The Krkonoše is a mountain range packed with superlatives. The range is the highest and the most visited, and is the only one in the Czech Republic to reach such lofty heights. Glacial corries contrast with bare-stone ridges, large alpine meadows with timber cottages down in the valleys, the murmur of waterfalls with the mysterious silence of peat bogs, while regal Mount Sněžka, queen of the peaks, lords it over her lofty realm. All this awaits you in the Krkonoše.
In the summertime the Krkonoše Mountains provide a base for hiking and cycling. The region is crisscrossed with dozens of marked cycling trails, traversing typical hilly terrain with occasional climbs, long downhill sections and unforgettable views of a wondrous landscape.
Who’s mightier than Lord Krakonoš?
The highest mountain range in the Czech Republic is closely associated with the figure of Krakonoš. This mythical mountain spirit has been charged with the task of protecting the Krkonoše from greedy treasure hunters, poachers and other ne'er-do-wells. Figurines, statuettes and other images of the bearded protector of the mountains are typical souvenirs in these parts.
Krakonoš’ secret garden
In Krakonoš’ diverse kingdom no one should miss a visit to the highest peak in the Krkonoše, majestic Mount Sněžka. One of the best excursions in the area, the route leads through a glacial valley called Obří důl, where breath-taking views of Mount Studniční open up to the hiker. On the Rýchory ridge in the eastern Krkonoše you can admire a slope full of protected alpine flora. Here you’ll also find Stachelberg, the largest fortress in the erstwhile Czechoslovak border defences. There are more awe-inspiring views from the cable car up Mount Černá hora. The best time to visit the surrounding peat bogs is in July, as this is when large expanses of plant life come into blossom.
Discover the Krkonoše’s many waterfalls!
The Krkonoše Mountains are a paradise of waterfalls, some of which tumble from impressive heights. The wild River Mumlava near Harrachov rumbles over the Mumlavské waterfalls, from a 7m-high and 10m-wide granite step. Also worth visiting is the 100m-high Pančavský waterfall, the highest and most impressive of any in the Czech Republic, which tumbles from a rocky slope on the edge of the Pančavská Meadow to the bottom of the Elbe Valley.
What else do these mountains hold?
Very near the source of the River Elbe you’ll find a hotel called Labská bouda, a modern, nine-storey ferro-concrete structure at the crossroads of the best ridge trails in the Krkonoše. You can also walk to the memorial to Hanč and Vrbata to pay homage to courage and true friendship. One of the best places of natural beauty is the Sněžné Furrows, formed from two glacial basins. But you’ll have to come and explore the Krkonoše Mountains yourself to find out more.