There are places on Earth where you simply feel as if you are in paradise. The South Moravian town of Pálava, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is undoubtedly one of those places. Visit this beautiful landscape of dazzlingly white rocks, blossoming meadows, lowland forests, romantic ruins of medieval castles, crystal-clear lakes and sun-drenched vineyards. All of this in a region that has one of the warmest climates in the Czech Republic and offers excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, water sports and dining which you will remember for a long time to come.
Where is the best starting point to explore the beauty of the Pálava Region? Most would say it is the fairytale town of Mikulov, whose dominant feature is the Baroque chateau perched high on a cliff. Another gateway to the region is the wine-growing village of Pavlov, which is situated at the foot of the highest peak in Pálava, Děvín. Also in the vicinity are some of the best attractions in South Moravia – the wine trails. Along marked paths you can set off to the Pálava Hills on bike or on foot, and as an added bonus you can taste the excellent wines, which are rated as among the best in Europe. You will enjoy your stay here best of all if you arrive during the autumn wine festival.
Exciting excursions through the land of mammoths
The list of places to visit in the Pálava Region is virtually endless. For example, you can set off in the footsteps of the prehistoric mammoth hunters to Dolní Věstonice, where the world-famous Věstonice Venus statue was found – one of the most valuable treasures of the Czech Republic. If you are drawn to nature, just put on some sturdy shoes and head off on a hike. Your journey can begin by exploring the ruins of the Dívčí Castle, which before being plundered by Swedish troops was a showcase border castle. A real balm for the spirit is the ascent to Soutěska (meaning narrows), which separates Děvín, the highest point of Pálava, from the lower Obora. The steep rock walls here could practically serve as a geology textbook.
Just look around
Do you like panoramic views of beautiful landscapes? Then be sure to head to the top of the Martinka limestone wall, which rises above Horní Věstonice. Meanwhile, a large flock of screeching jackdaws circles overhead – by now an integral part of the landscape. Your steps should also take you to the ruins of the Sirotčí (Orphan) Castle, to which many romantic legends are ascribed. It is definitely worthwhile to come here in the evening, when the setting sun paints the castle and the rocks with beautiful colours.
Bird havens and a forsaken little church
What would a trip to Pálava be without visiting the Nové Mlýny (New Mills) dam? The upper and lower reservoirs are ideal for recreation, relaxation and water sport – especially windsurfing. The central reservoir, on the other hand, is a renowned nature reserve with manmade islands for nesting birds. Should it seem that you have spotted a little church, indeed you have. It is a reminder of the flooded village of Mušov. From there it is not far to one of the pearls of the Czech Republic, the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, which has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The sumptuous local chateaux and beautiful parks, which are sprinkled with romantic buildings, form one of the largest and most beautiful garden complexes in the world. If you would like to be pampered on your holidays, you can indulge in one of the treatments at the Lednice Spa. Why not try a lavender-scented honey wrap?