Europe & Africa / Austria / Czech Republic
Czech Republic Hiking and Cultural Tour
Hike and Sightsee from Vienna to Prague
The Czech Republic is a realm of castles, châteaux and enchanting medieval towns, a land of vast mountains and crystal clear rivers. Paths lead us through the noble landscape of the Lednice-Valtice area, often nicknamed the Garden of Europe, the town of Telc with its matchless Renaissance square, the Trebon Lakes District and the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov with its incredibly well-preserved historic buildings and a maze of winding narrow streets. The climax of this tour is the magnificent city of Prague – one of Europe's and the world's most beautiful cities.
Days 1-2: Vienna - Lednice-Valtice - Staznice - White Carpathians
We are transferred from Vienna to the UNESCO-protected Lednice-Valtice Complex in the Czech Republic. We stroll this quiet park, enjoying its exotic arbors, pavilions and a number of Romantic sights including the Rajsna Watchtower which overlooks the entire area; the Temple of Diana, a former hunting lodge resembling a triumphal arch; the Temple of the Three Graces and St. Hubert Chapel. The next day we drive to the open-air village museum in Straznice for a glimpse of traditional Moravian life of the 19th Century and then take a pleasant hike in the White Carpathians, walking through orchid-filled meadows in this folded terrain. The day wraps up in a cozy wine cellar in Mikulov where we enjoy a traditional dinner and wine tasting while being entertained by local musicians playing Moravian folk music.
Days 3-4: Podyji National Park - Telc - Trebon
We begin the day with a walk through fields and forests of Podyji National Park to the ruins of Novy Hradek, once a dreaded frontier castle. We then drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Telc with its spectacular square adorned with Renaissance and Baroque houses. The next day we walk around the ponds surrounding the historical center of Telc, visit the Telc Chateau and then set off for a walk through the Trebon Lakes District. The walk follows a scenic path lined with 500 year-old oaks and concludes in Trebon with a stop at the Regent brewery founded in 1379.
Days 5-6: Cesky Krumlov - Vyssy Brod Monastery - Sumava National Park
A trip highlight, Cesky Krumlov is a unique UNESCO architectural gem with its countless winding streets lined with ancient Gothic and Renaissance buildings. The morning begins at Cesky Krumlov Castle, once home to the Rosenbergs who spent their fortune to make this place a jewel among cities. There is free time today as well to explore the many galleries and museums followed by a guided evening walk with enchanting views of the town at dusk. We drive the next morning along the Vltava River to Vyssi Brod, a magnificent Gothic monastery where monks have prayed and worked for more than 700 years. Our afternoon walk offers captivating views of the town, monastery, and above all the undulating landscape of the Sumava National Park. We have dinner back in Cesky Krumlov tonight at a local medieval restaurant.
Days 7-8: Prague - Departure
We head north today to Prague, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, for a walking tour of its major highlight sites, churches and palaces. Rightfully inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Prague reveals her charm and beauty and is a fitting crown to our entire trip. Included are visits to Prague Castle, St. Vitas Cathedral, Golden Lane, Garden on the Ramparts, the Lesser Quarter, St. Nicolas Church, Charles Bridge and the Old Town with its famous Asrtonomical Clock. We wrap up our trip tonight with a farewell dinner in an elegant restaurant on Petrin Hill with the sun setting on Prague below.