Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania

Heritage gardens tours

We have composed seven routes visiting the historical gardens in Latvia and Lithuania. You will see a variety of gardens - from decorative plantings in manor houses worth visiting when apple-trees or roses are in blossoms, to orchards offering to taste and buy apples. You will also find out captivating stories from the history of the gardens. The routes represent shorter or longer journeys of several days by car. Some parts are suitable for bicycling. The routes take you to historical gardens and sites of gardening interest. Overnight options en route are suggested.

What is the independent travel?
Overview Tour details
N/A
4 days
Total distance driving 620 km
Latvia

Variety of the garden world

Poems are dedicated to trees in the garden sourrounding the memorial house of Edvarts Virza, a Latvian poet and writer who wrote a legendary novel about the lives of Latvian farmers. The beautiful 18th century Mazmežotne castle is renovated by a grain farmer’s family. The Rundāle castle is known as Latvia’s true jewel of Baroque and Rococo architecture featuring also a rose garden with over 2200 varieties of roses. At Brukna manor you will see a vegetable garden that is arranged as a Renaissance park, a rose garden and a vineyard. Pick your own blackcurrant berries at Bāniši berry farm. A beautiful landscape garden is open for visitors at Gundegas house.  200 year old oaks adorn the Vārkavas Park.  Riekstiņi is an authentic single-family Selonian farm with a specific spirit and ambience. At Kaldabruņa you will visit an art gallery housed in a hay-shed together with a hay museum. Grape selection and cultivation was the great passion of Pauls Sukatnieks, and his memorial garden is worth visiting during the harvesting time. Dvietes Manor is proud of its 19th century landscape park and a stone bridge. Daugavpils, the 2nd largest city of Latvia, is famous for the renovated  19th century Daugavpils Fortress housing museums. Sēlija tree nursery offers a tour of their apple orchard, apple storage and production facilities. Enjoy a glass of apple juice and stories of vinemakers. Berķenele is the memorial house of Rainis, the distinguished Latvian author and social activist.The Rokiškis Regional Museum and Manor is one of the most important cultural centres of the Aukštaitija region. The Liudvika and Stanislovas Didžiulis Homestead Museum garden features traditional Lithuanian apple tree cultivars, flowers and herbs. The A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Žukauskas Memorial Museum presents culture, literature, history, agrarian culture, and technical history in the Anykščiai region. Traditional Lithuanian flower garden can also be seen at the Bronė Buivydaitė Memorial Museum. In Anykščiai you can enjoy the Treetop Walkway and Labyrinth Park, and take a train ride on Aukštaitija’s narrow-gauge railway. In Traupis Botanical Garden you will find everything from perennial flower collections and rock garden to a flower clock and decorative pool with aquatic plants. The interior of the Taujėnai Manor house was decorated extensively with the Radziwiłł family’s portraits, sculptures, hunting trophies, and antique weapons. Take a walk around the Ukmergė Old Town and enjoy the view from the old fire tower. Survilai Homestead offers a barefoot trail walking on pine cones, swamp, peat, clay, gravel, polished glass, pine-tree needles, straw. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360 years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285cm at a height of 1.3m. The tour ends in Kaunas, Lithuania's 2nd largest city that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939.

Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 509 km
Lithuania

Traditional Lithuanian gardens and plants

The tour starts and ends in Kaunas, Lithuania's 2nd largest city that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285 centimetres at a height of 1.3 metres. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. The Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture carries out both scientific and experimental/production activities. You can also buy seedlings, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Home produced “Happy Foods” can be bought from Garsi Tyla homestead, and you can have a walk in their 100-year-old orchard and see the culinary herb garden. Burbiškis Manor and its beautiful landscape and sculpture park is a home to the annual tulip festival. Authentic homesteads representing Aukštaitija region can be seen at Kleboniškiai Rural Household Museum. Šiauliai University Botanical Garden demonstrates heritage rural plant gardens arranged according to the traditions of pre-war, inter-war and post-war periods. There are about 30 different species and varieties of plants growing on the grounds of the Baltic Plant Museum. The Liudvika and Stanislovas Didžiulis Homestead Museum garden features traditional Lithuanian apple tree cultivars, flowers and herbs. The A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Žukauskas Memorial Museum presents culture, literature, history, agrarian culture, and technical history in the Anykščiai region. Traditional Lithuanian flower garden can also be seen at the Bronė Buivydaitė Memorial Museum. In Anykščiai you can enjoy the Treetop Walkway and Labyrinth Park, and take a train ride on Aukštaitija’s narrow-gauge railway. In Traupis Botanical Garden you will find everything from perennial flower collections and rock garden to a flower clock and decorative pool with aquatic plants. The interior of the Taujėnai Manor house was decorated extensively with the Radziwiłł family’s portraits, sculptures, hunting trophies, and antique weapons. In Ukmergė District, visit President Antanas Smetona’s Užugiris Manor, which now houses a memorial museum in his honour. At the end of tour, you will visit the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania, one of the largest (194 ha) and most abundant (91,420 exhibits) open-air ethnographic museums in Europe.

Heritage gardens
N/A
4 days
Total distance driving 276 km
Latvia

Flower gardens and parks

The route leads through beautiful flower gardens of Kurzeme and Žemaitija. The largest in Latvia collection of Dwarf Bearded Iris is found in Kandava. Mierkalni is the largest daylily garden in Eastern Europe, with more than 1000 varieties. The owner also produces fruit and berry wines.  In the Talsi Hillocks Nature Park there is the Kurzemnieki apple growing and processing apples (dried apples, apple chips, juices). It also grows Roman snails. The Upmaļi environmental and health farm produces teas, herbs, plant oils, special balms, cosmetics, plant-based soaps, etc., under the brand name AnnA Bermans. Latvia’s oldest magnolia, 50 years old, is found at Sauleskalni arboretum. Over 100 varieties of peonia are grown in Ziedoņi peony garden. The owners of Maras Manor offer stories of historical German manors in the area.  Milk Estate Berghof houses a milk museum. Exotics flower and tree cultivars are found in Māra Lindes dendrological gardens. Turaidas farm produces herbal teas and sacks thereof as souvenirs or gifts, using lemon balm, raspberry, tansy, alchemilla, Plantago major and linden. In Nīca village, 7 decorative gardens maintaining the local gardening tradition are open for visitors. Rucava arboretum displays a collection of magnolias. The largest Japanese garden in Europe (16 ha) is a home to collection of traditional aromatic plants and vegetables.  Palanga Manor housing the Amber Museum and Birutė Park is one of the best-preserved manor complexes in Lithuania. Kretinga Manor Park is one of the oldest surviving 16th–18th century manor parks in Lithuania. Klaipėda University Botanical Garden has a coastal ethnographic garden with flower arrangements characteristic of this area. Klaipeda, the most popular seaside resort town in Lithuania. The Sea Museum and Dolphinarium are among the most famous attractions there. Šilutė Manor has two parks – an English landscape park with walking paths and the forest park known as Varnamiškis, or “Crows’ Forest”. Pakalnė is a unique traditional fisherman’s homestead with garden plants typical of the Lithuania Minor region.

Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 448 km
Lithuania

Manor gardens and parks

The tour starts and ends in Klaipeda, the most popular seaside resort town in Lithuania. Klaipėda University Botanical Garden has a coastal ethnographic garden with flower arrangements characteristic of this area. Kretinga Manor Park is one of the oldest surviving 16th–18th century manor parks in Lithuania. Palanga Manor housing the Amber Museum and Birutė Park is one of the best-preserved manor complexes in Lithuania. The largest Japanese garden in Europe (16 ha) is a home to collection of traditional aromatic plants and vegetables.  Rucava arboretum displays a collection of magnolias. In Nīca village, 7 decorative gardens maintaining the local gardening tradition are open for visitors. Historical cultivars are carefully selected to renew the orchard and romantic landscape park at the 18th century Tāšu (Telsen) estate in Grobiņa region, Latvia.The Izidorius Navidanskas Park has over 120 species of trees and shrubs. Visit an outdoor plant exhibition at Jadvyga Balvočiūtė Farm - growing medicinal herbs and spices, selling organic sprouts, single herb teas and herbal mixtures.  Also Beržoras Homestead in Žemaitija National Park grows a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs, garden plants and aromatic herbs. Plungė Manor, called the “Versailles of Samogitia”, is one of the most famous surviving ensembles of its kind in Lithuania. Steponas Darius Birthplace Museum features a unique orchard of impressive size and scope. The Švėkšna Manor Complex features a sculpture park, scenic views, trails, gates, and a Chinese-Japanese maidenhair tree (ginkgo biloba) which stands 18 metres high and 70 centimetres in diameter. Šilutė Manor has two parks – an English landscape park with walking paths and the forest park known as Varnamiškis, or “Crows’ Forest”.

Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 423 km
Latvia

Gardens - The beautiful and the practical

The route leads from Riga, the capital of Latvia through beautiful countryside areas to Kaunas, the second largest city of Lithuania.  Klūgu landscape garden and park is famous for begonias. Institute of horticulture in Dobele owns a collection of over 200 types and forms of lilac plants. The “Beautiful&Practical” garden is proud of its collection of conifers, and the hosts offer tastings of herbal spice powders, dried berries and fruit. “Rūķīšu tea” is one of the largest farms for medicinal plants in Latvia (purple coneflowers, marigolds, chamomile, etc). Enjoy the beauty of peonia in the collection garden by Andris Berkins. Viestardi tulip garden also grows and processes buckthorn. Next stop is at the vegetable and herb farm “Healthy” producing herbal ointments. Visiting Mint House you will taste mint tea, biscuits, honey with peppermint and peppermint syrups. At Blankenfelde manor you will see a collection of bells and will enjoy natural juices, syrups and pickles produced in-house. In Joniškis, you can visit the White and Red Joniškis Synagogues, the Joniškis Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and the Joniškis Museum of History and Culture. Jakiškiai Manor has not been renovated and shows authentic elements like ovens, shutters, stairs, doors. There are about 30 different species and varieties of plants growing on the grounds of the Baltic Plant Museum. Šiauliai University Botanical Garden demonstrates heritage rural plant gardens arranged according to the traditions of pre-war, inter-war and post-war periods. Burbiškis Manor and its beautiful landscape and sculpture park is a home to the annual tulip festival. Authentic homesteads representing Aukštaitija region can be seen at Kleboniškiai Rural Household Museum. Baisogala Manor is called royal, since it once belonged to a Lithuanian Grand Duke, its 12-hectare park is one of the most beautiful in Lithuania. There are two beautiful heritage gardens surrounding the museum of Mačiulis-Maironis, a famous Lithuanian poet. Home produced “Happy Foods” can be bought from Garsi Tyla homestead, and you can have a walk in their 100-year-old orchard and see the culinary herb garden. The Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture carries out both scientific and experimental/production activities. You can also buy seedlings, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. At Tadas Ivanauskas Homestead at Obelynė Park you will see a collection of 300 species and forms of plants, including some of the oldest trees on the planet – the ginkgo biloba and the dawn redwood. In Kaunas you will see the Oldest Apple Tree in Lithuania – almost 360years old, 8 metres tall, with a girth of 285 centimetres at a height of 1.3 metres. The Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas Botanical Garden exposes the Lithuanian Heritage flower garden plants according to their botanical classification. The tour ends in Kaunas that was the capital of the country from 1920 until 1939.

Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 271 km
Latvia

Gardens with tree nurseries

This tour takes you to beautiful gardens in Latvia and Lithuania. Poems are dedicated to trees in the garden surrounding the memorial house of Edvarts Virza, a Latvian poet and writer who wrote a legendary novel about the lives of Latvian farmers. Strūbergu decorative garden offers a garden excursion and consultations in gardening. At Brukna manor you will see a vegetable garden that is arranged as a Renaissance park, a rose garden and a vineyard. The beautiful 18th century Mazmežotne castle is renovated by a grain farmer’s family. The Rundāle castle is known as Latvia’s true jewel of Baroque and Rococo architecture featuring also a rose garden with over 2200 varieties of roses. At Blankenfelde manor you will see a collection of bells and will enjoy natural juices, syrups and pickles produced in-house. Visiting Mint House you will taste mint tea, biscuits, honey with peppermint and peppermint syrups. Next stop is at the vegetable and herb farm “Droši vesels” producing herbal ointments. In Lithuania you will visit Žagarė, known for its cherry orchard-park and the special species of cherry – the ‘Žagarvyšnė’, on the National List of Plant Varieties.  Stop by Žagarė Manor Park, containing more than 100 species of trees and shrubs.  Back in Latvia you can have a picnic at Vilki arboretum showing about 1000 different plants - both typical of the landscape of Latvia and quite unique. At Zaļenieki tree nursery, you can walk in the garden with over 2000 trees and shrubs. Further you will enjoy the beauty of peonia in the collection garden by Andris Berkins. Amatnieki homestead offers tours of their tulip garden.  Klūgu landscape garden is famous for begonias. Institute of horticulture in Dobele owns a collection of over 200 types and forms of lilac plants. ''The beautiful and practical idea garden'' is proud of its collection of conifers, and the hosts offer tastings of herbal spice powders, dried berries and fruit. “Rūķīšu tea” is one of the largest farms for medicinal plants in Latvia (purple coneflowers, marigolds, chamomile, etc). And finally, visit Liepas tree nursery specialised in cultivation of fruit-trees, berry bushes and roses.

Botanical Heritage gardens
N/A
3 days
Total distance driving 406 km
Latvia

Fruit gardens and regional authenticity

The tour makes a loop through historical regions of Sēlija and Latgale. It starts and ends in Daugavpils, the 2nd largest city in Latvia.
Sēlija tree nursery offers a tour of their apple orchard, apple storage and production facilities. Enjoy a glass of apple juice and stories of vinemakers. On the way, a visit to Berķenele memorial house of Rainis, the distinguished Latvian author and social activist. Grape selection and cultivation was the great passion of Pauls Sukatnieks, and his memorial garden is worth visiting during the harvesting time. At Kaldabruņa you will visit an art gallery housed in a hay-shed together with a hay museum. The romantic landscape park at Asares estate dates back to the 18th century and exposes carefully picked tree and shrub varietes. Riekstiņi is an authentic single-family Selonian farm with a specific spirit and ambience. Nereta Evangelical Lutheran church is one of the oldest stone buildings in Sēlija region dating back to 1584. Sauka Nature Park offers nice landscape views from a viewing tower. Rudzīši wineyard grows about 80 grape varieties. Pick your own blackcurrant berries at Bāniši berry farm. A beautiful landscape garden is open for visitors at Gundegas house.  200 year old oaks adorn the Vārkavas Park.  At Naujene museum of regional studies you will see an exposition showing the house of a wealthy Latvian farmer from the turn of 19th-20th centuries. Vasargelišķu viewing tower is 24m high and offers great views over the meandering Daugava River. Ethnographical Slutišķu village with carefully maintained wooden cabins exemplifies traditional Latgalian architecture. Kurmīši farm grows medicinal plants that are very common in Latvia – oregano, St John’s wort, wormwood, lemon balm, catsfoot, etc. 

Heritage gardens
This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Latvia Rural Tourism Association "Lauku ceļotājs" and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.