Best bird watching trails in Courland, Latvia

59 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Courland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Courland, Latvia
Top trails (31)
#1 - Talsi Hillocks Charm Loop
Talsi, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 11.5 mi • Est. 5 h 30 m
Talsi Tourism Information Centre is suggested as the starting point of the route. There you can also get a brochure with detailed information on the route and it’s objects of interest. Together with visiting the Kamparkalns’ watching tower the hiking time is about 4h and gives a fantastic opportunity to burn the daily calorie intake while enjoying spectacular views along the way on a 18km distance. The trail stretches away from the city centre along the Talsi lake promenade in the direction of Abeli. Here you can see one of the 9 hillocks of Talsi city – Talsi Hillfort, at the foothills of which an ancient Curonian city had been located. The trail further passes the Abelezers (Apple tree lake) and leads to Vanagkalns (Hawk mountain), where mosaic-like landscales with expressive hills’ terrain characteristic to Talsi hillock region can already be noticed. The most distant point of the trail is Kamparkalns, which is the highest point in northern Kurzeme (174,8m). A 28m high watching tower rises on the top opening a great view on the Talsi hillocks’ landscape, forest, lakes and other objects. In winter 2 skiing tracks are operating in the area. Further on the route goes in the direction back to Talsi, passing Milzu kalns and Sirdsezers (Heart Lake). Aso one may suspect, the lake has got it’s name because of it’s heart-like shape. The area between Milzu kalns and Sirdsezers is called Vinleja (Wine Valley), as there were wine gardens cultivated during the times of the Duchy of Courland. Sapnu lake (the lake of Dreams) is located at the foot of Milzu kalns. A nice resting area is installed here with a good view to the romantic lake. The last stage of the trail goes along the Beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood planted in 1890. In the end of the route you’ll return to Talsi and climb up on the Talsi Hillfort, which opens one of the best views to the Talsi lake promenade and gives an opportunity to take some great pictures. The trail is not marked, though there are many red, yellow and puple-coloured stripes on the wooden pales and trees along the way – don’t get confused, this is the marking for several cycling routes, as the Talsi hillocks’ area is very popular amongs the cyclists. The route in question is also suitable both, for hikers and for cyclists. Wheelchair friendly at the Talsi lake promenade part. Accessible with an assistant in the central part of Talsi city.Show more
#2 - Viesata River Circles
Irlava, Courland, Latvia
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(15)
Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 30 m
#3 - Circles of the River Riva
Jūrkalne, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 4 h 21 m
Although the “brown sign” marking the way to the trail is not yet installed on the highway, it’s rather easy to find it. Follow the sign to Ulmale-Labrags lutheran church, the starting point of the trail is marked with a special trail name sign just after the church. The route goes in the direction away from the sea and stretches up and down along the Rīva river picturesque valley. Rīva flows in a canyon-type ravine, the depth of which reaches 12 m. The trail reveals countless river twists and turns, steep coastal cliffs, diversity of plants. If lucky, you can be able to spot even a kingfisher or a black stork. The trail is accessible all year round. If canoeing/kayaking, spring and autumn is the most suitable. The trail has 3 stages, first two – each 3 km long, the last – 2 km long. The route is suitable for active travellers, it shall take around 2,5 h to accomplish the total distance. There are several simple resting areas along the route with benches and fireplace sites. The first two stages are marked with green paint on trees. The last – the hardest one – has not been specifically formed and marked, it will be enjoyed by hikers who prefer wilderness and are ready to overcome various obstacles – broken trees fallen over the trail path, overgrown shore etc. Here you are advised to follow the river coastline in order to not to get lost until you reach the Gumbu bridge at the end of the trail. The route has a few options: you can hike out and hack for a long hike, do a one way on the trail and return by the road near the trail. The public transport is not accessible though, you should think of leaving a car nearby before starting the trail or walk all the way back if you want to hike one way. When visiting the trail, travellers are recommended to bring comfortable hiking shoes and appropriate clothing. Along with the trail, travellers are suggested to see the Old wooden bridge over the Rīva river and the waterfall, both in the center of Labrags, located just before the start of the trail.Show more
#4 - Cužu Mire Trail
Kandava, Courland, Latvia
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(3)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 11 m
The trail is accessible the whole year, yet suggested in summer – the shrubby Cinquefoil (Pentaphylloides fruticosa) blooming time, as the nature reserve Čužu mire is the only place in Latvia, where the shrubby Cinquefoil grows in wild in such a large area. There is also a number of other rare plants to be seen - birdseye primrose Primula Farinosa, fragrant orchid Gimnadenia Conopsea, March hellerborine Epipactis Palustris, blue Moor-grass Sesleria caerulea, devil’s-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis Moench, carline Thistle Carlina vulgaris etc. Also the stoneworts (Characeae), which are among the largest and most complex of the green algae, can be spotted at the mire. The mire is inhabited by a number of especially protected butterfly species. The mire is a rare and specially protected biotope - calcareous fen – a limestone layer lays down under the peat in the mire and several sulphurous springs outflow onto the surphase. The trail is a loop-type with a total distance of 4,4km. The hiking time takes around 2h. Part of the trail (heading to the Devil’s eye spring) is marked with red dots on the trees, part is covered with wooden planks. In autumn and spring the trail can be really wet and some parts can be flooded, therefore it is suggested to bring rubber boots along.Show more
#5 - Pape Lake Nature Trail
Pape Nature Park
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Length: 23.2 mi • Est. 9 h 54 m
The trail goes round the Lake Pape. The lake itself is an overgrown lagoon-type lake with a saltwater vegetation. Very shallow, it’s average depth is just 0,5m. The actual lenght visiting all objects of interest along is ~36km. There are lots of mosquitos and gadflies at ome parts of the trail, therefore wear an appropriate clothing and take an anti-insect treatment before going on the trail. Also choose an appropriate, comfy footwear to endure the long distance. It is advisable to visit the wild horses and Taurus cattle pasture, which is one of the most significant objects of interest along the route (4 EUR, tickets available at the information point at the entrance, the guide will come along). A number of other objects of interest are to be seen along the way: a bird watching tower, the bird ambush, Paurupe and Līgupe rivers, beavers’ dwelling, flood-land meadows, holy grove and Ezerskola sacrificial stone, Pape polder meadows, black alder, pine-tree and spruce forests, ornithological station and Pape lighthouse. The trail does not have a direct access to the shore of the lake. Yet, if you wish to, you may come close at some parts, by having a small sidetrack or access the shore together with the guide while visiting the wild horses and Taurus cattle pasture, where quite a surreal lake view opens up.Show more
#6 - Zirgu Sala Trail
Liepāja, Courland, Latvia
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(3)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 56 m
A nice, out-and-back walking trail, which starts with a wide, good-quality wooden boardwalk with few viewing platforms in the lake. The boardwalk stretches along the coast and is accessible to people in wheelchairs and parents with baby-strollers. There are few outdoor gym devices and resting areas with picnic tables and fireplace sites along the boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk, the path continues along a narrow dam, with a watching tower opening a nice view to the lake landscape and bird watching.Show more
#7 - Remte Manor Park Trails
Remte, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 45 m
The establishment of the park (26ha) started in the 19th century. It was the former manor centre, with alleys, spectacular tree plantations and it’s own system of ponds and channels. Along the paths, there are also several interesting small architecture elements - the Bears’ house, base stone for holding the Snake Vase, Torment Chamber, Hunting Tower, heralding about the history of the park. An impressive “Love Oak” grows at the start of the trails, 5.3m in circuit. And a so called “Love Island” has been artificially created on the river flowing through the park, with nice wooden boarwalks leading to it. Recently, a “Sense Path” has also been created at the park, to train and test various senses while walking through a number of stretches with different pavements and constructions.Show more
#8 - Jūrtaka - Baltic Coastal Hiking
Rucava, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 353.7 mi • Est. Multi-day
Baltic Coastal Hiking is a long distance hiking route, part of E9, along the coast of the Baltic Sea. The route starts at the Lithuanian-Latvian border in the village of Nida in Latvia and finishes at the Port of Tallinn in Estonia. 580 km are in Latvia, and 620 km in Estonia; the route can be made in both directions and Tallinn can also be a starting point. There are 60 separate hiking stages, but some people combine segments into one day. You can also start in any physically accessible place and go in one direction or the other, there are markers in both directions. Depending on your interests and possibilities, some sections can be covered by public transport, not on foot, or you can make a deal with the owners of accommodation places to arrange personal and luggage transport. To help you get your bearings in nature, there are markings (white – blue – white) on trees, stones and other nature objects and Baltic Coastal Hiking route stickers on road signs, electricity poles, bridge parapets in villages and cities, as well as reference road signs. In places where Baltic Coastal Hiking goes along the beach and continues straight forward for a long distance, it is not marked. Along the shore of the Great Sea (the Kurzeme coast of the Baltic Sea) and the Little Sea (the Kurzeme coast of the Gulf of Riga), large wooden signs are placed in the dunes near populated areas, providing information about the specific populated area, as well as indicating the distance to the closest village in both directions. You will also see info stands. In Latvia, Baltic Coastal Hiking mainly goes along sandy beaches, in some places, rocky beaches, and for short stretches, through coastal meadows. Sandy dune habitats are characteristic to the Latvian coast. There are well-trodden trails and small roads in the seaside forests. In Estonia, the trail goes along the very seashore for around 100 km, mainly between Haapsalu and Tallinn. In other places, crossing the coastline is difficult as it is shaped by numerous capes, peninsulas, wetlands with reeds, floodplains, lagoons and shallow coves, which is why the remaining distance of around 500 km has to be covered via seaside trails, roads and along motor roads. In cities and populated areas, Baltic Coastal Hiking goes along paved walking paths. You can go Baltic Coastal hiking in all 4 seasons. Summer is the tourist season in Latvia and Estonia, when more people come to the sea coast in comparison to other times of the year. As a result, accommodation near the sea can be fully booked some time in advance, and near the biggest cities you may have to wait longer to receive the meal you ordered. In the summer, you can swim, walk through the water barefoot and also wade across the streams and brooks located along the route. Summer can also have longer periods of rain and lower temps (around +13 °C), so it is recommended to check the weather in advance. In fall, you can see more colours when going through the woods, especially in Estonia: leaves are changing and you can find mushrooms, berries and nuts. Birds migrate south. During storms, amber is washed ashore. In this period, some of the accommodation and catering places may be closed. The itinerary can also be completed in winter, but you must keep in mind that most of the services are not available at this time of year. In the case of lasting snow and cold, several sections, for example, the sea coast of Vidzeme, can be covered using skis. Ice formations can be seen on the Pakri peninsula. When starting the hike in spring, the awakening of nature can be observed: the colour green starts to prevail, lilac blossoms spread their scent along the sea coast, and the birds return home. The streams and brooks that you can wade through easily in summer can have a high water level in spring, so you will have to look for the closest bridge. The number of accommodation and catering places offered is still limited. It is recommended that you take some cash (EUR) with you on the trip, as in some places credit cards are not accepted and ATMs are not available. When crossing a country border or when you are near a border, you have to carry identity documents that are valid for travel. When going through stony and rocky sections, you should wear closed shoes, while in places with an overgrown coast, water-resistant shoes will come in handy. Water and wind proof clothing, medical kit, power bank for your phone will be useful. Most accommodation and catering facilities offer Wi-Fi. Cliffs and bluffs consist of unconsolidated sedimentary rocks and landslides and landfalls may occur near them. In times of strong winds, it is not safe to approach places where the bluffs are washed by waves; they should be bypassed. Join the trail whenever you want, take a break whenever you like and return when you feel it is the right time for hiking! More information www.jurtaka.lv.Show more
#9 - The Ecological Process Trail
Rucava, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 2 h 39 m
The ecological process trail introduces travellers to the bottom part of the Papes nature park through five eco-systems: lake, meadow, forest, marsh, dunes. There are several stops on the way - each of them telling about the development of the nature landscape influenced by different nature processes. The nature trail passes the Ķoņu village in the direction of Nida marsh, which is the only marsh in Latvia so close to the Baltic sea and is one of the most valuable marshes in Latvia. There’s a wooden boardwalk that takes you to the viewing platform in the west side of the marsh to observe the area. Moving on, the trail turns to the sea and leads you back to the Pape channel in the village of Pape along the incredibly white sea shore. On your way, visit the fishermen yard ‘’Vītolnieki’’ administered by the Latvian Open-air Musem, the Mikjāņi yard and take a look at the traditional buildings at Ķoņu village, wich is one of the two Latvian fishermen villages that have managed to keep the authenticity of fishermen village construction until nowadays. Show more
#10 - Janupite Trail
Zentene, Courland, Latvia
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Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 36 m
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