Czech Republic – Austria
Prague and Vienna – only the beginning of highlights from the riches of this tour! This trans-Central European voyage will show you the cultural and natural diversity of these countries united by the former Habsburg Empire. You will visit the pearls of both the Czech Republic and Austria during the bike tour Prague – Vienna, four architecturally unique sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, well preserved nature of NP Podyji, as well as countless picturesque towns, villages with specific atmosphere and cultural richness of both countries. Most of this trip follows the Greenway bike path, which is the most important bike tour in Czech Republic.
Both Prague and Vienna used to be the seats of powerful kings and ruling seats of famous kingdoms and empires. Therefore, these two cities are overflowing with cultural richness resulting from a high concentration of pieces of art of the most prestigious artists and architects of the given time.
According to your arrival you can spent one or more days to explore the Prague co called "Paris of the Central Europe", relax or have a unique "Prague-by-bike" tour before you set off for bike holiday.
Prague-by-bike tour is guided by Prague natives – who truly love the city and can reveal much more than any travel book – all safely by bike and finished by a mug of good beer in an carefully chosen place. If time is not your worst enemy, we do propose you stay in Prague more days to fully explore its beauty and hidden corners.
Our first biking day starts easily and relaxed Vltava river upstream on nice bike trails. After 20 km on flat ground we have to leave the river and open romantic Posazavi highlands. For every climb you will be rewarded with nice views to surrounding country side. At Zboreny Kostelec you can take short hike to local castle ruin. From here we will continue to nearby Tynec nad Sazavou with it’s romantic gothic stronghold and Romanesque rotund. We will end today’s bike stage by visiting the Konopiste Castle, the summer palace of Archduke Franz Ferdinand D´Este. The assassination of this would-be-king in Sarajevo in 1914 caused World War I.
The second day offers us gentle biking along small side roads and byways through nice and peacefull part of Central Bohemia. The part we bike through today is sometimes called Czech Meran for all the little ups and downs or Czech Siberia for rather chillier climate (mornings) in the valleys. It offers a lot of fantastic views and descends with the same ammount of climbs on the other hand. After we pass through all this cycling heaven we will end up in Tabor. This mighty fortress served as the headquarters of the czech reformation in 15th century during the Hussite wars. Never conquered it offers a lot to see and a great evening after a demanding ride!
In the morning we recommend a short walk on the ramparts of Tabor, where you can admire its genius loci. The careful incorporation of the landscape and countryside during its construction resulted in several successful repulsions of sieges during the Religious Wars. Riding our bikes, we will enter the South Bohemian region. Among the green, calm scenery rest the romantic water castle of Cervena Lhota, and the third-largest historical complex in the Czech Republic – the town of Jindrichuv Hradec with its well preserved castle and city center. Today, it is hard to believe that this calm town used to be one of the largest medieval centers in Bohemia! Based on a legend, it is possible to meet Perchta of Rozmberk – the famous “White Lady” ghost!
We leave the South Bohemia and enter the Bohemian - Moravian highlands area. Today’s highlight will be a visit of the Renaissance town of Telc, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Telc is considered to be the most beautiful Renaissance town in Europe! Before we get there, we must travel a rather hilly 45 km, passing by a plethora of ponds and lakes - try to count them all, or just relax amid this peaceful scenery. In Strmilov, we will have a chance to visit an artistic weaving factory and learn more about the process of making wool and linen fabrics, a part of this region for centuries.
We start the day in direction of Dacice where the first sugar cube ever was produced. Getting there we bike through an area with fantastic views and very few other bikers on the route. It takes us through nice highland area and peaceful villages near to the Austrian border which we then follow for the rest of the day.
On the road we can see a well-preserved system of fortifications from the beginning of World War II. These fortifications has never been used, and therefore, are well-preserved for today’s tourists. Riding along, the route will pass by the Renaissance castle of Pisecna and to the fairytale-like castle of Frejstejn. Before we reach our destination we will take a detour to the Vranov water dam to reward ourselves with amazing views of Bítov castle. Should you wish, please enjoy the views from one of the biggest castle ruins in Moravia – Cornstejn.
The final destination of today’s stage is the town of Vranov nad Dyji, nestled on the edge of the Podyji National Park.
If you prefer shorter biking distance, you can take train in the morning to Slavonice to bike just along the Austrian border.
This day explores Podyji National Park, enchanting everyone with its untouched beauty. From the ruins of Novy Hradek, as well as from the viewpoint over the majestic medieval castle of Hardegg, we will be able to see where the Dyje River finds its way through the countryside creating unforgettable meanders. A memorial of the Iron Curtain, located in this area, is a quiet eyewitness of somber, relatively recent, times. The bike trail will lead us along the borders of the national park, where no auto traffic is allowed. While descending to the Dyje river through Sobes vineyard, why not pause for a glass of white wine? This place was marked as one of the 10 best vineyards in the world! Our next stop will be the town of Satov, where we will have the possibility to visit a uniquely-preserved Cold War fortification, a curiously painted wine cave, cozy wine cellar streets, and an educational path leading through vineyards of old wine varieties. We will conclude the day in the seat town of the Moravian Premyslid Dynasty – in the town of Znojmo.
In the morning we will leave the town along the river and then continue through fields and vineyards to the Austrian border. The border line will then take us east with a nice stop in the town of Jaroslavice with nice Renesance chateau. Here you first cross the border to Austria and visit the picturesque wine growing area of Galgenberg. From here we follow a nice new bike trail meandering through the peaceful countryside to Mikulov. This hidden gem will capture your attention with its Baroque Castle and wine museum, an historic synagogue and a local curiosity – a gigantic wine cask big enough for a chamber orchestra.
TIP: Culture and wine lovers can take a morning train to Breclav and spend whole day biking in unique Lednice- Valtice UNESCO area.
The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape – a landscape which used to belong to the family of Lichtenstein. Under the care of this single family, the swampy area was transformed into a well-thoughtout combination of castles and parks, sometimes called “The Garden of Europe” or “The Garden Paradise”. We will have a chance to visit this place, which combines both indigenous and exotic natural elements to create an outstanding work of human creativity. Since the complex is very large, biking is the recommended mode of transportation allowing you to fully experience this exceptional cultural site along at a leisurely pace.
The last half day of the tour in Czech Republic will follow iron curtain trail framed with story boards of those, who tried to escape from communistic Eastern Block. After crossing the border we will bike through the Herrnbaumgarten Village, famous for its poetic museum of nonsense, to the wine museum in Poysdorf. There in regional wine museum you will have a chance to complete your Central European wine "training"! Then we will pass through Wilfersdorf with its chateau Which had been the main residence of the Prince of Lichtenstein between 17th and 18th century to end our day in Mistelbach.
Last missing part of Prague - Vienna whole way biking tour will guide us through rolling landscape with many wind power plants on the horizon. We will be following the EuroVelo 6 bike trail partly built on ancient steam railroad tracks. We will end our day at Vienna - former capital of the Habsburg Monarchy, town of the waltz and opera.
Breakfast is provided, but there are no activities today. It's a breeze to reach Vienna's airport by train, bus or taxi. You'll have easy connections to back home.
But we recommand to stay one more day and explore Vienna beauty.