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Getting Out (Part 2)

26 February, 2016

A Guide to Exploring Inside the Czech Republic

For students studying with UPCES, the opportunity to explore Prague and the rest of Europe presents itself at your feet. Faced with this new and exciting chance to experience Europe’s most breathtaking cities and sights, many students choose to travel outside of the Czech Republic. While it’s absolutely encouraged to find yourself wandering through the streets of Europe’s capitals and historic towns, some students should consider their options for exploration within the Czech Republic. This segment of Getting Out features perfect locations for those who love the outdoors!

 

Český Raj

This area, simply known in English as “Czech Paradise”, is a perfect spot for travelers looking for a little slice of heaven. Český Raj, which is a UNESCO geopark, houses Castle Trosky, a unique castle that sits atop two basalt volcanic plugs. The hike up to the castle offers spectacular views of the surrounding region. Additionally, visitors can visit Kozákov,the highest hill in the area which has a lookout tower that offers a gorgeous view of the valley. Many visitors also decide to hike through the countryside near Český Raj and view Hrubá Skála, or “Rock Town”, a site that contains thin vertical rock structures and small caves. With so many opportunities to explore the Czech outdoors, Czech Paradise is a must for all nature lovers!

 

Czech Switzerland

Another picturesque location on our list is the funnily named Czech Switzerland. This site was developed in the 18th century as a supposed extension of Saxon Switzerland and is now a Czech National Park. It’s said that this area reminded the Swiss of their own homeland. Czech Switzerland, located in the very north of the Czech Republic near the German border, is home to the largest sandstone arch in Europe! Named Pravčická brána, this rock arch towers over the hiking paths and hotel below. Czech Switzerland also houses another “Rock Town” which visitors can walk through and gaze up at the massive rock formations on either side of the path. Along with Český Raj, Czech Switzerland is an excellent destination for hikers and casual adventurers alike!

 

 

Sněžka

Sněžka is the highest summit in the Czech Republic and is situated to the very northeast right on the Polish and Czech border. This mountain, which stands at 5,300 ft. was first documented in 1456 by a merchant searching for precious stones at its peak. It adopted the name Sněžka, meaning snowy or snow-covered, in 1823. Today, this peak is extremely popular with Polish and Czech tourists alike. On the Czech side of the mountain, you can find the remains of a Bohemian hut, a post office, and the top of the chairlift line that connects the peak to the town below. This mountain offers breathtaking views of the Czech and Polish countryside and is definitely a destination to add to your list if you enjoy hiking and photography.

 

Macocha Abyss 

This large sinkhole located in the Moravian Karst cave system, is the deepest of its kind in Central Europe. It measures about 139 meters deep and houses part of the Punkva River, which flows through it. This particular site is popular location for casual visitors as well as spelunkers and divers. This location is accessible for visitors of all kinds and can be viewed from the lip of the canyon as well as its base. The gorge, as it’s sometimes referred, is connected to the Sloup-Šošůvka Caves, which are also open for exploration. With a length of 3,000 meters, this underground trail is the longest of its kind open to tourists in the Czech Republic. The Macocha Abyss and its surrounding passages are a must see for anyone who loves exploring underground caves!