The beauty of Šumava and the Bohemian Forest renders it an ideal holiday destination for all the family. Šumava, the Czech title for the Bohemian Forest, is a one of the most stunning regions the Czech Republic has to offer. Šumava is a rural area with only a small number of large cities. Tourists to the region can therefore enjoy holidaying in a tranquil environment.
There is more to Šumava than nature, however. The region is home to beautiful towns featuring historical and cultural attractions. The town of Klatovy is a popular Šumava tourist destination. Klatovy is home to Černé Jezero, the largest natural lake in the Czech Republic. The lake’s surface appears black in colour, giving it a mysterious appearance. The town also features Velhartice Castle, constructed in the 13th century. The castle, which overlooks a romantic valley, grants tourists
the chance to explore its unusual defence system.
Prachatice is another of Šumava’s towns. The archaeological village of Netolice, located atop of St. John Hill, is where tourists can delight in beautiful views of Prachatice and its surrounds. The birthplace of Jan Hus, one of the forefathers of the Czech language and the first person to translate the bible into Czech, is situated in Prachatice.
The highlight of a trip to Šumava is National Park Šumava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Covering almost 70,000 hectares, it is the largest national park in the Czech Republic. The park, in conjunction with the German Böhmerwald, is the largest forested area in Central Europe. The park is dominated by forest, streams, and glacier lakes. Tourists who choose to visit this natural attraction can spot deer and elk. Lynx are also sighted frequently.
For those who wish to get active in Šumava in the summer, the region offers a wide range of possibilities for bicycle riders, from short rides through quiet villages to strenuous journeys through the mountains. The most popular activity in the Czech Republic, however, is canoeing on the rivers of the Bohemian Forest. During the winter, Šumava offers outstanding facilities for both cross country and downhill skiing. The main skiing centre in Šumava is Špícák. Here, tourists will find downhill slopes for beginners and seasoned skiers. For the cross country skier, there are 120 kilometres worth of tracks, several of which lead into the quaint villages located at the very bottom of the Špícák Mountain.
Despite the fact that Šumava is not a well-known tourist destination, the region has various tourism facilities to cater for its visitors. It is rather easy to find suitable accommodation in this magnificent region and there is a right option for every budget; from comfortable holiday houses to luxurious hotels and from cosy B&Bs to beautifully situated campsites.
Image: flickr/donald judge