Līgatne lies in Vidzeme at the left bank of the River Gauja at the centre of the municipality. The name of Līgatne originates from the name of the Līgatne tributary by which the town is located.
At the section of Līgatne the river has winding banks that features sandstone outcrops and caves formed in rocks. It is a town rich in natural colours of its luscious woods and meadows, the golden, grey and red rocks and the blue river flowing through it.
Līgatne lies in the territory of Gauja National Park, and its vicinity has a rich variety of plant and animal species. In the park you can explore ancient rocks, caves, grottos and rapids, as well as exciting walking routes.
One of the most exciting destinations in Līgatne are the Līgatne Nature Trails. It is a great woodland that is covered with more than five kilometres of nature trails and ravines covered with woods.
You can explore various Latvian wild animals and birds that live in designated, fenced territories. These are animals that have been tamed or wounded as juveniles and have been taken to Līgatne Nature Trails where they live in a suitable and natural environment. Owls, eagle-owls, bobcats, raccoon dogs, foxes, squirrels, wild boar, deer, elk, bears and other animals live in the territory of the nature trails.
The red and green signs will help you orient and choose the long or short nature trail route. At the end of the nature trail there are several sensory stations, in which your eyesight, hearing, smell and touch can be tested using natural materials.
You can choose the trail exploring form that suits your needs the most because both walking paths and a scenic automobile tour route have been designed for the visitors. At the middle of the nature trails you can climb the 24 metre-high viewing tower from which you can enjoy the scenic view of the green surroundings. You can also enjoy the scenery from the specially designed viewing platforms and resting places.
In Līgatne you can also visit Vienkoči Park, in which you can explore the trade of a woodworker by visiting the Woodworking Museum, as well as take a look at various wooden sculptures — animals from Latvia and characters from Latvian fairy tales and legends. You can explore ethnographic buildings, boats, tar kiln and the first house in Latvia built out of sand bags.
In the vicinity of Līgatne you can see several sandstone outcrops that have formed on the banks of the rapid River Gauja. These are rocks that have a distinct form and richness of sandstone colours. Līgatne is the place with most sandstone rock outcrops in Latvia.
Here you can see several rocks that have been declared State protected cultural monuments — Lustūzis Rock, Gūdu Rocks, Remdenkalna Caves and others.
A visit to the Līgatne cellar caves and rocks can be very educational. It is characteristic of these sandstone rocks to be of various colours that form reddish, grey and golden layers. They shine and give the surface of the rock a unique look. Here you can see more than 300 artificial caves that were used by the locals to store food, drinks and valuable possessions.
If you want to experience an exciting and muddy hike, you will enjoy the Līgatne rock and cave trail which can only be walked if you have the necessary agility, endurance and a good pair of rubber boots. The trail will lead you through water, uneven roads and winding paths. You can see the Remdenkalns Cave which is the longest sandstone cave system in Latvia as part of the trail. All in all there are 333 cellar caves and cave systems in Līgatne.
You can also see such sandstone outcrops as Zvārtes Rock, Ķūķu Rocks, Sprinģu Rock, Jumpraviezis Rock, Katrīnas Rock, Gūdu Rocks, Launagiezis Rock and Dagnes Cave.
13 rivers flow into the River Gauja in the territory of Gauja National Park. Both steep and shallow banks as well as whirlpools and fords (shallow places) are characteristic of this river. There are several islands, which accumulate the fallen trees and branches. There are Grey Alder and Willow stands growing at the bends of River Gauja.
You can enjoy the river bends in an energetic boat ride. You can choose various stages of the river from Valmiera to Sigulda. The most popular boat ride routes are Cēsis-Līgatne or Līgatne-Sigulda. You can also traverse the river on a hard-decked raft to enjoy a slow and calm ride. The raft is equipped with wooden benches and a grill that allows you to enjoy a hot meal and observe the river banks and the rock outcrops on them.
Līgatne is the home of the only river crossing point that is powered by the force of the river stream. It is the historical River Līgatne crossing point which you can use to cross to the other side of Gauja. The crossing is formed from a platform which connects two parallel steel boats.
In October and November you can have a one of a kind experience by visiting the fish spawning trail in Līgatne. It begins from Anfabrika Rock and is located along the River Līgatne up to Lustūža Rock. There you can observe the spawning of salmon and salmon trout.
Right next to the Fish Spawning Trail on the left bank of River Līgatne there is the reddish sandstone outcrop — Anfabrika Rock. There are several cellar caves at its base; they used to be used for storing wine and food.
There is also the Līgatne winery in which aromatic wines from Latvian fruits and berries are made. In the winery you can explore the intricate art of wine making as well as taste and buy wines, liquors, herbal teas and various jams.
Not only wines are made in scenic Līgatne; wooden items from more than 17 types of wood found in Latvia are also carved here. In the Līgatne Spoon Workshop you can get to know the secrets of woodworking as well as take part in making wooden spoons together with a knowledgeable carver.
When visiting Līgatne with your children, you can not only explore the various nature trails and the animals that inhabit the surroundings, but you can also visit the famous secret Soviet bunker that lies nine meters below ground. The bunker was constructed in the 80s and it was designed as a bomb shelter for the State elite in case of nuclear war. In the secret bunker you can take part in the reality game Object X in which you become secret agents that have to save the country from a catastrophe.
In Līgatne you can also take an excursion on the heritage trail of Līgatne paper mill. It offers a chance to visit the historical Līgatne paper mill as well as to explore the historical village where the paper mill workers used to live.
When visiting Līgatne you can go to the Līgatne Resort Hotel which is surrounded by forests full of walking trails. You can either go for walks, do Nordic walking or ride a bicycle through these trails.
If you want to enjoy beauty and water procedures as well as therapeutic massages, you can book your stay at Līgatne Rehabilitation Centre.