This walking trip follows a corridor of countryside laced with beautiful hiking trails that pass many castles and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Telc, and the medieval center of Český Krumlov. You will walk through the rich cultural landscape surrounding Lednice and Valtice, the vineyards of South Moravia, and along the remnants of the Iron Curtain at Cizov.
You will see the forested river valley of Podyji National Park, and the wetland and lakes regions of Southern Bohemia, on trails connecting the best this rich area has to offer. You will have the benefit of vast local knowledge and years of experience as you walk on carefully chosen, well marked, and superbly maintained hiking trails, through an area having Europe’s highest density of castles and chateaux. You will quickly gather that the Czech Republic is a perfect walking destination, and realize how lucky you are to see it in this stage of its development! Highlights: Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites; jewish cemetery in Mikulov, Iron Curtain, Vranov Chateau, Hardegg, Trebon.
Day 1: Meeting, introductions, and dinner
Meet your trip leaders in Breclav, just across the Czech-Austrian border, about an hour and a half by train from Vienna. Transfer to Valtice where you will be briefed about the days ahead. You’ll have time to stretch your legs on a short walk about the grandiose former estate of the Liechtenstein family, including the cellars of their Valtice Castle where you can enjoy a sip or two of Southern Moravia’s finest vintages. Enjoy a welcome dinner together, and learn more about the regions you will explore over the next several days. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only. Penzion Prinz, Valtice.
Day 2: Valtice to Lednice 11 km/7 miles
Begin with a tour of the Baroque Valtice chateau. You will then follow a series of quiet foot paths across gently rolling terrain, through fields, vineyards and forests. The hidden follies scattered throughout the forests are spectacular places to rest your feet while enjoying a snack and cool drink, and pondering what life may have been like for members of the Liechtenstein dynasty who ruled this area for many centuries before the Second World War. Continue to the elaborate Gothic Revival Chateau at Lednice before an afternoon transfer to Mikulov. BLD. Hotel Templ, Hotel Reva Lux or Hotel Eliska, Mikulov.
Day 3: Pavlov - Mikulov 10 km/6 miles
You will experience some more significant elevation changes today as you wander through the Palava Hills, including a 550 m climb up Devin - the highest point of today's walk. You will visit the ruins of Divci Hrady (the Maiden’s Castle) and Sirotci Hradek (the Orphan’s Castle). Then, climb over Tabulova and Turold Hills and descend through lush vineyards to the magical castle town of Mikulov. BL. Same lodging
Day 4: Cizov - Hardegg - Vranov nad Dyji 14 km/9 miles
Transfer from Mikulov to the village of Cizov where you will begin to explore the unspoiled beauty of Podyji National Park. You will walk alongside the final remnants of the Iron Curtain and briefly cross into Austria, enjoying a stellar view of the Dyje Valley before descending to the ancient village of Hardegg. Your trail then leads back to Vranov nad Dyji where you will finish your day with a tour of its magnificent Baroque chateau perched atop a cliff over the Dyje River. From Vranov you will be transferred to Telc, a picturesque Renaissance town painted in elegant pastels and recognized as a UNECSCO World Heritage site. BL. Hotel Cerny Orel or Hotel Celerin, Telc
Day 5: Slavonice – Landstejn 12 km/7 miles
Enjoy a relaxing start to the day, transferring by train from Telc to Slavonice, a forgotten jewel with sgraffito houses. You will begin walking from the train station at Slavonice heading for the castle of Landstejn. Today includes a visit to a unique outdoor museum of military bunkers that were built along the Czech border in the 1930’s. From Landstejn there is a brief transfer to the town of Nova Bystrice where you will board the narrow-gauge railway (circa 1897) to meander through the sparsely inhabited forested region often referred to as “Czech Canada”. Finish the day in Jindrichuv Hradec where you will admire the third largest castle in the Czech Republic (only Český Krumlov and Prague are larger). In the spring you may see storks nesting on the chimneys above the palace. BLD. Hotel Concertino or Hotel Bila Pani, Jindrichuv Hradec
Day 6: Trebon – Kojakovice 14 km / 9 miles
After exploring the town of Jindrichuv Hradec you will embark on an easy day of walking through the mosaic of ponds, woods and meadows known as the Bohemia Lake District, and its capital Trebon - a medieval city whose walls are still largely intact. Your walk will lead you around Svet, a man-made lake and an engineering wonder of the 16th century. Finish in the village of Kojakovice with a visit to its interesting museum. Transfer in the late afternoon to Český Krumlov. A highlight of any visit to the Czech Republic includes exploring Český Krumlov’s narrow cobblestone streets, its looming castle, and Baroque theatre. There are many excellent choices for an independent dinner. BL. Hotel Arcadie or Hotel Konvice, Český Krumlov
Day 7: Český Krumlov – Klet – Cesky Krumlov 16 km/10 miles
Begin the day with a train to Zlata Koruna, famous for a monastery founded in 1263 by Premysl Otakar II, the King of Bohemia. You will then climb on foot over Klet (1084 m) the highest peak of the Blanský Forest. Near the top you will find a pleasant restaurant, a lookout tower, and an astronomical observatory. Return to Český Krumlov on foot, where you can explore the hidden nooks of this unique medieval town. BD. Same Lodging
Day 8: Český Krumlov - Prague
Your Adventure officially concludes this morning following breakfast but you will have ample time to independently enjoy all that Český Krumlov has to offer, including some last minute souvenir shopping before taking a three-hour bus ride to Prague. You can choose between several departure times. B. “The routes were very well chosen – very minimal traffic, country roads with great views… Also good variety with greenways one day, rolling countryside, some hills, villages, etc."
-Start: Breclav train station, 14:00 day one. Breclav is accessible by train from Vienna (1 ½ hours) or Prague (3 ¼ hours).
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