Cycle along the banks of the Vltava River in the South Bohemia region of Czechia for a journey through some of the country’s most tranquil landscapes and fascinating cultural heritage. This week-long holiday starts in Český Krumlov, a UNESCO site and beautifully preserved medieval town, with other cultural highlights including the magnificent Zvíkov Castle, perfectly poised at the confluence of the Vltava and Otava Rivers, just one of many castles en route – many of them peppering the forested landscapes of Šumava National Park, which protects much of the trail.
- Český Krumlov
- Zlatá Koruna Monastery
- České Budějovice – home of Budweiser beer
- Šumava National Park
- Vojna Memorial
- Točník, Zbiroh, Karlštejn and Žebrák castles
Click to view map
Day 1: Prague – Český Krumlov
Welcome briefing with bike before transferring to Český Krumlov, the start of your tour. Český Krumlov is a medieval town registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Make use of your free time to see this medieval and Renaissance town with its famous castle gardens.
- Accommodation: Penzion Familia or similar
Day 2: Český Krumlov – Hluboká nad Vltavou | 42km
The day begins with the option of visiting Český Krumlov Castle, before cycling along the Vltava River. The first site to visit on the way is Zlatá Koruna Monastery (the Golden Crown). The route then continues to České Budějovice (Budweis), where you have the option of a beer tasting tour. Stay overnight in Hluboká nad Vltavou home to the Neo-gothic Chateau Hluboká. There is also the possibility of visiting Holašovice village (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
- Cycling for the day 42km
- Accommodation: Pension Kapr or similar
Day 3: Hluboká nad Vltavou – Písek | 53km
Today’s cycle takes you past Temelin nuclear power station, the largest power station in Czechia, before riding on to Písek. This historical town on the Otava River features the oldest stone bridge in central Europe, dating back to the 13th century.
- Cycling for the day 53km
- Accommodation: Hotel Cade or similar
Day 4: Písek – Příbram | 58km
This is the longest cycling distance of the tour, with a choice between cycling along a paved path or a partially off-road route. The route passes by Orlík Castle, and it’s worth stopping to take a tour here. Today’s cycle ends in Příbram, a town that has been an important mining centre since the Middle Ages. However, the more recent history of the town is rather chilling as political prisoners were forced to work at the Příbram uranium mines during the Communist regime.
- Cycling for the day 58km
- Accommodation: Pivovar Podlesí or similar
Day 5: Příbram – Žebrák / Zbiroh (Premium option) | 37km
Today starts with a visit to the Svatá Hora (Holy Mountain) pilgrimage church and monastery, with options to visit the Příbram mining museum and Vojna Memorial, also known as Vojna Labour Camp, which is poignant museum dedicated to the victims of Communism. The ride then continues through the forested hills of Brdy. The premium option for this segment finishes at the 13th-century Chateau Zbiroh, with the standard option continuing to Žebrák.
- Cycling for the day 37km
- Accommodation: Hotel Zebrak or similar
Day 6: Žebrák – Karlštejn | 42km or Zbiroh – Karlštejn (Premium option) | 48km
The route for today departs from Žebrák, heading to the impressive 14th-century ruins of Tocnik Castle. The middle part of the day takes you along forested rolling hills before arriving in the medieval town of Beroun in the heart of the Karlštejn region. Here there is the chance to explore valleys, caves and locations where pre-historic fossils can still be found. The remaining part of the day follows the Berounka River to the village of Karlštejn. The premium option of the tour starts in Zbiroh and joins the standard route at 11km at Tocnik Castle.
- Cycling for the day 48km
- Accommodation: Hotel Koruna Karlštejn or similar
Day 7: Karlštejn – Prague | 40km
Optional visit to Karlštejn Castle, built to safeguard the royal jewels and holy relics. The rest of the route is very easy as it continues along the Berounka and Vltava Rivers to Prague.
- Cycling for the day 40km
- Accommodation: Hotel Harmony or similar
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast and check out unless you decide to extend your holiday in Czechia.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view standard hotels
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen 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.
Click to view upgraded hotels
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.
Difficulty and terrain
This moderate cycling holiday is appropriate for beginner cyclists with some experience and requires a good fitness level (read more about difficulty grades). The average cycling distance per day is approximately 45km, and the cycling is mostly on dedicated bike lanes and some secondary roads with light to moderate traffic. The route follows small country roads with virtually no traffic and off-road biking trails with firm surfaces. We will provide you with detailed road notes, maps and GPS tracks, and you can call our 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 flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
We offer this tour also as a small group guided tour on specific dates – please get in touch for more details.
The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but in the June-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this tour is Prague.
By train or bus
When you arrive at Prague airport, the best option to get to the city centre is by using regular public transport, which is very cost-effective. The bus station is right in front of Terminal 2 (Exit D). A ticket valid for 90mins costs €1.69 (CZK40), and you can use it for the bus, tram or subway.
- 7 overnights in 3-star hotels and guesthouses
- 7 breakfasts
- Transfer on day one from your hotel in Prague to Český Krumlov
- Luggage transfer when changing hotels (one piece of luggage per person, max 20kg)
- Programme and route book (one set per room)
- GPX data and off-line maps for smartphones
- Detailed cycling notes and maps (one set per room)
- Maps of towns of accommodation on the tour (one set per room)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Bike rental
- Helmets – you can either bring your own or purchase one with your bike reservation. In Czechia, it is not obligatory to wear a helmet.
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist tax and entrance fees (payable on the spot)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is not available for solo travellers
- Upgrade to premium hotel
- Bike rental – touring bikes or e-bikes
- Helmet purchase
- GPS device with recommended route
- Extra nights in Prague
- Private walking tour in Prague
- Private transfer Prague to airport
- Bicycle trip to Karlštejn Castle
Bikes are equipped according to Czech regulations and the requirements of the tour. All bikes are fully maintained and in guaranteed condition. All bikes include a handlebar bag, lock, repair kit and rear pannier (on request).
Crossing/trekking bikes – Leader Fox (or similar) – at least 21 gears, water-bottle holder, rear rack, bell, dust defenders
E-bike: – 4Ever Comfort Sport 2022 (or similar) – a bike with an electric engine – water-bottle holder, rear rack, bell, dust defender