What’s the best way of seeing the magical landscapes of the Vysočina Region and its wealth of architecture? From the saddle of your bike, of course! If you’re one of those people who like to have a ride and enjoy a holiday full of activities, exercise, fun and learning, head out along the cycling trail linking the two largest towns in the Vysočina Region, Jihlava and Třebíč, with the Austrian town of Raabs an der Thaya. Around 130 km of marked trails give you the chance to learn about some interesting towns and eye-catching chateaux. It generally runs through dense forest and flower-filled meadows and also visits a Czech UNESCO site.
The entire trail runs along the valley of the River Jihlava and in addition to several insignificant climbs it can be ridden with little effort. But if you run out of puff along the way, you can also exchange your bike for a train, as the trail runs parallel to a railway line. This makes it suitable for adult cyclists as well as families with children.
Up the tower, then to the zoo
Your two-wheeled adventure can begin in Jihlava, the largest town in the Vysočina Region, which prides itself on a glorious medieval silver-mining past. The local museum gives an idea of how the town looked and just how difficult it was to extract silver ore from the ground. Don’t miss a stroll through the historical centre packed with attractive townhouses, or a climb up the tower of the Church of St. James and the symbol of the town, the Mother of Our Lord Gate. Crammed with exotic critters, the local zoo is the ideal place to while away an afternoon.
One of the Czech Republic’s UNESCO-listed gems
From Jihlava the trail heads through undulating countryside along the River Jihlava to Třebíč via Luka nad Jihlavou and Přibyslavice. In Třebíč it’s well worth getting off your bike to explore as the town boasts an wonderfully preserved Jewish quarter and the magnificent Basilica of St. Procopius. The Jewish Quarter was the first Jewish location outside Israel to be listed by UNESCO.
Enchanted chateaux across the border
Are you a fan of opulent aristocratic piles surrounded by exquisite gardens? If so, then be sure to call in at the chateau in Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, another stop on the cycling trail. The chateau is one of the largest baroque structures in Europe and in the park you can take a break in the shade of mature trees, enveloped in the fragrance of flowerbeds in full bloom. If you are a fan of the grape, the local wine cellar is the place to taste the local tipples. More magnificent chateaux await further along the trail in Moravské Budějovice and Jemnice. The last section of the route brings you to the Czech border and the Austrian town of Raabs an der Thaya, overlooked by a beautiful medieval fortress.