Vidzeme Adventure Tours

Full Day Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour

Vidzeme Off Road Tour is an exciting and unforgettable adventure tour with 4×4 jeeps on the winding roads, small backcountry tracks and forest roads and off roads of Vidzeme elevation – one of Latvia’s most beautiful landscape regions! This adventure tour leads you through the most beautiful areas of Vidzeme that are still wild and in many cases untouched by the civilization. There will be river crossing and driving through mud. Part of the tour takes place in the territory of nature park of Ogre River valley.

Vidzeme elevation

Vidzeme elevation

Vidzeme elevation

Vidzeme elevation is the second highest elevation in Baltic States, its average height is 250 m. The elevation contains the highest point of Latvia, the Gaiziņkalns hill (311,5 m a.s.l.)
The climate of the Vidzeme region is characteristic with low temperatures in January (-6°C) and in July (+16,5°C), high-rainfall (750 mm), high number of cloudy days and a thick sheet of snow in winter. The average thickness of the sheet of snow is over 40 cm.
There are a lot of rivers in the region that have great slopes; also there are deep valleys and lakes. Vidzeme highland is beautiful in all seasons and it has a great diversity of landscapes that are visited by numerous tourists every year. The long winter and thick sheet of snow attracts many admirers of skiing.

Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour starts the capital of Latvia, in Riga. 4×4 jeeps start the tour by going east – the direction of Vidzeme elevation. Strangely enough, but this motor road of a national significance is covered with asphalt only the fist 30 km. Then after a sharp curve, the asphalt ends and the drivers suddenly find themselves driving on a winding gravel road with steep slopes in Kangari hill. After approximately 20 km the first off road adventure awaits the travellers – there’s a bridge but the access roads on the both sides are flushed away by the river and it is now impossible to get on the bridge. The 4×4 jeeps must cross the river driving across the ford.

Bridge from nowhere to nowhere

Then it’s approximately 20 minutes driving on the first class road when the real off road adventure starts in the surrounding area of Taurupe! The roads become narrow, lead through regions with low population density and in some places they turn into way-less off roads – places where only 4×4 jeeps that are prepared for off road driving and have experienced drivers can drive through!

Off road driving in Vidzeme

On Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour the hills and valleys, the meadows and forests outline the landscape – this region in beautiful in all seasons! There are some farmsteads and ruins of abandoned buildings on the way. During the off road adventure tour we can quite often meet forest animals – roes, elks, hares and wild boars.

Wild Boars

After 2 hours of jolting and driving on winding roads the route of Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour leads the 4×4 jeeps to the territory of nature park of Ogre River valley. The winding country roads continue and we reach the ford of river Līčupe – tributary of Ogre River. The next object of interest is the railway bridge of demounted railway line Rīga – Ērgļi. The deck of the bridge is approximately 18 metres above the river – it is the second highest railway bridge in Latvia and in all Baltic States.

Railway bridge above Līčupe river

The level of adrenaline rises even more after the discovery of the fact that the bridge has no parapets – drivers must be especially cautious when they cross the bridge with 4×4 jeeps. River Līčupe itself is a very beautiful river with clear water and a lot of rocks – like all other big and small rivers in the neighbourhood.

Ogre River valley Nature park

Ogre River valley Nature park

Ogre River valley

Nature park “Ogres ieleja” (Ogre River valley) is a part of territory of NATURA 2000 that starts in the Vidzeme elevation right below Ērgļi and continues along Ogre River almost reaching its entry in Daugava – the largest river of Latvia – that is approximately 120 km long.
In the territory of Ogre River valley there is a great concentration of areas of specially protected species and biotopes. There are almost twenty specially protected biotopes – forests of slopes and ravines, outstanding overfalls, park-like meadows, fallow land and natural alluvial meadows rich with different plant species, mixed forests of oaks, ashes and wych-elms and other biotopes that are nowadays almost extinct in densely populated areas of Europe. The banks of Ogre River are clearly directed to the north and to the south – that is why each shore has its own microclimate – when there is green grass and flowers are blossoming on one shore, there is still melting snow on the other side of the river. The special worth of the river is the fact that it has never been dredged.

The next off road adventure after the crossing of railway bridge is the crossing of Ogre River near the hydroelectric power station of Vecogre. Once there used to be bridge, but it has been blown up during the Second World War. So now, if you want to get on the other shore, you must drive almost 100 metres on the river bed with your 4×4 jeep.

Ogre river crossing by 4x4 jeep

But that’s exactly what a participant of off road adventure tour needs! After a half an hour of driving along beautiful landscapes and we have reached Ērgļi – a small town in Vidzeme. After such an exciting and fascinating drive during Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour, the lunch in café “Ērgļi” doesn’t disappoint – friendly and home-like atmosphere and delicious food and – what’s more important – kindest and most responsive personnel in the neighborhood!

Hotel Ērgļi

After the lunch and a short rest, 4×4 jeeps with their drivers continue their off road adventures. Every here and there the country roads turn to off-roads and the adventure tour continues on uncultivated, almost overgrown meadows along abandoned homes. We stop at a large oak with impressive girth of the trunk (approximately 7 metres) and near some abandoned building with a text in Russian on its wall, written there during the Second World War – in 1944 here, in the middle of the woods, were the headquarters of the Soviet Army.

Legacy from Second World War

The next stage of off road adventure tour is a track that is specially designed for 4×4 jeeps in an old and wild forest. Here we have to be specially careful and manoeuvre between the rocks and trees and as well press the accelerator pedal in the right moment so that the 4×4 jeep wouldn’t stuck in the mud and would be able to climb up the hill. After this small but complex off road track we must cross the small river Vedze and the route of Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour starts heading back to Riga.

Vedze river

Just half an hour driving on off roads, then some 30 km to a small town Mālpils, and from there after an hour long drive on asphalt road, the participants of Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour return to Riga. The real exhaustion will take the participants over after the dinner but – this off road adventure tour would definitely be worth it!


See larger map

Remark
The Organizer of the Off Road Adventure tour shall retain the rights to make changes in the route of Vidzeme Off Road Adventure Tour, which does not change the essential character of the off road adventure tour and doesn’t lessen the intensity. Changes are introduced mainly due to the changes in weather conditions and special features of different seasons.

Off Road Driving in winter

Length of the tour: 9 hours including lunch
Tour distance: 270 km
Tour route: Rīga – Suntaži – Taurupe – Ērgļi – Zaube – Mālpils – Rīga
Difficulty level: Medium-Hard
Group size: up to 100 persons (min. 3 persons)
4×4 off road jeeps in group: up to 25
Self driving: Yes
Tour pricing per person: 120 EUR (includes all taxes and lunch)

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