Gauja National Park is the most popular natural destination in Latvia. It covers an area of 920 km2, and is located between the towns of Sigulda and Valmiera. The most interesting part of the park is forested and picturesque meanders of the river Gauja, the longest river in the country. Devonian sandstone cliffs which are in some places as high as 90 metres are very interesting here as well. Forests cover 60% of the park, there are numerous lakes as well. In the middle of the park stands the ruins of Sigulda Castle, which gives romantic atmosphere to the whole landscape. Gauja National Park is a good place for hiking and canoeing.
Gauja National Park was established on 14 September 1973 and is therefore the oldest national park in Latvia. The area was formerly sometimes known as the “Livonian Switzerland” and tourists started to visit this area in the 19th century.
The territory of the Gauja NP contains more than 500 monuments of history and culture – castle mounds, castles, churches, manors, water and windmills as well as numerous archaeological and art monuments.
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