''The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to understand it your own way''
Kuldīga is a small and attractive town in Kurzeme, Latvia which has always been admired and praised by poets and painters. The city center, which developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, has still preserved the old wooden buildings which form small and narrow streets.
The architecture, the ancient houses, the hills and the valleys of the town, the colors. I have been in Kuldīga for so many times and I can say for sure, whatever if it's fall, winter, spring or summer - the Kuldīga maintains a charm all throughout the year.
Our this time goal was to explore little nature trails in Kuldīga because we haven't explored them yet, but if you go to Kuldīga for the first time you should absolutely see the old town too. The town square, since the very origins of the settlement, was a place where townspeople used to gather. The tradition has survived: the pulse of the town is best felt in the central square, a venue for weavers' exhibitions, traditional festivities and other events.
We went straight across the old bridge to the nature trail ''Ventas līkumi''. The old brick bridge across the Venta was built in 1874 and is the longest bridge of this kind of road bridge in Europe – 164 m. It was built according to 19th century standards – 500 feet long and 26 feet wide, allowing two carriages to pass each other. It consisted of seven spans of brick vaults. During World War I two of the spans were blown up. In nowadays the bridge has become an annual tradition place for Midsummer nights when ''race of the naked'' happens there.
The nature trail "Ventas līkumi" starts at the Kuldīga brick bridge, on the right bank of the river Venta. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the city and natural landscapes. Benches and rest areas have been installed but the nature trail is not so easy for baby strollers but at the end of the trail you will find a kid playground which they will absolutely love.
Nature trail will take you to the pride of Kuldiga - The Venta waterfall (Ventas rumba). The Venta waterfall is the widest waterfall in Europe. This 240 meter wide naturally formed waterfall is associated with a number of legends and historic events. In spring, one can watch the fish flying up the ledge; due to this, Kuldīga was once famous as a "place where they catch salmon in the air". Venta Rumba is a natural monument and belongs to the Venta Valley Nature Reserve.
The Ventas Rumba creates a constant rumble in its vicinity. Kuldīga residents and guests have long used the Ventas rumba as a crossing over the river. In the spring, in the afternoon sun, you can see the fish trying to beat the Ventas Rumba and jump over it.
This place is popular with anglers. In summer, the Ventas Rumba is used by both those who want to swim and those who believe in the healing effects of the waterfall.
Only a 100 m away from the Ventas Rumba waterfall, accessible by the little wooden bridge which will bring you upstream along the river. The recreation area is equipped with children’s playground, dressing rooms, benches, portable toilets, garbage bins, notice boards and a renovated rescue station. If you want to refresh yourself, to lie in the sun, and to enjoy the purling of Venta - go to Mārtiņsala!
Bye the way Mārtiņsala is the only blue flag swimming area by the river.
After enjoyable time on the beach and lunch break you should absolutely also explore Ventas left bank where is 2,4km long nature trail.
Before the hiking trail starts you will see a Town Garden located in the most ancient part of Kuldīga, in the place of the former Livonia Order Castle. Nowadays the place has experienced great changes -the park has been supplemented with walkways, a gazebo, viewing platforms and a pond with a fountain. In summer weekends visitors may enjoy watching a movie in the open-air cinema. 22 sculptures of the sculptress Līvija Rezevska can be seen along the paths of the Town Garden.
Walking trail leads along the left bank of the Venta and connects the old brick bridge of Kuldīga with the new bridge, which allows residents and guests of Kuldīga to enjoy the natural beauty of the Venta valley, unusual landscapes and actively spend time in nature.
The trail is landscaped with newly created paths, wooden footbridges, a bridge over the ravines, viewing areas, rubbish bins, benches and lighting. It is wide enough for pedestrians, mothers with strollers and people in wheelchairs to move and change around it without any problems.
In Kuldīga you can have a good time and a great meal. There is so many another places what to see, sophisticated cultural life, tranquility and the charm of a small town. There is no other place like Kuldīga. Just go and enjoy it!
I would like to hear which are your favorite trails in your country? Let us know in comment below :)