Discover South Bohemia: Fairy tale villages, moors out of a dramatic novel and the “Other World” as a bonus
A region full of ponds and quaint villages, with interesting sights worth a visit at every corner. That is South Bohemia. The region has something to offer to everyone - not only history fans who like spending sunny days hidden away in castles and palaces (although they can be especially nice and chilly!). It is also full of wonders of nature and hikers and cyclists can take their pick out of a plethora of attractive routes and destinations.
The misty moors beckon mystery and literature lovers
The most popular tourist destinations in South Bohemia are the Český Krumlov area and the castle Hluboká nad Vltavou. The castle is a prominent symbol of the region, not only for its architecture and spectacular interiors, but also for the beautiful castle grounds with a park. A nature trail (only 2.5 km long, perfectly manageable for children) will guide you through ten stops in the park, teaching you about the local history, culture, and natural wonders. The nature around Hluboká is sure to take your breath away – even if you are the type whose contact with the nature is usually limited to watering a few potted plants. The Hluboká-Zbudov Moors, specifically, are both picturesque and mysterious, offering moody misty landscapes, which inspired the Czech author Karel Klostermann to write his novel Mlhy na blatech (“Mists over the Moors”), set in the Zbudov Moors and describing the everyday life in a local village.
From a fairy tale to the “Other World”
Local villages in all their beauty are definitely worth visiting and the ideal opportunity can be found on the edge of the moors, at the foothills of the Blanský Forest. The little village is called Holašovice and it is not only a charming example of the rural baroque style, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village square will transport you right into a fairy tale - especially if you venture into one of the charming local pubs to try out some South Bohemian specialities.
You can also find the rural baroque style in the Soběslav area. The village of Záluží by Vlastiboř has even made one of the picturesque houses accessible to public, meaning you can take a tour through a typical rural living room, a smoke kitchen, or a smithy. Children (and playful grownups) will no doubt appreciate the local puppet exhibition. For hiking, you can go to the Veselí Moors, stretching from the town of Soběslav to Veselí nad Lužnicí and Bechyně, or you can roam through the popular tourist area of Toulava, inviting you to dawdle for a while. It lies on the border between South and Central Bohemia, making it an ideal destination for a one-day trip from Prague or Central Bohemia. You can also use a number of excellent tourism products, including the Toulavka tourist card, which you can get for a deposit fee and which offers a variety of discounts and benefits, as well as a number of customizable tourist packages for families, sports or gastro-tourism.
You can go discovering on foot or by bike – mystery lovers, for example, can try the trail to the Other World. It begins at a former gallows and ends in a village with the apt and poetic name Onen Svět (the “Other World” in translation). The trail has 66 kilometers, making it the longest one in Czechia - so if you are a bit less than fully fit, you might end up in quite the pickle (in the better case) or, in the worst case, in the “Other World” yourself :-).