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


Few years ago Irbe River was among so called "aqua incognita" routes, but nowadays it can get quite crowded on a hot summer day, even with some "traffic jams". The most popular Irbe route runs from Rinda bridge down to the sea. This 40 km stretch can be split into the "before dunes section" and the "dune section". The route starts in Rinda River, in fact, which is just a perfect river for beginners. It's all nice and pleasant and boosts your boating confidence.
The river has many branches and portages. At first, some houses can be spotted along the shore, but then the river turns into a coastal dune forest. It has lovely bends and sand exposures with numerous suitable spots for camping along its banks. Occasional wind-broken trees and shallow places add thrill and excitement, and everyone can demonstrate their paddling and maneuvering skills, navigating boats around these obstacles.
The river flows almost parallel to the sea here, featuring smooth and unvarying, yet beautiful and never boring landscape. The river here is neither rapid, nor too calm. Irbe flows in north-western direction with the leading winds blowing towards the stream in summertime, making paddling easier.
If your trip doesn't have any strict time frame, you can stop to explore some historic places and attractions along the way. Both Miķeļbāka lighthouse and "Zvaigznīte" - Ventspils Radio Astronomy Centre in Irbene are located just a few kilometers from the river. It is best of all to finish the trip at one of the campgrounds on the right side of the river, shortly before it falls into the sea.
The landscape is quite unusual for Latvia here - a sand dune along the left bank gives an impression that you have paddled out at some North African desert. Here it's a great chance to paddle out into the sea and to try handling your boat in the waves.

- 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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