Connoisseur's Guide


Boating routes in Kurzeme region

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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · latvia · Kurzeme · Boating routes in Kurzeme region


Author: Ingrīda Smuškova0 COMMENTS


Abava rank number one most popular Kurzeme region river among boating aficionados. The most traditional boating route leads from Kandava town to Abava's estuary into river Venta and further on to Naba Lake (90 km) and can be covered in 2-3 days.
For the first 12 km, downwards from Kandava, it winds through lowland with osiers thickets on both sides, and there is an abundance of fish and birds in this section. If you manage to be quiet enough, you will observe wildlife swarming and teeming around you. It continues its flow over dolomite cliffs, forming Velnakmens (Devil's stone) ford. Abava reaches its vast valley there, often referred to as "Switzerland" of Kurzeme. A vivid mosaic of well-groomed landscape opens up there, with occasional rural constructions visible in the distance. Places to see in this section are Velnala (Devil's Cage) and Velnakmens (Devil's stone). Just a short distance from the river there is a tourism and recreation center "Plosti" where you can treat yourself to some delicious food or explore walking trails of Pasaku Forest (Fairy-tale forest) near the guest house "Imulas".
Abava gains more speed before reaching Sabile town, which can become your next stop. There you can drop by some local food shops and see around the town. Be sure not to leave your boats unattended, however - it's always safer to have someone to keep an eye on your stuff.
Abava river waterfall ("Abavas rumba") is located about 5 km downstream from Sabile. Be careful not to damage your boat against sharp dolomite edges while crossing it. Another 5 km, and you will reach Veģi bridge and will spot a renewed miller's house "Sventes", which is yet another worth visiting attraction on river Abava. It's located on its right bank right after the outfall of Virbupe River.
Abava flow becomes calm and smooth down from Veģi bridge with only few houses scattered along its banks. Pay attention to impressive sand dunes up to 15m high, rising along the river bends and rich flora and fauna of this area. The next stop can be Renda village. As the highway comes close to the river here, it can be a comfortable place to finish your trip, too. While waiting for transportation, you can pop into Renda tavern or a local shop. Yet those who decide to continue their way will now have to cover the entire remaining distance until the estuary into river Venta or even Naba Lake.
Downstream from Renda, the landscape changes. The river becomes shallow and stony, with many bends and overfalls. Dolomite and sandstone exposures with many gushing springs are typical there. The river winds through the forest with old, tall trees. Mighty Muižarāju cliff with a sheer, 30m high sandstone wall opens up on the left about 7 km before Abava falls into river Venta,.
For final 5 km before falling into Venta, Abava becomes narrower, deeper and faster. If some strength and endurance is still left, you can continue your way along Venta to reach Naba Lakes. It can turn out to be quite an adventure, especially with headwind blowing while you paddle along Venta or crosswind in the lakes. Yet if you manage to cover the distance in spite of difficulties, the satisfaction for the trip and your own persistence will be just huge.

- It's advisable to take enough food supplies to last for the entire trip, as there may be no shops along the way. Best of all, plan your menu and buy food accordingly before you set off; it is good to have someone who likes cooking and is ready to assume the role of a chef for the entire trip, as it makes food preparation less chaotic;
- Be sure to pack all your stuff in plastic bags or special waterproof containers, to be on the safe sided if the boat tips over or some water gets into it; it may be chilly in the evening and you will definitely enjoy putting on dry clothes after a day on the water;
- Do not to litter in the river or along its banks and always leave the campgrounds clean; take all your garbage with you and dispose it properly, using containers at your destination or anyplace else on your way home;
- You will need a detailed map for your trip; be sure to have someone who can read and understand it and will be able to follow it during the trip;
- Don't be skeptical about boating in low season - it is just a stereotype that one can boat only in summer.
Information about routes, boat rentals and transportation services

Entire Kurzeme region:
Roja River and its neighborhood:
Company "Norands"
T.: 00371 26558483

Abava and Kurzeme Region:
Boat rental "Anša laivas"
T.: 00371 26520410

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