Valmiera Region stretches all the way to the Estonian border and is the second largest region in Latvia with active business, nature-friendly thinking, a lively cultural and sports life based on ancient traditions. Valmiera is one of the greenest towns in Latvia, where the ancient meets the modern, the industrial meets the natural at the same time, and that is the reason the residents and guests of the town feel good here. It is said that Valmiera is an industrial town, which is actually a forest. This can be verified by anyone who has climbed the St. Sīmanis Church tower during the greening or coloring of the leaves or tried out the Trail in the trees at the Park of Senses by the River Gauja Steep Banks, which finishes with a descent over the river Gauja.
Traveling around the Valmiera Region, you can get to know four beautiful small towns – Mazsalaca, Rūjiena, Strenči and Seda. Each of the towns surprises the traveler with its authenticity, attractive natural and cultural history objects. Mazsalaca delights travelers with unique natural views on the banks of the Salaca river valley, which open up for viewing by walking in the Skaņākalns nature park, meanwhile, in the lofty Valtenberg manor house, you can see the various expositions of the Mazsalaca Museum. Rūjiena is being hailed as the ice-cream capital of Latvia, because the legendary Rūjiena Ice-Cream Factory still operates here, where they not only make delicious ice cream, but also take guests on tours to introduce the process of making Rūjiena ice-cream and give them a variety of flavors to taste. The town on Strenči has “grown out” from forestry and rafting and is recognized as the International Town of Gauja rafters. In order not to lose the memories of the craft of rafters, which were so common in these places in the past, in Strenču Gaujmala, you can see more than 30 different wooden sculptures in honor of rafters. Seda is a compact little town which has formed near a peat bog. The wide avenues of birch and linden trees and the yellow houses of Stalin’s classicism cannot be found anywhere else in Latvia in such a clean and concentrated way. Meanwhile in the Seda bog adjacent to the town, you can observe a unique cultural landscape consisting of peat fields, bog ponds and a narrow-gauge railway.
Hiking and walking nature trails
There are two beautiful lakes located in the Valmiera Region – Burtnieks and Lake Vaidava. Gauja, Salaca, Rūja and other smaller rivers flow through, so there is no shortage of beautiful walking and hiking trails here. For example, the white sandstone giant – Sietiņiezis – is like a castle designed by nature, which stands on the banks of the Gauja. A walk through the tales and stories of Zilaiskalns, which has been a particularly sacred place for ancient peoples, can draw strength and energy, and at the foot of the hill is the Visitor and Cultural History Center. During the excursions there, you will have the opportunity to hear interesting stories, with the help of virtual reality you will be able to soar above the peak of Zilaiskalns and, in the summer season, go on an exciting 4 km ride with rail bicycles. Meanwhile, when hiking along the Dauģēni nature trail, you can enjoy the magnificent landscape of the old valley of Salaca and the outcrops of red Middle Devonian sandstone. Choose your favorite walking or hiking route in Valmiera region here.
Made in the Valmiera Region
It is no secret that it is in the Valmiera Region that you can taste delicious and refined beer, which is brewed according to the methods of noblemen at the Valmiermuiža brewery. You will be welcome on a tour of the brewery so that you can see the leisurely brewing of beer with your own eyes. They will show their masterful craft skills in more than one farm or family factory located in the Valmiera Region. At the chocolate treat factory “R Chocolate”, everyone can buy delicious chocolate treats and homemade ice cream, while at the master workshop you can learn about the nuances of chocolate making and prepare your own treat. When visiting the small family wineries “Matilde”, “Naukšēnu vīni”, “Berga Vīni” and “HI Veltes”, the hospitable hosts will introduce the nuances of colors, smells, tastes of the various Latvian berries and fruits in wines and other drinks. Meanwhile during the tour the hosts of the hemp farm “Adzelvieši” will show you the Latvian homestead and offer you to taste a hemp closure. Great things are happening in the Valmiera region, you will be able to see for yourself by choosing to visit one of the farms and factories here.
Culture and history
Valmiera is a Hanseatic town and its roots go back to the distant Middle Ages. The remarkable cultural and historical heritage and untouched nature have always made Valmiera a prominent destination on the banks of the Gauja river. The Valmiera Museum is located in eight historical buildings of the old town of Valmiera, where you can see permanent exhibitions about the history of the town and the region, as well as thematic exhibitions of works of art. Churches and manors, many of which have been restored to their historical form and attract travelers’ minds, also form a rich cultural and historical heritage in Valmiera Region. For example, at Oleri manor, guests are offered a tour of the manor house and the beautifully maintained garden, stay overnight in a cozy country manor guest room, or attend an event in the manor garden. One of the brightest examples of Vidzeme’s late Gothic and Baroque is the Burtnieku church. From its tower, the view will open to expressive rural landscapes and lake Burtnieks. More about the pearls of cultural history and architecture of Valmiera region here.
TOP events in the Valmiera Region
Various events are celebrated in Valmiera and the region with a varied holiday program for adults and children, traditional rituals and sports activities, during which you can experience a pleasant atmosphere and learn about the local culture.
- 20.05. Gauja rafters’ festival in Strenči
- 17.06. Summer solstice festivities and fare GARDU MUTI in Valmiermuiža
- 13.-16.07. Cycling festivities “Ērenpreisam 132” in Mazsalaca
- 14.-15.07. Valmiermuiža ethno festival
- 21.-23.07. Valmiera birthday festivities
- 5.-6.08. Home cafe days in the Valmiera Region
- 12.08. The bar “Tinte” festival in Valmiermuiža
- 12.08. Lake Burtnikes festivities
- 17.-19.08. “Latvian Voices” A cappella festival in Valmiera
- 2.09. Taste of Valmiera half-marathon
- 8.-9.09. IX Kokmuiža festivities in Kocēni
- 14.10. The historical Simjūda fare in Valmiera
Guests will be able to experience unforgettable tastes in Valmiera’s restaurants or cafes. Meanwhile, the hosts of the accommodation will take care of a peaceful rest after enjoying the diverse tourism offering. Chose the most suitable for you here.
If you want to get to know the most notable tourist attractions of Valmiera and the region accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, go on an excursion with one of the enthusiastic ambassadors of the Valmiera Region. More about guided tours here.