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Yep, kayaking in Riga can be awesome.
I have been living in Riga since 2005, and I always thought that there is only one place to kayak in Riga. Riga Canal. Everyone’s been kayaking in Riga Canal. It turned out that I was wrong.
There are some more fun places to go kayaking from Riga city center.
All it took for me to find them was to rent a kayak. Open Google Maps. Zoom in to see all the smallest waterways. And to go and try to paddle them in real life.
Here I’ll share with you two interesting kayaking routes I came up with.
But first let’s answer the question, where to rent a kayak?
Kayaking in Riga
1. Where to Rent a Kayak in Riga
There are a few places.
I have an experience with two of them:
Both of them offer also guided kayaking tours in Riga.
Prices are very similar – around 15 – 20 EUR for a boat for 24 hours.
Both of these companies are located right next to river Daugava, close to Riga city center. Meaning that you can start kayaking right from the rental point. There is no need to transport the kayak.
Last two times I went with laivu noma LAIVINIEKS.
I was very satisfied. Not just by the overall service, but also by the instructions given by the kayaking instructor.
2. The Long Route – to Mezaparks and TV Tower
1. You start on the river Daugava. Go to Mezaparks. Come back the same way.
2. Go to Riga Radio and TV Tower.
3. Return to the place you started from.
DURATION: 10+ hours;
DIFFICULTY: moderate, but it’s a long day kayaking.
Start as early as possible.
I started at around mid-day, and finished close to midnight.
You can easily split this into two kayaking trips.
Or you can also split this into two relatively easy kayaking trips. You can agree with the company, that you don’t paddle back from Mezaparks, but they transport your kayak back.
I did the whole route. Taking a rest only once – in Mezaparks.
There I had a lunch at this place.
You can get out of the water there easily, by stopping next to the rocks.
3. The Long and Fun Route – to Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower
And the challenging one, too.
With fun I mean that you’ll probably get wet as well, while getting out of your kayak. And you’ll be carrying your kayak at a few places. Possibly lifting it to a level of your head.
If that sounds fun to you, then this is the route to take.
You’ll be kayaking to Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower.
The nearest waterway ends some 300 meters from the tower.
Here is my map:
When going there, once you are away from river Daugava, just keep on the right side. And you’ll eventually get to the finish line.
DURATION: 10+ hours;
DIFFICULTY: moderate/challenging, you have to carry your kayak across the road or obstacles 4 times.
4. Kayaking in Riga: Tips
On the river you can kayak as you want. On the right or on the left.
When you are kayaking on Riga canal, you have to keep on the right.
Beware of tourist boats on the canal. Since many use electric motors, you can’t hear them. So make sure you look back before making a sharp turn.
Don’t forget about lights, if you’ll be kayaking late in the evening or at night. When I rented a kayak from Laivu noma LAIVINIEKS I was asked, when I plan to return. Because I said that I don’t know, maybe late in the evening, I was given lights.
5. Boat Tours in Riga
If you don’t want to kayak, think of going on a boat tour.
Have you tried kayaking in Riga? Was it a tour or did you go on your own? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.