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Abava is reasonably considered a classic of paddling rivers of Latvia. In summer season the river is calm throughout its paddling route, without insurmountable barriers or rapids, therefore great for everyone - families with children and those who haven't been in a canoe before. Only 92 of 129 km from the river are suitable for paddling. The Abava river is usually divided in two parts – the "civilized" one and the "wild" one. Civilized part is considered to be from Kandava to Renda (49, 5 km), but the wild one – from Renda to the mouth of the river Venta (34.3 km). Near Kandava the river is very winding and at its first kilometres you may think why did you even come here? And just at that moment the boat is rapidly tolerated under unfinished bridge and shoots through the first Abava overfall. Shores of Abava here resembles a Tuscan landscape with grape fields on the slopes. Further on the paddling becomes much more interesting, as the river begins to flow through a wide valley and the landscape around it becomes more and more picturesque. In the stretch till Sabile, there are many well-appointed halts and tourist attractions. Sabile is definitely worth a stop to stroll through the small town or buy some treats. After Sabile, the Abava river becomes much calmer and slowly flows through a forest. Shores become steeper and first cliffs (approx. 15m high) start to appear. The slow flow of 6 km is stopped by Waterfall on the Abava river (Abavas Rumba) - a meter high waterfall that has stretched across the width of the river. After the waterfall, the river's speed increases and you start to feel a bit of wilderness. Overfalls mixes with each other and nature overtakes the river. Ducks, beavers, deer's, herons, storks and hawks become nothing extraordinary. In some parts river passes sand dunes. Around Renda the Abava river returns to civilization. Already 6 km before the bridge of Renda the flow of the river becomes really calm and some houses located on the shores start to appear. In Renda the "civilized" part ends and the "wild" one starts. Paddlers do not have one opinion if the most beautiful stretch of the Abava river is from Kandava to Renda or from Renda to the mouth of the Venta river. Slow flow continues 5 km after Renda, until it is stopped by the first rapids. Moreover, the scenery changes completely. Shores that were overgrown with shrubs and deciduous trees are replaced by coniferous trees, river-bed becomes stony, but the water becomes clear. Below Renda to where Abava flows into the Venta river there are almost no buildings. However, there are many sites where you can do the camping, overfalls are being mixed with slower stretches, the banks of larger and smaller sandstone and dolomite cliffs follow one after another, some of them are overgrown and not as easily visible, watch closely! If you stay calm, you can meet many wild animals. Approaching Venta, the Abava river becomes narrower, deeper and swifter. Approximately 30m high cliff Galmicu is a good landmark 5 km before the mouth of the Venta river. Those who just remembered that they have not managed to take a picture of anything, can still have time to take beautiful photos.
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