Arival in Prague
Prague – Karlstejn Castle (8 or 12 km / 5 or 7,5 miles)
After breakfast our representative will wait for you in your Prague hotel lobby. You will get a thorough welcome briefing, and a comprehensive package of all tour materials. Our rep will then drive you to the trailhead outside of Prague (about 30 min). You will start your first hike in Svaty Jan pod Skalou (St. John Below the Rock), one of the most picturesque villages in the Bohemian Karst National Reserve. To lengthen your day’s walking distance you can start with a 4 km instructional trail circuit around the village. Then you will start on the red-marked trail through beautiful forested rolling hills all the way to the Gothic castle of Karlstejn, one of the most popular castles in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348 by Czech King Charles IV, this castle is well worth a visit before you check into your hotel located at the foot of the castle hill.
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Karlstejn Castle – Zvikov Castle (20 km / 12.5 miles)
After breakfast you will take about a one hour ride by car from your hotel in Karlstejn to Orlik Castle, one of the few castles in private hands today, belonging to the Czech noble family of Schwarzenberg. This stunning castle located on a promontory over the lake is a must-see before you start on your hike. You will skim the high banks of the lake on Vltava River to Zdakovsky bridge, the longest single-span bridge in the world at the time of its construction. You will continue along a well-marked trail through woods and small villages, in several places offering beautiful views over the lake. Your destination is Zvikov Castle looming over the confluence of the Vltava and Otava rivers, a partial ruin dating back to 13th century. Make sure to explore this romantic site, perhaps as an evening walk from your hotel after dinner.
Overnight in Zvikovske podhradi
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Zvikov Castle – Pisek (22 km / 14 miles)
Today you have the opportunity to walk inn to inn. Although this is the longest walk of your tour, the terrain is not difficult, with only a few short steep ascents and descents. You will walk along the wooded high bank of the Otava River offering at times beautiful views of the meandering river and the surrounding countryside. You will pass through two protected nature areas with rare pine woods, a habitat of protected plants and the largest European owl. On your final stretch you will walk along the river all the way to the ancient bridge in Písek’s historic center. This stone bridge is the oldest in the country dating back to 13th century and is lined with sandstone statues from 18th century. The historic center of Pisek with its royal castle, museum, city hall, and churches is well worth exploring.
Overnight in Pisek
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Pisek – Tabor (17 km / 11 miles)
After a short car transfer your trail will start at Stadlecky bridge, an interesting technical monument from 1848 over the Luznice River. Today will be an easy hike following the river most of the way. On a promontory over the river you can explore a large castle ruin that used to belong to the powerful South Bohemian family Rozmberk. About 4 km before Tabor you will cross the river to the famous pilgrimage church and monastery of Klokoty, an early Baroque jewel designed by one of the most talented Czech architects of the time, Jan Blazej Santini. The beautiful line of huge linden trees and stations of the cross will lead you to the center of the Gothic city center of Tabor, cradle of the very first Protestant movement, the Hussites.
Overnight in Tabor
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Tabor – Hluboka (18 km / 11 miles)
In the morning you will board the first electric train in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire dating back to 1903, which will take you to Bechyne. This beautiful historic town is well worth exploring before you start on your walk. Today’s trail will take you through a romantic canyon carved by a stream, through a natural protected area to the lovely town of Tyn over the Vltava River. From there you will be transported by car to Hluboka Chateau with its extensive romantic park. The noble family Schwarzenberg, who owned the estate until 1945, modeled this 19th century English style park and Gothic-revival chateau after the English royal castle of Windsor. Today, this ornate chateau is state-owned, and offers several guided tours through its beautifully decorated interior chambers with amazing wood carvings.
Overnight in Hluboka
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Hluboka – Cesky Krumlov (16 km / 10 miles)
In the morning you will be transferred by car to Zlata Koruna and its famous 13th-century monastery. The first half of today’s hike is all uphill to the highest peak of the Blansky Forest: Klet Mountain (1082 m), with restaurant, historic lookout tower, and an astronomical observatory. After a well-deserved rest and refreshments you will make the easy downhill walk under the canopy of a beech-tree forest all the way to Cesky Krumlov.
Overnight in Cesky Krumlov.
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The old town of Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the must-see places in the Czech Republic.
The historic center preserves a virtually intact and unparalleled ensemble of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque structures. Among the attractions are the second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic, and the oldest working Baroque theater in Europe