When planning a trip to Europe, one can often be mistaken believing it can only be hopping from one city to another or from one historic attraction to the next. The Czech Republic is a particularly interesting case in that regard. Even though there are so many hugely interesting cities, towns & historic monuments, there are just as many beautiful spots in nature that are worth exploring. Here are the 9 best places to visit in the Czech Republic for nature lovers.
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9 Best Places to visit in the Czech Republic for Nature lovers
One of the major benefits of exploring the beautiful outdoors in a modern European country, like the Czech Republic, is the proximity to regular civilization. Regardless of your outdoor-adventure-level, you’ll be able to return to a metropolitan hub with high-speed internet in a short space of time. Likewise, you can also spend a few days exploring the great outdoors if you so wish. It’s all up to you, so these are the national parks and places you should be exploring in the Czech Republic.
Krkonoše National Park
Nestled on the northern border of Poland, the national park lies in the Krkonoše Mountain range, which is the highest mountain range in the Czech Republic. The park continues over into Poland (borders don’t control nature 😉) and the national park is considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site.
The highest mountain in the park (and the Czech Republic) is Snow Mountain, a.k.a. the Czech Matterhorn, measuring in at 1602m.
One of the best routes to get yourself familiarized with the Krkonoše National Park is the Past Obří důl to Mount Sněžka route (no, I don’t know how to pronounce that). This route may be on the challenging side, but it presents some of the most majestic alpine views and interesting stops for your breaks.
Found in the Nízký Jeseník Mountains, the Huntava stream has carved out a canyon in this beautiful landscape, leaving behind some breath-taking cascading rapids and the impressive Rešov Waterfalls.
This popular tourist attraction is open year-round and offers an enjoyable 1.5km walk through the canyon from the nearby restaurant & parking lot.
If you happen to be in Olomouc or Ostrava and are yearning for a break from the city, the 1h30 min drive to the falls will surely be worthwhile.
The Hruboskalsko Nature Reserve is found an hour & 20 min northeast of Prague and the first thing you’ll notice are the towering sandstone rock formations.
Here you’ll find Český ráj, a.k.a. Bohemian Paradise, the oldest preserved nature landscape in the Czech Republic.
Offering towering views, impressive rock formations and interesting ruins of castles to explore, this beautiful area offers so much to pique your interests.
Located north of the city of Brno, the Punkva Caves are one of the biggest draws to this area. Found in the Moravian Karst, the Punkva Caves are home to the deepest sinkhole in central Europe, the Macocha Abyss.
The Abyss is 140m deep to the lake lying beneath, which itself is another 40 meters deep. You can visit the top of the Abyss and look over it with one of the two lookout bridges, or take in the views of the Abyss from the bottom.
What will definitely remain as a highlight on your visit to the Punkva Caves is the subterranean boat journey along the green waters of this underground cave system. It’s the only way to get to the Masaryk cathedral, and one you won’t forget in a long time.
Podyjí National Park
You’ll find the Podyjí National Park on the southern border, neighboring Austria. Similar to the Krkonoše National Park, the Podyjí National Park is considered an Inter-National Park, as the park continues into Austria’s borders as the Thayatal National Park.
The park is one of 4 national parks in the Czech Republic, it isn’t the largest national park in the world, but it is home to a biome that’s unique to Central Europe.
Bohemian Switzerland National Park
Ah, picturesque Bohemian Switzerland, a.k.a. Czech Switzerland… The square meterage of places called “Something-Switzerland” may actually surpass the actual size of the country Switzerland. 😝
Anyway, the Bohemian Switzerland National Park is found in the North-west of the Czech Republic on the border with Germany. On the other side of the border, you’ll find another one of these national parks with Switzerland in their name, namely the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany.
Possibly our favorite national park due to its close proximity to the Germany city of Dresden, there are so many beautiful places to see and hikes to go on. One-stop that you definitely should not miss is the Pravčická Archway. It’s truly an incredible natural sight and an amazing testament to the impact erosion can have on not just sandstone.
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape
Somewhat different from the other suggestions in this article, the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape is a cultural-natural landscape complex of approx. 280sqm, making it one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe.
Located south of Brno near to the Austrian & Slovakian borders, the complex is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with another site protected by UNESCO located nearby, the Pálava Protected Landscape Area.
The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape is home to the Lednice Castle/Chateau, a particularly striking and elegant castle constructed in the neo-Gothic style.
Whilst this may be an artificial landscape, It makes for a beautiful walkabout when not out hiking in the many mountains of the Czech Republic.
To the east of Krkonoše National Park, you’ll come across a group of unusual and imposing rocks, the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks.
Ravines, gorges, cliffs & even a waterfall. If all of that has piqued your interest, then you’ll most likely enjoy a trip to the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks. If you’re an avid rock climber, you can even try your hand at conquering the 50-meter high Skalní koruna.
For those of us that prefer staying on the trails, the Teplice route is one sure to keep you enthralled and captivated within the incredible location. The route will take you past some aptly named rock formations, namely, the Butcher’s Axe, Caterpillar, and the Golem.
Šumava National Park
A perfect destination for hikers & cyclists, the Šumava National Park straddles the German border & isn’t too far from another popular tourist destination, Český Krumlov.
The Šumava National Park, or Bohemian Forest National Park, is the largest forested area in Europe. In addition to the forest, you’ll find breath-taking glacial lakes, peat bogs & some incredible trails.
The area is largely uninhabited, leaving it to reveal its natural and rare beauty. Whilst out on your adventure, you may even be lucky enough to spot a lynx from the local population.
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As you can see, there’s so much more to see in the Czech Republic than just Prague. Now that you know the best places to visit in the Czech Republic for nature lovers, which have you added to your Bucket list? Or have you already been to some of them? How was your trip? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂
David & Maike