Latvia can be compared to the four cardinal directions – it is just that diverse. Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale – each with their own charm and character, formed by the habits of the people, the differences of nature and even the weather. The complete feeling of Latvia can only be grasped by experiencing its different tastes, smells, various terrains, and, above all, getting to know the people who create all this colour.
We are glad that you have chosen to go to Vidzeme - the place where history, culture, and fabulously beautiful nature are intertwined. Sixt car rental, in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency Tourism Department, has developed 2-day routes that have been visited, tested and appreciated by locally and globally renowned people. Juta and Gints Valdmaņi went on the trip to Vidzeme. We only offer proven values!
Before we go, we will introduce you to some of the rules of the trip.
In Latvia, the maximum permitted speed on a non-urban roads is 90 km/h, on urban roads - 50 km/h; everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt, but you already know this! We believe that you have the sparkle of a youthful and relentless explorer inside you and that you can inspire and demonstrate this wonderful sense of adventure to others!
Share your pictures, feelings, views and experiences by adding the hashtag #ApceļojuLatviju for your Latvian friends, and #EnjoyLatvia - for your foreign friends. Be creative and invent the hashtags yourself!
If you do not have your own car, or you need a bigger one at the last minute, it is always possible to rent it. Rent your Sixt car from our website, Sixt App or call +371 67207121 and get your car delivered to your preferred location at the time most convenient for you! Enough of the rules, we are ready to go! Onwards to Vidzeme!
You do not need to listen to songs and sing along, but we would be glad if you took pictures and shared them with your friends on social networks before going on your trip to Vidzeme. Remember to use the hashtags #ApceļojuLatviju #EnjoyLatvia.
If you leave Riga on time, at 9:00, then in less than an hour, at around 10:00, you will reach your first destination - the beautiful and wonderful Sigulda. Your first adventure is waiting for you here, which will help you to wake up properly should the packing from the evening before have gone too long into the night. The adventure park “Tarzāns” will be waiting for you.
Peldu street 1, Sigulda
GPS: 57.159588, 24.838545
Website: www.tarzans.lv; Phone: +371 27001187
Choose one of the available quick attractions because you won’t have time to climb the trees all day. We also have to note that Tarzanshttps://www.tarzans.lv/en is the largest adventure park in the open nature in the Baltic states, which is why we hope you find an activity to your liking - the sky lift, which will let you make sure that the panoramic view in Sigulda is still the most beautiful, tube sliding just like in winter, the Jungle Jump or catapult, which will provide you with the dose of adrenaline required for an active day. And this is certainly not all! This is why we hope that an hour will be enough, because it’s time to move on.
At 12:00 you should be at a place located nine metres underground. No, this is not a bad wish, because you are actually going to visit “Vacation Hotel”, which is not a poor attempt at a joke either. This used to be the name of one of the strategically important places in Soviet Latvia, which was built in case of a nuclear war.
Precisely nine metres deep, in Līgatne, in the rehabilitation centre "Līgatne", there is a well-equipped Hidden Soviet Bunker with the code name “Pansionāts” or “Vacation Hotel”, with an area of more than 2000 sq.m., which was only declassified in 2003 and has become a popular attraction.
The bunker contains authentic autonomous facilities, all the necessary and most modern equipment of the time prepared for the elite of the communist government of Latvia in case of a nuclear war. All the authentic underground equipment has been preserved to the modern day, and you will be able to see the various memorabilia and household items from Soviet times, which cannot be found anywhere else. And even more - there is a canteen with a typical Soviet menu.
Right after seeing the underground bunker and experiencing the historical testimonies left behind by the Soviet government, you are invited to come out into the sun and light, because very soon you are going to have your next adventure near Cēsis.
Camel Park Raksi, Drabesu parish, Amatas nov.
GPS: 57.276414, 25.199705
Website: www.kamieli.lv; Phone: +371 20009097
The Camel Park "Rakši"https://kamieli.lv/en/ is considered to be one of the most exotic and family-friendly places in the region. There are more than 60 lively and friendly animals who are happy to see each and every visitor. This is the only place in the Baltic states where the Arabian camel can be seen. Apart from camels, you can also enjoy the company of llamas, alpacas, and guanacos. People say that the park is especially relaxing because of the prevalence of the cute animals over the minds of anxious people. This is a place to give in to natural happiness caused by the presence of animals and new experiences.
Speaking of new experiences, apart from seeing the ZOO, you can feed and walk the animals under the supervision of a guide, as well as enjoy healthy camel milk pancakes in the “Camel Cafe” located in the territory. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
After visiting the Zoo, you are going to Cēsis to allow Vidzeme, from 16:00 – 17:30, to take you to a past even more ancient than what you have experienced in the Soviet bunkers in Līgatne.
Cēsis, Pils laukums, 9
GPS: 57.313503, 25.270415
The beginnings of Cēsis Town itself are found in the distant past of the 800s, and these are, of course, related to the Cēsis Castle Complex. The town was formed around it in the 13th century.
The ruins of Cēsis Castle are one of the rarest pieces of historical evidence that has been preserved well enough to show the visitors of the town the romantic appeal of medieval architecture. Throughout the centuries, the Castle has shared its fate with Cēsis Town - in battles against Russian, Polish, and Swedish military regiments, which explains why its look has become rather tattered over the years.
Still, it is no obstacle to inviting guests from all over Latvia and abroad to various concerts, artistic and entertainment events in the open-air in the park to the northwest of Cēsis Castle, almost every week in summer. In the territory of the Castle you will be able to get acquainted with the works of ancient Latvian jewellery makers, find out about the meaning and wearing traditions of bronze and silver jewellery, experience the role of the wearer of ancient jewellery by trying on sets of jewellery imitations, as well as walk around the walls of the castle.
Evening is close, which is why it’s time to move in the direction of your accommodation - Dikļi Palace. Still, before leaving, stop and appreciate the cultural institution in Cēsis which every resident of Cēsis is proud of - Vidzeme Concert Hall. It is located at Raunas iela 12-1 and gathers the locals as well as guests from the neighbouring regions to appreciate and enjoy different cultural and entertainment events. Please remember to use your technology skills, find this place, make a selfie and, of course, share with friends, adding the tag #EnjoyLatvia
Liepa, Liepas pagasts GPS: 57.384325, 25.427513
Little Hell (Lielā Ellīte) is an archaeological monument of national importance and the most popular natural attraction in Liepa Parish. It is also called Devil’s Oven, Devil’s Cave and other names related to the underground. Here you have nothing to fear either because, according to the tale, a priest made the devil that is said to have lived there go away, long before your visit. The arcade of Lielā Ellīte has remained the only natural sandstone formation in this shape and is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Latvia.
Further, the road leads through another beautiful city in Vidzeme - Valmiera. At the moment we have to note that today it only leads through so that tomorrow it can welcome you with its stories.
Here you will be able to give your body and mind a rest. Dikļi Palace is one of the few palaces and manor houses in Vidzeme where you can see a large proportion of the original interior. Experience the ancient past, close your eyes and dream a little, then open your eyes again, and the dream is part of reality.
The palace is surrounded by a wonderful park where you can ride in a horse carriage, but remember to book it in advance! You will be able to feel like a real aristocrat. In the evening you will be able to see more than 200 Renaissance paintings in the palace, which unite with the impressive details of the original finish of the palace - with the entrance-hall, fireplace, tile stoves, central stairs, original parquet, the variety of wall panels and many other elements. If you want some fresh air, the palace park has about 20 exotic trees. However, you will feel even more relaxed after taking the bath spa located in your room, that is if you choose the right room :)
Jāņa Daļiņa street 2, Valmiera
GPS: 57.540207, 25.438837
Website: www.sajutuparks.lv; Phone: +371 27879242
In the Park of Senses, on the steep banks of the River Gauja, you will have an opportunity to awaken your body and spirit walking on one of the barefoot trails available in Latvia. The locals say that walking along the steep bank of the Gauja, you can awaken all five senses. We know that the feet have the largest number of energy points. Which is why we believe that even if the touch of nature received while walking on the beautiful steep banks does not awaken another hidden sense, it will definitely leave a lasting impression! Apart from the barefoot trail, your experience here will be enriched by the trail in the trees, running and Nordic walking tracks, and the steep banks, which form one of the most picturesque places around. If you take your children with you, they will enjoy the playground.
When you have finished the trail of senses, with the trail in the trees, or the steep banks permanently fixed in your memory, after 12:00 it’s time to get on the road to a place in Valmiera that is famous all over Latvia. You guessed it! Valmiermuiža.
Dzirnavu street 2, Valmiermuiza, Burtnieku novads
GPS: 57.555594, 25.431103
Website: www.valmiermuiza.lv; Phone: +371 20264269
Valmiermuižahttps://www.valmiermuiza.lv/en/ – this name does not require an explanation. Slowly brewed beer has been the pride of every host in Latvia since the most ancient times. Respecting the traditions, live beer is made in Valmiermuiža, and the culture of enjoying beer is cultivated. Not only will you be able to see the brewing process here with your own eyes, you will also be able to enjoy good food - a fine meal or substantial snacks. Day after day, the chef creates surprising combinations of tastes in the kitchen of the restaurant. Rooted in nature and cherished in creativity - the way our family in Valmiermuiža sees the taste of the Latvian land. Enjoy!
Moreover, drinks and meals are not the only things to enjoy in Valmiermuiža. Horse rides, Ērenpreiss bicycle rent, and other fun activities are also available. But we will leave that for another time - now it’s time to go on. To Ungurmuiža!
Ungurmuiža, Raiskuma parish, Pārgauja
GPS: 57.36285, 25.086273
Website: www.ungurmuiza.lv; phone: + 371 26695877
Imants Ziedonis museum and summer residence in Murjāņi, Krasta iela 12, Murjāņi
Website: www.ziedonamuzejs.lv; +371 26935526
The Imants Ziedonis Museum, with the motto ”Ziedonis museum is a road”, is the next stop on your journey. It was founded in 2015 as a centre for creativity where the people we all know spend time for personal improvement, meaningful discussions and sharing their inner world by dressing a poem of a famous poet in music from time to time. And it is no wonder because the museum embodies the ideas expressed by Imants Ziedonis and develops the values that were close to him: gain happiness through creation, get back to one’s roots, and explore yourself and the world. Who knows what revelations might come to you?
Our two-day adventure is coming to an end. Culture, history and cultural history intertwined with activities in nature, were the foundation of this journey. Have you noticed that when approaching Rīga, the rush and rumble of the city begins?
"Vītiņkalni", Inčukalna novads, Inčukalna pagasts
GPS: 57.125066; 24.658523
Website: www.ramkalni.lv; phone: +371 29100280
The Adventure park “Rāmkalni”https://ramkalni.lv/en/index offers entertainment for those who love thrills. On the toboggan track, you can compete and catch the wind, rushing down along the 200 m track that weaves and winds through the beautiful forest. The track was created to catch the thrills; whereas you can feel even more excitement in the crazy rotor - this is an activity created in Latvia where the person sits in the rotor, which rolls down the hill. The thrills are guaranteed! Here you can also enjoy boat riding, bicycle hire and tube sliding, even in summer.
Like any adventure, this one is also coming to an end. Which is why on the way back you are encouraged to think about what you have learnt during these days. We truly believe that these experiences will make you treat life on our planet with at least a little more conscientiousness than yesterday and the day before, because returning from any journey, we are never the same as we were at the start. It is important to look into the natural processes and listen to your feelings, because people are able to reawaken, just like nature. This is why during these two days we encourage you to see yourself from a different side, stop at inspiring places and meet people you haven’t met before.