Prague - Passau
On the Blue Ribbon of Vltava.
Arrival in Prague
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has a lot to offer: music and the middle Ages, Kafka and Kisch, beer and dumplings with roast pork. Since 1992, the historical heart of Prague belongs to UNESCO world heritage sites. The well-preserved city centre, the historic architecture, the winded alleys of the old town, the splendid view that opens up from Charles’s Bridge and the Prague Fortress watching over everything. Strolling for hours in the alleys of Prague, looking at architecture, discovering new cafés and pubs – all belongs to a visit to Prague. Bike distribution (if booked) in the afternoon.
A slightly hilly and differentiated stage is waiting for you. You cycle past many small idyllically situated Bohemian villages. Small houses with wood-covered gables attract the admiration of by-passers. Cosy pubs invite for a refreshing Bohemian beer on the way. Only “recently” did the waves of the Vltava reservoir begin to ripple. Before, the Rocky River valley was wild and untamed. In the early 60s they began to build four valley blocks south of Prague. They dam up the Vltava into a few lakes. The tamed Vltava spreads up to 5.000 ha, depending on the water level in the reservoirs. The water plant covers energy peaks and extras. Accommodation in the surroundings of Sedlcary.
ou cycle through small Bohemian villages until you reach the Vltava reservoir near Milesov. You continue through the deeply green Bohemian forest with the Vltava as your guideline to Orlik. The splendid Gothic fortress is situated here high above the Vltava on a steep rock. Furnished by the Schwarzenbergers, the fortress perfectly exemplifies the lifestyle of the aristocracy in the nineteenth century. Only a few kilometres away the next place of interest tempts the visitor: Fortress Zvikov. The beautiful promontory, where the Vltava and the Otava flow into one another, invited people to settle already in prehistoric times. In the Middle Ages the fortress was one of the most important ones in Bohemia. It was regarded as very difficult to capture. All on your own with the unspoilt Vltava landscape you will have no difficulties conquering the few remaining kilometres to Pisek. The picturesque town rest closely to the right bank of the river Otava. In prehistoric times people washed the “pisek” (sand) of the river Otava searching for gold; that is where the town’s name came from.
Enjoy the fascinating antique cultural water landscape along the “golden” Otava today. A beautiful quiet forest path takes you to the castle Hluboká, enthroned on a hill above the Vltava. It could just as well have been standing in England; Princess Eleonore von Schwarzberg was very gushing. The guiding example for the renovation of the castle in neo-Gothic style was Windsor with its many towers, merlons and playful details. Continuing along the Vltava you are approaching today’s destination: Budejovice. This city is not only a worthwhile experience because of its world-famous “Budweiser beer”. The royal city that was founded in the thirteenth century is with its 100.000 inhabitants the centre of South Bohemia today. The big market square (133 m x 133 m) with its Samson Fountain fascinates even today. Beautiful arcade houses from the Gothic and Renaissance periods add up to the dignified whole. You can quench your thirst after a city tour in one of the former ‘masne kramy’.
Use the opportunity of a short bike leg today and take a walk through Budejovice before noon. Afterwards, seclusion and small pretty farmsteads become the focus of attention. Numerous canoeists splash about on the Vltava which takes you to the medieval Krumlov (UNESCO world heritage site since 1992), an absolute highlight of your bike tour. For centuries, this small town has been regarded as the “Pearl of the Bohemian Forest” – and that not only because of its unique location in a Vltava-loop. The ensemble of 300 historic houses with the castle and fortress complex impresses every visitor from the start. The intertwined alleys, the wooden balconies, the white or colourfully painted houses have a Mediterranean flair about them in the summer months. The street cafés and the beer gardens breathe every day new pulsating life into the town.
It’s time for some action! Europe’s Green Roof, the Bohemian Forest, offers some ‘ripe’ ascents, but the paradisiacal beauty of the landscape rewards all efforts. You enjoy the distant views, the wonderfully clean air, the endlessly deep woodlands…and everywhere rests peace – peace that voices the whispers of the brooks and the rustling of the trees. To the left of the Vltava you can discover the interesting town of Rozemberk with an impressive fortress. At first, you cycle along the Vltava that dams up a bit later to the Lipno Lake, one of the biggest fishing grounds in the Czech Republic. A wonderful path takes you through the Sumava landscape to the Schwarzenberg Channel. With 52 kilometres the channel was a route for endless wood transports to the Danube in the nineteenth century. The channel had been celebrated as the eighth world wonder. It quenched Vienna’s thirst for firewood. A little bit further on you have to say farewell to the Czech Republic, you cross the border to Austria and stay the night in the romantic Mühlviertel.
The last stage takes you leisurely through the picturesque Mühlviertel along the Danube. Peaceful and differentiated forests contrast the softly rounded hill chains. Wonderful panorama views – on beautiful days you can see the Alps from here – offer numerous insights and outlooks. You reach the Danube Cycle Path through the adventurous Mühl Valley. Deeply embedded in the valley and surrounded by soft mountain ridges, the Danube Cycle Path meanders through the valley. Through the wonderful Schlögener Schlinge you approach today’s destination, the “Three-Rivers City” Passau. The baroque city with its impressive location between the Danube, the Inn and the Iltz is the crowning highlight of your bike tour. You should not miss a tour of the beautiful inner city and a concluding coffee in one of the traditional café houses. The last 25 kilometres from Engelhartszell (Trappist monastery) to Passau can be done by a boat (optional, about € 13,50 per person, bikes for free).
The topography of this bike tour should be categorised as demanding. The extremely beautiful and differentiated landscape is however the best reward for the hard work. There are also some steep and long ascents that have to be conquered – push your bike if necessary. With a little bit of bike tour experience and a normal good constitution you are in for a fascinating bike holiday. The route along the Vltava consists for the most part (with only a few exceptions) of quiet country roads and forest and field paths.
Category: small, well-kept and mostly familiar hotels and guest houses of the 3*** and 4**** category, most of the time located in the centre. In Prague the hotel is located in the suburban elegant residential area in the south of Prague, good connections to the centre by train or bus (duration approx. 30 minutes
- Accommodation as already mentioned
- Breakfast buffet or an extensive breakfast
- If half board is booked: every day a 3 course meal
- Luggage transfer between the hotels
- Detailed travel documents
- GPS-data is available
- Service hotline
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Prague train station
- Direct arrival in Prague by car possible, safe car park at the hotel, about € 6 per night. The hotel there offers only a limited number of parking spots, no reservation possible!
- Hotel parking garage or public underground car park in Passau costs approx. € 30 – 50 per week, no reservation possible, payable on spot.
- Every Sunday morning at 9 am transfer by minivan from Passau to Prague, price per person € 65, bike included, payable on spot, reservation is necessary. You can also book this transfer at the beginning of the journey.
- Special arrangements on request!