Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland: Unlimited wonderland of stones

Bad Schandau It is therefore not surprising that this rock labyrinth in the Czech Republic – located almost directly on the German border – was chosen as the location for the “Chronicles of Narnia”. The fact that you can hike through it almost alone in the off-season is more likely.

While on the German side in Saxon Switzerland it is sometimes busy with two million visitors a year on the weekends, only a few kilometers away in the somewhat remote areas of Bohemian Switzerland there is often still peace and tranquility.

Wonder world of stones

“That’s exactly why I’m often drawn to this wonderful world of stones,” says the Czech tour guide Sven Czastka, who has already accompanied many holidaymakers from Germany through this rocky landscape. “The geological diversity in a small area makes the area a scenic gem,” he says. Of course, his German guests also appreciate the short journey.

“Experienced hikers come here from the Schweizermühle through the Biela Valley – a wonderful tour along the Hercules Columns, which is around 20 kilometers long as a circular route,” says Czastka.

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The rugged labyrinth of the Tyssa walls with its small caves and narrow passages is also an adventure for children that encourages them to scramble around. During the refreshment that follows in the Turistická chata, a rustic restaurant at the entrance to the rocks, you will see consistently satisfied faces from young and old.

On the way to the nearby Hoher Schneeberg (Decínský Snežník), at 723 meters the highest peak in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Czastka talks about the close cooperation with German partners. He reports on cross-border kayak trips on the Elbe, bike tours on the Elbe Cycle Path and the 105-kilometer long Forststeiga multi-day hike through both countries.

The public and private local transport is coordinated across countries, so that holidaymakers can explore both national parks and landscape protection areas thanks to a common timetable.

A photogenic natural wonder

You can experience how uncomplicated a cross-border tour can be on a trip with the traveling ship. It runs from Bad Schandau via Schmilka to Hřensko in the Czech Republic. To the right of the Elbe, the Schrammsteine ​​tower up to 150 meters.

The former border station behind Schmilka is reminiscent of times gone by. Arriving in Hřensko, one of the most exciting tours in Bohemia begins. The hiking trail winds evenly upwards over serpentines until the Prebischtor (Pravčická brána) appears. 16 meters high and with a span of 26.5 meters, the largest sandstone rock bridge in Europe makes an impressive impression. It is the landmark of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.

Mainly German hikers, but also tourists from Japan, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium start a competition for the best photo location. As early as 1881, Prince Edmund Clary-Aldringen recognized the tourism potential of this natural wonder and had a hiking trail and a small excursion castle built. Today, a restaurant greets arriving guests with goulash, dumplings and Czech beer.

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