Trek Notes - Czech Republic

Vienna to Prague (cycle)

Vienna to Prague (cycle)

General Information
This is a new cycling tour linking two of the most famous and romantic cities in Europe. You will have time to immerse yourself in a world of architectural styles from Gothic to Art Deco. From Austria the tour takes you over gently rolling terrain through some very beautiful parts of the Czech Republic; Moravia, Southern Bohemia; the castle towns of Telc, Cesky Krumlov, the vineyards of Palava and eventually on to Prague ...the capital of dreams. Before and after your cycling tour there is an opportunity to visit Vienna/Prague in more detail: extra nights are thoroughly recommended. And when it comes to quenching your thirst after a long day's ride, remember that Bohemia can claim to be the home of beer

May to October.

Level of Difficulty
Moderate. Clients should be able to cycle for up to between 35 miles / 56 km and 45 miles / 72km per day across undulating hilly terrain in rain or sun. The terrain is gently rolling, mostly on country roads, not on biking trails. There will often be cars around and on some sections traffic may be quite heavy. You will find yourself in countryside where not much English is spoken. Young people generally understand some, but in the villages especially out of the main summer season, communication can make this tour a little adventure! You should also be able to affect basic repairs to your bike, exchanging inner tubes and so on.

The Bikes
We normally provide 18-21 speed touring/hybrid style bikes. Cycle hire fee is included in the tour price. Helmets are not included; they are not obligatory in the Czech Republic. Included is a small toolkit, a water bottle with holder, a lock and a spare inner tube. There is a handlebar bag with space for map and information. We need to know customers' height and inside leg measurements. Bike sizes available are 19 inches and 21 inches (men); 17 and 19 inches (ladies). It is recommended that cyclists take out a small multitool for minor adjustments enroute.

Baggage Transfers
Each day that you move on to new accommodation during the tour your baggage (normally up to 20kg / 44 pounds per person) will be transferred to await your arrival at the next nightstop. Bikers have the option to ride on the van during transfer of the luggage at no extra cost.

Important note: we have on occasion on this tour found it problematic to transport bike boxes, because of their bulk. If you intend to use your own bike and and also plan to bring a bike box please give us advance notice of this, preferably when booking. We will then see what we can do. Thank you! While on this subject we would like to point out that we are in the process of renewing our bike stock for this tour and that in 2001 we will be able to provide new high quality 21 speed bikes! So maybe you don't need to bring your own bikes…

Maps & Route Notes
We provide specially written route descriptions for each day's cycling, together with a road map.

Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation is in country hotels and pensions. Bed and breakfast only are included. Picnic lunches are not included, but materials for picnics can be purchased in each of the towns and villages where you stay. Evening meals are also not included, but you will be able to find places to go and eat, either at your hotel or elsewhere in the towns where you are staying. On some days there are also conveniently located restaurants en route.

Night 1: Vienna. A lovely renovated hotel located near the university and the U.S. Embassy.
Nights 2 and 3:
Cejkovice. You stay at the former 'Mansion of the Knights', which has been refurbished into an interesting hotel.
Night 4 and 5:
Trebon. In Trebon we also use two hotels; either a family operated pension, built as part of the old town fortifications ( breakfast only is available at the pension); Or we stay in a small hotel situated in the central town square. This is another historic building with a good restaurant and also serving excellent beer!
Night 6:
Cesky Krumlov. At Cesky Krumlov the pension is a historic building, very well refurbished and family run. (Only breakfast can be served at the pension).
Night 7:
Pisek. Our Pisek hotel situated in the central square is owned by the Lala family, famous for Czech and American ice hockey. It boasts an excellent restaurant.
Night 8:
Prague. Finally in Prague our first choice hotel is located in a quiet neighbourhood, 10 minutes walk from Wenceslas square, on the corner of Karlovo Namesti and Vodickova Ulice. If this hotel is full at the time you book your tour, our alternative hotel, also in a quiet neighbourhood, is near the underground station of Namesti Miru, 1 stop away from Wenceslas square. This alternative hotel provides bed and breakfast only, but there are plenty of eating places nearby.

A word of warning: in Prague always check out restaurant prices before you order!

For UK full Air Travel clients scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Vienna. The tour starts in Vienna. Arrive at the first accommodation by early evening. (NB: fly out of Prague NOT Vienna!)

Extend your stay
We can book extra nights in Vienna or Prague which are thoroughly recommended. Details and prices on request. Extra nights elsewhere along the cycling tour route can also be pre-booked; this will normally entail a small supplementary cycle hire charge. An optional city tour of Prague is on offer at $26 per person, but you may prefer just to wander round independently.

8 nights in normally 3 star pensions and hotels with breakfast; hire of bikes (18 –21 speed hybrids) is also included in the tour price, with water bottle, bags, spare tyre (but not helmet). Transportation of luggage on hotel change days. On some days transfers of customers with bikes (as per itinerary). Maps, route notes, other information, briefing on the morning of the first day.

Not Included
Sightseeing and entrance fees, lunches and evening meals; helmets, expenses due to bike problems, road or bad weather conditions, use of bus and taxi, repairs...

Day 1.
Arrive Vienna. The bikes will be issued to you at the hotel, or you will collect locally.

Day 2. Vienna to Ceskovice.80 km. Because of the traffic in the city you will not start the ride in Vienna itself, instead you will taken by van for nearly 40 km and dropped off to start at the village of Schrick, taking the road to Princendorf and Walterskirchen and the border crossing with the Czech Republic at Mikulov and on to Cejkovice. You will end near the picturesque Pavala Highlands, a preserved area with limestone Karst scenery, beautiful flowers and old Gothic castles. This is a wine cultivating district and Mikulov has the largest Jewish cemetery in central Europe.

Day 3.
Circular ride from Cejkovice. 50km - but you can do more or less since you are staying at the same place for another night. Lakes, ponds and parks typify this attractive day's ride.

Day 4.
Cejkovice to Trebon. 46 km. From Cejkovice the van will take you to Strmilov and then you will be rolling over the Czech Moravian Highlands into Bohemia. Cycle to the Gothic fortified town of Jindrichuv Hradec with its castle from 1220 and there are many Baroque and renaissance buildings. The route continues through Straz and Nezarkou to Trebon. You could also ride on to Telc, another town that reflects the many differing periods of architecture that have coloured the region from Gothic to modern. Telc boasts a World Heritage Site listing under UNESCO, underlining its cultural importance, but also indicating that it is on the Eastern European leg of the champagne set dignitaries from this lavish organisation to visit, before they alight in Prague for the evening round of drinks and dining.

Day 5.
Circular ride from Trebon. 44 km. This is a big circuit around the Trebon ponds. It takes you around (and probably around again) the Regent Brewery. Regent beer has been brewed since 1379 and it is the oldest one in the country. If you get a bottle with this date on, it is probably past its best! The ponds were excavated in 1584 and it is claimed that here the first fish were bred commercially in Europe. You can ride around the bank of the Svet pond.

Day 6.
Trebon to Cesky Krumlov. 46 km. After maybe a final walk round in Trebon, visiting ponds and castle, cycle to Cesky Krumlov, another town 'preserved' by UNESCO. The castle is the second biggest in the country and the town is beautifully located on the River Vltava. The town has some great taverns and restaurants.

Day 7.
Cesky Krumlov to Pisek. 60 km. A van today will call and take you on to Holasovice, from where you will start riding to Jankov, Cakov, Cejkovice and Hluboka whose chateau houses one of the most interesting art collections in Europe. Soon you will arrive in Protivin, where a visit to the local brewery is highly recommended. Finally roll into Pisek on the river Otava and built up in the early middle ages on the gold panning industry. There is a stone bridge from the 13th century: The oldest documented structure of this type in central Europe.

Day 8.
Pisek to Prague. 35 km. Heading through Zahori, Zvikov, Vlastec and Orlik where you can enjoy a castle by a lake. From here it is vehicle transfer through Pribram and Dobris to Prague. The car will meet you in the parking lot by the castle at Orlik and then it is a 1.5 hour journey to the capital. Prague of course boasts a fairytale quality that reflects the majesty of the Gothic and Baroque architectural ensemble that perhaps is the finest in the world. After the Velvet Revolution, a large community of Americans materialized with additional German and English language teachers. Prague was exalted as the artisanal centre of Europe and compared to the Paris of the 1920s. Of course, however, prices shot up, forcing locals to go out to the suburbs to eat out. Prague certainly can be expensive, but if you look hard enough you will find a variety of reasonably priced restaurants. Public transport is excellent and you can escape from the throngs who patronize the Charles Bridge with a little river side walk, or have a panoramic view of the city from the castle where Good King Wenceslas looked out.... If you are a couple you may find this to be the most romantic city that you have ever visited.

Day 9. In Prague.
There is an optional half day city tour of 'The city of a thousand spires,' (if required this service is available at $26 extra) There is so much to see: Prague Castle, the Lesser Town, the Jewish Quarter, the old town square with its famous mediaeval astrological clock, the Child of Prague, and Wenceslas square; the main shopping area where coffee in the beautiful Art Deco Hotel Europa is de rigeur.

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