Outside Narbuli Retreat House

Discover the local culture and nature by exploring the surrounding area during your stay at Narbuli. Take advantage of nearby leisure activities and attractions to make the most of your visit.

History

Although Amatciems, where Narbuli Retreat House is located, may appear to be a long-established settlement, it was actually created only 20 years ago. The landowner had a vision of living amidst a natural forest environment but still being able to enjoy modern comforts. To bring this vision to life, the swap was drained and transformed into a picturesque lake. The spruce forest was carefully cleared with the aim of preserving its natural charm, and paths were methodically created to run through the trees without disrupting the natural environment.

Each house in the village was strategically placed to ensure privacy from neighbors, access to the water and stunning views of the ancient forest. The village covers over 300 hectares and consists of almost 100 houses. The village has always aimed to minimize any natural intervention and so only enough lighting is provided for safe navigation, noise is strictly prohibited at all times, and no one is allowed to enter a plot of land without permission – with the exception of deer and hedgehogs.

Hiking trails

Amatciems is located near the Gauja National Park, which encompasses the Gauja River and offers various hiking trails. One of these trails starts right in the village and follows the Amata River, meandering through forest paths on the right bank, past Devonian period cliffs that were shaped by an ancient glacier. If you enjoy water sports, you can go rafting or kayaking down the Amata River in May and early June or hike directly down the river during the hot days of July and August.

Bike rides

If you’re interested in a bike ride, there’s a 45 km route that starts from the village and heads towards Riga. Along the way, you’ll pass the Līgatne paper mill village, which was known for implementing progressive environmental and social ideas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also ride past Lake Raiskums and the banks of the Gauja.

Swimming and boating

The winding ponds of Amatciems are the perfect place for swimming and give you the opportunity to see the surrounding area from a different angle. You are free to swim wherever you want but please only exit the water on the territory of the house where you are staying or with the respective owner’s permission. Additionally, rowing boats and water bikes are available for use.

Winter activities

When winter arrives, Amatciems transforms into a snow-covered wonderland, with hiking trails turning into ski tracks and lakes becoming a vast winding ice rink. You definitely won’t run out of things to do during your leisure time in the winter months.

Restaurant and spa

Located just a 15-minute walk from our retreat house, “Jonathan” is a local and European cuisine restaurant that uses only seasonal products from nearby farms. It offers delicious food in a cozy atmosphere and is considered one of the best restaurants in Latvia, having been included in the prestigious White Guide Baltic 2018.

In the same building, you can also find a spa salon that offers a range of procedures to help you relax and take care of yourself, providing true comfort during your stay.

Go to the website

The historic town of Cēsis

The historic town of Cēsis is located 11 km away from the village of Amatciems.

During the Middle Ages, Cēsis was an important city in the Livonian Order system. In 1214, the Order built a castle in Cēsis, which later became the residence of the master during the reign of the Teutonic Order. Despite being heavily damaged during the siege by Ivan the Terrible’s troops in 1577, the castle still impresses visitors with its former might.

Another heritage site of the Livonian Order in Cēsis is the majestic Church of Saint John the Baptist, which was consecrated in 1284 and has powerful buttresses.

Cēsis also has a modern concert hall with a strong program of classical and jazz music.

You can find all the events, interesting places, and routes on the city’s website.

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What else to see…

Nature

The Gauja National Park is a protected area that showcases the diverse nature of the Gauja River valley. The valley’s history spans over 350 million years and its hilly landscape was originally formed by the melting of glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. The Gauja River was once navigable and used for transportation, leading to the construction of Livonian settlements on its banks, along with several ancient castles on hilltops that still stand today. In the park, visitors can see oaks planted by kings, experience the healing properties of springs, hear echoes in limestone caves, and explore the forests. Whilst you can view all the park’s highlights by car, it’s much more enjoyable to take a short hike, bike ride, or horseback ride. The park’s website and app provide information on all the routes and interesting places to visit.

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Culture and history

Līgatne, a former paper mill town, is located not far from Cēsis. The town is characterized by worker settlements situated on hills, a complex system of locks on the river Līgatne, and a robust social infrastructure that includes a hospital, maternity ward, cultural center, and homeless shelter. These features were quite unexpected for the industrialization period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. If you’re interested in exploring the town, you can find available routes through Līgatne on its website.

See routes
Culture and history

The Ieriķi Watermill Park is located nearby and offers visitors a unique blend of nature, family heritage, and a touch of mysticism on a small but beautiful territory.The park features several small waterfalls and is traversed by the Melderupe River, which also serves as a spawning ground for salmon. During the fall, when the temperature reaches an average of +6C, you can see the salmon swimming up the river, attempting to overcome the largest waterfall. The river also features a 350-year-old working mill named after Jorgis Ziemelis, an ancestor of the family that manages the park. If you plan to visit the park, you can find information about its history, opening hours, ticket prices, and even picnic area rentals on the website.

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Culture and history

The Archaeological Park of Āraiši, a reconstructed fortified settlement that belonged to the ancient Latgalian people from the 9th-10th centuries, is situated on a lake approximately 5.5 km from the Narbuli Retreat House. In addition to the ruins of a medieval castle, the park includes exhibits on the indigenous people’s lifestyle, food, and clothing. Visitors can also learn about the castle’s flooding and subsequent restoration.

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Sports

Amatciems offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as cycling, skiing, and skating, but it does not have any official routes, ski tracks, or skating rinks. If you prefer more organized sport facilities, nearby Cēsis and Sigulda have many options available, including skiing, snowboarding, bobsleigh, rafting, and bungee jumping. These activities can be enjoyed at designated sports centers, where you can rent equipment, receive instruction from professional instructors, and benefit from safety measures.

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Contacts

Address

Narbuļi, Amatciems, Drabešu pagasts, Amatas novads, LV-4101

How to find us

GPS: 57.225185, 25.303144

Shuttle service

If you need a transfer to Narbuli Retreat House, please get in touch and we will let you know which options are available.

Inside and Around the House

The founders of Narbuli Retreat House chose Amatciems as both their living and project location not only because they personally enjoy it, but also because it offers a serene environment that is maintained by like-minded neighbors. The atmosphere is ideal for working on one’s inner self, pursuing creative endeavours, and practicing meditation. Within the grounds of Narbuli, there are plenty of spots to suit any goal and state of mind.

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    Kseniia Khudiakova

    Kseniia Khudiakova

    If you are interested in learning more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    +371 20 2137 87
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