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North Latvia (Vidzeme)

Rocky coastline, hills, gorges and valleys, lush locales along the banks of the Gauja River – these are just some of the unforgettable features of Vidzeme Province, which covers the central and northern parts of Latvia. Why not get to know Vidzeme by boat, bicycle or during a good concert at the outdoor Sigulda Castle stage or the new, modern Vidzeme Concert Hall in charming Cēsis. Vidzeme is a perfect place for those hungry for the more extreme kinds of recreation - it is a treasure trove for nature lovers, aficionados of art and life!

To find out why - read on.


Vidzeme is the only place in Latvia with rocky beaches, and the highest mountain in Latvia - Gaizins, 311.6 metres above sea level.

At the Gauja River, noted for the beautiful sandstone cliffs along its banks, Latvia’s largest white sandstone outcrop, Sietiņiezis, stands, surrounded by awe-inspiring pine forests. The largest cavern in Latvia, Gūtmaņala, is also located on the Gauja.

To see these and other striking attractions with your own eyes, visit Gauja National Park, which is not just the largest, but also the oldest national park in Latvia.

The number of visitors to the park usually peaks during the so-called golden autumn period. Indeed, this is when the park may be at its loveliest, with leaves coloured in thousands of shades as nature bids farewell to summer.

Cities and towns in Vidzeme


Sigulda, also called Switzerland of Vidzeme because of the multiple hills and mountains in and around the town. The only cable car in the Baltic countries is also located here, connecting two sides of the Gauja River gorge. For history buffs - a visit to the Turaida Museum Reserve is recommended. The most popular museum in Latvia, here visitors can learn the legend about the tragic love story of the Rose of Turaida, or climb up the 30-metre-high tower to enjoy a magnificent view of the Gauja River gorge.


Cesis (Cēsis) may have clinched the title of culture capital of Vidzeme with the opening of the new concert hall in the center of town. Local activists each summer put together a top-level contemporary arts festival, and bars and cafes here are so attractive that young people from near and far make the trip to Cesis, even from Riga.

Cesis takes pride in its Medieval castle, and it is a tourist favourite. Guided tours tell the story, special programmes like jousting lessons and/or an alcohol-fueled feast, await one and all.


Valmiera, located on the steep sandy cliffs of Valmiera, names as one of its feature sights - the 2.7 meter long Sajūtu taka (pathway) which, if strolled barefoot, enlivens all five senses.

Just outside Valmiera - a brewery producing the best beer Valmiermuižas alus - if not the best, then most certainly in the top three; its fame is sure to stretch far beyond Latvia’s borders as foreign tourists here have also given the product rave reviews.


The Vidzeme town of Līgatne and its hiking trails is a good opportunity for you to view wild animals and birds characteristic of Latvia’s fauna. Or check out an architectural landmark from the 19th century -  the Līgatne Paper Mill village and its authentic unspoiled surroundings. The defunct Mill’s territory includes many caverns or grottoes that are still to this day utilised as cellars, like, for example, the one at Lustažs is a “pit stop” to sample and enjoy locally-produced wine and schnapps.

For those travelers who yearn for rest and relaxation seaside, the charming towns of Saulkrasti and Salacgrīva are just for you. Here your friendly fisherman will be glad to offer you various seafood - smoked with methods centuries old. .


Boaters are invited to experience the twists and turns of the Gauja and the rapids of the Amata, while cyclists can take off on one of the designated routes in Gauja National Park, or, how’s about taking in the semi-rugged gulf coast beaches between Salacgrīva and Tūja.

Ever wanted to fly like an eagle? Don’t miss Aerodium  - the vertical wind tunnel. When in Sigulda, visit the Tarzāns Amusement Park or challenge the multiple obstacle courses, or - even crazier - bungee jump from the Sigulda cable car, high above the Gauja.

Winter sports buffs can find resort slopes and tracks in Cesis, Sigulda or Valmiera.


TOP 12 Attractions in Vidzeme region

Gauja National Park
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Gauja National Park

The Gauja National Park is the largest and oldest of the national parks in Latvia, characterized by great biological diversity, variety of...
Līgatne Nature Trails
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Līgatne Nature Trails

On the banks of the Gauja River, among the woodland crossed with ravines, there are more than 5 km of trails where you can watch wild...
Turaida Museum Reserve
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Turaida Museum Reserve

The broad area of Turaida Museum Reserve is rich with archaeological, architectural, historical and art monuments, which tell us about many...
Minhauzena muzejs
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Munchhausen Museum

The Munchhausen Museum is a true catalyst in evoking the tales of the adventures of Colonel Hieronymus Karl Friedrich Baron von Munchhausen...
Aerodium vertikālais vēja tunelis
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Do you wish to fulfil mankind's ancient dream - to fly freely in the air? Then head over to Aerodium! It is a vertical wind tunnel that...
The once-top secret Soviet bunker in rural Līgatne
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The once-top secret Soviet bunker in rural Līgatne

Līgatne Bunker, constructed 9 meters beneath the ground, was intended to serve as a shelter for Latvia’s Communist elite in case of a...
Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track
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Luge and Bobsleigh Track in Sigulda

Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track was opened in 1986, and is one of the few tracks in the world that is accessible to both professional...
Tarzāns Sigulda Adventure Park
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Tarzāns Sigulda Adventure Park

Tarzāns Sigulda Adventure Park is the largest outdoor adventure park in the Baltics. Everyone who likes leisure activities will find...
Cesvaines pils
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Cesvaine Castle

CesvaineCastleand park is an outstanding monument of eclecticism. The Castle was built in 1890-1897 according to the project of architects...
White dune in Saulkrasti
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The White Dune at Saulkrasti

The White Dune is one of the landmarks of Saulkrasti, on the Vidzeme gulf coast. The dune offers a splendid view of the sea, the mouth of...
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