We offer boat rental for a simple 1-day trip along the impressive and beautiful Gauja River. The route starts at the Līgatne ferry and its total length is 24 kilometers. There are no other ferries in the Baltics, such as the Līgatne ferry. As the ferry is included in the list of monuments of technical history, it is even more special.
It consists of 2 parallel wooden boats connected by a plank deck. Ropes stretched across the river prevent the current from carrying the ferry, but the force of the current moves it from shore to shore. The ferry driver only drives the ferry downstream.
After the Second World War, the Līgatne paper mill built a ferry at its own expense so that workers and students could get to Līgatne from the opposite bank of the Gauja. Before the war, the ferry was replaced by a bridge that was destroyed during the war.
Līgatne and its nature trails are located in the Gauja National Park. Līgatne nature trails include a forest with more than 5 km of walking trails, as well as paths for pedestrians and cyclists. These trails are designed as a place where visitors can observe wild animals and also the bird species characteristic of Latvian nature.
On the right bank of the river, 2 km further in a bend, you can see Katrīna rock – a fabulous outcrop, which is about 200 meters long and in some places up to 15 meters high.
After another kilometer on the right bank you can see the Gūdu cliffs. They are also called Gaviļi rocks, and the reason for this is their echo. Another name for these rocks is the Far Rocks, and here the name already says that they are so named because of the beautiful view that opens up.
Up to 18 meters high and 250 meters wide sandstone cliffs resemble the bow of a huge ship that goes up the Gauja. The vertical wall of the rock in this part is 14-15 meters high.
There are several stories about the Gūdu cliffs, as well as most others. Legend has it that a very stingy landlord once lived in the nearby Gūdu house, who pledged his soul to the devil. Then the devil dragged the owner with all his sack of money into a steep cliff in a deep pit opposite the rocks of Gūdu. The robbers, passing this opening, always donated silver money to get through the cunning bend. If a rafter drowned, he had to throw bread with a burning candle into the Gauja to find him. Where the candle went out, you also had to look.
Another kilometer and a half below is the Launaga cliff, which is so named because it looks best at noon when the sun is shining on it. The view from the top of the cliff is breathtaking. The continuous massif is 250 m long, but scattered outcrops can be seen for kilometers.
Two kilometers further you can see the tributary of the left bank Wildilde, and two kilometers ahead – Brasla, which is a tributary of the right bank. This is a river rich in scenery, which is ideal for both boating and enjoying the beautiful views.
The small river Dauda flows into the Gauja 9 km away. It flows through a canyon up to 40 meters deep with several waterfalls up to 2.3 meters high. The view is enriched by the fact that as you approach Sigulda, you can see Turaida Castle from almost every bend of the river.
One kilometer before Turaida you will see the tributary Vējupīte on the left bank. If you still have strength after this adventure, you are invited to climb the Rock of the Painters, as well as walk along the shores of Vraukupīte ravine. Kraukļi ravine is a sandstone outcrop of the Gauja suite on the left bank of the Vējupīte. The Gauja is made of dark red in places and medium red Devonian sandstone in places.
At the highest point of the ravine, it is 11.5 meters high, and its high, vertical walls are covered with words and drawings engraved by visitors. Krauklis Cave, a small triangular cave 5 meters long, is built into Gley’s wall. In addition to this, there is Peter’s Cave and Satesele Castle Mound nearby, from which the stairs lead to Paradise Hill or the Painters’ Cliff. Turaida is one kilometer away, and to the right is the large island of Turaida. Sigulda Bridge is another 2 km away.