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Cycling the Bohemian Paradise  The Natural Adventure 3

Cycling the Bohemian Paradise

Overview

Cycling the Bohemian Paradise 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 90 km north of Prague (the Czech Republic’s capital). Combining unique nature, sandstone rock cities, spectacular landscapes, remarkable historical sights, and rural architecture, the area is included in UNESCO’s list of Geo-parks.

The tour will take you through the narrow corridors of “rock cities”, exciting rock labyrinths, and splendid viewpoints. You will have the opportunity to explore waterfalls, stunning rock phenomena, ancient ruins, and castles like Trosky castle – the symbol of the Bohemian Paradise and one of the most incredible places to visit in the Czech Republic.

  • Bohemian Paradise UNESCO Geopark
  • Trosky Castle
  • Hruba Skala Castle
  • Rock cities
  • Town of Jicin

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Jičín

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 to explore the historical centre and Wallenstein square and 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.

Day 2: Tour around Jičín | 37 km

Today is your first cycling day. After leaving Jičín, you will ascend to the Veliš volcanic hill with a chapel. You will ride around ponds, in the forest and through the countryside to another conical basalt peak with a chapel Zebín. Discover Wallenstein summer house (which is one of the most exciting landmarks of the Jičín region) and return to Jičín. Depending on your timing, you will have some time left to finish exploring the picturesque Renaissance town of Jičín, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic and the gateway to Bohemian Paradise.

  • Accommodation: Hotel reStart or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 37 km, ↑600 m ↓600 m

Day 3: Jičín – Sobotka | 23 km

Your first stop today is in 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. After a brief walking tour, you will continue cycling through some old castle remains and authentic villages to Sobotka. You could visit Humprecht – Baroque hunters‘ chateau from the 17th century in this small old town.

Day 4: Tour around Sobotka | 26 km

Your first stop would be in an authentic village with timbered cottages. You will continue through a beautiful valley with streams, a pond and a pleasant path between the surrounding rocks. The valley is ending in front of the medieval Kost Castle, the best-preserved Gothic castle in Bohemia, built at the end of the 14th century on a sandstone rock formation. You can take a guided tour of the castle. The next site to visit is Valečov rock castle ruins from the 15th century. After a short cycling section, you will reach another rock castle with a great view. Your route is continuing by rural countryside. The route back to Sobotka is leading through a rock gate.

Day 5: Sobotka to Hrubá Skála | 26 km

Today you are riding on a winding route through beautiful valleys with ponds and old stone bridges, entering Podtrosecké Údolí valley, where in the 16th-century locals built a system of ponds, preserved until the present day. Passing the valley, you will go up to Trosky castle, a 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. Finally, you ascend to your castle hotel in Hrubá Skála located on a rock cliff.

Depending on your arrival time, you can explore on foot a local rock town, consisting of about 400 sandstone towers, some of which are 60 meters high (380 meters above sea level). The trail leads you through 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.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Hrubá Skála or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 26 km, ↑420m ↓370m
  • Optional walking route: 2 km on foot, 1 hour, ↑100m, ↓100m

Day 6: Hrubá Skála – Malá Skála | 33 km

Your cycling route starts around Hrubá Skála rock city. Soon you are riding down to Turnov (one of the two bigger towns in the region). Later you reach the Neo-Gothic castle Sychrov with an extensive collection of French portraits and English parks. After the tour, you would ride through the Czech countryside from village to village and come to Frydštejn castle. Now you have a short descent to Malá Skála, where your hotel is. If you are not too tired, you could walk up to another castle and enjoy the Jizera valley viewpoint.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Skála or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 33 km, ↑400 m, ↓500 m

Day 7: Malá Skála – Jičín | 40 km

From your hotel, you are cycling to Suché Skály (Dry Rocks) – a narrow rock massive from hard sandstone, lifted by the Alpine-Carpathian folding. You are riding to Rotštejn ruins, reaching your next stop, a less known lookout tower. The route is continuing around the highest peak in the region, through many villages to Jinolice ponds and finishing the fairy town of Jičín.

  • Accommodation: Hotel reStart or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 40 km, ↑670 m, ↓630 m

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice 3*** hotels, as indicated in the itinerary. The hotel in Hrubá Skála offers spa facilities. We have carefully handpicked all places, 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.

Click to view default hotels

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.

Meals

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 in the village nearby.

Difficulty & terrain

The daily cycling distances range between 23 and 40 km, with a maximum daily elevation gain of 670 m (read more about our difficulty grades). The cycling goes mostly on secondary asphalt routes with limited traffic or designated cycling lanes, so you will not be bothered by passing cars too much during the tour. 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 is available from April until October. The weather is best in June – September, and most stable in September. As July and August are the busiest months, we advise you to book a departure in this period as early as possible. Prague can become overcrowded in the 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.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Prague.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked hotels as listed in the itinerary
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel of 1 piece of up to 25 kg per person
  • 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
  • Bike rental
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Castles & museum entrance fees: approximately  £15 per person (total for all locations)

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • E-bike upgrade
  • Private transfers from/to Prague airport or city
  • Extra nights in Prague before or after the holiday

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