from different centuries. The major part of the national park and the dominant is the old valley of the Gauja River. The valley is protected and at the same time it can be used for nature and cultural history tourism, as well as healthy recreation.

Getting there

The national park is very accessible as it is only located around 45 minutes drive from Riga. There are plenty of international flights to Riga and you a lot of options for renting cars.

When to visit

There is something to do in every season in the national park. It is very easy to visit regardless of the conditions as it is located close to Riga. This makes it great for a weekend visit throughout the year.


Park website


Park size

918 km²

Park founded


Map of Gauja National Park

Image gallery of Gauja National Park

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Natural Sights

Most national parks have there own trademarks. This goes for both natural sights and man-made. This section will list any popular sights in nature.

Wildlife in Gauja National Park

These sections shows you some of the characteristic wildlife to the national park.

Mushroom hunting in Gauja National Park

Latvia and the Baltic region are famous for mushroom foraging and it is very popular with locals. It is allowed in most places but you should always make sure you have permission to forage. Speak to local authorities regarding options in the national park.

Camping rules in Gauja National Park

Wild camping is allowed in most areas of Latvia. You should still make sure you have the necessary permissions before you camp out in the wild. Speak to local authorities about your plans for wild camping in the national park.

Bears in Gauja National Park

Bears in Gauja National Park

Few bears in the park

This national park has bears and you need to take the necessary precautions. It is however unlikely that you will come across a bear.