Czech Republic Hiking – Vienna to Prague

Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4-15
Difficulty
3

Starting from

$2,899

for REI Members

$3,199 for non-members

Departures

Aug 2019-Oct 2020

Spend nine days hiking from the city of music to the soaring spires of Prague.

We meet in centuries-old Vienna, a city with more than 1,700 bridges, wide avenues, noble palaces and imperial castles. From there, we take some of the nearly 24,000 miles of color-coded hiking trails etched throughout the Czech Republic. These paths wind us through patchworks of thick forests, meadows and small medieval villages. Our journey takes us past lush, green countryside, splendid castles and vibrant red-roofed villages.

Explore the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage towns of Valtice-Lednice, Telč, and Český Krumlov. At the Valtice-Lednice estates, we traverse tree-lined paths past beautiful ponds filled with swans. In the colorful 13th century town of Telč, we explore the well-preserved, pastel-colored town square. Each day brings a new regional delicacy and a good glass of local beer or Moravian wine. Our journey culminates in Prague, "City of a Thousand Spires”. Take in unforgettable sights like 14th-century gargoyles and mosaics at St. Vitus Cathedral. Quiet countryside, pristine trails and enchanting villages make the Czech Republic a perfect country for our hiking adventure.

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Trip highlights

  • From Vienna to Prague, hike the unique, 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!

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3] The daily hikes range from 4-8 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.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the itinerary; bi-lingual guides; support vehicle; entrance fees to sites noted in the itinerary.​

Accommodations

Hotels, 8 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

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.

Breakfast at the hotel is on your own schedule, then meet your guide at 9am in the hotel lobby, dressed in hiking clothes, packed and ready to depart. We transfer to Schrattenberg to begin hiking through woodlands interspersed with vineyards to the town of Valtice. Following lunch we hike through a lovely area called Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dukes of Liechtenstein began to transform their territories into an impressive landscape in the 17th century. Combining the Baroque architecture of the Valtice Castle, the neo-gothic style of the Lednice Castle, and the English romantic principles of landscape architecture, it is one of the largest formally designed estates in Europe. The area is filled with tree-lined paths, ponds with swans, 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 miles (3.5 hours); 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 sites, including the Paleolithic site in Dolní Věstonice where a ceramic Venus statue (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. Our hike takes us past vineyards and ruined castles and through mixed forests of beech, maple, linden and oak. We conclude our hike in Mikulov, where a Baroque castle, historic Renaissance square, old Jewish quarter, and wine cellars invite exploration. We spend a second night in Hlohovec. All meals included.

Van transfer: ~30 minutes; Hiking: 4 miles (2.5 hours) with optional addition of 2 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 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 picnic lunch we hike through woodlands and meadows to the colorful 13th century town of Telč, a UNESCO World Heritage site 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 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 overnight in Telč. All meals included.

Van transfer: 2 hours; Hiking: 8 miles (3.5 hours) with option to add 2 miles; Terrain: dirt trails, country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.

Day 5

Explore the ruins of Landštejn Castle, then head to Trebon.

We begin hiking from Stalkov 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. Following a picnic lunch, we continue our hike to the village of Slavonice. Local pathways bring us into a pristine environment with cultivated forests, streams and ponds, and past small, quaint towns tucked into the countryside's undulating hills. Later this afternoon we transfer to the lovely spa town of Trebon; the remainder of the day is free to explore the town’s historical and cultural attractions. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.

Van transfers: 1.25 hours; Hiking: 6.2 miles (2.5 hours) with option to add 3.7 miles; Terrain: dirt trails, country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.

Day 6

Stroll around the fish-filled lakes and ponds of Trebon basin.

We transfer to the village of Lutova and begin hiking 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. We enjoy lunch at a traditional fish restaurant in Trebon and then transfer to Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The afternoon and evening is free to explore the town’s charming old bridges which cross and re-cross the Vltava River, as well as Český Krumlov´s castle complex of forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning seven hectares. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.

Van transfers: 2.5 hours; Hiking: 7 miles (3 hours); Terrain: dirt trails and country roads, flat to gently rolling hills.

Day 7

Tour Český Krumlov's castle and magnificent Baroque theatre.

We explore fairytale-like Český Krumlov, beginning with the castle's 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 Holašovice to see South Bohemian Folk Baroque buildings before transferring to Prague.

From Volevcice we hike to Holašovice, an exceptionally complete and well-preserved traditional village. The village's outstanding 18th and 19th century South Bohemian Folk Baroque buildings, built around an extensive village green, has insured inclusion of Holašovice on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Following lunch we depart for Prague. Upon reaching our hotel, final farewells are exchanged with your guide. Explore on your own one of the world's most beautiful cities. Breakfast and lunch included.

Van transfers: 3 hours; Hiking: 7.5 miles (3 hours); 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.

Czech Republic Hiking – Vienna to Prague Departures

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.

What to pack

Packed by you (Required)

Recommended

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Travel Documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (1-800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice, which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Meet your guides

Alena R.

Alena began guiding in the Czech Republic in 2011. She enjoys cycling, mountaineering, nature, listening to music and reading. Before becoming a guide, she competed on the Czech Republic national track and field team and earned a degree in statistics.

Meet your guides

Monika P.

An avid outdoorswoman, Monika enjoys cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and volleyball. She lived in Spain and Australia before returning to the Czech Republic to work as an accountant; she holds degrees in foreign trade, economics and human resources.

Adventure Expert

Janel

Hidden history in the countryside, quiet and peaceful trails leading to medieval castles, small fairytale villages and UNESCO heritage sites all combine to make this a favorite hiking trip of REI members.

hstravels

I loved it all!


The trip was excellent in all respects. Tomas Minarik was an incredible tour leader. He was relaxed and patient. He had a great sense of humor. He seemed to know just how many stories to tell and just how much informa...

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