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The starting point for this walking tour is the beautiful, legend-enshrouded city of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Your route will follow the Vltava and then the Elbe Rivers into the heart of the Czech Basin, then through the great gap in the mountains into Germany to your destination, the magnificent city of Dresden, destroyed in World War II but now risen up from the ashes. As you ramble through the pleasant countryside along the Elbe you will encounter medieval castles, exquisite Renaissance and Baroque chateaus, and tranquil riverine landscapes. Later you will come to the massive wall that separates the Czech Republic from Germany, the Lusatian Mountains, through which the Elbe River flows on its way north to the Baltic Sea. This highland region is known as the Czech-Saxon Switzerland for its sculptured rocky outcroppings, deep canyons, and incredible vistas.
Tour starts in Prague and finishes in Dresden. We recommend flying in/out of Prague and returning from Dresden to Prague by train.
About: charming 3 & 4 star guest houses and small hotels. A number of dining options exist in or within short walk of each property. All accommodations include private bathroom and a variety of other amenities.
Local Expert: Tomas is our man on the ground in the Czech Republic; we have worked with him for more than 10 years now and he knows his country and these routes by heart! A native of the Czech Republic, Tomas is fluent in English.
Your first day’s walk will start at Prague’s Stromovka Park, a former royal game preserve sloping down to the Vltava River. After crossing the river you can visit the Baroque-style Troja Palace, the Prague City Gallery, the extensive Botanical Gardens with their magnificent Fata Morgana Greenhouse, and the vineyards covering the hill above the palace. The trail then follows the bank of the Vltava River. The only climb comes at the very end when you leave the riverbank and walk uphill to the center of Klecany village. A car transfer at the end of the day will take you to the castle town of Melnik, which is at the confluence of the Vltava and Elbe Rivers.
Your walk starts at Libechov chateau and park with its architectural follies. Set into this bucolic scene are fascinating statues and carvings by romantic-era sculptors. The trail continues on gently rolling terrain through several villages and very popular recreation areas located in the protected landscape area of Kokorinsko. The walk ends at Castle Kokorin, a romantic reconstruction of a former medieval fortress. In the afternoon, transfer to Litomerice, located at the confluence of the Elbe and Oder Rivers. Litomerice’s historic center makes it a jewel of the Bohemian region.
Highlights: Libechov chateau, Kokorinsko, Castle Kokorin
The trail leads you directly from the city center, following along a lovely stream, and continues uphill through villages and forests. You will rise through beautiful countryside to the peak called Varhost (el. 639 m). Its 15-meter-high observation tower offers a 360-degree view of the picturesque countryside. From the top you can see the Labe (Elbe) River and where it splits in eight different places. In the afternoon you will be transferred to Decin. An alternative or additional walk at the start of the day takes you 10 km (6 miles) to the former WW II concentration camp of Terezin.
Highlights: beautiful forest & countryside, tower views
First you climb from the city center to the top of the bluff overlooking the Elbe River. From there it is a lovely trek along a high trail that offers many magnificent views of the river and the cliffs along it. The last part of the nature walk leads through the forested canyon of a mountain stream. Your hike ends at your hotel in the town of Hrensko, the last Czech town before you cross the German border, and the gateway to the Czech Switzerland National Park.
Highlights: high cliff trails, river views, Hrensko
The impressive Czech-Saxon Switzerland is a unique landscape of spectacular sandstone rock formations, narrow passes, rocky viewing platforms and green woods that stretch all the way to the German border. The trail will take you up to the largest natural arch in Europe, the Pravcicka Gate, an icon of the national park. On your descent back to Hrensko, you first go down into green forest and then into the deep and mysterious canyon of the Kamenice River, so narrow you have to ride down by boat. At the end of your day you will catch a steamboat that will take you to Bad Schandau, Germany, a lovely riverside spa town.
Highlights: rock formations & Pravcicka Gate, canyon & boat trip
Overnight: Bad Schandau
A morning steamboat ride will take you to the trail head in the German border town of Schmilka. You have one steep climb at the start; the rest of the day is a pleasant stroll through the forest, with the great river valley on the left side and the stacks and towers of rock on your right. At the end of your walk enjoy a ride down from the bluff in the historic elevator; later you might even want to go for a swim in the pool of the local spa.
Highlights: forest walking, rock formations
Overnight: Bad Schandau
Today you will explore the most popular site of Saxon Switzerland National Park – Grosse Bastei (Big Bastion). After a very steep climb you will be rewarded by a fabulous view of the Elbe River and the surrounding cliffs and villages. You will experience the Elbe River steamboat ride at the beginning of your day, and a ferry ride at the end of your entire tour. Enjoy!
Highlights: Grosse Bastei
Dresden, known as the “Florence upon the Elbe” was severely damaged by air raids at the end of World War II. The city has survived and been resurrected as one of Germany’s great cities, offering many places to explore. Departure.
Self Guided Tour Rates: (based on double occupancy)
Superior Three & Four Star Hotels:
Make it Custom or Guided: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Let us know! Want a guided tour? Guided departures are available for individuals/solo travelers, to join and ride with others with the assistance of a guide. Limited dates are available; 2020 dates coming soon! Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!