- From Vienna to Prague, hike through enchanting castle-filled countryside
- Walk picturesque trails leading to UNESCO World Heritage sites
- See majestic Valtice-Lednice, colorful Telč, and magical Český Krumlov
- Absorb the medieval heritage of this vibrant, ever-evolving nation
- Celebrate with a fine vintage from Moravian wine country!
Etched throughout the Czech Republic are nearly 24,000 miles of color-coded hiking trails meandering through patchworks of thick forests, meadows, and small medieval villages. We meet in centuries-old Vienna, a city with more than 1,700 bridges, wide avenues, noble palaces, and imperial castles. From here our hikes take us through countryside famous for its splendid castles, vibrant red-tiled roofed villages, impressive architecture, sparkling lakes, and rolling hillsides.
Each day we dine on flavorful regional specialties and appreciate refreshing local beer or Moravia's famed wine. We explore the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage towns of Valtice-Lednice, Telč and Český Krumlov. Our journey culminates in fabled Prague, "City of a Thousand Spires," with unforgettable sights like 14th-century gargoyles and mosaics at St. Vitus Cathedral, the world's largest palace complex at Prague Castle.
- Day 1 - Arrive in Vienna, Austria, the City of Music.
- Day 2 - Hike to the castles and gardens of the Valtice-Lednice estates.
- Day 3 - Hike the Pálava highlands – ruined castles, vineyards, limestone cliffs.
- Day 4 - Our route leads to colorful 13th-century Telč.
- Day 5 - Hike through Czech Canada Natural Park and explore Landštejn Castle.
- Day 6 - Amble around the fish-filled lakes and ponds of Trebon basin.
- Day 7 - Tour Český Krumlov's castle and magnificent Baroque theatre.
- Day 8 - Hike to medieval Vyssi Brod, then drive to Prague, one of Europe's best preserved cities.
- Day 9 - Depart Prague or stay to explore one of Europe's best preserved cities!
Trip Itinerary and Details
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Day 1 - Arrive in Vienna, Austria, the City of Music.
Arrive at any time in Vienna, Austria and transfer to our hotel for the evening. Explore the impressive sights or rest up for hiking. No meals included.
Day 2 - Hike to the castles and gardens of the Valtice-Lednice estates.
Enjoy breakfast on your own. We meet with our guides at 9:00 a.m., dressed in hiking clothes, packed, and ready to go. Following introductions and a short briefing we load our luggage into our private van and transfer to Schrattenberg, a small town close to the border with the Czech Republic. Today's trail soon crosses the border into Moravian wine country. Our route leads us through woodlands interspersed with vineyards to the town of Valtice for lunch. We continue hiking to Lednice through an area referred to as the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996, this land is the former estate of the Lichtenstein family. From the 17th century, the Dukes of Liechtenstein began to transform their territories into an impressive landscape. Combining Baroque architecture of the Valtice Castle and the neo-gothic style of the Lednice Castle with the countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture, it is one of the largest formally designed landscapes in Europe. The area is filled with tree-lined paths, ponds with swans gliding, gardens, pavilions, and statues. We overnight near Lednice-Valtice in the quaint town of Hlohovec. All meals included.
Van transfer: ~1.5 hours; Hiking: 8-10 miles; Terrain: dirt trails and country roads, mostly flat.
Day 3 - Hike the Pálava highlands – ruined castles, vineyards, limestone cliffs.
Pálava Landscape Protected Area is a land of limestone outcrops and hardwood forests, placed on the exclusive UNESCO list of biosphere reserves due to its variety of unique ecosystems and archeological significance. This area contains monuments of historical significance, such as the Paleolithic site in Dolní Věstonice where a ceramic Venus statue, dating to 29,000-25,000 BC, was discovered. We begin our hike in Pavlov, which is known for its wine. The village wine cellars, with their rustic baroque gables, hint at the wealth this area once enjoyed. The marina below the village has made it popular among yachters all over the Czech Republic. We hike through the reserve dotted with white cliffs and ruined castles, filled with mixed forests of beech, maple, linden and oak, and across meadows strung with vineyards. We conclude our hike in Mikulov, where a Baroque castle, historic Renaissance square, old Jewish quarter, and wine cellars beckon us to linger for a while. Once again we overnight in Hlohovec. All meals included.
Van transfer: ~30 minutes; Hiking: 9-10 miles; Terrain: dirt trails, country roads, rolling hills with a couple of steep sections.
Day 4 - Our route leads to colorful 13th-century Telč.
Our hike begins in Třešť, a city dating back to the 13th century. Our route takes us to the Rostejn Castle, its seven sided tower rising nearly 100 feet above the rocky outcrop on which it sits. From the 1600s to the early 1900s it was used as a hunting castle. After a delicious picnic lunch, we hike through woodlands and meadows to the colorful 13th century town of Telč , located at the crossroads of busy trade routes between Moravia, Bohemia and Austria. Aside from its monumental Renaissance chateau with an English-style park, Telč is well known for its town square with well-preserved, pastel-colored Renaissance and Baroque homes decorated with high gables and arcades. Take time to absorb the scene on the town square, visit the chateau, or walk along the small lakes that border the town, where the red-tiled roofs are reflected in tranquil waters. We enjoy dinner and overnight in Telč, a UNESCO World heritage site. All meals included.
Van transfer: 2.5 hours; Hiking: 9-10 miles; Terrain: dirt trails, country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.
Day 5 - Hike through Czech Canada Natural Park and explore Landštejn Castle.
Czech Canada is a natural park in South Bohemia which stretches along the border with Austria. It has thick forested hills, beautiful river valleys, streams and ponds. There are fortresses, castles, and numerous historical towns in this region. When the Iron Curtain came down at the end of World War II, the border with Austria was closed with barbed wire and the area cleared of people. Until the curtain fell in 1989, this area was untouched by civilization or industry allowing nature to thrive.
We begin our day in Stalkov, hiking to the ruined Landštejn Castle which ranks among the most significant Romanesque historic monuments in Central Europe. The huge castle was built in the 13th century for the protection of an important trade route and the border between the Czech lands and Austria. Continuing on, we hike to Staré Město pod Landštejnem and finish in Slavonice, a town with a traditional medieval renaissance center.
Slavonice experienced a period of extreme wealth between the 14th and 16th centuries due to its location on the main route from Vienna to Prague. Residents displayed their wealth using elaborate sgraffito on their homes' facades. The grandeur of that time is still displayed today; however, not all of Slavonice's interest is above ground. We have the option to tour the hand chiseled underground, which dates back at least 700 years. We transfer to the lovely spa town of Trebon for the evening. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.
Van transfers: 1.5 hours; Hiking: 8-9 miles; Terrain: dirt trails, country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.
Day 6 - Amble around the fish-filled lakes and ponds of Trebon basin.
Following breakfast, we transfer about one hour to the village of Lutova, where we begin our hike back to Trebon. The Trebon Basin, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, holds a vast network of fishponds and water channels surrounded by forests of spruce, fir and pine trees. The Rozmberk family, a Czech aristocratic dynasty, brought development and management to the marshy landscape and by the 15th century the region was transformed with over 400 fishponds, creating the main center of fish farming in the Czech Republic. Upon reaching Trebon, we enjoy lunch at a wonderful local fish restaurant and then transfer about one hour to Český Krumlov. The afternoon is free to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lovely old bridges cross and re-cross the Vltava River as it winds through town. Český Krumlov´s castle complex of forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning an area of seven hectares, is awe inspiring. Dinner is on your own tonight, allowing you to explore the many charming cafes and taverns that line the river. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.
Van transfers: 1.5 hours; Hiking: 8 miles; Terrain: dirt trails and country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.
Day 7 - Tour Český Krumlov's castle and magnificent Baroque theatre.
Today we explore fairytale-like Český Krumlov. We spend the morning visiting the castle's highlight, a splendidly intact 18th century baroque theater, one of only two left in the world that retains much of its original wardrobes, sceneries and theater props. After lunch, we discover the sites of the city on a professionally guided tour. The remainder of the afternoon is free until we meet for dinner. All meals included.
Walking: 2-4 hours.
Day 8 - Hike to medieval Vyssi Brod, then drive to Prague, one of Europe's best preserved cities.
This morning we transfer to Lipno and begin our hike to Vyssi Brod, taking time to see the 13th century monastery, one of the most important historical landmarks in Southern Bohemia, and its world-famous 17th century library. Following lunch, we depart for Prague. Upon reaching the Hotel Adria, farewells are exchanged with your guide. Explore on your own one of the world's most beautiful cities. Breakfast and lunch included.
Van transfers: ~ 4 hours; Hiking: 6 miles; Terrain: dirt trails and country roads, flat to rolling hills.
Day 9 - Depart Prague or stay to explore one of Europe's best preserved cities!
Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel before transferring on your own to the Prague airport. Breakfast included.
Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the itinerary; bi-lingual guides; support vehicle; entrance fees to sites noted in the itinerary.
Transportation to Vienna and from Prague; airport/hotel transfers; 3 dinners; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges; alcoholic beverages; items of a personal nature; optional gratuities to guide(s).
This trip is rated Moderate  The daily hikes range from 8-12 miles (shorter options available daily) on dirt trails and small country roads with gently rolling hills. A conditioning regimen beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure is highly recommended. Walking/hiking, running and biking are all great ways to physically prepare for this adventure. The better shape you are in, the more you'll be able to enjoy all that the Czech Republic countryside has to offer! Note: Most days include a van transfer ranging in length from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Daytime temperatures average 75°-85°F and high humidity can compound the heat. Evenings are typically 50°-60°F. Early May and September temperatures can be 10-15° cooler. Rain is always a possibility, so please come prepared with rain gear.
If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.General Information
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Czech Republic Hiking – Vienna to Prague Gear List
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.
- Valid passport
- Airline tickets
- Medium size duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase
- Daypack (1,600 – 2,500 cu. in.) to carry your camera, water bottles, lunch and extra clothing
- Luggage tags and locks
- Security wallet or money belt
- Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for city wear
- Lightweight rain jacket and pants, waterproof and breathable
- Light- to midweight fleece jacket or sweater
- Hiking pants, lightweight
- Hiking shorts, synthetic
- Long-sleeve shirts
- T-shirts (at least 2 synthetic)
- Hiking socks
- Liner socks
- Swimsuit cover up
- Sun hat
- Lightweight hiking boots or cross-training shoes, broken in
- Travel and/or casual evening shoes
- Two 1-quart water bottles or hydration pack
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Sunblock and lip balm
- Toiletry kit (toothbrush/paste, shampoo/conditioner, etc.)
- Personal first-aid kit
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Insect repellent
- Trekking poles
- Camera, memory, spare batteries, charger
- Watch with alarm or travel clock
- Electrical adapter plug/converter and battery charger
- Spare contact lenses or glasses
- Reading and writing materials
- Travel pillow
- Ear plugs
- Several Ziploc plastic bags to separate wet and dry clothing
Things to Consider
- Always pack essential items such as your passport, REI Adventures trip final bulletin, money, eyewear, medications and a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
- Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet from rain, water, or sweat, it will drain your body heat. Bring quick drying synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
- Always test your clothing layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding.
- Make sure hiking boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin or Blister Block for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. Liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
- Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
- Laundry facilities are available during this trip, or you can do hand washing of quick-drying clothing items in your hotel room. Bringing individual detergent packets, a universal sink stopper and a travel clothes line are useful.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.