In Vidzeme, rural landscapes are strikingly picturesque with birch copses and white, crushed-dolomite highways that wind through the hills and valleys, also meandering past Braki, home of playwright Rūdolfs Blaumanis, Meņģeli, home of musicians and composers the Jurjāns brothers, and Kalna Kaibēni, the brothers Kaudzīši museum. Nowadays, such picturesque farmsteads are often transformed into public spaces – guest houses, artists’ studios and museums. In earlier times, Vidzeme farmsteads comprised several small buildings – the family home, a byre, a stable and cart shed, the namiņš or summer kitchen, a flour-mill and one, or sometimes even three or four small barns.
Salaca river valley with Mazsalaca and Skaņaiskalns
Lejaslīgatne with paper-mill village and the Gauja ferry
Cēsis Old Town with medieval castle and park
Lake Burtnieki with churches and estate centres
Āraiši Lake and surroundings
Alūksne’s historic centre with its lake, parks, castle and palaces