Overview for Trails of Bohemian Paradise
This walking tour is an excellent opportunity to spend your holiday discovering unspoiled nature and rich history, hidden in the very heart of Europe.
The Bohemian Paradise is a picturesque region situated 90 km north of Prague (Czech Republic’s capital). The Bohemian Paradise combines unique nature, sandstone rock cities, spectacular landscapes, remarkable historical sights, and rural architecture. The area is included in the UNESCO’s list of Geo-parks.
Your walk will take you through the narrow corridors of “rock cities”, exciting rock labyrinths, and splendid view-points. You will have the opportunity to explore castles, ancient ruins, waterfalls, and stunning rock phenomena. The route will take you for a visit of Trosky castle – the symbol of the Bohemian Paradise and one of the most incredible places to visit in the Czech Republic. Your holiday will start and end in Prague.
Itinerary for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
Day 1: Prague – Jičín
Upon arrival at the international Václav Havel airport in Prague you will have two choices: use the city public transport to get to the central bus station and take a coach from there to Jicin. Alternatively, you can pre-book a private transfer. You can also book an extra night in Prague before the start of the holiday.
When you arrive in Jicin, you will check in at your hotel which is situated near the town centre.
If you arrive during the day you will have time to explore the picturesque renaissance town of Jičín, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic and the gateway to Bohemian Paradise. Sightseeing opportunities include a chance to visit the Baroque chateau and museum, and one of the most beautiful buildings in Jicin, the Hall of Three Emperors. There’s also a chance explore the historical centre and Wallenstein square, as well as take a walk to the Valdická Gate (a three-storey tower from the late Gothic period) which provides the backdrop for the classic silhouette of the town and excellent views of Jicin. Additional places of interest include the Church of St. James the Elder standing next to the Baroque chateau and Valdicka gate.
Accommodation: a 3+ star hotel in Jičín.
Day 2: Jičín – Prachovské Skály rocks
On your second day you can choose between a longer (11 km) and a shorter (7.5 km) route. Both trails take you via an undulating terrain, through the rock city of Prachovské Skály, and end in Prachov.
The longer route starts with a walk from the hotel to Valdštejnská Lodžie, a summer house, which is one of the most interesting landmarks of the Jičín region. It continues with a warm-up on the steep Zebín hill (a conical basalt peak), with a chapel of St. Mary Magdalene on its top. The peak offers a spectacular panoramic view over the entire Jičín region.
The trail continues towards the Prachov village and connects with the shorter route before entering the Prachovské Skály rocks. The beginning of the sandstone formations dates back to the Mesozoic era when the whole territory was flooded. Millions of years later, the region was pushed up by the effects of tectonic powers, the flood shrank back and the seabed split into separate blocks. The walk takes approximately 3.5 h.
Accommodation: Hotel*** Prachovské skály.
Walking for the day: Standard route: 11 km + circular walk around the Prachovské skály rocks 3.5 km.
Shortened route: 7,5 km + circular walk around the Prachovské skály rocks 3.5 km.
Day 3: Prachovské skály rocks – Libošovice
The third day starts with a walk through a mild terrain with beautiful views to the ruins of the Gothic rock castle Pařez. The castle dates back to the late 14th – early 15th century. Your route then takes you to the small town of Sobotka.
The town offers a number of sights to enjoy:
- The Renaissance town hall with a reconstructed tower;
- Gothic Renaissance church of St. Mary Magdalene;
- The town zone of sights (the old part of town);
- Humprecht – Baroque hunters‘ chateau from the 17th century.
Walking for the day: 16 km, 4-5 hours
Accommodation: 3-star hotel, Sobotka, is situated at the end of the small town.
Day 4: Libošovice – Hrubá skála
After breakfast you will head off to the small village Vesec – a favorite location to many film producers. The walk continues through the valley of Klenice, by the Plakánek stream, passes by the Obora lake and reaches Kost Castle.
Kost castle is the best preserved Gothic castle in Bohemia. It was built in the end of the 14th century on a sandstone rock formation. You can take a guided tour in the castle.
The next part of the journey continues through the Podtrosecké údolí valley, where in the 16th century locals built a system of ponds, preserved until present day. By one of the 8 marshes you will find a suitable for lunch restaurant.
Last stop for the day is the Trosky castle – the symbol of the Bohemian Paradise. It was built in the 14th century between two volcanic rock massifs, with towers located on each hill. The higher tower is called The Maiden, and the lower and more robust is named The Old Woman. Thanks to its defensive stone wall and advantageous strategic position the castle stood well against all military attacks. Since the Thirty Years War the castle has become desolate.
Walking for the day: Standard route: 26 km (6 – 7 hours). Shortened route: 18 km (4-5 hours).
Accommodation: Hotel*** Hrubá Skála
Originally a 14th-century castle later rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau, it is located on a sandstone bedrock in Český ráj (Czech Paradise) about 6 km south-east of Turnov just above the township of Hrubá Skála.
Day 5: Hrubá skála – Malá skála
The day begins with a walk exploring Hrubá Skála rock city. The rock city consists of about 400 sandstone towers. Some of them are 60 meters high (380 meters above the sea level). The trail leads you through the Bukovina arboretum, the Mouse Hole rock passage, and passes by the cave named Adam’s Bed. You will then reach a spectacular viewpoint called Mariánská vyhlídka which opens the most beautiful views of Bohemian Paradise. The path continues to the upper part of the Hruboskalská Plateau.
Situated on the plateau is your next stop – the Valdštejn castle, built in the middle of the 13th century. You will then continue to the end of the rock ridge Hlavatice (a lonely rock located at the edge of the Hruboskalská Plateau). You will ascend to the top via stairs with railings to reach an observation point, opening a panoramic view on Turnov, Ještěd hill, and Bezděz.
The trail continues with a descend to Turnov, where you will have the opportunity to visit the museum of the Bohemian Paradise.
Next stop is in Dolánky – the modern museum of Bohemian Paradise nature. Then you will continue to Drábovna (a small rock town). A marked path will take you to the ruins of a castle from the Middle ages – Frýdštejn, after which you will descent to the rock castle Vranov, also known as Pantheon. With its length of almost 400 m it is considered the most complicated rock castle in Bohemia. The form of the castle was determined by the sandstone cliffs, in which it was built before 1425. It was abandoned during the 16th century. Later modifications transformed the ruins of the castle into a romantic monument available to public called the Pantheon. Reconstruction was completed in summer 1826, when a chapel was built high above the Jizera valley.
The trail ends with a descent to Mala Skala.
Walking for the day: Basic route: 20 km (5- 6 hours). Shortened route: 15.5 km (4 – 5 hours).
Accommodation: Kavka or Hotel Skala in Mala Skala, where you will stay for two nights.
Day 6: Circular Walk around Malá Skála
After breakfast your route begins with an ascend around Suché Skály (Dry Rocks) – a narrow rock massive from hard sandstone, lifted up by the Alpine-Carpathian folding.
You will then continue to the Besedické Skály – a rock labyrinth. The Besedické skály Rocks are located on the left bank of the Jizera River above Malá Skála. The walls of the rock maze hide the Kalich praying room, among other things. A ladder is cut into sandstone, with an inscription bearing the year 1634. At that time, secret services of the Czech Brethren were held during the anti-reformation period.
The route ends back in Mala Skala, where you can visit the Bouček’s farm. This is a two-storey wooden building with a gallery – a wonderful example of the rural architecture in Mala Skala region. The gallery, named after Josef Jíra (famous local artist) exhibits a collection of paintings and sculptures made by more than 120 Czech artists of 20th century. A separate part contains permanent showcase of the painter Josef Jíra’s artworks.
Walking for the day: 16 km (5 hours)
Accommodation: Hotel Malá Skála.
Day 7: Transfer to Prague
Departure to Prague during the day according to the bus schedule (not included). Private transfer is also available upon request and at additional charge.
You will have the opportunity to get to know Prague in person: the City of a Hundred Spires, a UNESCO monument and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Take advantage of one of the many free walking tours offered in Prague, or explore the city on your own – the choice is yours. Optional extra night in a 3 or 4-star hotel in Prague.
Hotels for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
3-star hotels, as indicated in the itinerary. The hotel in Hrubá Skála offers spa facilities. All places have been carefully handpicked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodation that offers friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. All hotels offer wireless Internet connection.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available en route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or from restaurants and taverns in the village nearby.
Travel for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
Recommended airport: Václav Havel airport Prague (https://www.prg.aero/en/)
Terminal 1 is used for flights outside the Schengen Area.
Terminal 2 is used for flights within the Schengen area.
Transfers to/from Airports
City bus No. 100 takes you from the airport to the final bus station named ZLIČÍN.
You should then take the underground (Metro) line B and go to the final underground station called ČERNÝ MOST. Do not confuse it with the bus station Černý Most. When you exit the metro, you’ll find the Central Bus Station, where you can catch a coach to JIČÍN (your first town). Buses to Jicin leave from bus stops No. 1, 2, and 4. Fare is about 140 CZK (GBP 4.50).
Detailed timetable and additional information you will find in the Info Pack, provided to you upon booking with us.
The bus stop is on the main motorway in Malá Skála, about 200 m across Jizera river. Buses go to the bus station Černý Most in Prague.
Private transfers via taxi are available at an additional cost (please choose when booking):
- Arrival (Prague Airport to Jicin)
- Departure (Mala Skala to Prague)
Please note that only one airport transfer per party is included, though additional transfers can be arranged. It is advisable therefore that all party members arrive on the same flight or at least at a similar time. Night transfer extra charges may be applicable on private transfers in case of late night arrivals.
Timezone: GMT +1
Language: Czech. In big cities many people speak English but in remote areas this might not be the case. Young people speak English and the elderly understand Germans or Russian. Hotel personnel speaks English and are always available to assist. You can always call our 24/7 help line if there are any problems.
Population: 10.5 milion.
Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.
Phone code: +420
Currency: Czech koruna, sometimes referred to as Czech crown (CZK), pegged to the Euro (1 Euro equals 27 CZK, 1 £ – 28 CZK) and therefore fluctuates directly with Euro/GBP rate. We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. CZK Bank-notes are 50, 100, 200, 500, 1 000, 2 000 and 5 000 CZK.
Coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 CZK.
Banks and ATM are available and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and in big petrol station chains, but might be limited at some of the villages we visit. You can withdraw money from ATMs Jičín, Sobotka, and Turnov.
British Embassy’s address in Prague:
Thunovská 14, CZ – Praha 1
phone: +420 257 401 111
fax: +420 257 402 296
In Jičín, Sobotka, and Turnov
Medical Emergencies – Hospitals
JIČÍN – Bolzanova street 512, tel. +420 493 582 111
TURNOV – 28. října street 1000, tel. +420 481 446 111
Important telephone numbers: Emergency 112, Police 158, Rescue Service 155, Firemen 150
Town Information Centres
- JIČÍN: Valdštejnovo náměstí 1, tel. +420 493 534 390
- SOBOTKA: Náměstí Míru 3, tel. +420 493 571 587
- TURNOV: Náměstí Českého ráje 26, tel. +420 481 366 255
Cost of living: Czech Republic’s costs are much lower than the ones in UK and the rest of Western Europe. Some sample prices follow:
- 3-course meal in a standard restaurant: CZK 200 (£ 6.30)
- A flask of mineral water from a street shop: CZK 20 (£ 0.63)
- A cup of coffee: CZK 30 (£ 1)
Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Up-to-date travel advice on Czechia is available here.
Trip Info for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires reasonable level of fitness. The trip covers an average of 18 km (6-7 hours) of hiking per day, with a possibility of shorter walks (read more about our difficulty grades).
You will walk mostly on forest or meadow roads, and through rocks labyrinths. All trails are well-marked.
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip as available from April until October.
Weather is best in June – September. As July and August are the busiest months, it is preferable that you book as early as possible. Prague can become overcrowded in summer months.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season, therefore please indicate desired starting date when booking.
The climate is typical for Central Europe. Humid summers with occasional hot spells, and cold, cloudy and humid winters. If you are planning a trip to the Czech Republic, weather will probably be one of your concerns. Czech Republic’s climate is comparable to that of southern inland Canada. Summer in the Czech Republic typically covers the period from June through mid-September. Czech summers are usually mild (20-27°C/70-80°F) and somewhat humid, with the highest temperatures up to 30-35°C/85-95°F (occasionally higher) for short periods. Such heat waves can be expected in July and August. Sudden showers and thunderstorms are common, so bring an umbrella or be prepared to dash for cover.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible because airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your daily essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact us or a reputable outdoor retailer.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including gps-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
- Accommodation for 6 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4 star hotels or family-run guesthouses as listed in itinerary
- 6 Breakfasts
- Daily luggage transport to next hotel of 1 bag of up to 25 kg per person
- All internal ground transfers on walking days and baggage transfers as listed in itinerary
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office
Options and Extras
(please choose when booking)
- Private transfers from/to Prague city or airport
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation in the mountains
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not explicitly mentioned in the program
(please choose when booking)
- One extra night in Prague after holiday end date
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Castles & museum entrance fees: approximately £15 per person (total for all locations).
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Reviews for Trails of Bohemian ParadiseGo to top of page
We had a wonderful holiday and loved every moment. Every day and every stay was different and I really cannot pick one walk over another. I was very pleased to have booked the transfer as it took a level of stress out of arrival, and we ended up getting a transfer back to Prague as we travelled on a Sunday and I hadn’t realised there were no buses, however Petr sorted this out very efficiently. Everything went very well, no double in one of the hotels but no problem. It would have been really nice to have some recommendations on where to eat or drink in each location and also to know that at the castle hotel Hrubra Skala there are no other options other than to eat in the restaurant and there is no bar. We actually ended up using the navigation app more than the maps, very useful especially at the beginning of each day when the instructions on which trail to use were sometimes confusing. We really enjoyed the variation in the hotels and the walks, and would definitely look at using the company again in the future. Bohemian Paradise was our second excellent trip with Natural Adventure Company and was all we hoped. Excellent beautiful walks, challenging but easy to follow, great accommodation and food, and perfect organisation of transfers, pick ups etc. We will be back for more!
We had a wonderful holiday and loved every moment. Every day and every stay was different and I really cannot pick one walk over another. I was very pleased to have booked the transfer as it took a level of stress out of arrival, and we ended up getting a transfer back to Prague as we travelled on a Sunday and I hadn’t realised there were no buses, however Petr sorted this out very efficiently. Everything went very well, no double in one of the hotels but no problem. It would have been really nice to have some recommendations on where to eat or drink in each location and also to know that at the castle hotel Hrubra Skala there are no other options other than to eat in the restaurant and there is no bar. We actually ended up using the navigation app more than the maps, very useful especially at the beginning of each day when the instructions on which trail to use were sometimes confusing. We really enjoyed the variation in the hotels and the walks, and would definitely look at using the company again in the future.
Bohemian Paradise was our second excellent trip with Natural Adventure Company and was all we hoped. Excellent beautiful walks, challenging but easy to follow, great accommodation and food, and perfect organisation of transfers, pick ups etc. We will be back for more!