Castles & Manors Over Centuries
Arrival in Riga. Transfer to hotel and check in. Free time to explore Riga Old Town and amazing cultural heritage of UNESCO protected Art Nouveau heritage. Personal tour guide can be organized upon request. Overnight in chosen hotel in Riga.
RIGA - SIGULDA - TURAIDA - BIRINI
(~77 km, 100% asphalt)
Breakfast in hotel. Pick up the hired car at the hotel. Leave for the one of the most beautiful cities – Sigulda which often referred as „Little Switzerland” of Latvia. Sigulda is a part of the first national park in the territory of Latvia – Gaujas National Park which was founded in 1973. Sigulda is settled in the Primeval valley of the Gauja River where opens a remarkable view to original landscape. There are the biggest Devonian outcrops in Latvia – sandstone cliffs, rocks and caves on the banks of the Gauja River and other smaller rivers. The main attractions are imposing Turaida Castle built in 1214 portrays medieval life time and Sigulda New Castle built at the end of 19th century. Next to the castle is the Dainu Hill – sculpture garden dedicated to Latvian folklore with 25 hand-made stone sculptures, which express poetry of Latvian folksongs – its foundation is universally recognized values – love, honour, getting on with surrounding environment, people, cares of relatives, nature. The area creates a special atmosphere in which a man relaxing and gain strength for everyday life.
Free time for lunch. Suggested place: leisure park “RÄmkalni” which is famous for its wide range of activities and tasty on site made meals.
After lunch route continues to Birini Manor which is built from 1857 to 1860 and is located near a lake. In 1860 August von Pistolkorss built the main building on the castle ground which remains today. The main Building is designed in a neo-gothic and semicircle style. The building had a rich décor of sculptures and bas relief’s which were lost during the First World War. The interior of the castle is done in Renaissance style with a wide entrance hall, balcony and double oak staircase featuring wood engravings. The dining hall has a molded wood ceiling and opens onto a terrace that descends to the lake. There is a richly decorated hall on the second floor of the castle with original light tile stoves. Birini Manor is surrounded by wonderful park good for leisurely walk.
Overnight in Manor.
BIRINI - IGATE - LIMBAZI - STRAUPE - CESIS - DIKLI
(~120 km, 100% asphalt)
Breakfast in Birini Manor. The route leads through the Gauja National park which is situated on the both sides of the ancient river-valley of the river Gauja to the Igate Manor built in 1880 in the style of neo-renaissance. Near the castle there are a romantic park and an old water mill, where there is a pub serving traditional Latvian dishes. The route continues to Lielstraupe castle which built in 13th century. The castle is unique because the main building is united with a church. On the way to Old Hansaetic town Cesis route will pass the oldest wooden baroque manor preserved in Latvia - Ungurmuiza Manor. The manor house was built by Baron von Campenhausen in 1732 as the family house. At present the manor house is being restored to its former splendor. Ungurmuiza's buildings and park are situated in the Gauja National Park and wonderful landscapes and protected sites of nature are found in its vicinity: ancient trees, caves and cliffs, lakes and castle mounds. The interior paintings are surprisingly well-preserved. Visitors can enjoy the special atmosphere of the manor house by taking a walk in the park beneath the huge oak-trees or enjoying tea in the Tea House.
Drive to Cesis. Free time for lunch. Suggested place: typical Latvian old style restaurant “Glendeloka”. After lunch sightseeing in Cesis – in the garden of the castle ruins there is a workshop of a traditional jeweler, which can be also visited. The origins of Cesis are traced back in 800 years old history. The town’s history is linked to Cesis Medieval Castle around which the town was built. Rebuilt and expanded several times through the reign of the Russian, Polish and Swedish, Cesis Castle acquired its architectural pattern at the beginning of the 16th century. The Cesis church and the old castle ruins with the beautiful castle park are places where to let yourself think and wonder. The New Cesis Castle is built after year 1777 next Old Castle.
Drive to Valmiera. Sightseeing in the town Valmiera and drive to Dikli Manor built in 1896 in the style of neo-baroque. There are collection of valuable antique furniture, fireplaces and interior articles inside the manor. The origins of Dikli Manor date to the 16th century. Historically a home to barons and baronesses, the palace is now a hotel that welcomes guests who want to relax, celebrate a special event, or do business in a unique atmosphere. Overnight in the Dikli Manor.
VALMIERA – RIGA
(~117 km, 100% asphalt)
Check out. Drive back to Riga. Hand over the hired car at the Riga International Airport.
Price: 143 € / per person (on twin sharing bases)
Transfer from airport to hotel
3 overnights in hotel and manors (DBL/TWIN)
Maps and detailed description of the itinerary
Hired car (depends on car model; price from 34.00 – 82.00 Euro/per day)
Tickets and entrances to the attractions and sites