Czech Republic and Prague in Autumn

The Best of Bohemia in 8 Days

Prague castle at night. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Prague castle at night. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Dates:

TBD

Photography themes

Landscape, countryside, castles and chateaus, colonnades, rural houses, forest animals

Places

Towns: Prague, Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázne, Loket

Landscape: Krivoklat forest, Bohemian paradise, Slavkovský les/forest, Czech Switzerland, Hrensko

Castles and chateaus: Prague castle, Loket, Krivoklat, Tocnik, Krakovec, Trosky

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Email [email protected] for more information.

Bicycle in Prague

Bicycle in Bohemia. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer

Brief itinerary

Arrival to Prague
Sightseeing of Prague
Krivoklat forest and castles Krivoklat, Tocnik and Krakovec
Medieval castle Loket, Slavkovsky forest, Marianske Lazne, Karlovy Vary
Krusne mountains to Czech Switzerland, Pravcicka gate
Hrensko
Bohemian paradise – Hruboskalsko
Departure from Prague

Window in Czech Republic

Window in Czech Republic. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Prague

After your arrival to Prague airport, you will be transferred by our representatives to the hotel.

The group will meet in the afternoon for introduction and discussing the tour. In the evening we will have a dinner all together.

Those who will not be too tired can take a photo walk through the streets and corners of Prague in the evening.

Overnight in hotel in Prague city centre (D)

Day 2: Prague

Today we take a photo walk among architectural treasures such as Prague castle, Charles Bridge, Old town Square and many others. We will take a tram to the Prague castle where our tour begins. At the same time, it houses the head of state – the president of the Czech Republic and historically it was also the seat of Czech kings. In the castle there are situated Czech coronation jewels, namely in the St. Vitus Cathedral, the most important Czech Catholic Church and distinctive dominant in the castle. From the castle we will have a view of the entire city which is magical both in day and night. We follow the Royal Route from the Prague castle to one of the oldest and most impressive part of Prague – Mala Strana.

We come to the Charles Bridge which is the oldest Prague Bridge across river Vltava and was founded by his namesake Charles IV. After sunset, from the bridge there is absolutely breathtaking view of the metropolis glowing light full of life and history.

After crossing the Charles Bridge we will go through one of the oldest synagogues in Europe and around National Library Klementinum. We come to the very heart of the city, the Old Town Square, where we visit the most famous and best preserved astronomical clock – Prague Astronomical Clock. We take the elevator to Old Town Hall Tower, which is the astronomical clock on, to have a view of city centre from height of 70 meters. At the centre stand a monument of Jan Hus, a Christian priest, Czech medieval thinker, reformer and preacher.

Included: Elevator to Old Town Hall Tower to have a view of city centre

Not included: St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague castle and Prague underground

Overnight in hotel in Prague city centre (B, L, D)

Day 3: Castle Tocnik – Krivoklat forest and castle – castle Krakovec

Driving: 171 km for the round trip

Less than an hour from Prague we’re about to get into the protected area of Křivoklátsko landscape park, a world’s famous one thanks to the Frenchman Joachim Barrande who widely uncovered deposits of fossils of trilobites. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve popular for cycling, canoeing, and is full of interesting places to explore.

While travelling in Krivoklatsko, we will have a view of castle Tocnik. This ruin castle Točník is a wonderful demonstration of the advanced architectural skills in the Middle Ages. At these time there are currently being held various contemporary festivals, summer festivals. Castle Točník and neighbouring Žebrák were built on the old Nuremberg Path connecting Prague with Bavaria.

Today we visit magnificent castle complex Křivoklát, the main dominant of this area. That is one of the oldest and most important medieval castles of the Czech princes and kings. It has just celebrated 900 years. Beautiful chapel, Kings and knights hall with an exhibition of Gothic paintings and sculptures, a library that contains 52,000 writings, the rich Fürstenberg museum and art gallery, the notorious prison and torture dungeon with torture instruments – it all makes Křivoklát a national cultural monument. Movies such as Night at Karlštejn, Three Veterans, How To Wake A Princess, Joan of Arc and the Three Musketeers were filmed here.

At the edge of the Křivoklátsko forests are situated the Ruins of Krakovec. Krakovec is known by the Czech as the very last castle built in our country. At the same time it is also the first chateau in Czech Republic!

Included: Entrance to courtyard of castle Krivoklat. There are three guided tours through the castle, unfortunately photographing of interiors is not allowed.

Overnight in hotel in Prague (B, L, D)

Castle at night in Czech Republic. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Castle at night in Czech Republic. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Day 4: Karlovy Vary – castle Loket – Marianske Lazne

Driving: 242 km for the round trip

Early morning we will head to majestic Castle Loket is a 12-century Gothic castle. Medieval buildings were built on a rocky promontory above the meander river Ohre. During the tour of the castle you can experience with your eyes the medieval torture of prisoners in the prison castle. Everybody can walk freely throughout the castle. In the point of our interest can be prison cells and chamber of torture, black kitchen, archaeological hall, the rotunda dating back to 12th century and the cathedral. Castle hides within its walls oldest meteorite in the world called burgraves which landed in the courtyard of the castle sometime around 1400.

From the Middle Ages we continue wandering in Czech history. South of the town Loket extends deep forest called Slavkovsky. This protected area is situated in the geographical triangle Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne and Frantiskovy Lazne. In the past, it was used as a military area and consequently many villages ceased to exist. On the other side there is very abundant wildlife and maybe we will be lucky to spot a deer, fox or wild pig. We have a warm lunch in stylish restaurant Kladska in the depth of this forest.

Countryside is characterized by well-preserved log houses (Stanovice, Brlozec).

In the afternoon we head further to next spa town Marianske Lazne. This charming city is dominated beside the spa parks with stately colonnade cast iron construction and wooden coffered ceiling. Eye-catching part of colonnade is a ravishing singing fountain that every odd hour plays one of famous songs. Evening experience is enhanced by fancy colour lighting.

Karlovy Vary is a spa town popular all over the world thanks to the luxury spas and the film festival. The town was founded in the 14 century by the Emperor Charles IV during his random ride around the castle Loket. While photographing splendid colonnades in the centre, we can taste the mineral water directly from the source.

Our tour will go to an Orthodox church of St. Peter and Paul with golden domes, also called as Russian Church. It was built in the late 19thcentury by architect Gustav Widemann. He was inspired as a model by Byzantine Old Russian church in Ostankino near Moscow.

We stay for one night in Karlovy Vary and we will have opportunity to photograph this beautiful city both in the late afternoon and morning light.

Overnight in hotel in Karlovy Vary (B, L, D)

Day 5: Northern bohemia

Driving: 160 km

After two days spent in beautiful West Bohemian we travel the longer way along the Czech-German border. We will be accompanied by Ore Mountains which form a natural border to Germany.

We make first stop by visiting a ruined medieval castle Hasistejn. On 25-meter high tower we have on hand a large part of the Ore Mountains, also Doupovske Mountains and the Czech Central Mountains.

We will travel the root of the mountains on highway around major cities in northern region – Chomutov, Most, Teplice to the regional capital Usti nad Labem. There we visit the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary which is the second most leaning tower in Europe right after the famous Pisa. This is due to a bomb hit during World War II.

At the end of our tour today we reach the symbol of the National Park Czech Switzerland – Pravcicka brana (arch). This arch is the largest sandstone rock arch in Europe. We take a walk to reach the Pravcicka arch. After following the road from Hrensko for 1.5 km, we turn on to stone-covered forest trail for 2.5 km which leads us to the point. The hike is light on marked trails with slightly rolling terrain, flat or hilly. The final segment of the trail leads on the suspension bridge, then through man-made tunnel.

Overnight in hotel in Hrensko (B, L, D)

Day 6: Czech Switzerland – Hrensko

Bohemian Switzerland National Park was established 2000 and it is the youngest of National parks in the Czech Republic. The region is very picturesque with spectacular rock formations, forested landscape, castles, view points and river canyons.

Hrensko is attractive for its river gorges. Two of three deep rocky canyons (Edmund’s and Wild gorge) on river Kamenice are open for public. The walls are steep, often vertical, rising above the water level to a height of 50-150 meters. Some of them are formed into interesting formations such as Rock family or Ranger. In the section where the rock falls directly into the water is the path replaced by boating. Between the two docks is 960 meters long walking path. We plan to walk inside the river canyon, both Edmund’s and Wild gorge. We will take two boat rides, each for twenty minutes.

Flora is very rich with different kinds of mosses, fungi and ferns which is very favourite theme for macro and close up. We’ll also be looking for peregrine falcons and black storks. Sometimes lynx can appear in this area.

Included: Two boat rides inside of gorges in Hrensko.

Overnight in hotel in Hrensko (B, L, D)

Day 7: Bohemian paradise

Driving: 220 km

Today we discover the beauty of sandstone rock formations that make up the landscape of the Bohemian Paradise. Sandstone rock towns with numerous canyons, deep valleys, ravines, wetlands and peat lands, amazing rock towers, extinct volcanoes, mountains full of gems, romantic ruins and various fairy tale castles is making this unique landscape a pure Czech nature paradise situated just about 90 km northeast of Prague. The highest sandstone tower rises up to height of 50 meters. If we are lucky, we can see climbers crawling up the steep walls of rock towers on Dragon tooth or Lighthouse. An interesting natural phenomenon that was created due to weather in sandstone is less then 100 meters long crevasse Mousehole. Inside of this fissure we will be surprised by the unusual silence, coolness and mystery. Along the way we encounter a rock town massif Devil’s hand, carved Adam’s bed or symbolic cemetery dedicated to deceased Czech climbers.

The Golden Path will lead us through the whole Hruboskalsko along the various ridge of rock town. During our walk we will have views from different perspectives; Mary’s lookout offers the most beautiful view of Dragon rocks and castle Trosky.

Ruin castle Trosky will be our next stop on our journey. Gothic castle was built on two steep basalt rocks named Grandmom and Virgin. This castle has never been conquered. The castle and especially the basement is the subject of many legends, mysterious corridors beneath the castle have not been researched. Unfortunately, the entrance to the underground of castle has never been discovered.

Overnight in Prague (B, L, D)

Day 8: Departing from Prague

We will have breakfast together and discuss our impressions. We will say good bye to each other and everybody will be driven to the airport for their departures.

(B)

Collonade in Prague

Collonade. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Price

Price per person in double room in USD

$5,200

Single supplement $680

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Email [email protected] for more information.

Included

Pick up in Prague airport or train station
Accommodation in four star hotels with breakfast
Full board starts with evening dinner first day and ends with breakfast last day
Ground transportation out of Prague
Recreation fee
Boat trip on river Kamenice Day 6
Professional photographer instructors (Mike Hagen and Tim Vollmer)

Not included

· Entrances to castles, monuments

· Drinks

· International flights

Night scene in Prague

Night scene in Prague. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer

Accomodation

Prague, 3 nights, Grand Hotel Praha, www.grandhotelpraha.cz

Karlovy Vary, 1 night, Hotel Salvator, www.salvatorhotel.com

Hrensko Czech Switzerland, 2 nights, Hotel Praha Hrensko, www.hotel-hrensko.cz

Prague, 1 night, Grand Hotel Praha, www.grandhotelpraha.cz

Payment

Upon confirmation of the services, an amount equal to $1,000 deposit shall be paid by the customer. No booking is made until the deposit is paid. The balance shall be settled 60 days before arrival to the Czech Republic. In case of confirmations carried out during the 60 days preceding the arrival date, the entire amount shall be paid upon confirmation.

Cancellation

In case of recession or renouncement the customer shall be refunded the cost of the journey after penalties stated as follows:

– Up to 60 days before the arrival: 0 %. Customers will be however requested to pay a fee of USD 200 for labor costs.

– From 59 to 45 days before the arrival: 75 %.

– From 44 to 15 days before the arrival: 50 %.

– From 14 days to the arrival: 100 % (no refund of the cost of the journey).

Sign Up!

Email [email protected] for more information.

Fall in the mountains of Czech Republic. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

Autumn in the mountains of Czech Republic. Image courtesy Tim Vollmer.

 

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