Providing a more relaxed aspect of the Czech Republic after a few busy days in Prague, Cesky Krumlov is a refreshing getaway three to five hours south of the capital by bus and definitely not to be missed.
Follow the Vltava river 180kms south from Prague upstream into the gentle foothills of the Bohemian Forest towards the German border and find yet another truely exceptional Unesco World Heritage site. Cesky Krumlov is set in a tight loop of the Vltava, and dominated by an imposing castle built on sheer rock which gives stunning views over the medieval houses and narrow streets. The castle has a bear pit (complete with bears) and an historic theatre where original costumes are still worn for performances. The music festival in July and August attracts international performers; a modern art gallery exhibits works including those by Gerald Scarf, an intriguing photographic museum with images including Hitler's visit to the town during the war; these attractions are all discounted with a Cesky Krumlov card available from the tourist office. Well informed, multilingual town guides are very helpful and not expensive to hire for two or three hours. Despite some smart and expensive hotels (Hotel Ruze at the top of the town was configured from an ancient monastery), there are cheaper hotels and charming B&B's both within and outside the historic centre.
Families will love the canoeing on the winding river through gorges and the town itself but beware the diversions and salmon runs in the town which provide a bit of excitement to the unwary! And there are beautiful and undemanding walks in the gentle surrounding countryside and forest.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com