Gauja, Latvia

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449 km
28 m
89:46
Medium

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The Gauja is the most popular paddling river in Latvia, what takes a capricious circle through Vidzeme, collecting 440 winding kilometres in total, while the distance in the air line between the outlet and estuary shows only 90 km.
In terms of water tourism the Gauja conditionally can be divided into 3 sections: section of HPPs cascade, in Popular section and in Upper course section.
Section of HPPs cascade is popular among paddlers - “collectors of different landscapes”, as well as here are cosy one and two-day routs with local rental boat points. In further 115 km there is a series of small lakes, overfalls and flooded dams in the Gauja.
Behind Lejasciems the Popular section of the Gauja is starting. Up to Aņņi (Valka - Gaujiena) bridge the Gauja is wide river with a good stream what flows mostly through bushy meadows. Behind Aņņi bridge the river begins to throw sharp bends and here starts 60 km long section up to Strenči what is famous due its sandbanks in internal sides of the bends and steep banks of loose sand, washed out by the river in the outer sides of bends. From Strenči to Valmiera the Gauja flows through populated and wooded area, while from Valmiera begins the most favorite section of the Gauja, which is 82.8 km long and continues up to Sigulda. Here are concentrated all of the most favourite sightseeing objects and cliffs..
Behind Sigulda the tourist flow sharply decreases and there is a feeling that the Gauja here is starting to breathe again. Behind Murjāņi the river flow becomes slower, the fast bends are ending, and the Gauja is full of large islands. At the Gauja estuary in the sea on the right bank there is a good access road and a place where to end the longest paddling route in Latvia.

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