What is even more surprising is the fact that they lie only 2 hours to the North from Prague. In Bohemian Switzerland, the youngest National Park of the Czech Republic, listed among the Bounty Books’ 501 European must-visit wild places. The spring has just started up here. And spring is your best chance to get to see the best without the crowds.
What to expect from hiking in Bohemian Switzerland in the spring season?
The arrival of spring to the Czech Republic means the awakening of nature from dark winter sleep. Longer days, more sun rays, blooming flowers, and trees are resulting in happier faces of people full of energy to get out of their homes and do some outdoor activity.
March in Bohemian Switzerland usually means chilly temperatures around 7 – 10 °C (44 – 50 °F) which is still very comfortable to spend time in nature transforming its winter face.
On the other hand, in April spring takes over the national park in full power. Average temperature around 12 – 15 °C (53 – 59 °F) melts the last remains of snow in the valleys. Lush green forests are inviting you for a walk to smell that beautiful fresh scent.
Temperatures in May can easily break the magical level of 20 °C (68 °F). Enjoy the views over the valleys covered with dense forest while soaking up the sun shining to your back.
Must see places in spring
#1: THE BIGGEST SANDSTONE CANYON IN EUROPE
Bohemian Switzerland stretches along the Elbe river canyon. And here comes the first “Europe’s biggest”. The local part of the sandstone canyon is the biggest of its kind in Europe! You may have heard about the Saxon Switzerland too. It accounts for the German side of this geological monument. And it is also worth visiting. Only the Czech side is wilder and way less crowded, especially in the spring.
As a traveler, you will appreciate the straightforwardness of the landscape here. While on other places it usually takes a long hike to get to a single viewpoint, hiking along the Elbe sandstone canyon will let you harvest one magnificent view after another. Bohemian Switzerland is generous with its visitors! The river makes a few mighty turns here, which provide for many different angles and perspectives to observe the canyon. And with the sunrise or the sunset on the horizon, you will experience a variety of color and an atmosphere that will make your finger hurt from pressing the shutter release on your camera.
#2: PRAVCICKA GATE: EUROPE’S BIGGEST SANDSTONE BRIDGE
The plateaus around the canyon hold interesting monuments too. Pravcicka gate is one of them. When you come out of the forest and see it for the first time, you get the feeling of humbleness and awe over the supreme power and mastery of nature. The 16m high and almost 27m wide sandstone arch really looks like from another world. Hear, hear! You have just visited the largest rock bridge of the European continent. And since you came in the spring, you got to see it without too much crowd.
You will probably spend some time taking pictures of this charming place, desperately trying to upload them on your Instagram straight from the wilderness. After the hike up here, you will feel attracted by the historically interesting castle Sokoli Hnizdo right next to the arch. It was built in 1881 in a record time of 1 year and served the purpose of lodging VIP guests of the famous aristocratic family of Clary-Aldringen. Go check out the wooden decor of the interior, but please, no matter how hungry or thirsty you are, don’t make the mistake of sitting down to its restaurant. The fabricated food, drinks and the prices here are not worth it.
Instead, take a snack with you or try to plan your tour so that you can hike a bit further, to Mezni Louka. Try the restaurant U Forta. You will be thankful to have read this piece of advice once you are sitting over the tasty meal cooked from the best products of the local food scene, sipping the craft beer from one of the local mini-breweries.
#3: GORGES OF THE KAMENICE RIVER
Now that you have had enough of the ‘wuthering heights’, let’s take you down into the canyon itself. It is mostly covered with wild forest, mixed or pine wood. The lower you get, the greener and more mysterious it gets. In the spring, the slopes gurgle with water streams, all leading to the Elbe giant eventually.
One thing you should not miss once at the bottom of the canyon: the famous boat ride through the Gorges of the Kamenice river! If you come in the spring when the crowds are not too big, you will be able to stretch your legs in the boat and really enjoy yourself during the calm and peaceful 20 min ride! There is no motor; the ferryman will use a long pole to push the dinghy along the narrow pass between the sand-rock walls, covered by all kinds of moss-like vegetation. Each breath will make you feel healthier and you might even experience a sudden splash of a waterfall, so have your camera ready!
#4: TISA SAND ROCKS LABYRINTH
As soon as the snow melts in the spring, the sand-rock walls in Bohemian Switzerland start to attract the climbers. Climbing is the local passion and the Tisa area is one of the most favorite climbing destinations in Europe. For a traveler, this is a good thing. You get to watch the skills of the climbers during your hike through the sandstone labyrinth plus where there are climbers, the forest is usually kept clean and well maintained. So if you meet funny looking guys carrying mattresses on their backs, don’t worry, they are not crazy or homeless, but bouldering enthusiasts carrying their crash pads en-route to another adventure.
And there is one more thing attracting travelers to the Tisa sandstone labyrinth. The fact that the Chronicles of Narnia filmmakers chose this location to shoot the winter scenes of the movie. Remember the moment when Lucy backs through the wardrobe right into the snow-covered fairy forest? Well, that forest is in Tisa. So ever since the Narnia movie, hiking in Tisa feels a bit “hollywoody”.
But there is so much more
Jetrichovice, Dolsky mlyn, the Kyjov valley and Decinsky Sneznik.
All these places are beautiful and not at all crowded in the spring. So come discover them for yourself. Or if you need help or you only have 1 day or simply want a guided tour without any trouble, yet with all the above-mentioned highlights included, choose one of our tours. We would be happy to make you a company.