Illustrative image: The 12th Century Gothic Loket Castle stands above a bend in the Ohre River (iStock @Mia_Garrett)

7 nice-and-easy rafting adventures in the Czech Republic with castle views

Where to roll down the river this summer – plus perfect pit stops for beer!

This is an updated version of a 2015 article.

Křivoklát

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The area surrounding the 13th-century castle Křivoklát is located close to the Berounka River and boasts a number of places for organizing a rafting excursion. From Kemp Visnova opt to be driven upriver and raft back to the camp or start at the camp and arrange a pick-up. The camp is a nice overnight option with bathrooms, showers, bonfire pits, and a restaurant.

Getting there: Hlavní Nádraží-Beroun-Roztoky u Krivoklatu (Camp is 5km from station.)
Rental fees: 440 CZK/day for a canoe and an inflatable boat.
Tip: U Jelena, a rustic pension and restaurant just below the Křivoklát Castle that specializes in game dishes.

Český Krumlov
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Located around 175 km south of Prague, many say the city looks like a miniature version of the capital. There are several places to rent boats including Rafting Krumlov. A great starting point, and a good place to stay overnight, but exercise caution while rafting through the city center because there are dangerous waterfalls. Follow the signs!

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Getting there: Student Agency bus from Florenc (3 hrs) or direct train (3hrs) about 200 CZK
Rental fees: Approx 350-950 CZK/day (depending on the number of people and chosen route).
Tips: The night-rafting option offers a stunning view of the city’s famed landmarks; check out the newly-opened Depo C.Krumlov for dinner or a beer.

Český Šternberk

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Šternberk is famed for its mid-13th century Bohemian castle. It is a great spot to start a rafting trip along the scenic Sázava River. Samba rentals offer nine stops along the river including Šternberk. In the glorious Sázava valley raft to or from: Týnec nad Sázavou, Ledeč nad Sázavou, Horka nad Sázavou, Kácov, Ledečko, Sázava, Chocerady, Pikovice. Samba lists a variety of accommodations that vary in price, size, and quality.

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Getting there: Hlavní Nádraží-Čerčany-Český Šternberk (2 hrs)
Rental fees: 450 CZK-900 CZK/day
Tip: Pub crawl along the cluster of pubs in the village of Pikovice.

Sušice

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This charming little town is located 60 km south of Pilsen. It offers an amazing rafting route on the Otava River. (See the Samba Rentals site for a list of “water camps” if you want to do an overnight.) The best spots to stop for beer, hiking, and site-seeing on the way down the Otava are: Horažďovice, Katovice, Písek, Vrcovice.

Getting there: Hlavní Nádraží-Horazdovice predm-Sušice (3.5 hrs)
Prices: 450 CZK-900 CZK/day).
Tip: From Sušice drift downriver for a breathtaking view of Rábí Castle.

Veselí n. Lužnicí

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Another South Bohemian town with a population of less than 7,000, it’s actually an ‘island’ surrounded by rivers, north of the Trebon basin, that is famous for its ponds and forests. The main river for rafting is Lužnice. It’s a great area to explore before or during a rafting trip. There are numerous places to camp overnight, many of them offering boat rentals. Best stops and starts: Majdalena, Suchdol n. Lužnicí, Dráchov, Bechyně.

Getting there: Direct from Hlavní Nádraží-Veselí n. Lužnicí (2 hrs)
Rental fees: See above.
Tip: The man-made lakes to the south of the town are a highlight of the area.

Olomouc

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Olomouc is quite far from Prague – South East near the border of Slovakia. It is a Moravian city, meaning great wine, and it offers amazing routes on the Morava River. The best spots to stop and rent boats are: Hanušovice, Ruda nad Moravou, Postřelmov, Vila Háj, Mohelnice, Nové Mlýny, Litovel, Hynkov, Horka nad Moravou.

Getting there: Hlavní Nádraží-Olomouc (2.5-3 hrs)
Price: 350 CZK/day (2 people); 420 CZK/daily (up to 4).
Tip: Plan a visit to the Holba or Litovel breweries along the way.

Ústí nad Labem

Ústí nad Labem is located North West of Prague. It lies on the Elbe River; the name of the city literally means ‘river-mouth’. It’s a great starting point for a rafting trip and there are several places to rent boats. It was once a trading center as early as 993 so the river has some amazing history. Cycle Camp Lodenice is a great place to start and has an English-friendly website; Brohacek is another rental company in the area

Getting there: Hlavní Nádraží-Ústí nad Labem (1 hr, 10 min).
Price: During the main season 1.6–15.9 the price for a is 300 CZK/day (2 people); 550 CZK/2 days.
Tip: Czech Switzerland and Strěkov Castle are top attractions.

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