Vecāķi – Rīga
Vecāķi – 12 km Mežaparks – 10 km Rīga
The route begins on the Vecāķi beach.
Begin the route by the coast of the sea in the direction towards Riga. On your left will remain Vecāķi – a populated area with multiple cafes (and restroom). 1 kilometre away from the beach is the railway station “Vecāķi.
Approximately 500 m after the lifeguard station building and you will notice a beach cafe. Here the beach part of the route stops and you should turn left on the wood footbridge. This footbridge will take you onto an asphalted street that leads to the crossroads of Vēlavu street and Vasarnieku street.
In these crossroads turn right – to Vēlavu street. In the next crossroads continue straight until you will reach Mangaļu prospekts (street). Here make the left turn, take Mangaļu prospekts for approximately 100 m, then cross it to the other side and turn right onto Zvejas street. Proceed on Zvejas street for approximately 1 km until you reach Vecāķu prospekts (street). When you make it to Vecāķu prospekts (street), turn right and proceed on the pedestrian/cyclist track for 1,5 km until you reach Atlantijas street.
When you get to the crossroads of Vecāķu prospekts (street) and Atlantijas Street, you will notice that the cyclist track that you took so far proceeds forward, but here you should make the right turn and continue the route on Atlantijas Street until you reach the railway crossing. Cross the railway, after 150 m cross another railway and continue straight on Atlantijas Street. until you will arrive at the Daugavgrīva White Church.
Take the left turn right behind the church and proceed the route on Baltāsbaznīcas Street. Right behind the pharmacy you will arrive at a crossroads.
Continue straight on Baltāsbaznīcas street by crossing Tauvas street, Augusta Dombrovska street and Ziemeļblāzmas street. If you prefer, here you can turn right to reach a beautiful, well-appointed park in which the culture palace “Ziemeļblāzma” is located.
From the crossroads with Ziemeļblāzmas street, continue on Baltāsbaznīcas street, walk 400 m and you will reach Vecāķu prospekts (street) where you should then turn right and proceed on the pedestrian/cyclist track until Emmas street (approximately 1 km). When you reach Emmas street take the crosswalk across Vecāķu prospekts (street) and continue your way on the pedestrian/cyclist track. Continue following the pedestrian/cyclist track that eventually takes you onto the bridge. Continue to follow the pedestrian/cyclist track next to Mīlgrāvja street for the next 1,4 km until you reach Ostas prospekts (street). When you reach Ostas prospekts (street), turn left (the grocery store “Mego” remains on your left).
The route leads you in the territory of the culture and leisure park “Mežaparks”. In around 1 km you will notice the Mežaparks grand stage on your left. In around 500 m you will arrive at crossroads of Ostas prospekts (street), Janševska street and Atpūtas street. Take the second street from the right – Atpūtas street. There will be the Riga National Zoo on the left.
After 700 m on the second crossroads cross Meža prospekts (street) proceed the route towards the centre by taking Kokneses prospekts (street) and walking in parallel to the tram tracks.
Follow the course of Kurzemes prospekts (street) for about 1,7 km, do not make any turns until you have reached the crossroads of Kokneses prospekts (street) and Ķīšezera street. Here you sould turn right by crossing Kokneses prospekts (street) and continue forward on the cyclist track in parallel to the tram tracks that will stay to your right. In about 600 m go through the passage under Gustava Zemgala gatve (street) and proceed towards the city centre. After 650 m turn left, cross the Gaujas street and take the crosswalk to continue towards the city centre. In 600 m the cyclists track will take you to a railway crossing. Cross the railway, then continue to walk on the cyclists track for about 150 m. Here the cyclists track will turn to the right and cross the Klusā street, but you should proceed straight across the parking lot and onto the sidewalk. Cross the Klijānu street and enter former cemetery “Lielie Kapi”, this used to be a cemetery, but is now recreated as a park.
After crossing the “Lielie Kapi” you will arrive at the crossroads of Miera street and Senču street. Cross the Senču street, walk about 250 m through the Jēkaba cemetery until you reach the crossroads of Mēness street and Miera street. Cross the Mēness street and continue forward on Miera street for approximately 1 km until you reach the crossroads of Miera, Šarlotes and Brīvības street, cross Šarlotes street and continue the route on Brīvības street. In about 150 m reach the crossroads of Brīvības street and Bruņinieku street. Go across Bruņinieku street, turn right and take Bruņinieku street until the next crossroads. In the crossroads of Bruņinieku street and Baznīcas street turn left and continue on Baznīcas street until the St. Gertrude Old Church.
When you reach the church, turn right and proceed the route on Ģerttrūdes street (but if you wish to visit the church – turn left), In 80 m in the crossroads with Skolas street turn left. Continue on Skolas street for about 450 m until you reach Elizabetes street, cross it and arrive at Esplanade park.
After crossing Esplanade you will get to the crossroads of Brīvības boulevard and Kalpaka boulevard. Here cross the Kalpaka boulevard and continue on Brīvības boulevard for 100 m and then cross Raiņa boulevard. You have now arrived at the heart of Riga – the Brīvības square. Here you can observe the majestic Monument of Freedom – a symbol of Latvian patriotism, togetherness, independence and freedom.
After walking past the Monument of Freedom, cross the canal of Riga, the Aspazijas boulevard and you have arrived at the Old Riga. Proceed on Kaļķu street for about 150 m until you arrive at the Līvu square. Take the turn to the right, cross the Līvu square and turn right onto the Meistaru street. Continue straight on Meistaru street until you reach Mazā Smilšu street, turn left and in 70 m turn left once more. Continue on Smilšu street until the next crossroads. Then – turn right onto Aldaru street. Walk on Aldaru street for 50 m, turn left onto Mazā Trokšņu street and next – take the right turn onto Jēkaba street. On the crossroads of Jēkaba street and Klostera street turn left, then again left in 70 m and – you have arrived at the destination of the route – the St. Jacob Catholic Cathedral of Riga. It is the 4th oldest church in Old Riga, built in around 1225. Pilgrim’s passports are available for purchase at the St. Jacob Catholic Cathedral book stand. This passport has the silhouette of St Jacob on the cover, it includes the route map throughout Latvia and it has blank spaces for accommodation stamps. And right in front of the entrance doors to the cathedral there is the symbol of the Camino de Santiago – a shell in the pavement.