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.
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.
Map of Gauja National Park
Image gallery of Gauja 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.