The enchanted Paradise of Bohemia
From Prague, take the road to the paradise region of Bohemia. A few kilometres north-east of the capital, the lush valleys of this region unfold, surmounted by crazily romantic palaces.
At the foot of the imposing castle Hrubá Skála lies a fascinating city of rock. Equip yourself with a map with details of the hiking routes before entering this wonderful natural world. High towers of rock surrounded by pine forests and lakes are all around you. Faced with this stirring scenery, you will have a better understanding of the enthusiasm displayed in former times for the Paradise region of Bohemia by the writers and artists of the Romantic movement. Dazzled by this setting, you spend the night in the castle which has been converted into a luxury hotel. Unwind in its wellness centre, before continuing your evening in its mediaeval tavern.
Have you fallen in love with the region? Make your way to Prachovské skály. This spectacular rocky formation will make you dizzy with its tall rocks reaching a height of more than 60 m. Follow the waymarked path and dive into its labyrinth of caves and covered passageways. A whiff of adventure pervades this magical site.
One half-hour further along the road, the fairy tale castle of Kost marks the starting point for a pretty hike through fields and woods. Along the way, you pass through the village of Vyskeř, founded in the 12th century, admiring its charming traditional wooden houses as you go.
Hrubá Skála Castle Hotel
Hrubá Skála 1
511 01 Turnov
+420 271 090 832
506 01 Jicin
+420 777 902 232
Kost Castle (Hrad Kost)
507 43 Sobotka
+420 493 571 144
A hike through the Giant Mountains
This exploration of Bohemia takes you the borders of Poland, and the town of Vrchlabí, where you can visit the National Park of Krkonoše, also called the Giant Mountains National Park.
Classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, this park is a patchwork of rare ecosystems, alternating between sub alpine tundra with colourful flowers and peat bogs which are home to unique species. Your challenge for the day: to climb Mount Sněžka, the highest peak in the country, rising to a height of 1,602 m. With your hiking boots on, and a steely determination, set off on this five-hour walk amidst majestic scenery.
From the Obří důl valley, the first part of the route seems like a healthy stroll. You walk amidst unspoiled nature, between dense forests and flat-topped mountains. Farther off, a waterfall springs up through a peat bog. At the foot of Mount Sněžka, the walk across rocky terrain gets more difficult, but offers dizzying views of the lush valley of Obří důl. In this more challenging part of the route, catch your breath for a few moments before reaching the holy Grail. Once you have reached the summit of the mountain, you can declare victory! A good half of Bohemia stretches out around you.
As you descend to the valley, take the direction of Pec pod Sněžkou. Nestled in the middle of an undulating forest, in the vicinity of this winter sports resort, the Děvín hotel welcomes hikers seeking rest. This almost 100-year-old chalet will charm you with its old-fashioned atmosphere and its terrace open to the mountain peaks.
With a keen appetite following your exertions of the day, you dream of sampling some local specialities. At Pec pod Sněžkou, the Richtrovy Boudy restaurant offers you a delicious sour mushroom soup, Giant Mountain toasts (their local version of pancakes) and knedlíky (dumplings) with blueberries and chantilly cream…
Krkonoše National Park
Velká Pláň 190
542 21 Pec pod Sněžkou
+420 605 271 611
542 21 Pec pod Sněžkou
+420 778 521 415
Mysterious Bohemian Switzerland
On your arrival in the north-west of the country, near the German border, you will find a truly superb micro-region: Bohemian Switzerland. Given this nickname by Swiss 18th-century painters, who thought that it resembled their native country, the nature park still holds a fascination. The city of Hřensko is the starting point for this protected area, with its deep valleys and their fantastical rocky formations.
In the heart of its pine forest is hidden the largest natural rocky gateway in Europe. Pravčická brána is a pleasure that must be earned. You have to park your vehicle on the Hřensko car park, then walk along the road, before entering the forest. Make the most of this rural walk along a path climbing between rocks to pick some blueberries as you go. An admission fee is charged to view Pravčická brána. Although it is very touristy, you will be amazed by this rocky sculpture which rises above the tops of the trees. Here you will run into young Czech couples taking their wedding photographs in front of this site reputed to bring good luck.
Back in Hřensko, a new walk through the Kamenice gorges awaits you. Through rocks and rocky tunnels, a 2 km walk leads you to the banks of the river Kamenice, where little boats are moored at a landing stage. A boatman will take you on a twenty-minute journey into the magical world of Divoká soutěska, the Wild Gorge. In a good-natured atmosphere, this enthusiast will stimulate your imagination as you pass by unusual animal-shaped rocks. You then decide to continue your exploration on a second boat which enters Tichá soutěska, another more impressive canyon. At the end of this charming adventure, a superb waterfall appears. You will leave totally won over by the romantic power of Czech nature.
407 17 Hřensko
+420 412 554 286
Divoká soutěska and Tichá soutěska
405 02 Hřensko