We all know that you simply have to visit Prague. The city is charming, fairy-tale like and just beyond all imagination of how cool it can be. Good choice is to walk through with a guide to see all the major sites in with interesting information given. And even better to do this for FREE :) Our team can warmly recommend guys from the Extravaganza free walking tours. Check them out to enjoy Prague smartly !
Fairs and fun events are taking place in the region during the whole year. We choose the most interesting ones and complete it with the news from the national park and its surroundings.
Free walking tours in Prague
Dear felow hiker. We would like to show you so many places in Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland national parks, that one could not count them all. Selection is our daily bread but we also need constant flow of new and inspiring places. During Christmas, we took advantage of the spring-like weather and explored parts of Saxon Switzerland, that were waiting for out footsteps to touch the ground. Via-ferrata on Affensteine, Kuhstal, waterfalls and many more are waiting for you in 2016 new tours. Hiking in Czech Republic and day tours from Prague can take you to places you may never explore on your own. Stay tunned on our Facebook and you will miss nothing new. Seasonal greetings and all the best to 2016 ! We are looking forward to meet you :)
The story of founding Northern Hikes
(narrated by Vit – Northern Hikes owner and founder)
"I was having a pretty decent job in a big multinational consulting corporation. It was paying more than enough to have solid middle class life. There was no need to change anything, expect... the job was not fulfilling me at all.
And as we should not waste the time allocated for our lives, I had to make a decision and I quit. With my undying passion for hiking the future plan was simple but crazy as well – take a backpack and alone only hike through the whole Carpathian mountain range spanning Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania. A hike through one of the last wilderness in Europe with wolves and bears roaming all around.
What was the goal and purpose of this ? To be alone, leave behind all the stress we have in our nowadays lives, to realize who I am and what do I expect from life and sort out priorities how to reach it. A key decisions in my life.
First three days of my trip I hated myself for taking that decision. With 20 kg backpack and all the fat in my body, it was an aching experience. But day by day, I was discovering the beauty of overcoming fear, enjoying spectacular scenery and meeting friendly locals in Slovakia. I draw a line on the map, from east to west and was sticking with it, taking every hill or mountain that crossed my way and leaving pain and all the bad feelings behind. It was starting to be clear for me, that my feature lies somewhere and somehow in nature and hiking.
It was the 38th day of my trip and I have covered so far some 400 miles in mountains, solo on foot. I was 60 miles from Ukrainian border hill “Kremenec” where Slovakia meets Poland and Ukraine. Then my phone rang and my brother told me our dad just passed away. Out of no serious illness, unexpected. The end.
Life brings situations that are hard to understand but that's also the key to move forward. What happened to our family took me a while to digest but I also understood it as a signal that nobody is there forever and some things just can not wait for “now it's the right time”. It may never be. And I always wanted to have my own business.
After few months of drawing crude ideas on a paper block in Canary islands where I escaped to, in search of peace, I finally realized that the answer to it all lies just in front of my eyes. And as it usually happens – it was there all the time, silently waiting for me to notice it.
I was born and raised in a small town "Decin", a gate to beautiful tiny piece of land called Bohemian Switzerland national park. And I finally understood - this is it. Combining my passion for traveling with solid knowledge of the area with an urge to show travelers that there is way more than just Prague in Czech Republic, this all was enough to finally found Northern Hikes travel agency that will take you to Bohemian Switzerland, give you a chance to relax, leave the stress behind and feel... just real and content with what you do.
So this is it. This is the story of founding Northern Hikes. From an office job through crazy hiking in mountains and leaving the loved ones behind to creation of opportunity to share joy in marvelous outdoors.
Thank you for reading this and for understanding what makes our hikes special."
Fairy tale from Bohemian Switzerland
Visit Dolský mlýn (mill) ruins, enchanted, romantic place in canyon of river Kamenice during your Bohemian Switzerland tour. This more than 400(!) years old mill hidden secretly in deep forest valley is known from filming of a popular Czech fairy tale The Princess Proud.
Especially in summer from May to September, the rays of sun penetrate through thick trees playing a game with tree shadows and glittering the water where one can see local fish sensitive to our clean water.
Several centuries ago, the mill had an important position among all the mills in the region. It was a center for milling wheat and flour production. Later it served as a restaurant and as a station for boats and rafts operating in the gorges of local stream Kamenice. The gorge where the mill is set was called Ferdinand's, in honor of Ferdinand, the successor to the Este ´ Austria-Hungarian Empire throne to which Czech Republic belonged by then.
Nowadays this place servers as an important crossroad for hiking trails. Tourists like to stop there to have a snack and breathe themselves into peaceful atmosphere of this place . Although there is no service anymore, just the silent ruins reminding its former glory, it still has power to move you into a fairytale. Visit this charming site with us and learn the story of Dolsky mlyn.
Elbe canyon at hand - Belveder viewpoint
The oldest and one of the most well-known viewpoints in the National Park Bohemian Switzerland is called Belveder. Offering views of 130 m deep canyon of the river Elbe, and on table mountains Zirkelstein and Kaiserkrone on the German side of the border, this is a traditional stop during our Czech Tours.
Terrace was built by Francis Charles Clary-Aldringen in 1701-11, and its origin is closely associated with the estate nearby. In May 1791 one of the buildings next to the chateau was hit by lightning and the fire spread to the chateau. Since then started a new era of Belvedere. Although the chateau was soon restored, the nobility lost their interest in this place. On the contrary, increased the interest of local people and modern tourists who came to visit beauty of Bohemian Switzerland.
Hotel Belvedere next to the viewpoint has a nice restaurant with delicious Czech cuisine and fast dishes. Summer terrace is an ideal place for a coffee break and chill out.
Best sunset in Bohemian Switzerland
There are many photogenic spots in the national park but one of them undoutebly wins when it comes to sunset photography. Mary's rock or " Marriana skala " in Czech is a steep sandstone pillar close to Jetrichovice village. Hike up will cost you reasonable effort - some 500 steps are a challange and you will feel like earning it when on the top. Your reward will be breathtaking views to the main area of the national park.
The best comes when the sun is raising or setting - sky turns any color from red, blue, purple, yellow and creates a miraculous rainbow of colors over the nearby hills and rocks. No wonder there are several photographers in the region organizing workshops of landscape photography. Mariina skala is the place you want to see. And with Northern Hikes, you need no map, no skills and no car - we will take you there, ask for it.
Visitors from Hong Kong in gorges of Kamenice !
A group of 37 tourists from Hong Kong landed in our national park. Excursion to Edmund and Wild gorges was a success and we completed the trip by a great lunch in a restaurant of hoptel Mezni Louka.
Northern Hikes guided the group with elderly guests safely on all of the 6 km hike through one of the most popular places in the national park. This vital group showed clearly that your age is no obstacle at all and there is something for everybody. Having a guide is essential though as we help to determine which trail to take so you can enjoy the most of your day and fee safe and comfortable with an English speaking guide in a place where signs in Czech and German are available only.
Create an original gift - herb soap
A great opportunity to try a short soap-making workshop. Make a 100 % natural herb soap in the soap-makery Rubens in the village of Růžová.
We will gladly let you sneak into the room where we make our "gold"
- we will teach you about the process of making handmade soaps
- we will talk about herbs and the positive effects of herbs on our skin
- we will compare the smell of fresh herbs and the essence