If you are anything like me then you need a hefty dose of fresh air, adventure and exercise to keep on thriving. The greatest and easiest day trip from Prague is Bohemian Switzerland (no this is not actually Switzerland before you get confused…like I did). Up near the German border, this region is stunningly beautiful with incredible sandstone rock formations, multiple hiking trails through heaps of different terrains and so so easy to get to!
After our intensive month on the TEFL course was completed, a couple of my classmates and I needed to stretch our legs! So we booked a (cheap!) train ticket up to Dečin, picked up some fresh fruit while we waited for the local bus to take us up to the valley entrance.
Sidenote; That bus ride was an adventure in itself as there were plenty of other hiking tourists (like us), locals and school groups catching the same one! (So make sure you ALL know the name of your exit stop for when you get separated).
Getting off at Hřensko it almost feels like you need the ‘secret password’ to pass through the big rock cliffs either side of the valley entrance!! (Don’t worry you don’t) It was a beautiful day and there were quite a lot of people around but it certainly didn’t pull from the magic of the place! Glancing at one of the big map boards, we picked a route and started our hike!
Working up a bit of a sweat, we found a great little cave area with a fallen tree for me to play on and a big old boulder to have a snack upon. It gets a bit steep after this (but it is so so doable!) and before long you’re rounding the corner to a massive restaurant built into the side of the cliff!
As a kiwi – this BLOWS. MY. MIND. A restaurant. On a cliffside. In the middle of a National Park. Bonkers.
The most incredible structure to see though was still the natural one; The Pravčická Brána. This is the largest natural arch in Europe and boy is it majestic. The sandstone structure is absolutely incredible and while you can no longer climb up on to it, you can climb up the opposite side of the valley for an INCREDIBLE view!
Bohemian Switzerland is an idyllic and full of so many little treats! We took a different route through the forest away from the arch which led us to the most BEAUTIFUL ravine! Be warned, this section can be rough on your knees (even if they’re both all good) as it is a sharp descent to get to the riverside, but it is dynamic and wildly fun! Passing a few people who were battling up the track and they were absolutely not having as much fun as we were.
You walk along with the flow of the river for a while and then it gets to a point where you have to jump in a little gondola boat! Costs the same as a cup of coffee and is such a peaceful way to top off your day of hiking!
Feeling refreshed, elated and knackered, we popped into one of the local restaurants for a carb-loaded Czech meal before slowly making our way back to Prague.