Are you a fan of ridge hikes affording amazing views? Up for a great day’s cycling through some truly wonderful terrain? An admirer of folk architecture? If so, then a summertime break in the Jeseníky Mountains is the right holiday for you! In the Czech Republic’s second highest mountain range you can have an unforgettable time amid wild landscapes, dense spruce forests, mysterious peat bogs, steep-sided valleys, crystal clear brooks and countless waterfalls, visiting local castles, chateaux and spa towns as you go.
The Jeseníky have a special feature that the country’s other mountain ranges don’t – spa towns. The area perfectly combines natural beauty and the curative properties of the local springs and pristine air. The spa industry in the Jeseníky was brought to the fore by the so-called “water doctor”, Vincenz Priessnitz, who established the first hydrotherapy spa in Austro-Hungary near the town of Jeseník. Even today you can still cure problems with the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems at Priessnitz’s spa.
Take a deep breath
Where can you find the cleanest air in central Europe? At the famous climatic spa town of Karlova Studánka, of course. Breaks here include lots of walking in the surrounding area; this could include a hike along the wonderful valley of the Bílá Opava River with its waterfalls, or a climb to the top of Praděd, the highest peak in the area affording superlative views of the entire Jeseníky range. Another great tip for a trip is the Červenohorské Pass, the long-established historical border between Bohemia and Moravia.
Ride the witches’ trail!
If you like walking, the Jeseníky Mountains are the perfect destination. Some of the most popular marked trails include the path up Mount Ramzová via Šerák Peak to Branná, or from Jeseník via the Čertovy Rocks to the top of Mount Zlatý Chlum where you can climb up a viewing tower. The Jeseníky range also boasts a large number of marked cycling trails. For instance you could head out along the witches’ cycling trail to Šumperk, Zlaté Hory and Velké Losiny, a town notorious for its 17th century witch trials, which resulted in almost 60 innocent people being burnt at the stake. Monuments and memorials along the way tell their individual stories.
One of the seven wonders of the Czech Republic
You can see the Jeseníky Mountains from the saddle and on two feet – and you can discover what’s beneath this magical landscape when you visit the Na Pomezí Cave full of huge dripstone formations and cascades, formed by the slow erosion of marble. Nor should you miss a trip to the hydroelectric power station at Dlouhé Stráně, voted one of the seven wonders of the Czech Republic. If you prefer historical places of interest, immerse yourself in centuries gone by at idyllic castles such as Jánský vrch and Hradec nad Moravicí.