8-day / 7-night walking tour
Prague – Melnik (14 km / 9 miles)
Your first day’s walk will start at Prague’s Stromovka Park,
a former royal game reserve sloping down to Vltava River.
After crossing the river you can visit the Baroque Troja
Palace, today the Prague City Gallery, and the extensive
Botanical Gardens with the magnificent Fata Morgana Greenhouse,
and vineyards covering the hill above the palace. The trail
then follows the bank of the Vltava River. The only climb
comes at the very end when you leave the riverbank and walk
uphill to the center of village of Klecany. A car transfer
at the end of the day will take you to the castle town of
Melnik at the confluence of the Vltava and Elbe Rivers.
Overnight in Melnik.
Melnik – Litomerice (13 km / 8 miles)
Your walk starts at Libechov chateau and park with its architectural
follies. Set into this bucolic scene are fascinating statues
and carvings by romantic-era sculptors. The trail continues
on gently rolling terrain through several villages and very
popular recreation areas located in the Protected Landscape
Area Kokorinsko. The walk ends at Castle Kokorin, a romantic
reconstruction of a former medieval fortress. In the afternoon
you transfer to Litomerice, located at the confluence of
the Elbe and Oder Rivers. Litomerice’s historic center makes
it a jewel of the Bohemian region.
Overnight in Litomerice
Litomerice – Decin (11 km / 7 miles)
The trail leads directly from the city center, follows along
a lovely stream, and continues uphill through villages and
forests. You will rise through beautiful countryside to the
peak called Varhost (el. 639 m). Its 15-meter-high observation
tower offers a 360-degree view of the picturesque countryside.
From the top you can see the Labe (Elbe) River and its meanders
in eight different places. In the afternoon you will be transferred
An alternative or additional walk at the start of the day
takes you 10 km (6 miles) to the former WW II concentration
camp of Terezin.
Overnight in Decin.
Decin to Hrensko (21 km / 13 miles)
First you climb from the city center to the top of the bluff
overlooking the Elbe River. From there it is a lovely trek
along a high trail that offers many magnificent views of
the river and the cliffs along it. The last part of the nature
walk leads through the forested canyon of a mountain stream.
Your hike ends at your hotel in the town of Hrensko, the
last Czech town before you cross the German border, and the
gateway to the Czech Switzerland National Park.
Overnight in Hrensko
Hrensko – Czech-Saxon Switzerland loop – Bad Schandau
(15 km / 9 miles)
The impressive Czech-Saxon Switzerland is a unique landscape
of spectacular sandstone rock formations, narrow passes,
rocky viewing platforms and green woods that stretch all
the way to the German border. The trail will take you up
to the largest natural arch in Europe, the Pravcicka Gate,
an icon of the national park. On your descend back to Hrensko
you first go down into green forest, then into the deep and
mysterious canyon of the Kamenice River, so narrow you have
to ride down by boat. At the end of your day you will catch
a steamboat that will take you to Bad Schandau, Germany,
a lovely riverside spa town.
Overnight in Bad Schandau.
Bad Schandau – Schmilka – Bad Schandau loop (12
km / 7.5 miles)
A morning steamboat ride will take you to the trailhead in
the German border town of Schmilka. You have one steep climb
at the start; the rest of the day is a pleasant stroll through
the forest, with the great river valley on the left side
and the stacks and towers of rock on your right. At the end
of your walk enjoy a ride down from the bluff in the historic
elevator; later you might even want to go for a swim in the
pool of the local spa.
Overnight in Bad Schandau.
Bad Schandau – Kurort Rathen loop – Dresden (5.5
km / 3.5 miles)
Today you will explore the most popular site of Saxon Switzerland
National Park – Grosse Bastei (Big Bastion). After a very
steep climb you will be rewarded by a fabulous view of the
Elbe River and the surrounding cliffs and villages. You will
experience the Elbe River steamboat ride at the beginning
of your day, and a ferry ride at the end of your entire tour.
Overnight in Dresden
Dresden, known as the “Florence upon the Elbe” was severely
damaged by air raids at the end of World War II. The city
has survived and been resurrected as one of Germany’s great
cities, offering many places to explore.
On the continent in Central Europe
the weather is cold with snow in the winter but the summers
are lengthy with a lot of
sunshine and clear days. Our tours run from the beginning
of April to the end of October – the optimum months here for
a good trip. May, June and September are the times
to experience the cooler, but still warm and sunny weather.
The temperature in the summer can get quite high, so July
if you love the sun. April and October
are wonderfully changeable and can be chilly too. These times
perfect if you want
to see the changing of the seasons.
July and August tend to be the busiest times in terms of crowds. Bear this
in mind if you want to see some national monuments relatively crowd-free.
Festivals and events
Central Europe is rich in festivals and cultural events. Worth mentioning are
the local festivals celebrating the grape harvest in September - vinobrani.
There is much merrymaking by the local residents with consumption of delicious
wine. In some areas a folk culture is connected to wine growing and this
can particularly be seen during the vinobrani.