For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing.
It also depends on what sort of person you are.
Our love for unseen places, newer adventures and the unending wanderlust often takes us places we’ve only probably imagined as a part of fairytales before. But then who said fairytales can’t be true?
They pretty much can be, and their magic is beyond your imagination.
- 1 Day Trip from Prague
- 2 Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei Bridge Hike with Northern Hikes
On our recent trip to the Czech capital, we decided to take a day trip from Prague to explore Bohemian Switzerland. On our previous trip, we had comfortably explored the little heavens of Czech Republic. These heavens were towns such as Karlovy Vary, Telč, Litomyšl and Česky Krumlov. Most of these towns could be covered on a day trip from Prague!
Bohemian Switzerland was long on our bucket list ever since and we took the chance to explore it without further delay by making it a part of our trip. Having experienced the quaint vibes of Czech towns earlier, I had great expectations from Bohemian Switzerland. But it was also important to plan the trip well and explore accordingly.
Where is Bohemian Switzerland?
Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland is a picturesque region in the north west of Czech Republic. It is an extension of Saxon National Park, a part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Germany.
Bohemian Switzerland is 2 hours away from the Czech capital, Prague by road. It’s the perfect destination for a day trip from Prague.
Many people also take this day trip from Dresden, Germany.
Day Trip from Prague
Planning with Northern Hikes
We got in touch with our friends from the Northern Hikes, a leading adventure company in Prague which organizes some well-designed hikes from Prague to the Bohemian Switzerland region. They recommended we make the most of the ongoing winter season and try their Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei bridge hike. This meant, we were going to travel across 2 countries on our day trip from Prague. Also, this tour was apt for beginners and could be taken by anyone. So, we booked ourselves on the tour from Prague by coordinating with their team and were all pumped to explore this dream destination.
Tour: Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei bridge hike
Duration: 10 hours
Inclusions: Pick up & drop from hotel/hostel, transport, guide, breakfast, a lá carté lunch (inclusive of vegan options), water
Cost: EUR150 per person
We were all set for the big day, to explore a destination that was on our bucket list for a while.
Apart from sleeping early to rest well before our hike, we ensured we had the following list in place:
- Comfortable shoes
- Winter wear: Thermals, Jackets, Gloves, Warm Socks and Beanies
- Water bottle
- Passport (we always carry it along when travelling abroad)
Additionally, we also received a detailed mail from Hela, the tour coordinator at Northern Hikes.
(Impressive stuff, isn’t it?)
Narnia Labyrinth and Bastei Bridge Hike with Northern Hikes
Finally, it was our hike day. We got ready as per the given time and met our guide, Vojta who had come to pick us up in a van outside Arthole Hostel, Prague. We settled our luggage in and took our seats. Since we had started our journey at 8:15AM, Vojta gave each one of us a breakfast packet with fruits, biscuits and chocolates to munch on.
We picked up a couple of other guests on the tour and started driving towards Tisá.
We chatted a little, marveled at the beauty outside the window, binged on our breakfast packets along the drive (and also napped a bit). While it rained outside, we hoped like little kids that the rain would go away, so that we could play (hike).
We had a quick stop for coffee, and we were happy to see that the rains had vanished while we sipped on some coffee and were all set to explore.
Within the next 20 minutes we were at the starting point of our hike in Tisá. On our way, we figured that there was absolutely no snow to be seen. Now that was supposed to be the real scenery of our hike. What next?
The Narnia Labyrinth | Tisá Walls
A few minutes of walking and we weren’t slightly disappointed with the lack of snow. Oh boy! Was this beautiful or was this beautiful?
In no time, we were standing right at the filming location of Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Yes, the scene in which Lucy first finds the mystical land of Narnia, all snow clad.
We further hiked and explored the Tisá Walls, entering through narrow entrances, steep steps, large boulders, beautiful rock formations only to discover some of the most breath-taking views.
Vojta revealed that just a week ago, the place was covered in deep snow. We could spot the remains and wondered what it would look like. At the same time, we were relieved at the ease of this hike due to the lack of snow. It can always be a win-win situation, you see?
We walked and walked further as Vojta told us more about the Tisá village, the walls and the serene beauty of this region along with the many many tales from his hikes.
He hikes up here at least 4-5 times a week, can you believe it!
While we explored the Tisá Walls, also known as the Narnia Labyrinth for a couple of hours, we hiked back to the car, because it was time for lunch!
But hadn’t the adventure just begun?
We drew towards the German border for lunch. It took us another 45 minutes of a scenic drive to get there.
It was time for some traditional Czech Cuisine at the U Forta Restaurant in the Hrensko region, just 5kms away from the Czech-German border.
We tried some local Pilsner along with grilled Chicken and Trout fish preparations.
Lunch had pretty much gotten us lazy to hike further, but we weren’t done yet.
Saxon National Park, Germany | Bastei Bridge
It was past 3:30PM. Post lunch, we did have to gather ourselves to hike some more. We were now to explore the Saxon National Park, Germany.
Starting with the viewpoints, we gave ourselves little incentives to explore further.
What if we find something even better? Prettier?
Again, the lack of snow didn’t really give the view we expected but the sandstone formations had their own beauty and charm. We kept walking further taking pictures, leaning down to see the picturesque surroundings. Every viewpoint had a unique view to offer. The sky had begun to change colors too.
As we hiked further, we soon reached the key attraction of this tour- the Bastei bridge. It was nothing short of magical. Our first reaction was reminiscing the Hogwarts bridge in the Harry Potter series. And we were crossing it!
After much walking, viewing and crossing bridges it was time to head back. The sun had begun to set and the skies were changing their color. As we walked back and begun to drive towards Prague, we were treated by a myriad of colors in the sky as the sunset.
There was definitely no better end to this!
Any tour is only as good as it’s guide. And we were definitely lucky to have Vojta with us who was not just well trained and knowledgeable but was extremely passionate about hiking. Apart from the scenic locations, it was his experiences and tales that made the trip further memorable. Little had we imagined that one day trip from Prague could bring us such a rejuvenating experience!
In the next couple of hours, we were back to our hostel in Prague without realizing how quickly the day had gone by. We were anything but tired. We were refreshed, amazed and humbled by the proceedings of the day!
Oh, mother nature… how do you do it, each time, over and over again?
This tour was definitely a key highlight of our travels across Czech Republic and Europe. It gave me a chance to explore the untouched beauty of Czech Republic, the kind that they show in the movies. Away from the regular explorations and adventures, the change to explore and experience the lesser visited areas and learn more about them was undoubtedly an enriching experience!
Czech Republic sure has a lot to offer in Prague and beyond. And a hike like this tops the list! Which is a a why day trip from Prague is totally recommended.
So, whenever you take that long awaited trip to Prague next, don’t forget to go hiking and explore the Bohemian Switzerland.
We will definitely go back for it, ‘cuz no experience is ever the same and this one’s an experience even we cannot miss, the second time round!
Planning to take a day trip from Prague? Read here.
This day trip from Prague was in association with Northern Hikes. However, the opinions expressed are unbiased & my own to provide you with honest information for planning your vacations.