A hummocky region with local roads lined with birch trees and rowans. Deep woods and dark green meadows among the shiny mirrors of dispersed ponds. Hamlets huddling to easy slopes and settlements as though scattered through the countryside by a giant's hand. That is Vysočina.
The preserved countryside ranks among the regions with the healthiest environment, tailor made for recreation and relaxation in the countryside. Little villages are scattered on easy slopes of hummocky landscape, large deep woods invite walks and mushroom picking. A number of ponds offer cooling on a hot day and warming during winter ice-skating. Hills and valleys, picturesque countryside sought-after by painters, charming corners along creeks and rivers bring poetic inspiration to receptive souls and excellent conditions for active relaxation and a number of sports.
Many local homesteads invite fans of active relaxation to agritourism. Some owners offer only accommodation, others add healthy, ecological food. During your stay at their farms, you can learn more about the daily life of farmers, their customs, traditions and history of the region. Boarding houses are situated in charming places near open forests and water bodies, where you can enjoy water sports as well as fishing. Or you can rent a bike or take a horse ride. In winter, children will be thrilled by a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh.
With Pack on Your Back
Whether you are keen hikers or you prefer bicycles, if you would like to spend your time in the open countryside and fresh air, spend your holidays in Vysočina. The whole region is crisscrossed with a network of marked tourist trails, passing through the hilly, wooded and open countryside to interesting tourist sights. Bikers will be pleased by the plenitude of rather unfrequented roads and the system of marked cycling routes, some of which are connected to international or long-distance routes.
Vysočina is charming in summer, lighted by the warm rays of the sun and modelled in all possible shades of green, as well as in winter, when snowstorms cover everything around with sparkling white snowdrifts.
Lovers of winter sports will find the region full of convenient terrains for cross-country skiing and 25 downhill slopes with tows, artificial lighting and snow making machines. The most significant skiing centre of Vysočina is Nové Město na Moravě. Since 1934, the well-known race "Golden Ski of Českomoravská vysočina" takes place there every year, which is almost regularly a part of the Cross-Country World Cup. There is also an opportunity to try snowtubing in the resort in Zubří.
Glass blowing has a time-honored tradition in Vysočina – it dates back to the 16th century. The glass production of past centuries left local museums full of many-sided bottles, jugs, perfume bottles, tobacco jars, decorative pipes, glass pets and more.
Marian's (and, at the same time, Plague) Column in a square in Telč
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Then famous glassworks find their successors in today's businesses. You can tour five glass factories, watching handwork of master glassworkers and listening to insiders' comments. In some places, you may be permitted to try to blow your own glass. And if you fail, don't despair – most of the glassworks have their own shops with a full assortment of locally produced glass.
Another tradition of Vysočina, lasting two hundred years, is the construction of nativity scenes– folk symbols of Christmas. Construction of the nativity scenes comprised a significant part of folk art in the past, especially in the towns with developed handicrafts.
Following Historic Milestones
Past centuries left numerous historical buildings all over the region – proud Gothic castles, dreamy Renaissance chateaus, magnificent Baroque cloisters. The past can be seen at every step, in museum exhibitions and gallery art collections. Many builders, sculptors and painters created work of great mastery here.
Bow your head before the art of master architects, builders and artists, who created edifices like the or the Church of John of Nepomuk on Zelená Hora in Žďár nad Sázavou, which are both monuments listed in the UNESCO world cultural heritage list. A highly sought-after tourist destination is the ancient mining town of with multi-storied catacomb system and priceless buildings surrounding the large town square. Another favourite resort is Třebíč with its monumental Basilica and uniquely preserved Jewish ghetto. Peaceful wooded countryside surrounds the massive Gothic castle of Pernštejn, never taken in a battle. Pelhřimov was made famous by its Museum of Records and Curiosities. Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou can pride itself on its charming Baroque chateau surrounded by a park. Not far away, you can find the Renaissance chateau of Náměšť nad Oslavou with a rich exhibition of tapestries. The ancient town of Havlíčkův Brod is a starting point for beautiful walks through the valley of the river Sázava, and the museum in Polná will enlighten you about the history of Jewish settlement.
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