Country Walks, Medieval Towns, and Old World Culture

Overview

In the heart of uncrowded Central Europe lies a walker's paradise. Our journey brings us from Bratislava to Prague, with hikes to hilltop castles and ancient abbeys, following trails through serene forests where locals hunt for prized mushrooms, and right through the gates of enchanting Baroque towns encircled by vineyards. Our journey combines two ancient European capitals, Bratislava, Slovakia, with its cobblestone lanes and vibrant coffee-house culture, and romantic Prague, where ancient history and a lively international vibe happily coexist. Between these two intriguing cities, we’ll discover ancient castles like the brooding ruin of Devin Castle, whose ramparts rule over a strategic point in the Danube, and 16th century Telc, with its perfectly preserved town square. In the UNESCO-protected town of Cesky Krumlov, we’ll enjoy private backstage tour of the perfectly preserved 17th century theater and overnight in a beautifully renovated historic hotel. We celebrate our journey’s finale in Prague, exploring the haunting Jewish cemetery, the Old Town Square with its astronomical clock, and the theater district, where dissident playwright Václav Havel’s works were performed before the days of the Velvet Revolution. Our expert—and beloved—Trip Leaders share the ancient heritage and contemporary drama of this fascinating realm.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Bratislava, Slovakia / Moravia, Czech Republic / Lednice Castle / Palava

We meet in Bratislava, Slovakia's charming riverside capital, enjoying a walking tour of its 18th century Old Town. After a hike to the craggy ruins of Devin Castle, we cross the border into the Czech Republic’s Moravian wine country. At Lednice Castle, we walk its stately grounds, one of the largest designed landscapes in Europe, then explore Palava Highlands Nature Reserve.

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Days 4-5
Castle Rostejn / Telc / Slavonice

After a picnic at 14th century Castle Rostejn, a Gothic apparition, we hike across fields brightened by poppies and into the medieval town of Telc, with a delightful dinner on the terrace in the historic town square. The next day we’re off through pristine woodlands to remote Slavonice, with its triangular-shaped Renaissance plazas.

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Days 6-8
Cesky Krumlov / Sumava / Rozmberk

Crossing into southern Bohemia, we’re immersed in the unique atmosphere of Cesky Krumlov, with its dreamy pink-and-green castle. In the Sumava Forest, we hike from a 13th century Cistercian monastery to the castle-town of Rozmberk, set on a bend on the Vltava River.

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Days 9-10
Prague

Bohemia’s jewel had a golden age that lasted from the 14th to the 18th centuries. We walk Prague’s narrow Baroque lanes and cross medieval stone bridges amid the glorious architecture, and explore the Jewish ghetto, which dates to medieval times. Depart on Day 10, or extend your stay.

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Highlights

Highlights

Delightful countryside walks each day from hilltop castles to Baroque towns
Beautiful Bratislava, Slovakia’s ancient capital on the Danube
Classic Renaissance town of Telc, Baroque city of Cesky Krumlov, a World Heritage Site
Wonderful Czech Trip Leaders who love to share the region's hikes and heritage
Exquisite Prague, with its incomparable architecture, lively cafes, and excellent Pilsners!

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $4495  
Arrive: Bratislava, Slovakia
Depart: Prague, Czech Republic
Lodging: 9 nights 3- and 4-star hotels and country inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

A mix of easy to moderate walks and hikes, 2-5 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike).

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