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Czeski Raj Bohemian Paradise Geopark will stun you with its charming scenery. Besides the castles and rock structures that jut out of the ground, you'll be surrounded by the Jizera Mountains and forests of pine, willows, ashes, and alder trees. You'll feel immersed in a romantic fairy tale like setting, and you'll discover quaint orchards, dormant volcanos and hidden caves. The moss on the sandstone formations only adds to the mood. This beautiful nature preserve is located just one hour and 15 minutes from Prague by car.
Special thanks to the Liberec Region and Czech Tourism for hosting my visit to the beautiful countryside of the Czech Republic. This post may also contain affiliate links. I only recommend products, experiences, and services I use personally and believe would be a good fit for my readers. This comes at no added cost to you!
Český Ráj, Czeski Raj, or Bohemian Paradise? Which is it?
All of them are correct! One is the Czech language, an English version, and Bohemian Paradise is what both translate to. A paradise it certainly is! Bohemia refers to the area - like most European countries, the border lines are blurry, having changed over so many years from the Roman Empire to the World Wars.
We hiked the section of Czeski Raj known as Besedické Skály (Besedice Cliffs). They are a maze of different rocks, or a rock labyrinth. It's easy to see why. You're unsure where each path will lead. Long ago, people used to hide their cattle among the rocks to keep them safe from invaders, and the rock maze was also a place where people hid during religious persecution.
This maze like feel with going up and down the rocks was such a different feeling than the wide open fields and forest of trees that I highlighted on my walk through Killarney National Park in Ireland. It's amazing how different 2 hikes can feel!
One of the highlights of Bohemian Paradise are the views!
The country side of Czechia viewed from the top of rocks is simply stunning! This where I am honest and tell you I'm not a fan of cliff sides. I was actually very nervous about this hike before going, and watched lots of YouTube videos.
Once I was on top, it really wasn't a problem. There are gates that go around, but they aren't obtrusive at all. You are high for sure, and it would hurt to fall, so use caution. But it also felt very protected and the view made it all worth it.
The view point by the lone tree offers amazing views of the Malá Skála valley and the Jizera River. You can even spy Jested Tower if you squint hard enough! We had initially planned on kayaking down the river, but the hot summer had made it too low to do so. If you remember my kayaking adventure in Ireland, than you'll know this truly disappointed me! It's such a great way to visit the countryside!
However, these rock top views can't be beat either! From the top you'll also spy Vranov Castle peeking out the top of rocks above the city of Malá Skála. How often do you see castles perked on a cliff?
It wasn't just the top of the rocks that offered wondrous views. Going in between the rock formations made you feel small, a tiny speck in the world. It was protective, with views of the sky behind rocks that seem to seamlessly balance right above your head.
I love this picture of my friend because it really gives you a sense of the scale of the rocks!
It was also very cold in these protective areas. Which surprised us, since the Czech Republic was experiencing a heat wave while we were there. It felt like some areas of our hike had built in air conditioning!
It was a nice break from some of the sweltering weather we had that week! The free air con from the rocks, along with our favorite Czech lemonade that I talked about on our visit to Liberec were the things that saved us during this crazy European weather!
The hike we took was well marked with trail markings keeping us on the right path. There was a bit of elevation here and there, but nothing drastic. It was fairly easy walking, especially with stopping to take so many pictures!
There were a few spots where you wanted to use the hand rail to insure safety. Very few of the steps were out of order, just the ones above, and it was fun to hang onto the metal and climb up the small anchors for the stairs. The gentleman rock climbing is Mr Snake, who was our fantastic tour guide through the Geopark. He was like a mountain goat!! He had incredible skills!
The hike was pretty mild and we saw lots of families walking along, as well as seniors. I'd say that the Bohemian Paradise Geopark offers hikes and climbs for all abilities!
One of the last climbs we did allowed us to get this view of one of the many "Rock Cities" that are located inside the Bohemian Paradise park.
Rock Towns Found in Bohemian Paradise:
- Prachov Rocks
- Hruboskalské Rocks
- Suché Skaály
- Drábské světničky
The rocks themselves offer interesting features. They are made of sandstone, and as the picture above shows, there are different variations of "honeycomb" patterns formed by a network of small depressions on the rock surface, which are a geomorphological phenomenon.
Where is Bohemian Paradise?
Czeski Raj is located in the Liberec region, on the North side of the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic's Bohemian Paradise has been protected since 1955 and it is on the list of UNESCO Geoparks. It's worth conserving and visiting! If you are planning a tour of the Czech countryside, or even just a day trip from Prague, I urge you to visit and take a hike in Czeski Raj! This Czech paradise isn't quite as famous as Bohemian Switzerland, but that also means less crowds and the opportunity to go a bit off the beaten path. The cost of hiking is free and you can't beat that!
Looking for more Czech Adventures? You might enjoy these:
- Visiting Jested near Liberec in the Czech Republic
- Visit the Town of Liberec
- Prague Points of Interest
- Visit the Lenin Wall in Prague
Happy Travels My Friends!!!!!