See You in Tukums in the Spring!
We have weathered the winter, and the spring is here! While we are banned from bigger gatherings and visiting museums and other points of interest indoors, we invite you to go on a trip outdoors, by visiting nature trails and exploring open-air exhibitions. Bring along a lunch box or order it from one of the local businesses to support them during these unusual times.
Adventures on Nature Trails
There are many places to go hiking in the area of Tukums. You can go on shorter walks right here on the outskirts of the town towards Lake Melnezers in the area of the Buck’s Hill, or go to a special nature territory, such as the Ķemeri National Park, the nature park “Lake Engure” or “Ancient Abava River Valley”.
Ķemeri National Park
Ķemeri National Park is a well-known walking destination across the various bogs. The Great Ķemeri Bog Boardwalk has been the most popular of all of the walking trails for a long time now. But trails and boardwalks around Lake Kaņieris have also become very popular. The Kaņieris Castle Mound Trail will take you to a place where robbers once used to hide, but on the other side of the lake – the Niedrāja Plankway will give you a preview of the life of birds amongst reeds, while the nearby CEMEX Bird-watching Tower will give you a chance to enjoy a panoramic view of the lake. The Sulphur Pond Boardwalk in the Bog of Witches will, possibly, uncover the most unusual colours and, perhaps, also smells, while the Green Dune in the forest will take you on an unusual walk on the crest of an ancient marine dune between two bogs.
Nature watchers can visit the bird and animal watching tower in the Dunduri meadows. New to the area — the observation platforms set up at the Melngalvji meadows.
If you are a family with children, make sure to stop by at the park's visitor centre “The Forest House”, which also holds an exposition for nature exploration. The children will love it. Two more trails are set up near “The Forest House” – the Black Alder Swamp Forest Plankway and the Forest Trail with the oak-tree stand. As you hike these trails, you will reach the historic Ķemeri resort park. All of these trails are free of charge. More information: www.kemerunacionalaisparks.lv
The Ķemeri National Park is also the location of the recreation centre “Valguma pasaule”. The most popular trail there — the Barefoot Trail — will only be open in May when the warm spring has arrived. But now, when the air and earth are not yet quite warm enough, you can walk the Trail of Nature’s Paintings, as well as explore the open-air photography exhibition on the Forest Art Trail, where during the daylight hours and in the dusk, you can appreciate the outstanding large-scale landscape photography by the artists Andris Apse (New Zealand) and Andris Eglītis (Latvia). To see all 80 photographs, you must walk a kilometre and a half long distance along the forest trails of Valgums. Admission — EUR 5 for adults and EUR 4 for seniors and students, including a cup of herbal tea before or after the walk. Address: “Valguma pasaule”, Smārde rural municipality, Engure municipality. Tel.: 29414022, www.valgumapasaule.lv
Long-distance hiking route “Sea Trail”
The short distance from Tukums to the sea will be sure to entice some of you to the beach on a walk along the shore. The Sea Trail (Jūrtaka) is a section of the European long-distance hiking route E9. The route starts at the St. Vincent’s cape in Portugal and ends in Narva-Jõesuu in Estonia where the Narva River flows into the Gulf of Finland. In Latvia, the trail runs along the Baltic seashore and in our vicinity it stretches along the Mazjūra (the Gulf of Riga) from Mērsrags to Ragaciems. There are two sections: Mērsrags – Engure and Engure – Ragaciems.
Within the project “The Sea Trail”, signs indicating the names of villages are set up on the beach, showing the distances to the next villages to be able to easily measure the distance. All you need to do is plan how to get to the start point of the route and who will then take you home from the finish line, and then set out on your journey! More information about the route not only in our area, but along the entire shore can be found here.
Nature park “Lake Engure”
Once you get to Engure, you can go on a walk in the Lake Engure Nature Park, which is located on the shores of Lake Engure. The walk through the pine tree forest will lead you to the bird-watching tower, from which an unhindered view opens up of Lake Engure.
Here, you might also come across wild cows and horses, whose pastures are found around the lake. In the spring, cows have had calves. The heart-warming family sightings will be sure to bring joy to the young and old. Address: Bērzciems, Engure rural municipality, Engure municipality. www.eedp.lv
Nature Park “Abavas senleja” (Ancient Abava River Valley)
If you want to venture further into Kurzeme, visit the Nature Park of the Ancient Abava River Valley! It is no coincidence that for over a century it has been referred to as the Switzerland of Kurzeme, and the reason behind it is that still, as you travel along the road, the most diverse mosaic-like landscape in Latvia opens up. If you travel to the Buse Castle Mound, you will have an opportunity to see one of the largest Curonian castle mound areas, as well as hike three sections of the Imula River nature trails. When you visit the Shrubby Cinquefoil trail, you will have an opportunity to explore the world of bogs in the spring. Wonderful trails have also been set up in the area of the recreation centre “Zviedru cepure” or Swedish Cap. And if the weather is dry, you can enjoy the fun toboggan ride. The Trail of Old Oak-tree Stands will take you to places where once magnificent oak-tree growths stood. More information: www.senleja.lv
Trails from Tukums to Jaunpils
When you travel to Jaunpils, it is definitely worth to do a detour and visit the Nature Trail of Viesata River Bends. This will be fantastic trip into the forest as you walk along the relatively high backs of the small Viesata River and explore views that are just as magnificent as in the Gauja ancient river valley. Make sure to bring along some sandwiches and drinks, because there are comfortable picnic sites along the trails, as well as opportunities to play board games in open air. Address: near the country house "Kraujām", Irlava rural municipality, Tukums municipality.
If you have, however, travelled as far as Jaunpils, we recommend that you visit the nearby Kartavkalni hills. There, you will find another beautiful nature trail in the vicinity of a castle mound. An ancient Latvian castle has been constructed here, too. Address: Sparvi Cemetery, Jaunpils rural municipality, Jaunpils municipality.
Open-air Art Exposition in Tukums Old Town
We encourage residents and guests of Tukums to visit the exhibition “Brīvdabas mākslas ekspozīcija Tukuma vecpilsētā” (Open-Air Art Exposition in Tukums Old Town) – on Harmonijas and Dārza Street. It was created in the period between 2014 and 2016, but it has become especially relevant at this time, when we are looking for something new when going for walks.
In the Old Town of Tukums, visitors can appreciate the works of the most important Latvian artists on double-sided prints displayed on lampposts. The exposition can be viewed at any time of the day and it introduces one of the richest painting collections of Latvian museums. These two streets are the most beautiful streets of the historical centre of the town and they are closely connected with the Tukums Museum. The museum was housed at 13 Dārza Street (1943–1997) until it was moved to the former bank building at 7 Harmonijas Street, where the Tukums Art Museum is currently located. You can start your visit from any point of the exposition.
More information on the reproductions of the paintings and the map are available on the Tukums Museum website.
Special Offer by Jaunmokas Palace
The Jaunmokas Palace offers to enjoy the culture while breathing fresh air at a time when the indoors exhibits of the museum are closed. While on the walk around the manor grounds, you can bring along an audio guide and learn something new and exciting about this hunting lodge and its history.
To make sure that the narrative feels more personal and interesting, the content was prepared to ensure that the listener is greeted and taken on the tour through the manor rooms by the first owner of the manor, the former mayor of Riga George Armitstead. The guide text and information in QR codes are available in Latvian, Russian, English and Lithuanian. The text in Latvian has been voiced over by the actor Jānis Skanis, who has often played the host of the Jaunmokas Manor at festivities.
Orienteering in the manor park is available for those enjoying more active recreation (EUR 1 / person). The game will require creative co-operation in a strategic task – by answering questions on the work sheet, to find specific objects at the park and to find out something interesting about them. During the quest, the guests will learn about the diversity and richness of the nature in the park.
Another new offer to mention is the possibility to buy the task kit put together by the Forest Museum for individual remote exploration of the museum exhibits. It includes orienteering at the manor park, a crossword puzzle about Latvian birds and animals, and children together with their parents can create their very own bookmark and colour their favourite animals on the shapes sheet.
Adres: Jaunmoku Palace, Tume parish, Tukums region. Tel: (+371) 63107125, 26187442, www.jaunmokupils.lv
When visiting places where you might encounter also other people, we ask not to gather in crowds and keep a distance from others, as well as cover your mouth and nose. We will only be able to create and enjoy a festive mood of the spring when we take care of our own health and that of others, so we ask the locals and guests of Tukums to be responsible and to observe the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers and COVID-19 restrictions.
See you in Tukums in April!