Sigulda is a small town about an hour from Riga. Here you can get away from the big city feeling, enjoy nature and go see some castles. Four of them are in the vicinity for you to discover. To get to Sigulda you can either take bus or the train. I had settled on the bus since its station was just a couple of minutes from my hostel.
Once I arrived I got a map from the tourist information. I had already looked up Sigulda beforehand so I knew that I wanted to go up (or rather over) to Krimulda. A cable car brings you over the valley of the Gauja river. If you feel adventurous you can also go tandem zip lining.
Once up, I searched for the castle ruin. There was really not much to look at, on the other hand it is already gone since 1601. So don’t expect much! The wall in front looked way better in shape. Not sure though if it was even part of the castle at all.
On top of Krimulda is also the former manor house of Prince Lieven, which is nowadays a sanatorium. Honestly it didn’t look in prime shape but the area is nice enough to get well here. I preferred the look of the little cabanas with the long porch in front. They looked really inviting from afar (not so much from close up).
After a short refueling stop I decided to walk down instead of taking the cable car again. Hadn’t that been the reason in the first place to go to Sigulda to get some exercise? The walk down is easy enough. If you want to you can take a short detour to see the Gutman Cave, which is the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia.
I preferred to walk straight down to the valley crossing the Gauja river and then climbed a seemingly endless staircase up to the level of Sigulda.
It is all worth it though when you finally catch a glimpse of this beautiful church next to Sigulda castle (it’s not worth it to climb on top of the tower though).
The Sigulda castle and convent complex is another matter. It offers countless places to climb up or just sneak a peek. The convent was unfortunately under construction but the castle ruin could be visited. I moved up and down and looked in every nook and cranny. It’s a fun place to explore and also has a view-point from which you can see Turaida Castle.
I could have definitely spent more time in the area and explored the other two castles as well. My bigger wish was to go to the sea though. It was summer after all and I wanted to relax on the beach. Yours, Pollybert