Package type: half day

Season: April–October

For whom: individuals / groups (min. 1–max. 50 pers.)

Services included: A visit to the farm to learn about the history of boating, be trained at rowing, and be transported after the activities in the river.  There are services offered by environmental guides who will sail down the river so that visitors can learn about the ecosystem, flora and fauna thereof.

Duration of the programme: up to 4 h

Type of transport: individual transfers/tourist bus/public transportation


Address: Aknīstes novads, “Skārdupītes”, GPS. 56.192700, 25.676008

Distance from the capital: 145km

Hosts: Ričards and Santa Šmits

The “Sēlija Boats” organisation is located at the “Skārdupītes” homestead, which is some 5 km from Aknīste and on the side of the P73 Vecumnieki–Nereta–Subate road.  The area is being developed for active tourism, hoping that visitors will be able to stroll around the nearby forests and wetland meadows, learn all about the history of boating, rent boats and bicycles, stay at well-appointed tent locations, and cook a tasty meal on a campfire after an intensive hike.

In 2018, Ričards and Santa Šmits moved from the capital city to Aknīste, where Santa was born and raised.  The couple are local enthusiasts and fans of active leisure who want to have an active lifestyle in the countryside and to enthuse others.  They use the “Sēlija Boats” organisation to ensure this step by step.  The local community has organised events to clean up the environment, to set up an appropriate infrastructure for boating, to organise widely attended educational hikes, and to attract financing to facilitate local volunteering in Sēlija.

  • Arrival at “Skārdupītes”.
  • A tour of the farm with tales of how the culture of boating developed, a presentation of types of boats, and a discussion of how they differ and what their origins are; there are also stories about the cultural history of the location and its environment (up to 1 hour).
  • Instructions on boating and safety (up to 20 minutes).
  • Boating down the Dienvidsusēja River between Skārdupīte and Kazukrogs (~ 1 h), the trip can be extended to Elkšņi (~3 h, with an opportunity to taste the famous Alīda coffee) if visitors have registered in advance.
  • Gathering of herbs for tea in wetland meadows or the river (aromatic and tasty river mint), with instructions from the owners about which herbs are appropriate (up to 30 minutes).
  • Transportation to the embarkation point from Kazukrogs or Elkšņi.