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Bohemian Paradise

  • 6 Night Route

    Price From: £485
  • 5 Night Route

    Price From: £440
  • 5 Night Route

    Price From: £425
  • 4 Night Route

    Price From: £400

Countryside of the northern borderlands

Back to Routes
Prague

Prague

The Bohemian Paradise

The Bohemian Paradise

A Bohemian lake

A Bohemian lake

Trosky

Trosky

Hrubá Skála

Hrubá Skála

Lunchtime pub

Lunchtime pub

Suché Skály Rocks

Suché Skály Rocks

Prague

Prague

Kost Castle

Kost Castle

Jičín

Jičín

View from Hrubá Skála

View from Hrubá Skála

Price: £485
Nights: 6
Grade:
Walk: 4 - 6½ hr/day
Max. party size: 10

Travellers Reviews

Walking was fabulous.

Hilly enough to be interesting but not too hilly that it was just a slog. Views were also great. Plenty of wildlife to see - we saw Wild Boar, deer, Red Squirrels, snakes, sloworms and a mass of bird life.

Eddie Simmons, Cringleford, June 2016

We liked best the rock labyrinths on days 2 and 6 and the views of rocks on day 3.

The green detour on day 6 was particularly rewarding. We liked the friendly natives, including children, large numbers of whom greeted us as we walked.

Sam McClary, Marysville

We loved every minute of this special holiday.

The perfect weather helped, but the routes were very tranquil and beautiful. The hotels were great, and we felt well cared for. Prague was the icing on the cake; after our hike we loved the stunning beauty of this city. Thank you for the great job you do!

Cathy Bergeron, Vermont, June 2017

More independent feedback
About the Route

At a glance

6-night version (5 days walking) - the full walk. We recommend adding nights in Prague at the end (or beginning).

How much walking?

Full days: 13-22km per day, 4-6½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: Shortening possible on Days 4 and 6 only

Max. Grade:

Castles, rock labyrinths and fairytales

The ‘Bohemian Paradise’ is a landscape of meadows, pine forests and extraordinary sandstone rock formations – labyrinths of rock towers through which the walker will wind and clamber. Although a ‘medium’ graded route, it is the odd short, sharp climb which tips it over into this category – most of the walking itself is easy. Situated at the northern edge of the Czech Republic, this historically rich area allows the walker a glimpse of rural middle Europe in microcosm. Fairytale castles, each with its own story, punctuate your journey, from Kost – one of the finest examples of its kind – to the volcanic double-coned Trosky. Moravian wines, local herbal liqueur and of course beer, for which the republic is famed, will, we guarantee, undo all the good work of the walking day. After a stay in the old town of Jicín, you should add a night or two in Prague (not included).

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie (and Thomas)

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews of this route submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit AITO.com

Route Highlights

  • Mysterious rock labyrinths to explore
  • Kost and Trosky castles, many smaller ones to visit
  • Wooden cottages and baroque châteaux
  • Pine forests, peaceful woodland glades and meadows
  • Great value food, wine and beer
  • A few nights in fabulous Prague at the end (supplement)

We Recommend

Extra nights in Prague to explore this fascinating city. Do also consider an extra night in Jicin, the 'gateway to the Bohemian Paradise' and discover the home town of Albrecht of Valdštejn...

How much Walking?

Full days: 13-22km per day, 4-6½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: Shortening possible on Days 4 and 6 only

Generally walking on well-signed paths, with good maps and simple route directions. Short, steep sections in rock labyrinths. The CUSs (below) is higher than easy-medium, but easy navigation brings it down a grade. Highest point on route: 550m.

Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 482m per day (300m-600m), or 380m (100m-600m) using shortening options.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops.  “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb.  See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk: April, May, June, July, September, October

Other possible months: August

A continental climate means that the early spring can be cold, but from late April the flowers will start to blossom and later spring and early summer is idyllic. The tree cover on approximately half the route means you are able to do the walking during the whole of the hot Czech summer, and the autumn can be lovely with the leaves starting to turn, and some warm days.  But IMPORTANT: many attractions are closed on a Monday, so choose your start day carefully if you want to see inside Kost and/or Trosky, in particular.

Start Dates

Recommended
Possible
Unavailable

Weather Chart

 

Temperature and rainfall chart for Turnov

Itinerary

About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive at Turnov

Arrive at Turnov, settle in, perhaps have a stroll around the town to determine a suitable Czech hostelry for your hearty supper.

Day 2 - Turnov to Malá Skála

A pleasant day’s introduction to the Bohemian Paradise including a possible visit to a traditional farmstead just outside Turnov, then up above the Jizera river and through woods and fields before reaching your first ruined castle, Frydstejn, closely followed by the Gothic Vranov, just above Mala Skala. At the village itself you have a choice – either explore little Mala Skala and find the excellent pub, or after lunchtime refuelling, continue the walk to take in your first “rock town” at Besedice, with its fine viewpoints across the region, before returning to Mala Skala for an afternoon bus or train back to Turnov. (Medium: 5 hrs,13 km, CUSs 480m, excluding Besedice rock town excursion)

Day 3 - Turnov – Hrubá Skála

After climbing out of Turnov, you start with another castle (Valdstejn), then take in rock sculptures and a classic piece of Czech vernacular architecture at Kopicuv’s farm. To finish the afternoon, wind through the “rock town” past viewpoints and a spring, descending to a ravine before climbing back up to the promontory with your accommodation perched on top. (Medium: 4 hrs, 12 km, CUSs 300m)

Day 4 - Hrubá Skála circular walk to Kost

Despite some quiet asphalt walking, this is a pleasant day, partly wooded, to majestic Kost, one of very few medieval castles in the Czech Republic. Towards the end of the day there is a not undemanding (but worthwhile) climb up to Vysker’s tiny octagonal chapel before winding down to a well deserved beer at your hotel. (Medium-hard: 6½ hrs, 22 km, CUSs 510m). Alternatives: walk to Kost then taxi back after an exploration of the castle (Easy-medium: 3 hrs, 10 km, CUSs 100m).

Day 5 - Hrubá Skála to Prachov via Trosky

An easy wander through the forests and meadows, past the lake at Vidlak before a climb up to iconic Trosky (the castle of two towers). Then to the eerie solitude of another quiet lake in a forest at Dolni Mlyn. Finally into the woods again around Prachov, and your hotel in the pines. (Medium: 5 hrs, 18 km, CUSs 600m)

Day 6 - Prachov – Jicín

Your final short (morning’s) walk through the forest, out into the open around Brada and perhaps a climb (for the young at heart) of Zebín; then to wander through the old town of Jicín, a look around its museum and a climb up the gate tower, before a hearty final supper in one of its many recommended restaurants and a good night’s sleep in our chosen town-centre hotel. (Medium: 5 hrs, 16 km, CUSs 300m). Shorter alternative missing out Zebin – Easy-medium:  3½ hrs, 11 km, CUSs 200m.

Departure day (or Prague)

Leave for home – or maybe spend a night or two in Prague at our centrally located family-run hotel

Travel Information

ARRIVING BY AIR

The best airport is Prague.

Land by: 15:00 for bus/train connections to Turnov (no time limit if using taxi)

Return flight earliest (if leaving from Jicin) 14:00 (departing from Prague, no limit)

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.

ARRIVING BY RAIL

Nearest Railway Stations:

Outward: Turnov
Return: Jicin

Typical rail journey from UK via Brussels, Cologne and Prague (c. 19 hours – www.seat61.com/Czech.htm ) – then train to Turnov, which can be the slow part of the journey! Alternatively www.bahn.de comes up with a multiplicity of possible ways from the north, bookable through them except for the final local train. Returning, Seat 61’s suggested routing (from Prague) looks lovely.

 

Getting to the start of the walk

The first hotel is in Turnov and the final hotel is in Jicin. Best airport is Prague. See below for suggested transfer methods.

PRAGUE AIRPORT:

Outward: by bus and train 3 hrs, OR Pre-booked taxi transfer from Prague airport to first hotel c. 1½ hrs.
Return: Bus and metro to Prague – onward shuttle bus transfer to airport.

Transfers from railway stations:
Outward: Hotel a walk or taxi ride from Turnov mesto station
Return: 15 min walk to train station

For prices of pre-booked taxis see “Prices”.

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

A wonderful variety of accommodation is offered on this route, from the simple but friendly, through the grander (and slightly pretentious) ‘chateau’ to a fine family run hotel in Jicin.  Our choice in Prague is excellent value and well situated.

Turnov – Hotel Karel IV (B&B)

Night 1 & 2

Turnov – Hotel Karel IV (B&B)

Typical Czech town hotel, simple in decor, but friendly.

Hrubá Skála – Chateau Hruba Skala (B&B)

Night 3 & 4

Hrubá Skála – Chateau Hruba Skala (B&B)

Baroque chateau with pretensions in spectacular position.

Prachov – Park Hotel Skalni Mesto (B&B)

Night 5

Prachov – Park Hotel Skalni Mesto (B&B)

Pleasant hotel in parkland setting. Small rooms, rather ordinary food but friendly service.

Jicín – Hotel Jicin (B&B)

Night 6

Jicín – Hotel Jicin (B&B)

Town centre hotel with spacious rooms and noted restaurant. Particularly good customer feedback. Occasionally uses annexe (Hotel Rieger) 5 mins walk away.

Prague: Hotel Hastal (for nights in Prague at the beginning or end)

Attractive and friendly hotel in quiet area near Jewish quarter. Hotel Website

Prices

Price: £485 for 6 nights

Total 6 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts and luggage transfers (Turnov to Jicin).

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated (e.g. for taxis), and may vary with season and exchange rate fluctuations – check with On Foot for your guaranteed price.

Savings and supplements

Single Room Supplement: From £100

Lone Traveller Additional Supplement: From £85

Larger party saving (on identical itinerary) – £30 off per person (except first two)

 

Add Ons

Nights in Prague: From £40 per person per night – contact us for details

Taxi Prague airport to first hotel (c. 1.5 hrs): From £91 (1-4 people); £182 (5-8 people)

Taxi from Jicin hotel to Prague hotel: From £81 (1-4 people); £161 (5-8 people)

Taxi from Jicin hotel direct to Prague airport: From £86 (1-4 people); £172 (5-8 people)

Local bus/taxi/train as required: Arrange locally

Travellers Reviews

Walking was fabulous.

Hilly enough to be interesting but not too hilly that it was just a slog. Views were also great. Plenty of wildlife to see - we saw Wild Boar, deer, Red Squirrels, snakes, sloworms and a mass of bird life.

Eddie Simmons, Cringleford, June 2016

We liked best the rock labyrinths on days 2 and 6 and the views of rocks on day 3.

The green detour on day 6 was particularly rewarding. We liked the friendly natives, including children, large numbers of whom greeted us as we walked.

Sam McClary, Marysville

We loved every minute of this special holiday.

The perfect weather helped, but the routes were very tranquil and beautiful. The hotels were great, and we felt well cared for. Prague was the icing on the cake; after our hike we loved the stunning beauty of this city. Thank you for the great job you do!

Cathy Bergeron, Vermont, June 2017

More independent feedback
Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Lubomir Hoska

Route designed by:

Lubomir Hoska

Born in the region, Lubomir has his own travel agency and tour operator business and combines that with being a professional guide. Your local contacts is Petr Hoska, who knows the area well.

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