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Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland national park is a breathtaking national reserve that lies southeast of Dresden city of Germany together in the Bohemian Switzerland of the Czech Republic. Together the national park forms the Sandstone mountains of Elbe and contains over 1,000 peaks for climbing. The Park is one of its kind where you will start your hiking tour in one country and end in another country.
However, hiking here can be tricky, and a staying facility is not available within the park. In case you are still willing to stay, carry a sleeping bag and consider spending your night in a cave or beneath the boulder. Before planning a tour in near future, go through our handy travel guide to Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Park to know more about things to do and explore.
Major Highlights In Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Park
1. Best Camping Spots
If you are looking for the best spot for camping then keep this thing in mind that it is allowed in some specific areas that too with some restrictions. As the park is well protected, there is no wild camping allowed throughout the park. The best campground is the Camp Mezni, which is just a few walking distances away from the hiking trails.
Apart from this, Ceska Brana is also a good spot for camping and it is much larger than the previous one but is quite far. This camping ground is larger enough and offers spaces for caravans and cabins during winters. It also has facilities like restaurants, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a common space for a campfire.
2. Tip To Follow Before Going For Hike
Hiking in the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland national park is possible throughout the year but some trails may not be accessible due to bad weather such as storms or heavy snowfall. Avoid taking long routes while going for hikes during winters considering the shorter days, climbing above the mountains during dark hours can be dangerous.
Do visit the land of Narnia, the one featured in the popular Hollywood movie “Narnia”. Winter is the best time to visit if you want to experience the same atmosphere as shown in the movie.
Follow the Below Tips for Hiking:
- If heading towards the Kemence Gorge, then consider going in the warm season or during the month of September, when it is Spring.
- If coming in Spring, carry your own water bottle, windproof clothes, and ideal shoes for hiking.
- Do proper research before planning a trip, a choose an ideal track based on your fitness.
- Follow the marks you may see on trees to access the trail you are going towards. These marks are painted red, yellow/green, and blow indicating the difficulty level of certain tracks
- Red mark: Difficult Track
- Blue: Moderate Track
- Yellow/Green: Two intersecting tracks
- If you wish, take your dog on the track but with a leash on.
3. Best Places For Hiking
Before looking for the best place to hike, avoid planning your tour in the peak season i.e summer. Summer is the most crowded season for a hike, consider going either in early spring or in the fall season. Below are the best hiking spots:
- Pravcicka Brana: A perfect track for those going with families. Follow the trails that start from Hrensko town and end at Edmund’s gorge.
- Trail Near Brtniky: Much easier track than the previous one and leads towards the Kyjov Valley. It is a 14 km trail and it is mostly green till the first half and the remaining one is red.
- Hrensko to Pravcicka Gate: a 20 km trail leading from Kamenice river and will end at the Pravcicka gate. This trail is quite harder as compared to the trails.
4. Bastei Bridge
The historical bridge of Bastei offers one of the most beautiful landscape views in Germany and is built with sandstone just over the Elbe River. The name of this bridge i.e Bastei can be translated as the group of sandstone rocks. The rocks surrounding this bridge were formed due occurrence of water erosion around 1 million years ago.
This massive bridge is a center of attraction among visitors for more than 200 years. As per some historians, a castle named “Neurathen Castle ”stood on these majestic rock stones around 100 years ago but now only rooms carved from these rock exists.
Location: 40 km away from Dresden
5. Pravcicka Brana
Pravcicka Brana is the naturally formed arch and is believed to be the largest in entire Europe. Situated in Bohemian Switzerland just 3 km away from the village of Hrensko. You will be awestruck when you look at this massive arch from a distance. Unfortunately, the upper portion of this arch can not be accessed as it is too thin to walk on.
The arch may look familiar to you if you have ever watched the Hollywood movie “Narnia”. It was used in several major scenes of the movie. The upper part of this arch was accessible till 1982 but was later banned in order to prevent it from getting damaged.
Accommodation Near Pravcicka Branna:
- Falcon’s nest - Situated just near the Arch
- Mezni Louka - just 100 meters away
- Prague Praha Hotel - 2.5 km away
- Garden Hotel Mezna - 5 km away
6. Elba River
Situated in Bohemia Switzerland which lies in the lands of the Czech Republic. Also encompassed by numerous hiking trails evergreen forests sandstone rock formations. You can even ride alongside this river and reach all the way from Germany to the Czech Republic. Spend some time in the Czech republic and grab a return train to Germany.
You can also include a river cruise in your itinerary, departing from the three major German cities i.e Dresden, Magdeburg, or Melnik. Motorcoach tour is available from the German capital “Berlin” to the city of Czech Republic capital “Prague”.
Elbe River cruise tours are available in these German cities:
- Saxon Switzerland
7. Rock Formations And Sandstone Mountains
The Rock Formations and Sandstone Mountains can be found in the Czech republic part of this park and are easily viewed while hiking. The major highlight of this rock formation is the Belvedere terrace sitting at the top of Elbe Canyon. Other than the Belvedere terrace are the Dolsky Mlyn Mill ruins situated at the same rock mountain.
Move a little further, and you will find yourself in the 30-meter high walls of rock that look more like a fairytale. Other tourist attractions at this place include Saunstejn Castle which can be accessed via stone stairs offering breathtaking views of Ore Mountain. It is a border that separates the Czech Republic and Germany.
Things To See:
- Belvedere terrace
- Dolsky Mlyn Mill
- Saunstejn Castle
- Ore Mountain
8. Ruzovsky Vrch
Ruzovsky Vrch is a famous mountain that offers one of the most challenging hiking trails in the entire Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland national park. The part usually remains less crowded thus a good place for those who want to escape tourist places. There is a massive mountain that is the tallest in the park and is the center of attraction due to its cone shape.
Talking about the hiking trails, each trail is around 3.3 km to 4.5 km from the top. Wild passing from the trail, you can spot various animal species such as boars, endangered salamander, red deer, and other 400 mammals. Once, there were several towers and monuments at the top of the tower and incomes under a protected area of the Czech Republic.
9. Kamenice Riverbank
Kamenice Riverbank also lies in the region of the Czech Republic and can only be accessible during the warm season. Take a boat and enjoy the enormous beauty and lush green forests surrounding the deep canyon. The beautiful forests will surely amaze you and maybe it will remind you of one of those fairytale movies in Hollywood.