Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj) is considered a unique region with extraordinary aesthetic value. A harmonic unity is created by its rock cities, extinct volcanoes, and other natural wonders, among which people found no difficulty in integrating ponds, building castles and chateaux and founding picturesque villages and towns. All of this creates a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction that has welcomed its fair share of visitors for a long time now – its relatively close proximity to Prague has contributed to this. The advantage of this district is the fact that it does not have any monstrous recreation centres that attract thousands of visitors and are an eyesore in such splendid natural environments. It is an excellent place for romantics, hikers, and cyclists, and it is an absolute paradise for rock climbers.
Bohemian Paradise is the Czech Republic’s oldest protected landscape area. It is situated about 100 kilometres from Prague and comprises three region: the Liberec region, the Hradec Králové region, and the Central Bohemian region.
The territory of Bohemian Paradise is relatively undulating and rises up from the surrounding terrain in a terrace-like manner. Over half the area is covered in forests, most of them pine. In the lower parts we can find fruit orchards and banks of streams lined with alders, willows or ash trees. Certain varieties of flora by ponds, wetlands and peat bogs are especially attractive.
The inimitable charm of Bohemian Paradise, however, consists in the rock cities and in the hills of volcanic origin. Typical elements of rock cities include caves, sinks, rock gates and windows, which, when combined with castles, castle ruins and chateaux, give the entire region a romantic atmosphere.
Small protected areas
In the protected landscape area of Bohemian Paradise there are over twenty small protected areas, the most attractive of which are the nature reserves of Hruboskalsko, Příhrazské skály and the Podtrosecká Valley. Educational trails that focus on the natural, historical and memorial value of the region run through these reserves.
Bohemian Paradise offers excellent conditions for hiking all year round. It has a vast quantity of tourist attractions, such as sandstone rocks, enchanting panoramas from lookout towers and observation points, castles, castle ruins, and caves, as well as rustic log cabins with galleries, and a variety of museums. Just like in most of the Czech Republic, the region’s hiking trails are very well-marked and accommodation here can be found in all areas that are of particular interest to tourists, or through the Internet.
The dominant and most attractive parts of this region, such as Drábské světničky, Kost Castle, the Trosky Castle ruins, Hrubá Skála Chateau, and Kozákov Peak, are connected by the 123 km “Golden Trail” (Zlatá stezka) of Bohemian Paradise.
Cycling in Bohemian Paradise is a really pleasant experience, though it is not always easy. Clearly marked trails run through the entire district, taking cyclists through the rock cities, and to most local natural wonders and historical monuments. They go along forest and field footpaths, and often have a sandy base. From this attractive mix, cyclists can choose between physically demanding paths best suited for mountain or trekking bikes and paths that are manageable for families with children.
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