This past summer, I had the opportunity to be invited by the Tourism Authority of South Bohemia and Czech Tourism in South Bohemia, with a few other bloggers. We had the chance to explore the region of South Bohemia in Czech Republic. And truthfully speaking, I had a great time there. Most travelers who decide to visit Czech Republic just stay in Prague, but there’s a lot more to visit in Czech Republic. South Bohemia is less crowded than the Czech capital, people are kind and more relaxed, and the landscapes are beautiful. So… What did we do in South Bohemia?
Our first stop was Ceske Budejovice, the largest city in South Bohemia. It’s a great place to start exploring South Bohemia. There’s a nice main square, several shops if you wanna go shopping, and although it’s the largest city in South Bohemia, you can easily get around by foot. Otherwise you have public transportation. The old town is charming and it’s nice having a walk there.
Oh and for your information, Budweiser (yes, the beer!) means Ceske Budejovice!!! They brew it there, in Ceske Budejovice! We stayed at a nice place, the Residence U Cerne Veze. Their apartments are great, with a kitchen, laundry and living space! Located in the city center, they’re very clean, and have excellent WiFi!
The day after, we left Ceske Budejovice, and we went to Prachatice. That was probably my favorite town in the area. Not too big, not too small. A charming place with a nice main square, and the countryside is not far if you’re into nature. On the main square, there a a few bars, some shops, and a few restaurants. We had dinner at Pivovar Prachatice, a restaurant combined with a local brewery. The local food they serve there is delicious!
There’s also a hotel called Bed & Bike Prachatice. This is where we stayed. There actually have three apartments well equipped and very comfortable (kitchen, toilets, sofa…). The cool thing with Bed & Bike Prachatice is that bike rentals are included in the price you pay for the apartment! They’re actually e-bikes so no worries if you’re not in a great form!
Behind the main square, you’ll see the gothic church of St. Jacobs the Greater with its massive 53-metre tower. Wanna stay active? Climb the 157 steps for the great view of Prachatice and the surrounding area. Prachatice is also the perfect starting point to go to Sumava National Park. So before heading to the park, we took our e-bikes, and off we go!
Exploring Sumava National Park by e-bike was fun. I never “e-cycled” before, so I had to get used to riding an e-bike for a few minutes, but then I felt comfortable with it. We started cycling at Kvilda, and the scenery was beautiful and peaceful. We cycled up and down hills, we stopped several times to admire the landscapes and take photos, and I have to admit the e-bikes were quite useful when a steep ascent appeared before us.
In the park, we stopped at Pivovar Lyer to have lunch. They have outdoor and indoor seating, they serve tasty food, and they have fantastic local beer. No wonder the place was packed! We then e-cycled for one hour or so, before heading back home.
The day after we went back to Sumava National Park, but this time we explored the park by foot. Since it was a Saturday, we started the day visiting Chlumany Traditional Village Market. It was basically families buying stuff from the several stalls there. You could get fruit, vegetables, meats, cheese, flowers, preserves, drinks, handicrafts… A band was playing live music, and they were already selling beers and mojitos (at 9am!).
Then we went to Kvilda Visitor Center of Deer and Lynx. Many deers live there and there’s also a large lynx enclosure. We managed to spot deers but not lynxes, since that morning there were noisy families next to us. We then admired Chalupská Slať, the biggest peat bog in the Czech Republic and we finished our day hiking Soumarské Rašeliniště.
If you’re into outdoors, adventure but also a bit culture, you should defnintely go to South Bohemia. The area is not as crowded as Prague, the landscapes are beautiful, the cost of living is low, and people are lovely! Think about it!