Blue Elephant birdwatching tour in the woods, wetlands and sea coast of Latvia
Autumn tour from west to east
Latvia is a very sparsely populated country with pristine nature woods and nature reserves. You will find here numerous lakes and ponds and a beautiful coastline with miles of white sandy beaches. Brown bears, lynxes, wolves and many species of birds can live in harmony, because of this tranquillity and space to roam. In some areas seven species of woodpeckers are to be found. Additionally, raptors, storks, cranes, greenshank and black-necked grebe are species we cannot miss.
We will fly to Riga from where we will take a beautiful tour exploring several very special nature reserves: Slitere National Park, the surroundings of Slitere and Kemeru National Park. We will follow the coastline to continue our tour.
Kemeru National Park
This park is very special because of its huge wetlands, swamps and marshy seacoast. In short, it is a birdwatchers’ paradise and a paradise for special plants, mushrooms and mosses. Here you will find the remains of volcanic activity, maybe the most extensive in the whole of northern Europe.
Gauja National Park
This is one of the most beautiful areas of the Baltic countries with medieval castles along the splendid river Gauja. This river has beautiful shores with cliffs and sandstone caves. The Raksupe valley is has been inhabited for centuries and is famous as the oldest national park in Latvia.
Räznas National Park in the area of Latgale
Latgale is a very special area of Latvia, valuable for its cultural aspects and from a historical point of view. Latgale means “land of the lakes”. This part of the country is special because of its traditions, language, culinary specialities and its allegiance authority. The flora and fauna of this park are very distinctive because of the many lakes with their pristine islands and swamps – and possibly because of its location close to the Russian border.
Slitere National Park
Slitere was known as the geological open air museum of the Baltic Sea. The Soviet occupation contributed to the unspoilt nature and the enormous biodiversity of the area’s flora and fauna because people were not allowed to enter here.
For travellers who are interested in the cultural activities and the atmosphere of the capital, it is possible to extend the tour by a couple of days. In 2014 Riga was the cultural capital of Europe. This city has numerous beautiful buildings (many of them in Jugendstil with its mix of old manor houses). A guided tour in the old centre of Riga, with the war museum and a visit to the market, will give a good indication of the lifestyle of people in Latvia.
|Tour price:||€ 2750,- / £ 2195,- excluded international flights.|
|Date:||3rd September – 17th September 2015|
|Tour code:||15Spain (Please mention tour code with booking).|
|single supplement:||€ 350,-/ £ 280,-|
|Full description:||Will be sent 4 weeks before departure.|
|Transport:||van or minibus|
|Walking effort:||Mainly easy to moderate walks,|
|Participants:||Minimum 6, maximum 8|
|Accommodation:||Hotel on a full-board basis.|
|Guides:||Knowledgeable tour leader|
|Weather:||Mostly warm and sunny;|
|day 1:||Arrival in Riga and transfer to Sigulda Pale for woodpeckers and Salacgriva for cranes. Accommodation and dinner in Salagriva.|
|day 2:||transfer from Salagriva to Burtnieki (206 km). Visit the seashore to watch waders and then continue along the banks of the river Salaca for woodpeckers. Visit several ponds for cranes and geese. Accommodation and dinner in Burtnieki.|
|day 3:||Explore the area of Gauja NP and spend the night in an old Manor House, surrounded by a very old park.|
|day 4:||Transfer to Zosna (247 km) and on our way look for eagles, herons and ducks around the Lubana and Ideni lakes. Accommodation in Zosna.|
|day 5:||From Zosna to Ezernieku and Pagasts very close to the Russian border;|
|day 6:||Extra stay in the Räzna National Park.|
|day 7:||Transfer to Kemeri National Park with accommodation in Valguma Pasaule. Maybe a hot tub and bare foot safari. Also search for woodpeckers!|
|day 8:||NP Slitere visit and stay at the Beach of Kolka:|
|day 9:||Transfer to Ventspils and departure maybe by ferry to Travemünde or by plane from Riga.|