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Abava Valley Nature Park
The nature park comprises the valley of the Abava River, created as glaciers receded at the end of the Ice Age, which is often called the Switzerland of Kurzeme because of its impressive sceneries and remarkable geological monuments.
Nature has made Abava Valley one of the most beautiful places in Latvia. The Abava River winds its way through lush forests, centuries-old towns, cosy villages, several rapids, and mysterious caves, bound to surprise and captivate any tourist or traveller. The river valley is 2 km wide and 30 m deep. The Abava River is 124 km long.
Explore Switzerland of Kurzeme!
- See the Old Town with its Gunpowder Tower and castle ruins in Kandava
- Go for a walk through the picturesque Latvian wine capital of Sabile and visit the northernmost vineyard in the world - Sabile Wine Hill
- Listen to the sound of water at Abava rumba, Ivande and Vegupite River falls
- Climb Velnakmens (Devil’s Stone) and explore Velnala (Devil’s Cave), Laupītāju ala (Robbers’ Cave) and Maras kambari (Mara’s Chambers),
- Take the trail through Cuzi Bog and see the only growth of shrubby cinquefoils in Latvia
- Take the nature trail along the Abava, Imula and Amula rivers, as well as Horse Trail, Love Trail at Zviedru cepure, the Old Ozolaji trail
- Taste Sabile grapes at the Wine Hill
- Taste wine at Drubazas and see Botany Trail
- Enjoy culture and art at Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum
- In the wintertime, go skiing, and in the summer ride summer toboggans at Zviedru cepure
- Take in the beautiful architecture during a visit to some of the manors!
There are also a lot of other natural, cultural, and historical objects definitely worth seeing in Abava Valley Nature Park.
The valley is known for its peculiar terrain – steep coasts, dolomite outcrops, sandstone cliffs, caves, springs and waterfalls, 11 of which are protected geological monuments.
In terms of floristry, Abava Valley is one of the richest regions in Latvia, many species characteristic specifically of Latvia’s western regions can be found here. There is a great diversity of biotopes in the valley, and over 50 protected plant species can be found in Abava Valley. A characteristic feature of the valley is a mosaic of spruce and broadleaf forests, pine and birch forests, juniper growths, meadows and fields.
Abava Valley Nature Park was established in 1999, but it had been a protected area already since 1957. The nature park is a conservation area as well as a Natura 2000 protected area, or a place where rare and protected European plant and animal species are found.