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Gaizinkalns
Mountain/Rock

Gaizinkalns

 
Gaizinkalns

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Vidzeme, Latvia, Europe

Lat/Lon: 56.87000°N / 25.96000°E

Object Title: Gaizinkalns

Activities: Hiking, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 1020 ft / 311 m

 

Page By: arturf

Created/Edited: Sep 27, 2006 / Aug 26, 2007

Object ID: 229864

Hits: 13832 

Page Score: 87.76%  - 25 Votes 

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Overview

 
On the way to Gaizinkalns... You can see the tower on its summit.
Gaizinkalns' summit tower

Gaizinkalns' elevation is only 311.6 meters, but its prominence (valley-altitude) is even much less impressive - it is just a 50-60 m high hill. However, it is our highpoint :)
 
Memorial stone
Summit stone

Gaizinkalns is situated in the highest area of Latvia, which is called Vidzemes Highlands, surrounded by many of 200 m hills. Well, not too high... Anyway, it's a very nice area for hiking with beautifull and spectacular landscapes, especially during the "golden fall" - period, when leaves on trees are colored in scales of yellow and red. In the winter it works as a ski-resort.
 
Old watchtower on the summit
Old watchtower

Surroundings of Gaizinkalns are usualy quiet crowded during weekends, so if You would like to hike with not too many people around, You better choose work days.
 
Warning signs
No climbing!

On the top of the hill there is an artifact from Soviet time - an old unfunctional watchtower. It is quiet high, but it is strongly not suggested to climb up, as its condition is realy bad. There is a plan to build a new civil watchtower for tourists. By the information from www.gaizinkalns.lv, project competiton have recently taken place.

Interesting historical fact:
"In the end of the 1950es it was the restricted area - Soviet Government had decided to build nuclear rocket launch sites round there (Latvia was a part of former Soviet Union). In 1957 building had actualy started. But, as it sometimes happens, in 1961 one USA spy have found information about these works, so confidence was broken and project was closed" - Information from the Latvian Military Museum

Getting There

 
Route sign
13 km to go...

The nearest big town is Madona, which has regular bus connections with Riga, the capital of Latvia. The summit is situated about 16 km West from there. There are also two small towns on the way to Madona - Berzaune (about 9 km NW to the summit) and Sauleskalns (about 11 km NW to the summit), but You should carefuly check the traffic, as only some of busses stop there.
 
View from Berzaune bus stop
So, You are in Berzaune!...

You can always check the traffic at www.1188.lv - Latvian global information service. Check the bus schedule. I sugest using buses for this destination, as bus connections are much more extensive there, then railways. Ticket price from Riga is about 5 EUR one-way, can be purchased at the bus station or right on board. Bus-trip takes about 3 hours one-way.

Maps

 
Gaizinkalns  surroundings
The map of Gaizinkalns' surroundings, 1:100000

You can buy maps of Latvia in the shop of our biggest map publisher - Jana Seta. Shop's address is: "Jana Seta karsu veikals", Elizabetes str. 83/85, 2. korp., Riga. Telephone: +371 7240892. It is located right in the center of Riga, 5 min by foot from the Central Station. It is quiet easy to find. Just ask anybody where Elizabetes str is located.

There are very good 1:50000 topo/satellite maps of Latvia, where the country is divided in 131 parts. One sheet's price is about 2 EUR. Of course, You can also purchase road maps of bigger areas or of the whole Latvia. Plus one very interesting option - You can buy Soviet Genshtab (headquarters) military topo maps there. They are very useful sometimes, but all the texts are only in Russian.

There is an online version of the map of Latvia. I wouldn't say it is too good, but it can be usefull to get an overview. There is a possibility to search for locations.

Red Tape

No red tape, but Gaizinkals and its surroundings have status of the Nature Park, so take care.

Camping

It is a popular area for local tourists, so there are many accomodation possibilities. Check out the Madona Municipality portal - there is very much usefull information about accomodation and activities. For example, You can order horse riding, rent a bicycle or a boat and do many other things.

External Links

www.gaizinkalns.lv
www.madona.lv
Online map of Latvia
Jana Seta Maps

By the way...

You are always welcome to contact me if You are planning a trip to Latvia. I will be glad to provide You an assistance and information.

Images

GaizinkalnsMemorial stoneGaizinkalns summit view N6Gaizinkalns\' surroundingsOn the way to Gaizinkalns... You can see the tower on its summit.Warning signsGaizinkalns Watchtower Projects
Old watchtower on the summitWinter ...