Prague is amazing. We all know that. But Prague is not the entire the Czech Republic, and if you really want to have the feeling that you saw at least a little bit of this diverse country, you have to leave the city of a hundred of spires. We also spend way too much time in Prague, and therefore cherish every opportunity to go for day trips out of Prague. Even better is when you can really leave the buzz of the city behind and go into nature. This is what we did with Northern Hike. Great local company which takes its customers for hiking to the national park of Czech Switzerland.
There are four national parks in the Czech Republic. Czech Switzerland National Park is located in the north of the Czech Republic and is unique for its sandstone rock formations, which create various shapes – columns, statues, tunnels and gates. For the fauna lovers many species of fish (for Czech Republic, the now rare Atlantic salmon) and birds (white-throated dipper, which can dive underwater for over 20 seconds) live in the park as well as hundreds of kinds of flora including mosses and lichens. A popular part of the park is the Edmund gorge with a handmade path built in the end of 19th century. To travel through the whole length of the gorge, you have to take a ride on a gondola and hear cool stories about the passing rocks from the boatman. The Saxony Switzerland National Park is located in Germany just about 20 minutes from the Czech border. It is very popular spot for mountain climbers, and it offers among other things great view from the mountain tops on the river Labe (Elbe) and an interesting hike through the wooden 12 century settlement– Bastei – build on the top of the sandstone.
Northern Hikes offer two tours according to your hiking abilities – easy and moderate. Despite the fact that we consider ourselves hikers, we had to opt for the easy one as we had our one-year-old daughter with us. The tour consists of a car ride from Prague (pick up at our home), hike and boat ride through the gorge of Czech Switzerland, lunch, transfer to Germany to see the Bestei in Saxony Switzerland and a car ride back home. Stress free – everything is taken care of for you – experience. If we did not have to buy souvenirs, we did not have to take our wallets out.
Be prepared for some walking and stairs even for the easy tour, but with a stroller and baby carrier it was for us perfectly manageable. Our guide was a well-traveled Czech from Northern Bohemia, who loves his region and hiking. The other tour is for more experienced hikers, but you would get to see the Pravčice Gate, the symbol of the national park. The other tour is certainly something we would like to try as well.
So if you are in Prague longer than just a weekend and you would like to try a hike in the Czech Republic then taking a tour with Northern Hike is something for you!
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