If you have read my previous posts, you know how easy and accessible hiking in the Czech Republic is. You already know how to find hiking trails and how not to get lost while hiking. Although I am persuaded that the Czech Republic is a hiking paradise, not every hiking trail leads through breathtaking natural and historical scenery. You can read ahead from the map if your route will lead you through open landscape, or some forestry area. But without more detailed knowledge it is hard to tell whether the Czech landscape will reveal its true peaceful serenity, or will distress you with endless industrialized fields and monotonous sylvicultures. So if you’re looking forward to doing some hiking on your holiday in Prague, here are my tips on where to go.
The landscape of the Czech Republic is very variable. Its character changes every few dozen kilometers and is a result of human and natural forces throughout history. The areas in which the natural or cultural aspects are of a special significance are protected. Its character still remains traditional, peaceful and rather harmonious looking. The aim is to stop further massive human development and to keep the character of the area. There are plenty of hiking trails in these protected areas and since they are the most unspoilt parts of the country I can recommend planning your hike there.
Because most visitors to the Czech Republic head directly to the capital for their holiday in Prague, I’m going to tell about hiking areas in Central Bohemia.
If you head north of Prague, you hit Kokorinsko with its sandstone rock formations and narrow canyons in between them. This type of landscape prevails up in another nature reserve lying partly in central Bohemia as well, the Bohemian Paradise.
A short train ride from the capital brings you to Bohemian Karst, a landscape of karst phenomena, such as cliffs, caves, rugged valleys and disappearing water. And of course, one of the most visited castles of the Czech Republic, Karlštejn is hidden among its rolling hills. This nature reserve is so popular that certain hiking trails here can get overcrowded, so if you head to places like Velká Amerika, or feel like going for a stroll from Srbsko to Beroun alongside the river Berounka, try to avoid sunny and dry weekends.
Further on in a southwestern direction lies Křivoklátsko, a place of majestic forests and beautiful autumn colors, and a hunting ground for Czech kings. Brdy is a mountain chain stretching southwest from Prague. The narrow northern mountain range is very popular with cyclists. The southern Brdy mountains were used by the military till very recently and is now open to the public.
The smallest of all protected landscape areas in Central Bohemia, and in Czechia, is Blanik. It’s just two hills beside each other. Inside Blanik hill, Saint Wenceslas and his army of knights are said to be sleeping, for now at least. Legend has it that one day when the lands of the Czech crown are in the utmost danger they will lead the charge against the enemy. Nobody has moved out of there yet, which means so far, so good.
And if you do set off on a hike in one of these areas during your holiday in Prague, don’t forget to let me know how it went in the comments!