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Walking the Czech Republic: A Cultural Journey

Program Number: 10546RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/15/2014 - 5/25/2014; 9/17/2015 - 9/27/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Czech Republic
Price starting at: $3,346.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 26; 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Light from the castle windows glows on the dark surface of the Vltava River just as it did centuries ago when the grey stone fortress served as main residence for an elite Czech family. Cesky Krumlov is just one of four regions you encounter during walking excursions through the Czech Republic. In Telc, Hlohovec and Prague, walk through nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as national parks and remote villages where native experts introduce Czech history, culture and natural heritage.




Highlights

• Learn about monastic life at the 13th-century Cistercian monastery in Vyssi Brod.
• At a wine cellar near Mikulov, enjoy wine tasting and folklore music.
• Instructors lead walks on the trails of the Podvji and Sumaya national parks.



Activity Particulars

Walking 3-5 miles, approximately 2-4 hours per day on well-marked dirt and/or gravel trails and roads. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Vienna (Austria), coach to Hlohovec (Czech Republic), 2 nights; coach to Telc, 3 nights; coach to Cesky Krumlov, 2 nights; coach to Prague, 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Vienna (Austria)
Coach to Hlohovec (Czech Republic)
2 nights

Sample wines from the center of Morovia’s wine growing region, and visit the park of Lednice Chateau and Lednice Ponds for an expert-led nature and history excursion. Walk in the meadows and forests of South Moravia to Valtice, a gorgeous town that was once the residence of the house of Liechtenstein..



Coach to Telc
3 nights

Walking excursions along the Bohemian-Moravian border include guided introductions to the Trebon Basin, a network of historic fishponds designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Admire the Renaissance buildings of Telc and farm villages built in the "Peasant Baroque" style. Walk in the Slavonice area to see the castle of Landstejn.



Coach to Cesky Krumlov
2 nights

Rozmberk Castle dominates this medieval town situated above the Vltava River. After walking the city center, a World Heritage Site closed to automobiles, visit the Cistercian monastery and sample local beer at a brewery located in recently discovered 13th-century vaults. Explore the charming town of Trebon and attend a private concert of the Pipers of Trebon.



Coach to Prague
2 nights
Departure

Local experts introduce this 600-year-old Jewel of Central Europe, including its musical and royal history in walking excursions to medieval Prague Castle and the Old Town. Discover the market quarter and St. Nicolas Church as you walk Prague’s cobblestone streets.




Czech Republic

With more than 1,000 years of human history involving princes and tribes, oppressive regimes and an ongoing struggle for national definition, the Czech Republic was finally established in 1993. Liberated from Communism by the Velvet Revolution, the country today can boast freely about its sacred and secular architecture, pristine mountains, artistic and folk traditions, and since 2004, its membership in the European Union.



Accommodations
Hlohovec: Four-star hotel surrounded by beautiful parks. Telc: Historical manor-style hotel with mini-wellness center and two bowling lanes on-site. Cesky Krumlov: Four-star hotel on historic town square. Prague: Four-star hotel in historic town center, a few steps from the Old Town Square..
Meals and Lodgings
   Hranicni Zamecek Hotel
  Hlohovec, Czech Republic 2 nights
   Hotel U Hrabenky
  Telc, Czech Republic 3 nights
   Hotel Old Inn
  Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic 2 nights
   Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town
  Prague, Czech Republic 2 nights
 Hranicni Zamecek Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated in the premises of the Little Border Chateau, the four-star Hranicni Zamecek Hotel is surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Lednice-Valtice area. The environs of the hotel are a paradise for ornithology, entomology, fishing, hunting and mushrooming.
  Contact info: Hlohovec u Breclavi c. 16
Hlohovec 16,  69143 Czech Republic
phone: +420 519 354 354
web: www.hranicnizamecek.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, radio, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and hair dryer at reception.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounges, coffee shop, fitness center, sauna, outdoor swimming pool, wine cellar and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hotel U Hrabenky
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The four-star Hotel U Hrabenky is located in the fairytale town of Telc, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally a Baroque house, the hotel was established in the second half of the 18th century and still preserves the atmosphere and unique character of an aristocratic residence. The historical center of Telc is within walking distance.
  Contact info: Slavatovska 96
Telc,  58856 Czech Republic
phone: +420 567 578 551
web: www.hotel-uhrabenky.cz
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, Internet area with computer (no charge), mini wellness center with whirlpool and sauna, laundry services and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Old Inn
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The four-star Hotel Old Inn is located in the central square of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three historic houses make up this beautiful hotel, boasting some of the finest architecture in the area. The unique, ancient town of Cesky Krumlov is situated in the valley of the Vlatva River.
  Contact info: Namesti Svornosti 12
Cesky Krumlov,  38101 Czech Republic
phone: +420 380 772 500
web: www.hoteloldinn.cz
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers restaurants, currency exchange, beauty salon, laundry services and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town is located in the unique atmosphere of Prague's historical center. Luxurious interior decor and modern amenities ensure a comfortable stay, and within walking distance are the Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the old Jewish Cemetery and the Charles Bridge - to name a few!
  Contact info: Hradebni Street 9
Prague 1,  CZ-11000 Czech Republic
phone: +420 296 398 162
web: www.clarionhotelpragueoldtown.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, coffee & tea making facilities, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, laundry services, computer corner in the lobby and free wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Vienna Airport: Meet your group by 11:00 AM for the group transfer to Hlohovec (approx. 1.5 hours). (Hotel check-in is at 2:00 PM.) You will be staying at Hranicni Zamecek Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Prague, Czech Republic. After breakfast on the last day. (Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM.) You will be staying at Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Local transportation.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Hlohovec
  Nearest city or town:  Breclav
  Nearest airport:  Vienna
  Transportation to site: It is possible to take a train from the airport to one of the train stations in Vienna, and then change trains to go to Breclav. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and costs approx. 800 CZK (40 USD). Go to the information desk at the airport to inquire about the best routing. From Breclav, take a taxi to the hotel. It takes about 20 minutes and costs approx. 405 CZK (20 USD).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Prague
  Transportation from site: Taxis are available for travel from the Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town to the airport. It will take approx. 1 hour and costs 807 CZK.
Elevation Note: Highest elevation is 2218 feet, but they drive through Trebon which has highest elevation of 4410 ft

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Thursday, May 15)
   
 In Transit: Depart on your overnight flight to Vienna.

Day 2: Arrivals
(Friday, May 16)

Note: Relaxing walk in the Lednice Chateau Park. Approximate walking time: 1 hour.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive at the Vienna airport and transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) by private coach to your hotel in the village of Hlohovec (571 feet). If time permits, take a relaxing walk in the Lednice Chateau Park, an important bird reserve and one of the nicest castle parks in the country.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: This evening there will be an orientation briefing and welcome drink.
   
Accommodations: Hranicni Zamecek Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: The Lednice-Valtice UNESCO protected area
(Saturday, May 17)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 3.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk in the beauty of the UNESCO protected area of Lednice-Valtice. Coach to the Baroque Rajsna Watchtower to begin today's walk overlooking the whole area. From Rajsna Hill walk down to Valtice (630 feet), a gorgeous little town which the house of Liechtenstein chose for their residence centuries ago. Take an excursion to the majestic Liechtenstein Castle dating back to the 17th century and the lofty Baroque Church of the Assumption.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the forest.
 Afternoon: The walk continues along beautiful vineyards to the old oak and pine forest. Admire the Randez Vous along the way, resembling a triumphal arch, and either the Three Graces or a chapel dedicated to St. Hubert, the patron of hunters. The sights were built over a period of 300 years by the Lichteinstein family and were designed by the most prominent architects of that time. Today's field lecture is called "Folklore and Wine in Moravia."
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner, folklore music and a wine tasting at a local wine cellar.
   
Accommodations: Hranicni Zamecek Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Podyji National Park / Novy Hradek / Transfer to Telc
(Sunday, May 18)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking (transfer is 2.5 hours). Approximate walking time: 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin the day by taking a private coach to South Moravia for a short excursion of the Iron Curtain in Cizov along with the rest of the communist wire fence in the Podyji National Park, established in 1991. The more south we drive along the Dyje River, the more fertile the land becomes as we follow orchards and vineyards into Austria. The park is famous for its biological and geological importance, an area filled with precious plants and animals; an island of forgotten peace among civilized countryside. Walk from the village of Lukov (1037 feet) for an excursion of the castle ruin Novy Hradek (1319 feet), originally a hunting castle from 1358 that belonged to the brother of the famous Czech emperor Charles IV. Today's field lectures cover the Iron Curtain at Cizov, life in the time of Communism, and the Novy Hradek.
 Lunch: Packed lunch at the castle ruin.
 Afternoon: Continue on through the national park and end in Havraniky, where we will continue by coach to Telc, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel U Hrabenky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Slavonice Area
(Monday, May 19)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to the starting point of today's walking field trip, Stalkov village (2 hours). Walk through forests to the ruins of the 13th-century Castle Landstejn. Continue through the woods passing an old Jewish cemetery and Stare Mesto (1765 feet) with a stone bridge established in the 14th century. Learn about Czech agriculture during a field lecture and visit an ecofarm owned by Mrs. Langova.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the farm.
 Afternoon: Continue walking in the area with an excursion to the charming village of Slavonice (1680 feet). The village has a unique collection of 16th-century renaissance houses with figural sgraffitties. Hear a field lecture entitled "The Gothic Town of Slavonice." Return to the hotel by coach.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Telc.
   
Accommodations: Hotel U Hrabenky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Michovska Rock / Renaissance Castle of Telc
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 3.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning's excursion takes us by coach to the village of Svetla (30 minutes, 1398 feet), where we begin the walking field trip. See the Michovska rock, a natural monument reaching 2404 feet high with a beautiful view of Telc and the region.
 Lunch: Picnic on the bank of Velky pond, established in the 16th century.
 Afternoon: Walk back to Telc via the ruins of the castle Stamberk and Lhotka village, entering Telc through an alley of lime trees. Enjoy a walking excursion to the Renaissance Castle of Telc, owned by the Lords of Hradec, a family with connections to the Cesky Krumlov Castle. Take in a field lecture about this castle.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel U Hrabenky
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Trebon Area / Transfer to Cesky Krumlov
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 2.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer via coach through the Trebon area (2 hours, with an elevation of 1504-4410 feet), acknowledged by its status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A superb landscape, it attained a secondary biological equilibrium centuries ago, resulting in its present beauty. Walk in this beautiful area that boasts some of the region's largest lakes and fishponds, and discover the giant, disintegrating oak trees that are almost 500 years old. While walking view several old farm villages built in the Peasant Baroque style. Hear a lecture on this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch during the walk.
 Afternoon: Walking excursion to the charming town of Trebon. Enjoy a concert by the Pipers of Trebon at the auditorium of the Hvezda Hotel located right on the town square before continuing by coach to Cesky Krumlov (1614 feet).
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Old Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Cistercian Monastery Vyssi Brod
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 2 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer south by coach to Vyssi Brod (2218 feet) for a walking field trip on the Maria Rast am Stein (Way of the Cross). Continue on the trail for an excursion of the Cistercian Monastery Abbey founded in 1259 by Petr Vok of Rozmberk. Learn about this monastery during a field lecture entitled "The Cistercian Monastery Vyssi Brod."
 Lunch: Picnic lunch during the walk.
 Afternoon: Return to Cesky Krumlov where the remainder of the day is independent. Your program staff can give you additional ideas of what to see and do.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Old Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cesky Krumlov Castle / Transfer to Prague
(Friday, May 23)

Note: Mode of transportation: coach/walking. Approximate walking time: 1.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk from the hotel to the Cesky Krumlov Castle which sits high above the town (1810 feet). Explore the castle and the Baroque Theater, the oldest and most preserved building in the world. This morning's lectures cover the Cesky Krumlov Castle and the Baroque Theater.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local brewery/restaurant called Eggenberg.
 Afternoon: Transfer by private coach north to Prague (4 hours). Stop to board a boat for a one-hour sail on the very beautiful reservoir, Orlik. Learn about Orlik during a field lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Prague Castle
(Saturday, May 24)

Note: Mode of transportation: walking. Approximate walking time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Walking field trip of the city (686 feet) viewing the many Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic monuments. The field trip includes the Baroc Loretta Basilica, and the 9th-century Prague Castle, the center of the Czech statehood for almost 11 centuries. Within the castle complex, admire the splendor of St. Vitus’ Cathedral and the spires, then continue through the imposing Golden Lane lined with tiny little houses. Today's field lecture is entitled "Prague, Past and Present."
 Lunch: Lunch in a historical restaurant located in the Little Quarter.
 Afternoon: This afternoon cross the Vltava River through the famous Charles Bridge, and continue walking on the winding narrow streets of the Old Town ending at the Astronomical Clock with its twelve apostles showing every hour. Enjoy some free time to continue exploring this unique and historical city on your own.
 Dinner: Special Farewell Dinner high above the city at the Nebozizek Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Departures
(Sunday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the Prague airport for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Cesky Krumlov Historical City Center
One of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov is wander around the historical city center and enjoy the medieval atmosphere. Music shops, bookstores and local museums sit amidst winding cobblestone streets, unique Renaissance buildings, churches and wonderful castle gardens in this charming town.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Baroque and Rococo Art


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Beyond the Chestnut Trees


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Bury Me Standing


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Court, Cloister and City, The Art & Culture of Central Europe, 1450-1800


Author: Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann


Description: An illustrated chronicle of 300 years of painting, sculpture and architecture throughout Central Europe.



Culture Smart! Czech Republic


Author: Nicole Rosenleaf Ritter


Description: A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Eyewitness Guide Czech and Slovak Republics


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Life with a Star


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Lonely Planet Czech Phrasebook


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Description: A palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.



Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990


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Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)


Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life and includes a helpful map for the traveler.



The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History


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The Complete Stories


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The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire


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The Haunted Land, Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism


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The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague


Author: Timothy Garton Ash


Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.



The Radetzky March


Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)


Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.



Time's Magpie, A Walk in Prague


Author: Myla Goldberg


Description: A delightful walking tour of Prague by the bestselling author of "Bee Season."





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