Hiking from Lilaste to Gauja

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Beautiful, easy and close to Riga.

A hike from Lilaste to Gauja can offer you all of that. There are 3 forest lakes on the way, and the sea is never too far away. It’s all flat and there always is either a trail or forest road. You can easily get there by train. If you enjoy cycling in the forest, you can also take your bicycle with you on the train.

Here is what you need to know about this place.

1. Lilaste – Gauja Hike (Garezers Lake): Basics

There are several options.

You can just walk from Lilaste to Gauja, by following Garezers Lake (there are 3 of them). It’s gonna take you about an hour. You can walk there and back and it’s gonna be an approximately 2-3 hour walk.

Or you can do like we did.


TIME & DISTANCE: around 4 miles / 6.4 km (1 hour).

If you will be walking back to Lilaste, it will take you another hour.

Or you can do like we did — check out also river Gauja, walk along the river to the beach and finish at the train station of Gauja. It’s gonna take you approximately 3 hours.

TIPS: bring some snacks and water, as there are no shops for most part. There is a shop at the train station in Gauja. Check the train schedule in advance and plan your time accordingly. There are trails on both banks of the lakes.

2. How to Get From Riga to Lilaste

Hiking near Lilaste
Hiking near Lilaste

Train is by far the best option to get from Riga to Lilaste.

The ride takes approximately 45 minutes.

Train stations are right next to a forest both in Lilaste and Gauja.

Get off the train and head to the small lake between Lilaste and the sea. From there just follow any of the banks of the lake.

3. Lilaste – Gauja Hike: My Experience

Same like a lot of times, I had no idea what exactly to expect.

Turned out that it’s an easy hike. Plus there are several options how and where to walk. From Lilaste to Gauja everything is very straight forward. Just follow the lakes, and that’s it. You can walk on any bank. Afterwards we took a shortcut through the forest — heading for river Gauja. In January it meant walking through ankle-deep snow.

Once you get to river Gauja, there is a forest road and trails going to the beach.

From the beach at one point there is a road to train station in Gauja.

Here are a few photos from our Lilaste – Gauja hike.

Frozen lake in Lilaste

Frozen Garezers lake
Garezers lake

Garezers lake during the winter

Frozen lake in Latvia

Walking from Lilaste to Gauja

Hike from Lilaste to Gauja

Forest during the winter
Taking a shortcut through the forest
River Gauja near the sea
River Gauja
Pine trees near the beach
Pine trees near the beach

Sea during the winter

Ice blocks next to the sea

Beach during the winter in Latvia

See also: Cena Bog Boardwalk HikeDaugavgriva Beach HikeMelna Ezera Swamp Hike

Have you been to Riga? Did you go hiking in Riga or somewhere nearby? What was your experience?