Valmiera - Sigulda sect.
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Type of the river: Gauja is Class 1 river. Suitable for beginners and family recreation - all types of leisure paddling; Obstacles if any are simple and strightforward.
Recommended type of boats: any;
Canoeing routes on this river section:
* the color reflects tourists' preferences
in selecting a route from this list (red is more often). Code according to the scale
Tha Gauja is the favorite river of water tourists looking for calmer waters. Tha Gauja is the longest river within the teritory of Latvia, and it crosses Gulbene, Aluksne, Valka, Valmiera, Cesis and Riga districts. In the middle stretches the Gauja (in Estonian language Koiva) forms the border with Estonia. The Gauja originates in the Vidzeme Highlands, on the slopes of Elka Hill. In its upper reaches it flows to the east, then after passing arround the Vidzeme Highlands in a wide arc its bed turns toward the Gulf of Riga, flowing into the sea at Carnikava. In a stright line it is just 90km from source to estuary, but the rivers total length is 452km.
An interesting and attractive site for tourists is the Gauja River Valley between Valmiera and Murjani. The valley depth fluctuates from 20m at Valmiera to 85m ar Sigulda. As the Gauja meanders, redish, yellowish or grayish white Devon sandstones and red clay appear on the banks. The biggest outcrops are Sietiniezis Rock, Erglu Cliff, Red Cliff and Kuki Rock. The valley is home to spruce, pine, oak, maple and other trees, and in the autumn a myriad of colours is on displaym from the green of the fir trees to maple red.
Gauja National Park (GNP)
In order to preserve the natural assets and cultural heritage (the Cesis, Turaida and Sigulda medieval castles, archeological monuments etc.) and develop tourism, the Gauja national Park was established in 1973.