Slītere National Park

Slitere National Park



Location: Talsi District, Kurzeme Region  Map

Area: 264.9 km²

Tel: +371 63200855


Slītere National Park is located in Talsi District, Kurzeme Region in Latvia. It covers 265 km² of untouched broadleaf forest and sand dunes (kangari in Latvian) on the Baltic Sea coast. It is inhabited by numerous species of birds and animals that include Elks, Lynxes, Wolves, Rabbits and many others. On the coast of the Baltic Sea you can encounter Grey or Ringed Seal. These animals occasionally venture on dry land. It is better to watch them at a distance. As soon as they notice human presence they usually flee in the sea. They are several species of turtles and lizards as well as copperheads that are fairly poisonous to humans. Historic Slītere Lighthouse situated on its territory is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. It was constructed on the Blue Hills in 1849- 50. It is second oldest lighthouse in the country, but also highest above sea level at an elevation of 82 m. It is inactive today and serves the needs of tourists. Here you can observe surrounding lands and get information the National Park. There are 14 different trails for hiking, skiing, or cycling in the forest.


In 1910, the Riga Society of Naturalists petitioned the Main Directorate of Land Management of the Russian Empire to establish a nature reserve on the Moritsa (or Moritsala) island. The permit was obtained and, thus, the island of Moritsa (with an area of ​​80 hectares) on Lake Usma in the Windavsky district of the Courland province became the first state reserve of the Russian Empire. It was the oldest nature reserve in the Republic of Latvia and the USSR.

The second Latvian nature reserve was Zalie Kalni (Green Hills), organized in 1921 in the vicinity of the city of Dundaga on an area of ​​717 hectares.

Later, on the basis of "Zalie Kalni" in the Talsi region of the Latvian SSR, the Slitere reserve with an area of ​​15,060 hectares was created, to which the smaller reserves Moritssala in the Ventspils region (which at that time had an area of ​​818 hectares) and Grini were administratively subordinate in Liepaja region (area 1076 hectares).

In 2000, on the basis of the former reserve, the Slitere National Park was established.

The area of ​​the Slitere National Park is 265 km2 (of which 101 km2 are on the Baltic Sea). Slitere is the smallest national park in Latvia.

The national park is famous for its deciduous forests covering the ancient coastline and the unique complex of dunes (so-called kangari in Latvian) and inter-dune depressions (vigas), partly occupied by swamps. Most of the broadleaf forests are located in the Kalni Zalie (or Green Hills), which from a geological point of view is one of the most famous attractions in the park. Thousands of years ago, Kalni Bay was the ancient coastline of the Baltic glacial lake.

About 30% of the park's area is covered with coniferous forests. The flora of the park includes hundreds of species of higher plants and mosses. 29 species of them are found nowhere else in Latvia. Slitere National Park lies along the Baltic Bird Migration Route. This makes the park one of the best birdwatching spots in Latvia. Almost all bird species found in Latvia were also found in Slītera. During spring and autumn migrations, it is possible to observe up to 60 thousand migrating birds per hour. The largest mammals in the national park are wolf, lynx and elk. Many rare species of insects and terrestrial molluscs are found in the national park, which is associated with a high diversity of vegetation and habitats. On the coast of the Baltic Sea, gray seals are possible, and sometimes a rare ringed seal is noted there.

Slitere National Park protects a large part of the Livonian coast (Līvõd Rānda), protecting historical Livonian villages for the sake of the future. See Kolkasrags and Vaide villages, Saunags, Pitrags.