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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel before transferring on your own to the Prague airport. Breakfast included.