The 8 Minute Video Log below (VLOG) will hopefully give you some inspiration to venture outside of Prague and explore the beautiful Czech countryside
Karlstejn Castle to Bubovice
So when people say they are travelling to Prague do they even know what country they are going to? I would hope the answer is yes however with its big pull of stag and hens going for the cheap beer sometimes I would guess this is not the answer. I would also second guess that the majority of tourists to the country do not leave the capital.
The Czech Republic is an absolutely stunning country and don’t get me wrong Prague with its medievil buildings and stunning architecture is well worth a visit but on my recent weekend to the Czech Republic I wanted to see a little more than a city so I stumbled little a little hiking route from Karlstejn Castle to a little village called Bubovice which is around 30 minutes drive south of Prague.
Start the Trail here nice and early to beat the tourists and enjoy the castle in all its beauty
Now you can walk around the outside of the castle free of charge however if you want to go inside you will have to be on an organised tour starting from 120Kc per Adult. All pictures I took were from outside the touring area of the Castle and it is worth checking the opening days and times of the Castle as they do change throughout the year if you did decide to take a tour ( for your reference I just spent 30 mins admiring the outside of the Castle before starting my hike.
Walking away from the castle to the northern edge you will find some steps that lead down to the start of a trail into the forest (and this is where the real adventure begins) ..
Now after a while you will have to walk on a quiet road until you reach the outskirts of a small town of Morina! There is not a lot to see here but fear not as you will carry up a small hill, crossing a small railway line before reaching Velka Amerika Quarry
Velka Amerika Quarry
First things First!
Be careful hiking around this quarry! There is a route either side of the cliff edge but I around the far side of the quarry which seemed the safest option of the two. Now you will want to get to the other side of the quarry to get to the best views like below! … Like you will notice from the videos, I went on a very cold February weekend and the water within the quarry had completely frozen over giving the great picture below and probably one of the best unknown ice-rinks in the world
Along the route you will pass two more quarries in Mexiko and Small Amerika which albeit are not as impressive as Velka America are well worth stopping for a picture, taking a break and taking it all in.
After the quarries you will have a few kilometres all to yourself in the forests! And when I mean by yourself I really do mean it! I walk for over an hour before passing someone walking his dog!
Finally as the forest comes to an end you will start to see the main road that leads up to Bubovice. I reached Bobovice around lunch time on a Sunday and managed to find one local restaurant open which provided me a nice warm meal of meat and potatoes which was exactly what I needed to refuel and warm up!
- From Prague Old Town to Karlstejn Castle was around about 20 Euro’s and the same from Bubovice back to Prague Old Town
Alternative Transport- The Train from Prague Central station would have cost around 3 Euros each way and taken 30–45 minutes to the town of Karlstejn. There is no Train station in Bubovice so you would either have to hike back to Karlstejn or travel an extra 5K to the town of Lodenice
- Bring food and water! Especially on a Sunday as there is no shops/ restaurants open after the castle until you reach Bobovice
- GPS — I had to refer back to my phone a few times to double check I was on the correct route so make sure your GPS or phone is fully charged and you have a recharging battery available
- Download the area map prior to the hike! I use Google maps and downloaded the area prior to the start of the hike so I did not have to rely on mobile data! Good news however is that if you forget the 4G coverage across the whole route was actually fairly strong & if you are travelling from another country within the EU you do not have to pay international roaming charges
- Start the hike from the Castle. When I arrived Sunday just after 9am I was the only person in the Castle so I was able to see the Castle at my own pace and get some good pictures!
- The disadvantage of point 4 is that no restaurants or cafes were open when I arrived or even when I was leaving the Castle around 10am (mainly due to lack of tourists at that time)
- Bring Cash for the small town of Bobovice and possibly have a translation tool (Google Translate) so you know what you are ordering to eat and can say your please and thank you’s in the local language :-)
Hike Rating 2/5 — I really enjoyed this hike as there was hardly a sole to be seen and some great stops along the trail from a castle to quarries.
Should I have given this hike a higher score? Yes probably !
If you are in the Czech Republic and wanted to get out of Prague and into the countryside in a short amount of time then you should take this idea into consideration. When the weather is warmer in the Spring and Summer I can imagine this hike would creep up my score ratings
And if all else fails you always have Charles Bridge to admire back in the City of Prague