You are here

Hiking route along the Baltic Sea coastline — over 1000 kilometres long!

11.08.2017

By the next season, the route guide will be available in printed form and electronically, but you can start your hiking adventures already today.

Sometimes it seems like we take our 500-kilometre-long coastline with white, fine-sand beaches for granted without appreciating this gift that the nature has given us. But it is truly a real blessing which is worth sharing with others.

Latvian rural tourism association “Lauku ceļotājs” has undertaken to implement the idea of Latvia and Estonia to create a hiking route that stretches over 1000 kilometres along the Baltic Sea coastline which would be included in the E9 European long-distance path.

The route is already mapped out and this summer and autumn we are performing inspections so that next spring hiking enthusiasts can have a detailed route guide of the Baltic Sea coastline.

The route inspection task has been delegated to the environmental expert Juris Smaļinskis who welcomed everyone interested to join him on the hike along the Baltic Sea coastline from the border of Latvia to the Estonian capital city Tallinn. The response was great and in various stages of the inspection hike different number of enthusiasts participated which only confirms that this route will be very attractive for hikers.

The environmental expert and specialists from the rural tourism association “Lauku ceļotājs” Juris Smaļinskis studied biology which made him one of the few privileged persons who was able to visit the coastline of the Baltic Sea during the Soviet times. For other people, many of the coastal areas were off-limits.

The first examination of the coastline brought Juris Smaļinskis many surprises, however, now, he has inspected every corner of it countless times either on foot or on a bike and knows it like the back of his hand.

“We are truly rich. None of our neighbours, nor Lithuanians, nor Estonians, have such a long coastline like we do. You can walk alongside it from start to finish and, I have to say, it offers a rather diverse landscape,” says Juris Smaļinskis.

The route is made up of the open sea coastline which is more wild and the Gulf of Riga coastline. Considering our geographical location, this route leads us through our capital city Riga.

Those who have already been in Riga and do not wish to visit its sites can skip this stage of the route. However, this part of the route can bring some pleasant surprises as you will be able to walk through the Old Town pass the Freedom Monument to the Quiet Centre with exquisite examples of Art Nouveau architecture, along Baznīca and Miera Streets to Mežaparks that lies next to Ķīšezers Lake and then continue on to Vidzeme.

The expert admits that all the stages of the hiking route are not equally exciting. Which is why the guide will include information about tourism attractions and stars that indicate how interesting and scenic is each stage of the route. It is also planned to include the difficulty level of the route which the hikers then can take into account. 

The route is divided into approximately 22-kilometre-long stages each of which can be finished within 1 day. The guide will also have information about cafés and restaurants, shops and accommodations nearby so that the hikers do not have to worry about any of these aspects once they have started the route. There is only one long stage of the route which does not have any cafés/restaurants and shops along the way, i.e., from Ventspils to Kolka. This route takes around 3 days to finish for which you should prepare all the necessary food supplies.

The majority of the route within the territory of Latvia stretches along the coastline and it takes us further on land only in the peculiar Liv or Livonian villages as they are truly worth a visit. In Estonia, the landscape is different — the hiking route along the coastline is rather short while the rest of it is made up of coastal grassland. The route in Estonia deviates from the shoreline to mainly quiet little villages.

Even though we need to wait a little longer until the guide is available, we can start our hiking adventures along the shoreline already today. Plus, summer is not the only season when to enjoy the scenic sea and coastline landscape. Pay a visit to Vidzeme coastline between Tūja and Ainaži during autumn when the red Veczemju Rocks among the colourful tree leaves look especially picturesque.

Hiking in Europe becomes more and more popular. The sedentary lifestyle encourages people to be more active and as it turns out walking is actaully more effective than cycling.

The Baltic Sea coastline is the perfect place for hiking where everyone can choose which stage to take and how fast to walk.