The Jizera Mountains boast very well marked paths leading through spruce and beech forests and mountain villages, with historical landmarks and crosses dotted along the way. While negotiating undemanding hiking paths, it’s well worth visiting historical stone viewing towers that afford spectacular views of the wonderful scenery in the most northerly Czech mountain range.
Come with us on one of the most popular circuits of the Jizera Mountains from Bedřichov to Šámal’s Cottage, named after JUDr. Přemysl Šámal, chancellor of the first president of Czechoslovakia, T.G. Masaryk.
Upwards to Šámal’s Cottage
We will begin this popular hiking circuit in Bedřichov, which is known as the starting place for the Jizerská padesátka international cross-country skiing race. The first gem on the route is the Černá Nisa reservoir, which is the highest dam in the Jizera Mountains; with a dam wall 300m in length, it’s used for recreation and fishing. You then head for Nová Louka-Šámal’s Cottage, a manorial house converted by the Clam-Gallas noble family into a hunting mansion. You will be charmed by its interior, which features blue panels and an apartment with a bathroom fitted like the one at Prague’s Černín Palace, home to the Czech Foreign Ministry.
Visit a settlement with a glass tradition
We will continue on to the settlement of Kristiánov, which provides an introduction to the traditional livelihood of the Jizera Mountains: glassmaking. The now uninhabited settlement is home to a lodge, a manorial house and a graveyard where members of the Riedl family, who founded the settlement, rest. A former glassmakers’ pub now houses a museum of glassmaking. The last stop on the walking tour is Krásná Máří, one of the Jizera Mountains’ best known observation points, towering over the nearby Tetřeví bouda. Your climb to the top will be rewarded by a panoramic view of the Jizerské Way, Frýdlant, Ořešník, and the roof of the Hejnice Church. From the Krásná Máří you return to Bedřichov.
Where to next?
It’s also well worth visiting Kořenov, a mountain village where the Jizera Mountains meet the Krkonoše. Be sure to go up the Štěpánka viewing tower. In Tesařov, meanwhile, you shouldn’t miss the local Evangelical chapel. Mining in the Jizera Mountains is the subject of a permanent exhibition at the Museum of Mining in Harrachov. Another tip for a trip is the Jizerka glassmaking settlement, the very heart of the Jizera Mountains.