Summerfun: 4 Hiking Trips Not to Miss
Discover the greenest areas of Prague and nearby
Divoká Šárka: The huge forest park is located within the borders of Prague and offers just about everything you could ask for: cliffs, a swimming pool, a large lake and a maze of trails. You can get to the park by tram and start the hike at the tram stop Divoká Šárk: the road behind McDonald’s leads right into the forest.
There are many popular paths to get around the park and the best way to see it entirely is to take the roughly 10km long circular route. There are many exciting things to see including the crash-site of an American soldier whose plane was shot down in the park on 16.04.1945. He was found by Germans and a gravestone was built to commemorate him.
There are many cliffs in the area to climb and explore – they look over the forest on one side and Prague 6 on the other. There is a nice stream perfect for water-loving doggies to splash in and it’s not uncommon to see deer, bunnies, hedgehogs, wild boars and hawks.
On a hot day you should try to end your hike by Džbán and take a dip in the lake. It is a popular swimming spot that sells beer and has a nudist beach on the paid side (entry costs 50 CZK for the whole day). The free size is a bit muddier but welcomes dogs and fishermen. Many people who come in groups choose to swim across for beer to save a bit of money or simply to enjoy swimming around animals.
Prokopské údolí: This green valley is located right on the border of Prague 5 but it looks and feels like it’s completely outside of the city. You can find one of the most popular routes here and the most convenient routes for travel by public transportation here. Both routes start at the Jinonice Metro stop (just three stops from Anděl) from where you can easily walk towards the edge of the valley past a romantic church.
Once you are in the park you need to follow the green hiking trail that will take you up a steep hill with an amazing view. The path continues past a bridge and away from the city, emerging you in nature. Along your walk you can run into several great views, an animal feeding area with deer and goats and you will come across a swimming area.
Prokopské údolí is popular for grilling, swimming, walking and is great for both children and pets. There are several caves that are fun to explore, a restaurant to stop at for lunch and several playgrounds. No matter which trail you choose, it is always easy to find a bus or metro stop that will bring you back into the city center.
Velká Amerika to Karlštejn: Velká Amerika is a beautiful quarry that almost looks like something out of a fairytale. It is the largest of several quarries in the area and a great starting point for an easy yet unforgettable hike. While many people who come to see the quarry (lom in Czech) start at Karlštejn, the hike is more enjoyable and mostly downhill if you go the other way around.
Getting to Velká Amerika is very easy: you need to take bus number 311 from Zličín to Mořina (every 30 – 90 minutes). Mořina is a little town just a 15 minute walk from the quarry past a scenic field. The town is small so stock up on water before getting on the bus. Once you reach Velká Amerika you can go around it to see if from all its best angles. From there you just need to follow the yellow trail that will take you past two smaller quarries: Malá Amerika and Mexiko.
The hike will take you through forests, fields and finally a road that will take you up to Karlštejn castle. An interesting stop along the way is the Dub Sedmi bratří or the Oak of Seven Brothers – it’s a protected tree that’s 16 meters tall and 450 centimeters in circumference. Right before you reach the castle you will run into a nice pub called Pod Dračí skálou (Under the Dragon Rock) where you can grab a beer and take a quick break. You can easily take a train back to Prague from Karlštejn that come every 30 minutes.
Slapy: If you want to get the most out of a day trip near Prague you can hike around the beautiful river in Slapy which is just South of Prague. It is difficult to get there by bus or train so the easiest and most exciting transportation method is by boat. Paroplavba organizes boat trips from Prague to Slapy – Třebenice every Saturday (30.4. – 31.5) and every Saturday & Sunday (1.6. – 4.9.).
The boats leave Prague’s Rašínovo nábřeží at 8:30 and arrive in Slapy at 12:30. If you want to take the boat back beware that the stop is very short and the returning boat leaves at 14:30 (arriving in Prague at 18:00). However you can just take the boat one way and then hike around before find a different way back to Prague.
Traveling by boat will teach you a lot about Czech water culture as you witness boats honking at each other in greeting, and everyone yelling “ahoy” and ringing loud bells from their houses along the river. The boat trip is beautiful and shows rolling hills and dark green forests.
The boat drops you off at the dam from which you can take the green hiking path through the forest. If you walk towards Chotilsko you can take a bus number 361 back to Prague (Smíchovské nádraží). It takes about 1 hour and 16 minutes but make sure to double check the schedule before you go.
More Summerfun in Prague:
Summer fun: Geocaching
Summerfun: Canoeing near Prague
Summer Swimming: Outside of Prague
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