In my last post I gave you some tips on hikes near Prague. In this post, I would like to send you to worthwhile hiking spots a bit further away from Prague. So if you plan to go off the beaten track and explore unusual locations on your holiday in the Czech Republic, I hope that you will find my tips useful.
I start with a short description of the nature reserve of Slavkovský les. This is the area where my hiking life actually started in my teens. Area of vast forests, natural springs, bog lands,and extinct villages. If you are visiting Karlovy Vary, or Mariánské Lázně, do not miss the opportunity to bathe in the green silence of this forest. South of Slavkovský les is another impressive protected landscape, Český les. Most of this forest was closed off to the public during the 40 years of communism because here was the Iron Curtain that protected Czechoslovakia’s “socialistic paradise” against our Western enemies. On the plus side, it was the best nature protection management.
South Bohemia is the home to the biggest national park in the Czech Republic, Šumava. If you want to witness the natural life cycle of the spruce forest, hike to the highest parts of this national park. North of Šumava lies Blanský Les. Apart from its natural beauty this reserve preserves the traditional village architecture. Třeboňsko has been over the centuries transformed into a landscape of many artificial lakes and ponds. This wetland attracts many endangered bird species, so this is where the steps of (not only) bird lovers should lead.
České Středohoří is a place close to my heart. I used to hike a lot in this area back in my twenties. This is a landscape of nearly regular conical hills resulting from prehistoric volcanic activity. It is monumentally divided by a deep canyon of the river Elbe into two parts. No two landscapes are ever the same, but I have to say that I have never seen a landscape like this anywhere else in the world. České Středohoří’s neighbours to the north are Lužické hory and Labské pískovce, where the Bohemian Switzerland national park is. It is an area of unique sandstone formations and deep narrow gorges. Further east, you can hike in the forests of the Jizerské Hory mountains.
Krkonoše is the national park where the highest peak in the Czech Republic is, Sněžka. The hiking trail to Sněžka is one of the busiest in Czechia, so I would advise avoiding it during the summer holidays. Broumovsko is known for its sandstone cities and rock formations. The mountainous region of Orlické hory is characterised by impressive scenery: deep valleys eroded by streams. Železné hory and Žďárské vrchy are two protected landscapes close to one another which have maintained their character of a balanced agricultural landscape.
If you are planning to visit Moravia while on holiday in the Czech Republic, the forested Jeseniky mountains in the north of the region are one of the coldest parts of the Czech Republic. Beskydy mountains still contain the remnants of natural forests. Poodří and Litovelské Pomoraví nature reseves protect the natural meanders of the Odra and Morava rivers. Moravský kras is the largest limestone karst in the Czech Republic. Bílé Karpaty with its meadows and mostly deciduous forests contains the highest diversity of orchid plants in Central Europe. Pálava is stunning nature reserve in south Moravia. It is definitely worthwhile to connect hiking in this region with wine tasting in the local vineyards. Podyjí, the only National Park in Moravia, protects the unique canyon of the river Dyje.
But of course, beautiful parts of this country are not only hidden in nature reserves, and hiking trails are everywhere! Happy hiking moments during your holiday in the Czech Republic!