Travelling to the Czech Republic has always meant going to Prague, but this little country, about the size of Mpumalanga, is crammed full of stunning sights. With 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites and hundreds of small towns and hill-top castles the Czech republic is the epitome of a medieval fairytale country. Here are 5 spots we think are not to be missed:
Discover the sights of Gothic, Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora is a picturesque town which is home to one of the best examples of Gothic Architecture in the world – the Saint Barbara Cathedral. Begun in 1388, it was finally finished in 1905 and has a spectacular vaulted ceiling, flying buttresses and stained glass windows. Be sure to visit ossuary or “bone chapel” in the suburb of Sedlec which is decorated with the exhumed remains from the cemetery it’s built on and even features a human bone chandelier!
Explore the striking beauty of the Moravian Karst
Just North of the Southern city of Brno is the Moravian Karst wilderness filled with more than 1100 caves and gorges which are an adventure and outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. Whether it’s above ground on the myriad of hiking and cycling trails, or below ground in one of the four massive caverns, there will be a definite adventure to be had! Visit the 76m wide sinkhole cave of Mococha Abyss or take a cruise on the underground river in Punkva Cave – well worth it!
Be blown away by the medieval buildings of Cesky Krumlov
Set deep in the Vlatva River valley in the South of the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov has a wealthy of Bohemian architectural treasures, the most famous being it’s castle which is perched atop the cliffs along-side the river and is the second largest in the country. It is also near to many other special sites like one of Bohemia’s oldest monasteries, the Zlata Koruna and Hluboka Castle, modelled on Windsor Castle in England.
Kick back like royalty in Karlovy Vary’s hot springs
In the far west of the country towards the German border, nestled in forested valley is the spa town of Karlovy Vary which was founded by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1370 to exploit the healing powers of the hot springs here. This extraordinarily picturesque town has been popular with tourists for centuries and counts Russian Tzar – Peter the Great, Attaturk – founder of modern Turkey and musicians Beethoven, Chopin & Mozart amongst its former patrons. Take time out to enjoy a luxury spa or stop by the exclusive Moser Glass factory’s visitor centre.
Go back in time at the Karlštejn castle
The formidable fortress of Karlštejn is just 30km from Prague and is one of the finest examples of Gothic fortresses to be found anywhere. Built in the 1300’s by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, Karlštejn was intended to house the Emperor’s crown jewels & treasures as well as holy relics. You’ll be able to view the crown of the Czech kings, the world-famous panel paintings in the Church of the Holy Cross and the original decorative mural from the 15th century.
Emirates recently started flying daily to Prague, they’re arguably South Africa’s favourite airline, and for good reason too! You get 30kg baggage, and you can break your journey in the exciting city of Dubai. You can book this stopover with a travel consultant by calling 0861 878 278 (opt 5), so get dreaming today about flying with Emirates and Travelstart to this magical city!