The Krkonoše Mountains boast a number of superlatives as far as the Czech Republic is concerned: they are the highest, most visited and one of the coldest places in the country. In 1963 the first national park in the country was created here. Ruled over by the mystical Krakonoš, these enchanting peaks offer visitors great winter sports resorts with top-notch downhill skiing and well-maintained cross-country skiing trails as well as excellent snow conditions which normally last from late November until late April.
In summer, when the snowy slopes are transformed into blooming meadows, mountain hikers and bikers will find this a heaven on Earth with 800km of marked trails and cycle paths. Those who don´t fancy the idea of a hard uphill slog can hop aboard a so called ‘cyklobus´, regular bus services adapted to take bicycles, which travel over 100km through the mountains and back again. Several cable cars also take visitors and their bikes up to the Krkonoše´s high ridges. And if you´re simply not into hills, why not explore the low foothills and the Podzvičinsko area where Mount Zvičina (671 m) dominates the landscape. Instead of glaciers, rocky ridges and steep valleys you´ll discover many other attractions such as peat spas, the famous zoo and safari park at Dvůr Králové, the grand chateau complex at Kuks (with its gallery of statues by Braun) and the reservoir near Bílá Třemešná with its architecturally interesting dam dating back to the early 20th century.
Highlighted from the region:
Krkonoše National Park: The Krkonoše are the highest mountains in the Czech Republic. They include Sněžka (1602m), the country´s highest peak, with its Chapel of St Laurence and new post house. Large numbers of tourists are attracted year round into the protected north of the range – the Krkonoše National Park (KRNAP). The Krkonoše are crisscrossed with trails suitable for hiking and cycling trips. They will lead you to the source of the Elbe, first blessed in 1684 and visited by many tourists throughout the year.
Thanks to the range´s exceptional natural history, varied landscapes and rich human heritage, the Krkonoše were declared the first national park in the Czech lands in 1963. The protected area on the Czech side mirrors a national park of the same name in Poland, and together they form a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve.
Zoo and safari park in Dvůr Králové: The year-round zoo and the seasonal safari park constitute a unique experience, with animals kept in environments similar to their natural habitats. You will see the largest collection of African animals in Europe. There´s also a zoo train, restaurant, shop and a gallery called ‘Prehistory through the eyes of Zdeněk Burian´.
Kuks: This Baroque complex includes a former almshouse belonging to the Charitable Brothers and the Church of the Holy Trinity, all standing above the River Elbe. You´ll also find a sculptural work depicting the Twelve Virtues and Vices (by famous Baroque sculptor Braun), a pharmacy museum and Baroque pharmacy, a garden and a wine emporium.
Janské Lázně: This spa town on the slopes of Černá hora (1,299 m), boasting a number of radioactive, thermal and mineral-rich springs, is well known for its results in treating polio. Today the spa focuses on cures for nervous and muscular-skeletal complaints.
Ski resorts: You´ll find one in practically every mountain valley! Some of the best known include Skiresort Černá hora which has a cable car, Černý Důl, Žacléř – Prkenný Důl and Špindlerův Mlýn. Families with children will love the Funpark Sněhulák, the only resort in the Krkonoše exclusively given over to lessons for young, novice skiers and kiddie snow fun. Read more on skiing in the ČR here.
Official tourist website of Krkonoše: www.krkonose.eu