Right in the middle of Europe lies a small and picturesque country, which apart from the beer and hockey offers a lot of attractive sites. The Czech Republic is the first country in our seven-part series of „Driving through Europe“ articles.
You can comfortably drive across the whole of the Czech Republic in an afternoon. Due to its small size, however, its riches are more concentrated and you can find something interesting around every corner.
Its borders are flanked by mountains suitable for hiking, whereas the central lowlands and South Moravia are ideal for cycling. Many Czech rivers are good for canoeing, and there are plenty of lakes and ponds and camping sites where one can relax in peace. The country’s historical heritage is also unique, and there are countless castles, chateaux, and museums scattered all around the Czech Republic where you can experience its rich history first-hand. With the exception of the sea, you can find practically everything here.
OUTSIDE AND INSIDE THE FATA MORGANA
On the nature trail through the Trojská kotlina gorge (a 3 km, 2 hour uphill and downhill trek), you will explore this historically interesting area and its natural monuments. Top off your excursion with a visit to the Fata Morgana greenhouse and St. Claire’s vineyard in the Botanical Garden.
Take a hike along a section of the original Golden Road of Charles IV between Tachov and Bärnau in Bavaria. On the trail of this history park, you will discover milestones, statues, and other original artefacts, as well as indispensable information boards.
When you set off from the parking lot in the hamlet of Jelení vrchy along the marked tourist trail of 9 km, you will see the most interesting section of this unique technical monument including tunnel portals, an aqueduct, locks, and a spillway.
The open-air museum near Velehrad shows the appearance of an Old Slavic fortified settlement as well as depicting everyday life in that era. One can try out ancient crafts and meet free-roaming domesticated animals. Choose a day with a special programme or a market day for your visit.
You can reach the Sky Walk (55 m high, elevation 1,116 m a.s.l.) at Dolní Morava by cable car, foot, or bicycle. In addition to information boards, the attraction offers a grated floor at the very top where you can stand and gaze below, playful detours for fearless children, and a tube slide 100 meters long providing a fast way down. A similar structure (Treetop Walkway) has been attracting people to Lipno for 5 years.
Czech Vibes is a Czech female creative duo who take photos, film videos, and perform sound production during their travels. On their trips, Markéta and Magdaléna strive to capture the essence of especially interesting locations hidden deep in the countryside, doing so during the off-season in order to convey the atmosphere in the most poignant way.
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The vast majority of visits to the Czech Republic are made without any problems. Nevertheless, you should be wary of petty theft and, just to be sure, do not leave your possessions, such as jackets or bags, where they will be visible within an unwatched car.
Police tend to check speed as cars enter and leave municipalities, but you can come upon them also on motorways and on select main routes in unmarked vehicles.
You are most likely to encounter traffic complications in Prague and on the reconstructed main Prague–Brno motorway, the D1.
A motorway stamp (ten-day, monthly, annual) can be purchased at any petrol station or post office. Driving on motorways without this toll permit is punishable by a fine of up to CZK 5,000 to be paid on the spot.
It is mandatory to use your car’s lights during daylight hours all year round, and there is a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol.
DRIVING THROUGH 7 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
Do you have plans for your vacation yet? We have a better tip for you than drawing a finger on the map. Each week in our series of articles, we will present to you one of the seven selected European countries and their most attractive destinations. Overview of the countries is on the map below - click on each country to find out more. Stay tuned and let our interactive map inspire you.