Discover the beauty of Czech Switzerland
You shall find here an inexhaustible source of pleasures of the best kind to refresh your heart, spirit and body. To all who come to our mountains and forests from other lands I call “Welcome, stranger!”, this is an extract from the oldest printed guidebook to what we know today as Bohemian Switzerland National Park, a geologically stunning area that once reminded a couple of Swiss artists of their homeland.
1.Savour the organic creations of a delightful B&B
A superb restaurant, country styled B&B, and riding stable all in one. Na Stodolci was a real find on our journey through Bohemian Switzerland.
The small menu is refreshed weekly and it brings traditional Czech cuisine into the 21st century in an accomplished way. The result is utterly more-ish. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to stay but from our quick tour of the place, it is definitely on our list for next time.
The restaurant and hotel can be a little difficult to find. Follow the signs for the B&B, even if it tells you to drive across a tiny bridge into the residential part of the village.
2. Look through Europe’s largest rock arch
Pravčická Brána (Prahvchitzka Brahnah), Europe’s largest natural stone bridge, symbolizes the entire area of Bohemian Switzerland. Its mystical beauty has attracted visitors from early days and always served as an inspiration to many great minds.
We started at a village Mezni Louka on an undemanding trail of 6km, leading through a tranquil pine forest almost all the way up. The last 500m are quite steep and curvy thus the enormity of the arch just suddenly appears in front of you and takes your breath away.
You can carry on beyond the barrier to climb a few lookouts in the vicinity, to enjoy yet another angle of the arch or the stunning Switzerland-resembling landscape.
If you have the time and don’t fancy returning to your car the same way, keep following the red trail to a town called Hrensko. It will be a quick descend of about 4km. Once down you have the opportunity to pass the hard work off to someone else. The outskirts of Hrensko and Mezni Louka are joined by a small river Kamenice. Come aboard and let the knowledgeable boatman punt you through the head spinningly-high gorges while sharing with you everything he knows about this magical place.
If you decide to do the boat ride, bear in mind that upon disembarking you’ll still need to walk some distance back to your car.