Baltic Coastal Hiking - Itinerary

Little wave sea

The West coast of the Gulf of Riga.
Kolka – Jūrmala: 115 km, Day 16 – Day 20
 
The Little Wave Sea is the name given to the Western coast of the Gulf of Riga by the natives of Kurzeme. The Little Wave Sea section starts at Cape Kolka, in the Slītere National Park which is crossed by the migration routes for birds travelling from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Coastal Hiking Route leads you along the seacoast of the Gulf of Riga up to Jūrmala. The itinerary contains a lot of sandy beaches, in some places, coastal meadows, short sections of rocky seashore notched by small coves near Kaltene where swans spend the summer. On the coast, present-day fishing villages and small yacht ports are located one after another. Here, industrial fishing is carried out and fish processing plants operate in some places. Freshly smoked fish can be bought in the markets and shops of the coastal villages and from the local fishermen.

MDay 16. Kolka - Ģipka.

Along The “Closed Coast”

At Cape Kolka, when turning towards the Gulf, you can clearly see the difference between the “Great Sea” and the “Little Sea”. The first 10 km of the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route lead through the coastal area of the Slītere National Park: first, past pine trees that are washed into the sea, past the building of a former fishing kolkhoz, a ship berth and Ēvaži Bluff which is surrounded by an unusually narrow sandy beach with overhanging black alders. The next section of the trail leading to Ģipka also has a narrow sandy beach with pools created by the rich springfens and the mouths of small streams that are shallow in summer. During Soviet times, the seacoast of the Slītere National Park was a closed territory for two reasons: it was a frontier zone and a nature reserve.


HDay 17. Ģipka - Kaltene.

The Rocky Beach of Kurzeme

A sandy beach that is not too wide and has beautiful dunes and coastal pine forests stretches from Ģipka to Roja, but before reaching Roja it is overgrown with reeds. Conversely, the section between Roja and the Kaltene Church is one of the most extraordinary parts of the seashore of Latvia, where the coast is notched by small capes and coves with a very narrow beach. All over the coast, there are piles of boulders of different sizes with the green foliage of black alders hanging over them. In some places, the large gnarled root systems of the trees washed ashore rise before your eyes. In some places, an unpaved road goes right along the coast and a lot of former fishermen homesteads are aligned next to it.


HDay 18. Kaltene - Mērsrags.

The Multifarious Coast

A truly multifaceted section of the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route in terms of nature, cultural history and scenery. Near Kaltene village, the seashore is speckled with small coves with rocky beaches followed by a thickly overgrown coast where a narrow trail winds its way through reeds and lush vegetation. Further on, the seacoast covered in stones is only a couple of meters wide, in some places it has layers of clay, fields of reeds, in other places, it is carpeted with the algae washed ashore. Sandy beaches with shoals in the sea reappear between Valgalciems village and Mērsrags village. After passing Mērsrags village, the itinerary continues on a road, but when you reach the Lutheran church it turns towards the sea and goes through the coastal meadows as far as the center of Mērsrags village.


MDay 19. Mērsrags - Engure.

In the Engure Nature Park

A forest trail surrounded by pine trees leads you from the center of the village to the beach. Next, the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route meanders between a rocky seacoast richly overgrown with reeds and other grasses on one side and wooded seaside dunes on the other side. In some places, the beach is paved with small round stones, in other places you can see grey dunes with a rich variety of plants. Near Bērzciems village, there are large coastal meadows with shoals appearing far away in the sea that are suited for birdwatching. Overgrown seacoast continues up to Abragciems village, while from Abragciems to Engure there is a beach.


EDay 20. Engure - Ragaciems.

Fishing Villages And Smoked Fish

At first, the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route winds through Engure village, then leads through a comparatively narrow beach on one side and beautiful woody seaside dunes on the other side reaching Plieņciems Dune after which the sandy beach becomes increasingly wider and large shoals appear in the sea. On the coast, overgrown bluffs equipped with stairs and plank-ways rise before your eyes and stretch as far as the road connecting Kolka and Tukums. You have to take into consideration that on warm summer days a lot of holidaymakers come here. The last third of the itinerary is located in Ķemeri National Park.