Latvia is well known for its beautiful, bright autumn foliage colors. Depending on the year, the best autumn colors usually are from second to the third week of October, some years starting from the beginning of the month, some years, more towards the end. Although Latvia is small, you can see significant difference, as much as two weeks earlier, if you go more to the North or two weeks later, if you go to the South, but, remember, local colder temperatures can affect the trees quite a bit, so don’t be surprised that in one place they will be green, but in another – barely any will have remained on the branches!. Below, 25 places you should consider visiting in autumn, some, because of the colors, some, because of the peaceful, quiet walks! You can not only truly feel, but also be completely alone and on your own in a forest in Latvia, as the country is relatively sparsely populated!
Lake Ciecere watchtower
You can see quite far from the 18m tall Lake Ciecere watchtower, located in the Broceni parish!
Especially beautiful during sunrise, when the leaves look like they are on fire! The location has a parking lot right next to it.
Kalnansu bog trail
Kalnansu bog path is about 30 min drive from the Lake Ciecere, so you can visit both places in the same day!
You can leave your car next to the start of the trail. The walk is relatively short, only 1.3km, and the path is made from wooden planks, so suitable also for stroller or wheelchair. There is a picknic table right next to the lake, located in the middle.
The waterfalls in Latvia might not be too tall or too wide, but it is worth to stop by the picturesque Ivande waterfall (Īvandes rumba) in Renda parish! Just 200m further is another small waterfall, Valdati. Sometimes, after the rains there is quite abit of water, in drier autumn you might be met with just a tiny trickle of a spring!
Not too far from Ivande waterfall, is another waterfal, Abava falls (Abavas rumba). We used to visit this place in the summer quite a bit, as it has picknic tables and a nice parking lot, but it is also exceptionally beautiful in autumn!
Mezotne Castle, Mazmezotne Manor Surroundings and Castle Mound
Mezotne castle, Mazmezotne manor surroundings and castle mound are places we like to visit all year round! You have a hiking trail here, a manor, yuu can stay the night in Mazmezotne manor and enjoy the beautiful park across the river in Mezotne castle (the bridge is open from May til November).
After visiting Mezotne Castle, don’t forget to visit Bauska Castle nearby! The park is beautiful, and don’t forget to go behind the castle, as well as the bridge next to the castle for best views!
This is right behind the castle, don’t miss it!
Licu Langu Cliffs and the Liepa Liela Ellite Sandstone Formation
Licu Langu Cliffs are some of the most spectacular and beautiful sandstone formations in Latvia, worth a visit any time of the year! The surrounding infstractucture has been greately improved, so it is much easier to find it. Park next to Lode clay quarry, then walk for about 15 min and turn down/to the right on a pathway, which then takes you up again. Continue walking on the forest road for another 10 min and you will come across a sign informing you about the cliffs, this is the place to go to the cliffs. Once you have reached the bottom, first go to the right and explore a series of cliffs there (only go as far as the small stream next to them), and then proceed back and along the cliffs. It will take you good 40 min to walk by all the cliffs, and then emerge on the other side. Take a forest road up until the intersection, where proceed to the left before the industrial area. Then continue walking until you are back at the same place that you emerged from the little path before, and return on the same road. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, as it is slippery and can be quite muddy.
Niedraju Pilka Bog Path
Niedraju Pilka bog is located in Limbazu parish. It is only about 500m long bog trail with wooden plans, next to the former railway of Smiltene-Valmiera-Aiznazu. There is a watchtower at the end of the path. On the way back, stop by the Katvari linden tree alley!
River Loja hiking trail and the old Murjani bobsleigh track
This location is especially popular among families with children! You can either drive directly to the Murjani abandoned bobsleigh track, or to Imants Ziedonis (he was a famous writer and poet in Latvia) house to explore the cliffs nearby.
For a more wild walk, park car next to Ramkalni (you can enjoy a good half day in Ramkalni alone!) and proceed over the bridge. Once there, go to the right side and proceed along the river. The trail isn’t marked, so follow where the other hikers have walked, the trail will take you to the bobsleigh track. There and back is about 9km.
Cirulisi Nature Trail
Continuing to explore the Gauja National Park, don’t forget Cirulisi Nature Trails! This is one of our favorite locations in Latvia. Mirror cliffs are beautiful any time (don’t forget to walk also the upper part of the trail), but we like them mostly because of the nesting kingfishers that can be seen in all their beauty here!
Cesis Castle Park
Sigulda is the most famous foliage place in Latvia, but just as famous recently is also the city of Cesis! Our favorite foliage locations are Cesis castle park and the old German cemetery!
One of the places with the clearest spring water in Latvia is the Mezmuiza spring. Some people even come with their own bottles to fill up to take with them! We don’t recommend doing that, however, for walks this is a beautiful place, don’t forget to walk behind the picknic area and enjoy the forest trail as well!
Not too far from Cesis is another popular place for Latvians. Many know it because of the Jonathan Spa Estate, but just as many because it is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Latvia from air, Unfortunately, you can see it from the top only if you fly above, there are no watchtowers here.
Kemeri Bog Trail
Kemeri bog trail is probably the most popular nature park in Latvia, and it is exceptionally beautiful during foggy sunrises! In late autumn, if you get frost during the night, every leaf and spike of grass will be covered in ice!
Lielie Kangari Bog Trail
Located in Ropazi parish, Lielie Kangari is another popular bog path, mostly visited by the dwellers of the capital city. There is a 33m tall watchtower as well!
Dviete floodplain is mostly known among birdwatchers, as this is one of the main areas for the migratory birds. You can also enjoy the company of wild horses and cows, just be careful o close the gate after you! The Lake Skuku South-West watchtower will take a bit of finding (go through the gate, turn right and proceed along the fence for about 20 min to another gate right next to the forest, then through the forest, another gate and there it is!). You will need sturdy shoes. The Lake Skuku North tower is easy to find, just follow you GPS and then walk for about 10 min to the tower through a moss covered forest!
Eleja Manor Park
The old parks of manors are exceptionally beautiful in autumn! Right at the border with Lithuania, Eleja manor is great stop for a walk. Unfortunately, the manor itself is currently closed, but the park is open for visitors! The renovated Tea House is open on Saturdays only from 10 am to 5 pm, other days upon advance booking only.
I also enjoyed the old stage with the drawing of flowers in the park!
Lielplatone Manor Park
Just a few kilometers from Eleja is the Lielplatone manor. You can book a guide in advance to see the renovated clothes washing house or the manor itself. We simply enjoyed a stroll through the old park!
Randatu Cliffs and Vizla River Path
Randatu cliffs are beautiful in spring and autumn alike. We visited this place in early spring, but as there are many trees, it will be beautiful in autumn. You can also combine with visiting the city of Aluksne, another prime autumn foliage place in Latvia, and Kalamecu-Markuzu glen!
Cirgali (Cirgaļu) watchtower is right next to the border with Estonia. Right next to it is a beautiful forest covered in lichen, just be careful with the ticks – we got a bunch on our pants from a short 15 min walk! Always best sights if you stay nearby (for example, in Aluksne), and come for either sunrise or sunset!
Koksu Lakes Trail
Right next to Cirgali tower you can see Zalu, Leisu, Dzilais, Dibena lakes. This is a relatively wild trail, so no wooden plans and easy walking, be prepared with good shoes. You can also do a 7km biking path. Again, be careful with the ticks!
Lake Kanieris Reed Path
Located quote close to the cpaital city, Lake Kanieris Reed Path is another pearl for the birdwatchers, so especially popular in spring an autumn. You can leave the car on the roadside and walk to the watchtower, or, turn to the right and walk on the floating trail on the lake!
Another birdwatcher’s place! There is a watchtower in the middle and you can also arrange a boat trip in advance. Just beware that the roads can be very wet, so you might need to walk a bit and leave the car on the road.
Dunika Bog Path
Dunika Bog Path is a stellar location to visit when you are in Liepaja! It also has the unique hornbeam forest. It is a one-way trail, so either you need to walk both ways or arrange for a pickup on the other end!
Embute Nature Park
Embute nature park is a relatively unknown gem to most of Latvians, it has beautiful walking trails. We visited in early spring, but, hopefully, we get to visit in autumn as well, as there are many maple trees around!