During our autumn vacation in Latvia, we also made a stopover in the Gauja National Park. I actually had big plans: I wanted to go canoeing in the Gauja National Park, go on a multi-day hiking tour, visit the castle in Cēsis and find lots of mushrooms. Unfortunately, as always, the vacation was too short and it was only enough for the castle and the canoe trip. However, the boat trip across the Brasla was so much fun that we were all satisfied.

Ausgebauter Caddy Camper auf dem Campingplatz Jaunzāģeri
Our little motorhome at the campsite

Route description of the canoe trip

Our starting point for canoeing in the Gauja National Park was the Jaunzāģeri campsite, which I had researched via Google. The location directly on the Gauja was important to me, as was the option of booking a boat tour with boats and transportation directly at the campsite, as we didn’t have one ourselves. There is nothing around the campsite and we were the only guests in mid-September. Communication was a bit of a struggle, as our Latvian was simply an imposition and our English wasn’t the best either. The bottom line was that it cost €60 for 2 people with boat and transport. The campsite has a lot else to offer (sauna, hot tub) but everything costs extra. Just like the showers, which cost €3. If it gets very busy in high season, the number of sanitary facilities is very limited.

Kanufahren im Gauja Nationalpark – Auf dem Brasla und dem Gauja
More Details

Especially the first few kilometers on the Brasla were a lot of fun. The river was very shallow in some places, so you had to be careful not to touch down. The current is also so strong that you had to react quickly at times. However, what I write here should be taken with a grain of salt, as I have only been on a lake in a boat perhaps 2-3 times before. The last few meters on the Gauja are then very comfortable, as the river is very wide and offers no real challenge. I’m glad we opted for this tour, as it might have been too boring for me on the Gauja alone. The landscape was also impressive from the Brasla, as you can perhaps see from the pictures. The forest landscape was always dotted with interesting red rock formations and made me want to see more. If I’m ever in Latvia again, I definitely want to go canoeing in the Gauja National Park again.

Photos from canoeing in the Gauja National Park

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