Gauja National Park



If the weather is right, a few days in the densely wooded Gauja National Park, just 20 mi/30 km northeast of Riga, can be the highlight of a trip to Latvia. Set in the Gauja River Valley, Gauja National Park is the largest national park in Latvia and is less than an hour's drive from Riga. It has scenic Devonian sandstone cliffs, small caves, ancient oak trees, manors, windmills, nature trails, and even a cable car ride. A nice way to see the park is on trail rides or—when the water levels are high in spring—by boat.

In Gauja, visitors should stop in Cesis, a former Hanseatic town in the middle of the park. It hosts several popular summer festivals, including an opera festival, a beer festival and the Knight's Festival (with a jousting tournament).

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