The river Vltava is known as the “mother of all Bohemian rivers” and will guide you on your journey from the “Golden City of Prague” to the “Three-River city of Passau”. The Vltava winds through magnificent landscapes, beautiful small towns and past the proverbial “Bohemian villages.” Explore the still unspoiled and wild countryside surrounding the river Vltava. Your journey takes you uphill and downhill. Sometimes you may even have to stop and push the bike, wipe the sweat off your brow and pause for a drink. But your all efforts will be rewarded by the panoramic view, which is simply breathtaking. Enjoy the fascinating landscape and the “Bohemian way of life” by the Czech Republic’s most beautiful river.
You will cycle on mostly quiet rural roads and forest tracks.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Take the opportunity on your first day to discover the “Golden City of Prague”. The capital of the Czech Republic is famous for its music and the Middle Ages, Kafka and Kisch, beer and roast pork with dumplings. Stroll through the historical city centre, which has been a UNESCO world cultural heritage site since 1992. The well-preserved city with its historical buildings, the cobbled alleys of the old town, the great view from the Charles bridge and towering over the city, the impressive Prague Castle, the pubs and cafés of Prague are all part of the experience.
Your first stage takes you through slightly hilly and varied terrain, through numerous, small, idyllic Bohemian villages. Admire the small houses with wood-panelled gable walls covered with dahlias, the herbs growing by the roadside, and take the opportunity to try the excellent Bohemian beer in one of the cosy taverns. The wild, untamed, rocky river valley is behind us and the Vltava ripples gently in the reservoir. The reservoir covers an area, depending on the level of the lake, of up to 5,000 hectares, and provides energy to cover peak demand, as well as being a recreation area.
Today you pass through small Bohemian villages until at Milesov you see the Vltava reservoir. You continue through the dark green Bohemian Forest, with the Vltava to guide you, until you reach Orlik. High on a steep cliff, overlooking the Vltava lies the mighty Gothic castle of Orlik. Owned by the Schwarzenberg dynasty, the castle typified the lifestyle of the nobility in the 19th century.
A few kilometres further on lies the next attraction, Zvikov castle. The headland at the confluence of the Vltava and Otava rivers has attracted settlers since prehistoric times. In The Middle Ages, the castle was one of the most significant and impregnable in Bohemia. The peace and quiet of the unspoilt landscape make the final kilometres to Pisek pure pleasure. The picturesque small town nestles on the right bank of the Otava river. In ancient times, prospectors washed the sand (Czech – “pisek”) to find gold, hence the name of the town.
Today’s journey takes you through the fascinating cultural and unspoilt river landscape along the “gold” river Otava. An enchanting, quiet forest path leads you to the castle Hluboka, set high on a hill overlooking the Vltava. Windsor castle served as a model for renovation work, as can be seen from the many turrets, the battlements and many other decorative elements. Continuing along the Vltava, you approach today’s destination, Budweis. This town is not only famous for its beer but a royal town, founded in the 13th century, has a population of 100,000 and is today the centre of southern Bohemia. The extensive main square with its Samson fountain is surrounded by pretty Gothic and Renaissance arcade houses. And to round off the day a beer from one of the local taverns!
Today’s short stage gives you plenty of time for a morning walk around Budweis before you set off. You will be impressed today on your journey by the remoteness and the prettiness of the villages. The Vltava, with its many canoeists, guides you towards the medieval town of Český Krumlov, a UNESCO world cultural heritage site since 1992 and the high point of your journey. For centuries this town has been known as the “Pearl of the Bohemian Forest”, not only because of its position, nestling in a loop of the Vltava, but also due to its over 300 historical buildings and the impressive large castle complex. The narrow alleys, the wooden balconies, the colourful houses give the town Mediterranean flair in the summer months and the street cafes and beer gardens ensure a lively atmosphere.
Today is the opportunity to show off your sporting prowess with a few tough climbs in the Bohemian Forest, the “Green Roof of Europe”, but the stunning beauty of the scenery will reward you for your efforts! Enjoy the wonderful views, the clear air, the seemingly endless pine forests and above all the silence, so silent you can clearly hear the whispering of the streams and the rustling of the leaves. With the Vltava on your left, you come to the charming, small town of Rosenberg with its majestic fortress. For a while, you cycle along the Vltava, and a little later you reach the Lipno reservoir, one of the largest fishing areas in the Czech Republic.
The route leads you through the delightful countryside of the Bohemian Forest to the Schwarzenberg canal. In the 19th century, the 52km long canal (known as the 8th wonder of the world) was used to transport enormous quantities of wood to the Danube, to be then transported to Vienna and used for fuel. A short distance later you leave the Czech Republic and pass into Austria, to spend the night in the romantic Mühlviertel.
Today’s final stage takes you through the picturesque Mühlviertel to the Danube. Your journey combines silence, wooded countryside and rolling hills, panoramic views and on a clear day, it seems as if you can reach out and touch the Alps. An adventurous winding journey through the Mühltal takes you down to the Danube cycle path. The path meanders along the river valley. Your journey continues along through the Schlögener Schlinge (loop in the Danube) towards the final destination for today’s stage, the “Three-River City” of Passau. This imposing city, located between the three rivers, Inn, Danube and Ilz, is also the final highlight of your cycle trip. Take the opportunity to wander around the old town and visit one of the traditional coffee houses. (The final 25 km can also be done by boat from Engelhartszell to Passau (approx. €13,50 p.p incl. cycle)
Depart after breakfast.
By plane Prague
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|PrPass (7 Nights)||from £751||Book Now|