Congratulations! You have reached the description page of trail run’s “Stirnu buks” sixth season’s fifth stage.
Race centre:: Seaside water park, Ventspils. GoogleMap here!
Race programme:: (coming soon!)
Detailed distance maps:: (coming soon!)
Distance GPX files available here (press “Savel ink as”!):: (coming soon!)
“Holiday route: have a family-oriented weekend in Venstpils”:: Tūrismagids.lv
Web-page Tūrismagids.lv says: “Ventspils is a wonderful holiday destination – here you can feel both the city charm and wonders of the Baltic sea”, so why shouldn’t roe bucks try and get to know the pearl of Kurzeme while jumping around it for a bit? Ventspils, located in the north-western Latvia and near river Venta’s estuary in Baltic sea, is one of the most interesting and modern cities in nowadays Latvia. Ventspils is also the second largest city in Kurzeme and is well-known for being one of the oldest cities in our country as its birthday was first celebrated in 1290.
The main routes of development have always been connected to the port near river Venta’s gravel, building of ships and transit of various goods. The city itself has also been developed around the port to accommodate both locals and travellers. This time the race centre will be located really close to the Ventspils Blue flag beach, Seaside water park, Seaside Open-air museum, Seaboard park with an Anchor trail and, of course, the famous Adventure park and “Lemberga hūte” – all this just a few minutes walking distance away!
Ventspils is known not only for its beaches but also for being Latvia’s capital city of fountains and flowers – streets, parks, squares and backyards are all decorated with flower sculptures and tasteful flower beds. Especially charming are the nine different fountains spread throughout the city – they not only make you stop for a glance but also refresh during those scorching-hot summer days. If you feel like taking on a challenge other than running, try finding all the 27 cows of different shapes and colours spread around Ventspils. They have surely become one of the most notable city’s symbols. On the other hand, if you try to find them all, there will probably be no strength left for the run around Seaside trails, so choose wisely!
We were persistently “lured” into Ventspils by Uvis Braunfelds (“Moller Auto Moller Auto Ventspils / captain of Matisons Runner’s Club). The possible trail zig-zags were introduced to “Stirnu buks” team by both Uvis and Dana Mačtama. A special “Thank you!” goes out to Ventspils city council and especially Kārlis Gubats!
See you in Ventspils!!
It’s the Venstpils Blue-flag beach that was the first one to gain the symbol of the highest standards of beaches in 1999. Here you can find various summertime café’s playground and open-air training equipment, but the convenient wooden paths ensure that sea is available to not only leisurely tourists but surfers as well. The “sun baths” in the dunes will protect you from wind and give a chance to start the tanning season earlier that anywhere else in Latvia.
Museum offers a varied exposition dedicated to the lifestyle of Latvian and Liv fishermen – an impressive collection of boats and anchors, historic houses, smokehouses and fishnet huts. The historical heritage of the museum is highlighted by the “Smiltnieki” house built in 19th century, the windmill and the Lielirbe Baptist prayer house. The museum also celebrates the annual festivities according to the ancient traditions to which anyone interested can join.
Venstpils narrow gauge railroad is made up of two lines: Circle line (1,4 km) and Hill line (3 km). At the station “Museum”, which is located on the territory of the Seaside Open-air museum, two new station railroads, two locomotive depo roads and one dead-end road were built. There were also four new rail switches installed.
The narrow-gauge railroad or “Mazbānītis” used to make its daily route around the fishermen villages in the 60’s of the 20th century, but currently its main task is to take the visitors of Seaside Open-air museum to the Adventure park.
The adventure park is a destination for sports and leisure well-loved by locals and tourists. A visit to the park will improve the mood of any family member, as the offer of attractions is wide and even the youngest visitors will find exciting entertainment.
bumper cars and bumper boats / children’s driving school,
trampoline complex and slingshot / playhouse and inflatable attractions,
wake park and paintball / tubing and the crazy rotor,
rope trails in the trees etc.
In the Seaboard park there’s an Anchor trail made up of the most impressive anchors found in the Seaside Open-air museum. The biggest of them all is located right next to the park entrance – it weighs 23 tonnes and reaches 6 meters in height. The Anchor trail makes a great spot for taking a slow bike ride too. In the park you can also find a children’s playground, open-air training equipment, places for rest and picnics and the 240 meters long “Jungle trail” decorated with sculptures made during the traditional international woodworking symposium “The art of Cottonwood”. There are various pathways and bridges spread throughout the park but if you crave even more adventures, visit the watchtower and the tree-top trail.
Look into the sunset, listen to the roaring sea or watching the ships passing by – you can do all that on taking just one walk on the Southern pier promenade that leads itself right to the lighthouse. Don’t forget to climb the 19 m high watchtower that is on the way to the pier. It will let you see fishing ships “Azova” and “Grots” that have been pulled out of the sea and put out for exposition in the city. While you’re at it, take a glance at the four-meter-high sculpture “Cow – Sailor” and the giant “Chair” that has been constructed of fish boat chains. But if you want to enjoy the Ventspils port, take a 45 minute ride on the little boat “Duke Jacob” that will lead you all the way to the sea gate and let you see the Osta street promenade, Livonian order palace etc.
The beach waterpark is perfectly suited for nice relaxation on a sunny day. It is one of the most loved sports in the city. Here you can slide down two towers with various waterslides – standard, family, “Turbo”, as well as slides on an inflatable ring etc. The small pool and its attractions – “squid”, “boat”, “frog”, slide, water cascade and “mushroom” – will be especially exciting for the little visitors. Bubble baths, sauna, inventory rental, café, showers, bathrooms and first aid are also available.
In the southwestern part of the two new wooden entryways to the sea have been built. On the Saulrieta street there is a spacious parking lot and a few pedestrian and bike roads that lead all the way through the “Pelēkā kāpa” or Grey dune, which is a protected area of European significance. The ninth path leads from Jūrmala park to the nudist beach, but the tenth is well-suited for dog-walking.
Well, of course it is worth to look up the Livonian order palace! It is the most ancient building in Ventspils, as well as the oldest of all Latvian medieval fortresses that has preserved its original state. The palace chapel, on the other hand, is the oldest church-related building in Kurzeme. Livonian order palace differs from others with its interior, where the modern style of exhibits fits in harmoniously with the historical surroundings.
Nature lovers will adore the shores of Bušnieku lake. You can also choose to take an 8 km long cycling and walking path. On it you will find informative plaques about the nature reserve “Natura 2000” and its flora and fauna. There is also a path with 10 pieces of gymnastic equipment for those who want to break in a little sweat. An, of course, don’t forget to take advantage of the well-kept swimming and picnic spots, bike parking, boat rental and wooden platforms for surfers.
If you are willing to take a little detour outside the city, be sure to visit the unique Staldzene steep coast – one of the best spots for walks according to locals. Here you can still see fishermen taking their trip into the waters! There is a high possibility that you will see a magnificent sunset at the end of your evening walk as well.
Between the proud Venstpils and windy Liepāja lays the charming Pāvilosta with its carelessness, rustle of waves and tasteful environment. It is also crowned to be Latvia’s windsurfing paradise. Pāvilosta has developed itself from a typical fishermen port to a stop for yachts, yawns and boats, and tourists have become an equal symbol of the town just like the local fishermen.