Route. The route is suited to active boaters who love long boat trips and enjoy discovering interesting nature, cultural and historical monuments. Because of high waves during windy time, the route is not suitable for boaters with little or no experience. The route will not fit to lazy ones as it requires strength and strenuous physical efforts.
As the bends of the river Daugava rather frequently change the flow direction, you must be ready to face counter wind (north, south and west winds). In such situations it is recommended to sail leeside, closer to the shore from which the wind blows. Before or after the trip tourists are welcome to visit tourism sights in Daugavpils or elsewhere along the banks of the river invisible from the boat.
Route course: Slutišķi – Daugavpils – Līksna – Nīcgale. The route described above is located in Daugavpils district.
Type of boat. A canoe or kayak boat is recommended, which is faster and easier to manoeuvre in case of windbreaks. Inflatable boat or raft also can be used however it may be difficult to manoeuvre even in insignificant crosswind. The route can be completed also with a bigger row boat.
Recommended time. The best time for completing the boat route is June to August. However, if the weather is appropriate, trip can be completed also earlier or later, e.g., in autumn when leaves change colour.
Length: ~ 74 km. The route can be extended till Līvāni (+ ~ 30 km) or Jēkabpils (+ ~ 57 km). The route also can be started already from Krāslava (+ 30 km) or near Koškovci (+ 63 km) village situated near the border between Latvia and Belarus.
Time. For canoe or kayak type boats the route takes 3-4 days.
Length of the first part of the route “Slutišķi – Daugavpils” – 38 km. Length of the second part of the route “Daugavpils – Nīcgale” – 36 km.
Time spent for the trip depends on various factors – boat type, number of boaters per boat, their physical fitness, direction and strength of wind, water level, stream speed, purpose of the trip (recreation, sporting activities, fishing etc.) and time spent on tourist attractions.
Degree of difficulty. The route can be defined as a moderate difficulty route, if it is completed in 3 days and in case of favourable weather conditions (with no wind or counter wind up to 3 m/s). However, having hardly manageable boat and unfavourable weather conditions (strong counter wind) make the route hard to complete.
Start point: Slutišķi, between Putāni brook and Slutišķi village on the right bank of the river – a place with a pontoon for boarding and docking.
End point: Boat deck in Nīcgale, 0,1 km from catholic church in Nīcgale. Steep shore must be taken into account as boats will have to be carried up the hill. On top of the shore there is a drivable road.
Logistics and public transportation. Although bus services are available near the start and end points, it is more convenient to use local boat rental facilities (boat transfer, passenger transportation to personal vehicles, accommodation) or use private means of transport.
Recreation places for nautical tourists. Between Slutišķi and Daugavpils there are several well-equipped (in Slutišķi and Vasargelišķi, near Dinaburg castle mound) and some not fully equipped boat docks. Between Daugavpils and Nīcgale, however, there is only one well-equipped dock on the left bank of the river near Svente and Pilskalne parish boarders just in front of Ilūkste town. Sandblasts on the banks of the river or islands can be used for short time rest. Availability of sandblasts and islands is highly dependent on the level of water in the river, therefore summer and time with no significant rainfall is more appropriate for boating.
Information. All valuable items including maps, information materials and navigation equipment must be packed in waterproof covers before the trip. Tourism information materials and maps are available at Daugavpils Tourist Information Centre.
Distance from Rīga:
– Slutišķi – 248 km
– Nīcgale – 194 km
Please, pay attention to safe boating tips!
- Check the current day weather forecast before starting the trip. Don’t start the trip unless favourable weather conditions are expected as the weather is highly dependent on wind direction and strength on Daugava river.
- If the wind speed exceeds 4 to 5 m/s, river waves may be dangerous to canoe type boats as boats may be overturned.
- There is a strong stream in the river Daugava especially in spring and after heavy rain. Do not overestimate your skills!
- Make sure you always wear a life vest, even if the boat is close to the bank of the river. Daugava has very unequal bed level especially between Slutišķi and Daugavpils, where shallow places are often changed by deep places and little river rapids.
- Beware of underwater objects such as stones, tree branches, fishing nets etc.
- Respect fishermen! Try not to scare fish.
- Evaluate whether this route is suitable for travelling with young children.
- Do not cross the river Daugava unless conditions are suitable for that.
Take care of your and your peers ‘health and safety! Everyone is responsible for their own their peers ‘safety. Emergency phone number: 112.