Cape Kolka

Cape Kolka (Livonian: Kūolka nanā, Latvian: Kolkasrags, Old German name - Domesnes, Russian - Колка or мыс Домеснес) - cape on the Baltic Sea, near the entry to Gulf of Riga, on the Livonian coast, in the Courland Peninsula of Latvia. The cape is surrounded by the Irbe Strait (Irbes šaurums) which serves as the natural border with Estonia. Cape Kolka represents the north-western limit of the Gulf of Riga. East of the cape is the island of Ruhnu (Estonia) that lies in the middle of the Gulf.

Near the cape is Kolka lighthouse and the village of Kolka. There is a line of picturesque old Livonian settlements along the Baltic Sea shore, including Vaide, Saunags, Pitrags, Košrags and Sīkrags.

Kolkasrags (Cape Kolka)
Kolka is the farthest North point of Kurzeme peninsula and Kolkasrags (Cape Kolka) is the most pronounced land horn at the coast line of Latvia. This is the place where the meeting of the waves of two seas, i.e. the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, can be seen. The horn extends as a shallow under water for 6 km. At the end of the shallow, on an artificial island there is Kolka lighthouse. The sea around Kolkasrags is the place of loss of numerous ships.

The name of Kolkasrags (Domesnes) can be first seen recorded (1040) engraved in Mērvala rune stone in Sweden.

There is a unique opportunity to sea both sunrise and sunset in the sea at the same place. During the spring migration this is an important collection and rest point for migrating birds passing by.

Cape Kolka is the most pronounced horn on the shores of Latvia, and it is where the waves from two seas clash – the open Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. During the bird migration season, dozens of thousands of birds fly over the cape, and this is the best place to start a visit to Slitere National Park.

Come spring, Cape Kolka is an ideal place to watch migratory birds. In the summer, it is a paradise on earth for those who love vacations on the beach, while in the autumn and winter it is a fine place to witness the greatness of nature.

At Cape Kolka

  • See the waters of the Sea Inlet (Gulf of Riga) and the Great Sea (Baltic Sea) meet
  • Visit Cape Kolka Pine Trail and climb the Cape Kolka observation tower
  • Taste smoked fish made by local fishermen
  • Watch a sunset and wait for the sunrise
  • Visit Kolka Village – the Liv cultural centre of Kuolka and three confessions’ churches - Kolka Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church, Mother of God the Morning Star Roman Catholic Church
  • Taste the traditional sklandrausis at Dzeneta Marinska’s Usi
  • Commence your tour of Slitere National Park

Cape Kolka Information Centre
For visitors’ convenience, there is a tourist Information Centre at Cape Kolka, where one can buy local souvenirs, find information for visitors, enjoy refreshments, or simply rest for some time before hitting the road again.

Kolka Lighthouse

  • Located ~ 5 km to 6 km from Cape Kolka, on an artificial island at the end of a sandbank that extends from the cape.
  • Originally a wooden lighthouse, first lit in June 1875.
  • Once the artificial island settled, the current lighthouse tower was built, it was put into operation on July 1, 1884. The metal tower, 21 metres high, was made in St. Petersburg. Since 1979, the lighthouse has been working in automatic mode.
  • Experienced sailors are definitely recommended to sail to Kolka Lighthouse at least once. They have to remember though that the area is good for sailing only 40 days a year.

Liv Coast
The old Liv fishing villages, including Kolka (Kuolka), are located on the shores of Kurzeme from Melnsils to Luzna. Livs or Livonians are a small, westernmost group of Finno-Ugric peoples living at the Baltic Sea. The spirit of the Livs permeates everything in this part of Latvia – from the way the locals speak, to culture, traditions, and tenacity of those who have been living at the sea for centuries. The small fishing villages on Kurzeme shores feature boat wharves, net warehouses, old buildings (starting from the 18th century), and exhibitions of traditional and ancient items, they also have ample lodging  options for rural tourists.

Continue reading
When choosing to browse our site, you consent to the use of cookies to tailor your experience. You can withdraw your consent at any time by changing your browser settings and deleting saved cookies. Privacy Policy