We recommend everyone to take the Mežtaka Trail. Mežtaka is a part of the European E11 long-distance hiking route in the Baltic States, which leads through some of the most beautiful forests, and regional, nature and national parks of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It starts at the Polish-Lithuanian border, in the town of Lazdijai, passes through Latvia, enters Riga, and ends in Tallinn, Estonia. The scenically beautiful 6th section of Mežtaka connects Līgatne to Cēsis, while the 7th section goes from Cēsis to Caunītes, leading to the Lenči campsite for water tourism through small roads and trails surrounded by forests, the Gauja arc and the old river valleys.
We recommend taking the Way of St James, which also go through Cēsis Municipality. The Way of St James, or Camino de Santiago, is one of the main historical pilgrimage routes in Europe. It dates back to the 9th century, when, according to tradition, the forgotten tomb of the apostle Saint James the Great was discovered in Galicia, Spain, and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was built on top of it. The shell is the symbol of St James. It was once depicted on pilgrims’ clothes, but now the entire way is marked with this symbol, serving now as a road sign. The Latvian section of the Way of St James is about 420 km long in total. It consists of 18 stages, the starting point being in Valka, at the Estonian border. The Liepa–Cēsis–Līgatne section goes through the Cēsis Municipality.
Take Tour de LatEst, 6 long-distance cycling trails running through Latvia and Estonia. The route is very scenically, visually and informatively diverse. As you take it, you can discover the cultural and historical heritage of Latvia and Estonia, the most popular tourist attractions of these countries, and the daily life of the locals. The route crosses several European protected natural areas, with national and nature parks, landscape areas and biosphere reserves.
We also recommend riding a bicycle or walking the Green Railways (‘Zaļie dzelzceļi’) trails. Green Railways are cycling and hiking trails running along old railway lines. The trails have been created using old railway lines in Vidzeme and Southern Estonia, creating a total of about 750 km of cycling/walking trails. The route also uses such connecting sections as the Tour de LatEst cycling trail, as well as the Bānītis narrow-gauge railway between Alūksne and Gulbene. The trail is available for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, as well as for skiing in winter. The long section going through Cēsis Municipality includes the section between Ieriķi and Gulbene.
Author: Cesis Tourism Information Center