Bohemian Switzerland National Park is certified as a “European Destination of Excellence” by the European Commission. The region drew many artists to the area who likened it to distant Switzerland. The artists painted the area, popularizing the place – hence the name Switzerland. The park is about 30.5 square miles large and is home to Europe’s largest sandstone rock arch called Pravčická brána. The region is also an irresistible draw to rock climbers. Bohemian Switzerland National Park is adjacent to the Saxon Switzerland National Park in eastern Germany. This national park covers 36 square miles and is home to more than 700 summits that rock climbers can ascend. Here in the park you will find the famous Bastei Bridge.
If you take the Bastei & Tisa Winter Walk tour option, you will talk a stroll to Tisa rocks where the Chronicles of Narnia was filmed!
- 8am – 10am: Hotel pickup and drive 2 hours to Bohemian Switzerland National Park
- 10am – 11:30am: Explore Bohemian National Park and Hike Tisa Rocks
- 11:30am – 1pm: Lunch
- 1pm – 3pm: Explore Saxon Switzerland National Park and See Bastei Bridge
- 3pm – 5pm: Head back to Prague
- Small-group tour (8 persons max) with a local guide
- Transport by air-conditioned minivan with free WiFi
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Lunch at a local Czech restaurant (main course and drink)
- National Park fees and entrance fees
- Bottled water and snacks
Note: Since I did this tour during the winter the only tour option available to me was the Bastei and Tisa Rock Winter Walk so this review is based on this tour option.
Me being an introvert I was able to make conversation well and the two-hour drive went by rather quickly! Though I did steal a few glances to my phone because – hello! – there’s free WiFi in a moving vehicle!
After exploring the bottom of the formations, we eventually made our way to the top of the rocks by climbing a few stairs – yes, the views! From there, you saw stunning views of the entire sandstone formations and of the town nearby.
Tony mentioned that the park is usually crowded with people and families during the summer and on the weekends. Since it was a Monday it was only us and a few other folks – and that was fine by me! Nothing like having some peace and quiet in the beautiful nature in a foreign country.
P.S. Did you know that one of a common hobby of Czechs is to mushroom pick? In school, children would learn how to pick mushrooms and to distinguish the goods ones from the poison ones. It sounds like such a silly hobby coming from the States but understand that every culture and country has its own quirks – and that’s what I love about traveling! (P.S. I’m also a huge lover of mushrooms so I didn’t mind this.)
He also mentioned that this was also a rock climbers paradise. I am terrified of heights and these rocks were much higher than the ones we hiked at Bohemian!
Tony gave us a history of the region and told us stories about how people in the Middle Ages built castles and houses on top of these rocks. Historians were able to uncover this due to broken pottery pieces of what looked like kitchenware. Here you can see what they might have looked like back in the day:
3:00-5:00pm: Head back to Prague
$185 USD was a steep price to pay and I hesitated for a bit before pulling the trigger. Ultimately, I LOVE nature and love visiting national parks and this was a perfect way for me to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s great that Northern Hikes likes to keep the group small and intimate – this type of setting definitely caters more to my personality and, in general, I love the personable connection with the tour guide. I got to learn so much about Czech Republic as a country, the Czech people, the history of the park regions, and so much more. My curious personality was also able to ask a ton of questions – all of which was answers so eagerly by Tony who is AWESOME by the way. He was a safe driver, super friendly and chatty, and super interested in getting to know more about other cultures. After all, he did get his Masters in International Relations, interned at the Czech Consulate in Los Angeles, CA, and loves traveling the world!
I love hearing about the history and facts about both parks and the surrounding region and he was patient with all of my questions The parks themselves were so beautiful that I wish there was more time to hike the different trails each park offers. Sometimes I would forget about the icy cold and windy weather because I would get lost in the majestic and serene beauty of the nature in Czechia. So, what’s the reason for the half point deduction? Solely, the price. Did I feel like I got my money’s worth? Totally. But the price is a tad bit hard to swallow, especially since I was traveling throughout Europe solo. Should you still do this tour? ABSOLUTELY.