The Beskid Mountains offer a perfect combination of nature and the creations of man – high, forest-carpeted hills, orchid-filled meadows and unique folk architecture sensitively inserted into the landscape. Then there’s the sheep’s cheese, tarts, slivovitz and other local specialities to savour. The pagan god Radegast, after whom the local beer is name, has ruled over this land since time immemorial.
The unspoilt landscapes of the Beskids offer visitors countless attractions. In summer there are kilometres of marked trails to follow across deep valleys and verdant meadows populated by sheep. In winter the region is transformed into an ice kingdom offering ideal skiing conditions. The most attractive part of the Wallachia region is Soláň Peak, the views from which blend natural beauty with folk tradition.
A region ruled by the mighty Radegast
The Beskids are known for their timber churches and other buildings. Some of the most attractive of these are contained in the wooden complex at Pustevny, designed in the Art Nouveau style by architect Dušan Jurkovič. From Pustevny you can easily reach Radhošť Peak to see the statue of the mountain’s ruler – the pagan god Radegast. The ideal base in these parts is Velké Karlovice, a skiing and summer hiking destination. The largest open-air museum in central Europe is located in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm; here you can learn about traditional handicrafts and trades, local folklore and customs going back many generations.
Follow your nose
So how else can you enjoy the best the Wallachia region has to offer? By trying some of the local gastronomic specialities, of course. Monster tarts measuring up to 30 cm in diameter are well known here – they’re made with leavened dough, filled with something sweet and sprinkled with a mix of butter, flour and sugar. So-called “Štramberk Ears” are another typical sweet, the odd name the result of local legend. When the Tatars where attacking Europe, people found bags of salted human ears the Tatars had cut off Christian fighters. This sweet pastry has been made in their memory ever since.
Time in the Beskids can be combined with an excursion to Ostrava to view the city’s unique industrial heritage. Another popular destination is the pilgrimage Church of Holy Hostýn and another town that looks like it’s been taken straight from a bedtime story book – Štramberk.