Kayaking along the river Zapadnaya Dvina

The length of the Western Dvina River is 1020 km: its length is 325 km in Russia, 328 km in Belarus and 367 km in Latvia.

Kayaking along the river Zapadnaya Dvina

The length of the Western Dvina River is 1020 km: its length is 325 km in Russia, 328 km in Belarus and 367 km in Latvia. 

General information

The valley of the river has trapezoidal form. Sometimes it is deeply-embedded or inexpressive. The width of the valley in the upper reaches is up to 0.9 km, an average reaches is 1-1.5 km and in the lower reaches is 5-6 km. Floodplain is predominantly bilateral. The bed of the river is moderately winding, slightly branched and sometimes with rapids. 

There are few obstacles along the Western Dvina river. They are mostly natural. In the majority the river has got shallows, rifts, rapids which are passable afloat sometimes, for example, on the Verezhuysky rapids a preliminary inspection is required. On the tributaries of the Western Dvina there are more artificial obstacles: dams, low bridges, stagnation.

The main tributaries: the right tributaries are the Toropa river (length 174 km), the Obol river (length 148 km); r.Drysa (length of 183 km). The left tributaries are the Mezha river (length 259 km), the river Kasplya (length 136 km), the Lushesa  river (95 km long), the Ulla river (113 km long), the river Desna (length 178 km) and the river Druyka (Length of 52 km).

The following towns are situated on the banks of the Westen Dvina river: Andreapol, Zapadnaya Dvina, Velizh, Vitebsk, Beshenkovichi, Polotsk, Novopolotsk, Verkhnedvinsk.

 Starting of the route


The route begins on the left bank of the village Surazh. We sail past Ostrovsky village and through  3-4km we have a wonderful place for parking, a picturesque pine forest on a high bank. Then the route passes near the village Koytovo, where the manor of the artist Repin is located and it can be viewed from the river. Near 2 — 3km below Koytovo  we sail under the bridge of the bypass road leading to the north, towards St.Petersburg and just behind the highway there is the village Ruba.

After the Ruba village the river at once accelerates its flow. From Ruba to the south-western outskirts of Vitebsk the river level falls by 12-13 meters. The distance along the river  is not more than 20-25 km. But in fact, most of the level drop is concentrated at the 5th -7th km. For kayaks, however, it does not cause any troubles, but for  navigation  thresholds clearly represent a problem. Somewhere in a kilometer the flow of the river became slower. Through 3 km  on the right bank of the river it is located  the Luzhesno village. And here we finish our trip.

The completion of the route

On the route along the Western Dvina river there are many settlements  where you can get off the route at any time. It is better to do this in larger settlements because transport communication is more convenient in this places.

Trekking along the Western Dvina river will please you with the beauty of the river itself and picturesque forests. This river is also a great place for fishing, the variety of fish is available here and even surprises the ardent angler.

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