Wild orchids, quails, wild horses and the great bittern. Find all of these and more at Latvia’s nature parks! Here’s a selection of some of the best-known and most-loved parks to get you started. Enjoy and be respectful to the nature around you!
Pape Nature Park
Pape Nature Park is best known as being the first place in Latvia where wild horses, auroxen and bison were reintroduced into the wild. As one of the largest gathering areas for migratory birds in Latvia, it’s also a birdwatchers’ paradise.
Experience many different ecosystems during your stay, around the lake, in the meadows and dunes, and along the coastline. Walk along the marked nature trails such as the Wild Orchard Trail, and camp in the designated areas to get a real feel for the park.
Make sure to also visit the local branch of the Ethnographic Open-air Museum of Latvia.
Wild cattle and horses graze on the Dviete floodplains, and in spring and autumn, migratory birds arrive here to rest and feed. During the high-water season in spring you can raft on the Dviete River. In summer the floodplains are perfect for watching dragonflies.
Lake Engure Nature Park
Over 180 bird species nest in the territory of Lake Engure Nature Park! It’s also home to several breeds of wild cattle, as well as Konik horses (a Polish breed).
The park contains numerous rare habitats such as calcareous fens with brown Bog-rush plants, transitional swamps and marshes.
Tervete Nature Park – fun for families
Tervete Nature Park features one of the rarest types of pine forest in Latvia! The park is a family favourite, providing a fantastic environment for kids to learn about nature and its preservation in a fun and safe way. There are aerial adventure trails and wooden sculptures based on the heroes of Latvian author Anna Brigadere.
Daugavas Loki Nature Park
Educational nature trails, churches and an Old Believers’ village form part of the scenic Daugavas Loki nature park which lines the shores and surrounding areas of the eight largest bends of Latvia’s largest river – the Daugava. One of the best ways to see the area in its full glory is by taking a two-day boat trip and camping at one of the designated riverside campsites.
Lielupe River floodplains
You don’t even need to leave the city to find yourself enjoying the surroundings of the Lielupe River floodplains! The Natura 2000 protected area is located in the centre of Jelgava on Pilssala Island. Around 70 wild horses have found a home here. Guided tours are available.
Ancient valley of Abava nature park
One of the park’s highlights is the second widest waterfall in Latvia – Abavas Rumba – and the River Abava is a popular choice for boating.
The park is known for its particularly rich flora and you can find over 50 protected species growing here. There are plenty of caves and nature trails to explore, and the area is popular among winemakers so you can end the day with a tasting!