Summer’s the time for cycle tours – see places you haven’t seen before
People always love to get the best tips for cycle tours. So here’s some of the latest news and recommendations for long-distance, as well as quieter, cycle routes, well away from the hustle and bustle, as well as some attractions in the region. On your bike – let’s go!
Routes for the laid-back and art-lovers
Since the middle of May 2013 there has been a cycle route from Hradec Králové to Kuks. This part of the extended Labe Trail is 26 km long and a paradise for those who like flat land, going on family excursions or want to visit nearby monuments during their stay. Amongst the many sights in the region are the architectural treasures of Hradec Králové and the Baroque chateau chapel of the Epiphany in Smiřice, not to mention Heřmanice, the birthplace of Albrecht von Wallenstein. The jewel in the crown is the Baroque Kuks complex, which include a hospital, chateau, Church of the Holy Trinity, collection of statues portraying the Virtues and Vices by M. B. Braun and the nearby Betlém Forest Park.
For a similarly undemanding excursion, take the cycle route along the Baťa Canal or the 37 km route along the Vltava from České Budějovice to Týn nad Vltavou. Along the way you can stop off and relax in villages built in the rural Baroque style, visit golf courses and go to the Neo-Gothic Hluboká Chateau.
You can also take the Bečva cycle route, which leads from the Valašsko region to Central Moravia and it is four times longer than the Vltava route. The final, 141 km stretch in particular, leading from Hustopeče nad Bečvou to Tovačov, offers cyclists undemanding terrain without major elevations. Along the route you can visit the Zbrašov aragonite caves in Teplice nad Bečvou and peer into the deepest chasm in the Czech Republic.
Across the border
Have you tried the cycle route leading from Domažlice via Havlovice to the Babylon pond and on via Česká Kubice to the border crossing at Folmava? Families with children can make their way back from Folmava by train, while more proficient cyclists can extend the trail via Pasečnice, past the Salka cave or carry on across the border to the small Bavarian town of Furth im Wald and the nearby Dragon Lake. Travel along this route is also made easier by so-called cyclobuses, which take cyclists and their bikes to their chosen destination. Buses run from Domažlice over the Čerchov peak to Waldmünchen and Furth im Wald at the weekend and on public holidays from the first Saturday in June till the end of September.
Cyclists can also look forward to new routes along the border in the Aš region in West Bohemia; a new route leading from Doubrava via the small Saxon spa town of Bad Elster. The neighbouring Adorf will be ready by the end of the year.
Tips for proficient cyclists
As well as the Jizerské and Rychlebské single tracks, aimed at mountain-bike enthusiasts and fans of technical cycling along narrow paths, there’s also the Bike park in Kouty nad Desnou. A chairlift takes you to the starting-point at Medvědí hora (Bear Mountain) – and then it’s up to you whether you take one of the routes of varying difficulty or continue along the paved forest roads and mountainsides of the Jeseníky Mountains. A true challenge for long-distance cyclists is the upper reservoir of the Dlouhé Stráně hydroelectric power station, at an altitude of 1,350 metres. Of course, proficient cyclists will manage the 800 m elevation without the help of a chairlift! The reward for everyone who reaches the top is an 11 km long descent past the lower power station reservoir and back to Kouty nad Desnou.