Discover three of the Czech Republic‘s most intriguing natural treasures, unlike anything you’ll find easily elsewhere in Europe.
Green Heart of Europe
Fancy a break in Central Europe’s largest continuous forested area, otherwise known as the Green Heart of Europe? Czechia’s biggest national park – Šumava – boasts incredible countryside – you’ll find vast upland plateaus, as well as mysterious peat bogs, magical swathes of meadow in the Vltava flood plain, and even glacial lakes. Furthermore, at the heart of Šumava lies the Boubín Primeval Forest, the largest untouched area of original forest in Central Europe. Because of its uniqueness on a European scale, the Šumava National Park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Wild animals, wild experiences
In Šumava, you don’t have to limit yourself to observing just botanical wealth. A pride of the national park is the Šumava Safari, a rare experience in Central Europe where you can observe wild animals in their natural habitats. Near Srní, you can stroll across a suspended bridge above the enclosure of a wolf pack. At Kvilda, don’t miss the red deer park and the lynx enclosure. In the summer observatory at Velký Bor, you might catch sight of wild boar, foxes, badgers, and even lynxes! And at Borová Lada, experience the sensation of owls flying above your head in walk-through aviaries.
The smallest of Czechia’s four national parks, Podyjí, has wild magic. The countryside around the Dyje (Thaya) River – the Moravian Amazon – has been preserved at its purest and most unspoiled, as access there was restricted during the Iron Curtain era. Discover all the hidden nooks, bends and meanders of this wild Moravian river and marvel at the beauty of the rocks, vineyards, flowering meadows and fluttering butterflies.
One of the most intriguing sites within the Podyjí National Park is the Mašovická střelnice shooting range), a former military training ground where dozens of rare butterflies, endangered birds, and orchids now thrive. Nature flourishes here, thanks in part to hungry wild horses that graze on unwanted vegetation. Enjoy the serenity of the Havranické vřesoviště (heath) in Podyjí, another treasure trove of rare plants and animals.
Land of two skies
Another of Czechia’s unique natural attractions protected by UNESCO lies around Třeboň, a charming little spa town and the hub of Czechia’s pond and carp farming industry. The Protected Landscape Area of Třeboňsko is known as the land of two skies: one above your head, one mirrored in the waters of the ponds, reigned over by Rožmberk – the world’s biggest pond.
Around the “world” in an hour
This network of ponds, unparalleled anywhere else on earth, is intricately connected by a web of hiking and biking trails. This is the only place where you can “travel the world” in just one hour! When the svět (world) is – of course – a pond!