Cycling in the Czech Republic: My Biggest Surprises

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Telc in the Czech Republic | Els van Veelen
Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Telc in the Czech Republic | Els van Veelen
Last summer, Elisabeth realised one of her new year’s resolutions when she went cycling in the Czech Republic with UTracks. We caught up with her to find out what she loved most about the Cycle Prague to Vienna – Guided trip and what most surprised her. Wanting to do something as a personal challenge without my usual travel companions, I decided last year to go on a cycling holiday. The criteria for me were that the trip should have some cultural and culinary interest and incorporate an activity that was a little out of my comfort zone while still being enjoyable. After comparing a number of walking and cycling holidays in countries in every pocket of Europe, I decided to join the guided version of the Prague to Vienna Cycle. I had the most fantastic week exploring the Czech Republic by bicycle and fell from one surprise into another, but never off my bike. Here are the seven biggest surprises I experienced.

#1 The local Czech wines

I didn’t realise beforehand that the cycling route would take me through some of the Czech Republic’s best wine growing areas, so I was pleasantly surprised by the stunning vineyards and opportunity to enjoy delicious (and cheap!) wine that perfectly complemented our meals each evening. Everyone in the group was amazed by the price and quality of the wine. My favourites were the Grüner Veltliners, Rieslings and Pinots from Moravia. Enjoying local wine in MikulovEnjoying local wine in Mikulov, Czech Republic

#2 The Czech countryside

Following the Greenway Trail, we were taken through some stunning and varied parts of the Czech Republic, including three protected areas (Podyji NP, Trebonsko, and Palava). Cycling through forests, past stunning lakes, vineyards, shrubland, stretches of flat countryside and farmland with orchards and fields overflowing with red and white poppies, I was constantly amazed by the changing landscapes and the natural beauty of the country. Cycling holidays in AustriaCycling through the Austrian Countryside on Guided Prague to Vienna Cycle

#3 The Czech towns

Cycling in the Czech Republic satisfied my appreciation for architecture. I expected to be amazed by famous towns like Czesky Krumlov, with its stunning castle dominating the town below, but I was blown away by the off-the-beaten-track hamlets we cycled through. The colourful residences in alternating pastels are a real pleasure for the eyes - it’s crazy to think that so many visitors to the Czech Republic would not get to see them on a standard Czech itinerary.

#4 The Czech castles and monasteries

Our route took us through a region that belonged to the Rosenberg dynasty, so we were rewarded with some of the best castles and most well-preserved fortresses and monasteries in Europe – some over 800 years old. Whether dominating town squares or at seemingly random places, they were always a sight to behold and made for great pit stops to break up a long day’s cycling. Mikulov Castle Czech RepublicVisiting Mikulov Castle on Prague to Vienna Guided Cycle

#5 My own cycling ability

This was actually one of my biggest surprises - in the lead-up to the trip I was a bit nervous about the prospect of having to get up early every morning to cycle long distances every day. However, getting into that rhythm turned out to be a real pleasure. Waking up each morning and having a full day ahead with the promise of new discoveries, rich local food and a variety of landscapes to conquer was what these trips are all about for me, and it definitely won’t be the last cycling trip I undertake for this reason. Exploring Trebon by bicycle on Guided Prague to Vienna tourElisabeth exploring Trebon in Czech Republic by bicycle

# 6 Our knowledgeable guides

It was fascinating cycling through the historic border area between Austria and the Czech Republic. Because I was on a guided tour, I was able to draw on my local guides' wealth of knowledge during the cycle and also at the end of the day when the group shared meals, local wine and stories. Our guides went out of their way to ensure that we left with a better understanding of the implications of World War II as they led us through rich forested former border control areas, parts of the iron curtain and hideouts of former armed forces.

# 7 The camaraderie of a small group holiday

The prospect of joining a group of cyclists from all over the world as a solo traveller was extremely daunting. What if I couldn’t keep up with them? What if they kept to themselves and weren’t sociable at breaks or during meals? I suppose these are pretty standard thoughts that single travellers have, and for good reason, as it’s generally the people you travel with or meet along the way that make your holiday unforgettable. The camaraderie I experienced turned out to be the best part of my experience. We were all in it to have a great time, which manifested when we cheered each other on  the challenging parts of each day’s cycle, shared laughs while seeking shelter from sudden downpours, and tried to help each other out when communicating with the locals. Group in Ceske Budejovice square 2_Czech Republic_UTracks UTracks offers a range of guided and self-guided walking and cycling holidays in the Czech Republic.

More Cycling in Czech Republic

:: Bohemian Rhapsody :: Cycle Prague to Dresden :: Czech Castles Cycle :: Cycle Prague to Vienna - Self-Guided
Architecture, Castles, Cycling, Cycling Holidays, Czech Republic, Guided, Review, Small group holiday

Comment (0)



Comments are closed.
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.