Valley where Czech crystal was born
Glassmaking has been handed down from generation to generation in Czechia. Even nowadays, you can meet descendants of the old masters who will show you the art and advise you on how to create your own shiny piece in the Crystal Valley in North Bohemia, where the Czech crystal was born. Chandeliers from local workshops even adorned the palaces of King Louis of France! In Prague’s PRAGL, you can blow a piece of glass and taste delicious beer. How about making your own glass Christmas decorations? Head to the family-run Koulier glassworks. The golden tours of Moser, the most famous Czech glasswork from Karlovy Vary, are a must.
Understand the soul of beer
Czechs love beer – it’s no coincidence they brew the best in the world. The Bernard family brewery will prove it to you. Its owners claim they’ll teach you to understand the soul of beer on the tour. At the Staropramen brewery in Prague, you’ll taste up to 6 types of beer and learn the secrets of its production. Or head to the unique Temple of Hops and Beer just outside Prague. Like the Czech capital, it boasts an astronomical clock – what else but a hop one?
You’ll feel like you’re in a Jules Verne novel on a tour of the smelters in Dolní Vítkovice in Ostrava, a city famous for its mining traditions. The guides – who are former smelter employees – will even take you to the heart of the blast furnace! In nearby Landek Park, you’ll go down the shaft and a former miner will give you an insight into the pitmen’s tough job. Afterwards enjoy a beer in the one-time miners’ canteen.
For those who don’t fancy entering the depths of the earth, there’s the Offroad Safari. Visit a coal quarry and ride through the industrial landscape of North Bohemia with guides who know every stone.
Closer to nature
If you want to experience something truly Czech, try mushroom picking. The Šumava Guides will take you to remote places where mushrooms abound. They’ll tell you which ones are edible and teach you how to prepare them.
Final tip: Fancy trying on a beautiful folk costume and tasting delicious wine from Vlčnov – a village famous for the UNESCO Ride of the Kings? Head to the guesthouse, offering accommodation in traditional style in a picturesque corner of East Moravia.