Castles & Fairtytales of Czechia
Journey into Czechia, into the realms of ancient Bohemia and Moravia, in the heart of Europe with a long history of conquering armies and triumphant dynasties which left a legacy of incredible castles and fortresses dotted across the fabled land. Discover some of the best-kept secrets of wine-making, traditional gastronomy and eclectic mix of architecture that leaves you tantalized.
Experience enchanting castle towns of Czechia
Enjoy stays in unique and boutique hotels
Experience exceptional wine and gourmet experiences
Enjoy an intimate experience with local characters
DAY 1: PRAGUE / LITOMERICE / VELKE ZERNOSEKY / KARLOVY VARY
Leaving Prague today as we begin our journey, a comfortable drive takes us to the royal city of Litomerice on the confluence of the Elbe and Ohře Rivers with a charming blend of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styled buildings as we explore the historical center bordered to a great extent by well-preserved Gothic fortifications that even the Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha succumbed to its charm. A short drive thereafter arrives us in the picturesque village of Velke Zernoseky which has a proud tradition of wine-making that reaches as far back as the 10th Century and the legacies of Cistercian monks who had established wine cellars here since the 13th Century, which have been preserved until today. Visit the Zernoseky Winery that spans over 31 hectares of vineyards where we not only enjoy an insight into the ancient wine-making methods but also to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Elbe River.
Our day ends with our arrival into the spa town of Karlovy Vary, the largest in Czechia, founded by King Charles IV with numerous mineral water springs that has wowed travelers to its healing enjoyment since medieval times. On a walking tour, we set about to explore the refined surroundings of the town, dominated by colorful Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance buildings that was built between the late 1800s to 1930. We take a walk along its elegant colonnades, taste its hot mineral springs. Worth a visit is the Moser Glassworks which are sure to amaze as you see how the world famous Bohemia crystals are made. We then spend 2 nights in the legendary Quisisana Palace that has been beautifully-restored from a 19th Century residence.
Overnight: Quisisana Palace, Karlovy Vary
DAY 2: KARLOVY VARY (EXCURSION TO BECOV NAD TEPLOU & LOKET)
We begin our day with a visit to the Diana Observation Tower with a funicular ride beginning next to the historic Grandhotel Pupp (filming site of James Bond Casino Royale) where we admire the enchanted forests heading to the top where we then enjoy incredible views of Karlovy Vary. Thereafter, a pleasant drive takes us to the beautiful town of Becov nad Teplou, dominated by its stunning 18th Century castle, the Chateau Becov nad Teplou that was built with a combination of Gothic and Renaissance style along with Baroque terraced gardens, yet housing the Romanesque Reliquary of Saint Maurus, which contains the relics of saints and is decorated with 12 reliefs, 14 vermeil statuettes and precious stones, making it one of the most important historical artifact of European significance and one of the most eminent masterpieces of jewel-making.
Later, we venture off to the childhood hunting lodge of Charles IV, the impeccable Loket Castle, nestled along the bend of the River Ohre with some of the most well-preserved Romanesque structures that include the extremely valuable rotunda, foundations of the castle tower, and the substructures of the north palace. Originally built as a defensive fortress to protect trade routes from Prague, the castle became the favorite royal retreat of King Charles IV of Bohemia, who came here in the mid 14th century to enjoy hunting in the surrounding forests. Later in its life, Loket was occupied by several noble Czech families and between 1822 and 1948 was used as a prison.
Overnight: Quisisana Palace, Karlovy Vary
DAY 3: KARLOVY VARY / PLZEN / PISEK / CESKY KRUMLOV
We leave Karlovy Vary today for a scenic drive south to the Bohemia city of Plzen, home to the world-famous Pilsner Beer invented by Josef Groll in the mid-19th century that is still brewed in the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, where we make an insightful visit to learn about the ingredients from which Pilsner Urquell beer is brewed, witness the facilities and culmination of tasting of unfiltered Pilsner Urquell beer in the historical cellars. Thereafter, enjoy a pleasant walking tour of the city starting from the Republic Square, adorned with charming buildings reflecting beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles such as the Cathedral of St Batholomew, City Hall and the Art Nouveau Plzen Railway Station. Not to be missed is the Great Synagogue that is perhaps the most emblematic building in Plzen where up until the end of the 19th Century, was the second largest synagogue in Europe after Budapest in Hungary combining eclectic Neo-Moorish and Neo-Romanasque elements, while the onion domes resemble the ones in Eastern European Orthodox churches.
The second half of the day sees us continuing into South Bohemia, making a photogenic stop in the small town of Pisek, renowned for its 7 Arched Stone Bridge that is the oldest surviving bridge in Czechia, built over the Otava River. Next, we arrive into the fairy-tale town of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site, meandering the banks of the Vltava River where begin to take a step back in time to the 14th Century taking a stroll through its well-preserved labyrinth of laneways with numerous Renaissance homes and buildings. On a walking tour, we discover the Minorite Monastery, one of Cesky Krumlov's oldest surviving building built in the 14th Century that blends interests elements of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Visit as well the St Vitus Cathedral which traces its origins back to the 13th Century and is the dedicated final resting place for a number of important Bohemian families, including the Rosenbergs and the Schwarzenbergs. Finally, we discover the massive Cesky Krumlov Castle where we take an insight into the lives of the aristocratic rulers of Bohemia through the centuries. Not to be missed is the castle's wonderful Baroque theater, built in 1682 and with still-operating stage equipment and props dating from the 18th century. Finally, we will arrive at the historic Hotel Ruze, a former 16th Century Jesuit college that has been transformed into the finest hotel in the town where we will spend the night.
Overnight: Hotel Ruze, Cesky Krumlov
DAY 4: CESKY KRUMLOV / JINDRICHUV HRADEC / VRANOV NAD DYJI / ZNOJMO
Leaving Cesky Krumlov today, we continue our exploration of South Bohemia with a visit to the pretty town of Jindrichuv Hradec - home to one of the most powerful families and clan in Czechia between the 13th to 17th Centuries. The sight of the superbly-stunning Chateau Jindrichuv Hradec situated above the Vajgar Lake paints one of the most picturesque scene in Czechia and we have the opportunity to discover this incredible Gothic and Renaissance jewel. Thereafter, a short drive from here arrives us in the border town of Slavonice into Moravia, adorned with beautiful Renaissance townhouses that are part of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Moravian landscape. On a walking tour, we learn about its history that started off as a marketplace village before it turned into a fortified township with a complex underground tunnel system that not only served as a drainage system but as part of the town's defensive system.
Our journey of Moravia then continues with a visit to the Chateau Vranov nad Dyji, part of the Podyji National Park, situated on a rock promontory in the picturesque valley of the River Dyje. Designed a National Monument and one of the most important secular baroque buildings in Central Europe dating back to the 12th Century, it was built by the Dukes of Bohemia to defend the southern border of Moravia against raids from the neighboring Austrian March. Finally, we arrive into the historic wine-making town of Znojmo, surrounded by medieval city walls and stunning Renaissance architecture where we spend the next 2 nights at the modernized Hotel Clemar.
Overnight: Hotel Clemar, Znojmo
DAY 5: ZNOJMO (THE WINE JEWEL OF MORAVIA)
We dedicate the day to the under radar wine-making traditions of Moravia, a wine region that spreads along the border with Austria and where Znojmo is, played an important role in Czech history. We will learn about its incredible terroir which lies in the rain shadow and on the foothills of the Bohemia-Moravian Highland, whose stony soils are excellent for the cultivation of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner etc. Our day first begins with a walking tour of Znojmo, one of the oldest cities in Europe, proclaimed by King Ottokar I of Bohemia as a royal city in 1226. Start off from the City Hall where we begin to appreciate its Renaissance grandeur slowly progressing to the Znojmo Castle, the famous Rotunda of Saint Catherine - the oldest building in the town with its unique frescoes, the monumental Gothic Church of St. Nicholas where we have unspoiled views of the surrounding vineyards and the Dyje River. We then take a drive out to visit the Sobes Vineyard, blessed with superb terroir in an enviable location overlooking the meandering Dyje River. Learn about the ancient wine-making techniques of one of the oldest vineyards in Czechia where we then culminate with a tasting of its revered wines. Later, we will visit the Baroque Louka Monastery, an important monastery complex founded in 1190 in Louka by Znojmo appanage Duke Konrad Ota with his mother. Nowadays, it has been transformed by wine company, Znovin Znojmo where we get a further understanding of its ancient wines, where more than one million bottles are maturing in huge monastery cellars.
Overnight: Hotel Clemar, Znojmo
DAY 6: ZNOJMO / MIKULOV / VALTICE / BRNO
Our journey of Moravia continues today as we leave Znojmo for another Moravian gem, Mikulov - probably the most beautiful town in Moravia. Enjoy a guided walk discovering the stunning architecture of Mikulov, dominated by its castle, the Chateau Mikulov that was extensively reconstructed many times in its history and in present day, we can learn about its strategic importance at the heart of the Moravian winescape, trade route that lies between Vienna in Austria and Brno.
Our journey then continues to the town of Valtice, home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Valtice Palace, a pearl of supreme Baroque architecture that was originally founded as a castle in the 12th Century before it became the princely residence of the Liechtenstein family in the 16th Century. On an in-depth visit, we discover the palace that was the envy of many in medieval times.
From here, we then continue in the route to Brno with a stop at the impressive and award-winning Sonberk Winery, renowned both at home and regionally as one of the best wineries in Czechia. Finally, we arrive in Brno, second-largest city in Czechia where we spend the night at the Barcelo Brno Palace.
Overnight: Barcelo Brno Palace, Brno
DAY 7: BRNO / TREBIC / TELC / HERALEC
Begin the day with a walking tour of Brno's historic old town adorned with cobbled streets and beautiful landmarks that include the 12th Century Cathedral of St Peter & Paul which also houses the Brno Ossurary, with a vast collection of human bones displayed in its archways and used as decorative displays and ornamentation. Then, we visit the stunning Spilberk Castle that hides a dark side as one of the most horrific dungeons in medieval Europe.
Consider a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tugendhat Villa, considered one of the most extraordinary examples of modern architecture from the early 20th century.
Later, a short drive away on the outskirts of Brno takes us to the Veveri Castle, one of the oldest in Czechia situated on a rocky promontory towering over the Svratka River. Originally built as a hunting lodge at the time of its creation, it was later converted into a stone castle at the beginning of the 13th Century when Moravian margrave Jan Jindřich made it one of his main residences.
Our journey then continues to the Moravian town of Trebic, part of a collective UNESCO World Heritage-listed Moravian landscape. We have the chance to wander around its charming town centre, witness the stunning St Procopius Basilica and its Jewish heritage that first began in the 14th Century. From here, a short drive away arrives us in one of Czechia's most beautiful gems, the less-trodden and beautiful town of Telc, with enviably the most beautiful square in the country. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Telc was founded in the 13th Century surrounded by fairy-tale countryside, mesmerizing and colorful buildings that seemed to come out of a storybook and an intricate labyrinth of underground tunnels and cellars. Finally our day ends with our arrival at the charming Chateau Heralec, a Relais & Chateaux property and one of the most beautiful castle hotels in Europe.
Overnight: Chateau Heralec, Heralec
DAY 8: HERALEC (GEMS OF THE VYSOCINA)
Enjoy an excursion in the exciting Vysocina region, home of the Czechia highlands dominated by spectacular mountain ranges and beautiful towns. Our first visit of the day is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk in the town of Zelena Hora, designed by Jan Blažej Santini Aichel – a Czech architect of Italian descent. The work was completed in 1727 and dedicated to Saint John of Nepomuk, a 14th Century Bohemia martyr, beatified in 1721 and canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729. The number five plays an important role in the design of the church. The ground plan of the church is a five-pointed star. There are five entrances, five chapels and five altars in the church. This number is a reference to the five virtues of St John of Nepomuk.
Thereafter, continue to the impressive Pernstejn Castle, one of the most exceptionally well-preserved castles in Czechia and was the seat of the powerful lords of Pernstejn built in tremendously intricate late Gothic and early Renaissance style. Dubbed the "Marble Castle" due to stone resembling marble framing the doors and windows – retains a domineering, medieval look as its towers and ramparts loom over the surrounding, lush countryside. Finally, our last stop will be the ancient town of Jihlava, the oldest of the Bohemian mining towns renowned for its silver ore that brought miners, tradesmen, and merchants from all over Europe. Enjoy a leisure stroll through the town's beautiful architecture brought about by its silver ore wealth and an opportunity to visit the Jezek Beer Brewery that was established since medieval times.
Overnight: Chateau Heralec, Heralec
DAY 9: HERALEC / KUTNA HORA / PRAGUE
Our journey to Prague begins with our departure from Chateau Heralec to the city of Kutna Hora, dubbed the "City of Silver", deservedly attributed the other name “national treasury”. This is to say that its wealth helped to ensure the boom of the Czech Kingdom. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, we explore Kutna Hora's stunning center dominated by the impressive St Barbara Church that was constructed in the 14th Century and only finished in the early 20th Century. Worth a visit is Jesuit College next to the church, an early Baroque building designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi, the same artist who designed the Theological Hall in the famous Strahov Monastery in Prague. We will spend time witnessing other impressive monuments and important buildings that made Kutna Hora a worthy competitor to Prague before finally culminating our journey into the Golden City where we end our sojourn of Czechia.
INTO PRAGUE - THE GOLDEN CITY
A stalwart of a city, the city of a thousand spires, "Paris" of the East. There are not enough adjectives to describe Prague, one of Europe's most stunning and incredible capital that has transformed since the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Inspiring with its gorgeous scenes all around and fairy-tale atmosphere, it is hard to ignore Prague. Mesmerizing cuisine, exceptional beers and a lively lifestyle just tops it off for one of the most enviable cities in the world to visit in your lifetime!
HIGHLIGHTS OF PRAGUE
Hradcany Castle, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and Prague's Historical Centre
Private Dinner Cruise on the Vltava River
Gastronomic Michelin dining experience
WWII Concentration Camp Historical Tour
Conveniently located luxury hotel in Prague centre, in fabled Lesser Town district, right below Prague Castle and just steps away from Charles Bridge. Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague is the quintessence of Prague's history, character and beauty. As part of Luxury Collection, Augustine defines the destination with its deep history and energy inspired by the 13th century Augustine monastery, which is interconnected with the hotel.
Nestled in a former baroque palace, The Grand Mark Prague creates an aura of luxury, artfully blending classical design with modern art, technology and features throughout. The location is ideal for leisure and entertainment as it is within walking distance of all the key attractions in Prague, as well as high-end designer shopping.
Quisisana Palace is a building of architectural note that has been fully restored to create a charming boutique hotel. Set in the Czech Republic’s most famous spa town, Karlovy Vary, the hotel provides a choice of chic rooms and suites, a wellness area, sauna and a coffee house.
One of the oldest and best-preserved estates in Český Krumlov, Hotel Růže is a celebration of Czech heritage located in the former Jesuit dormitory from the 16th century in a unique historic centre of the town. Unparalleled luxury and incredible attention to detail are what you'll experience from the moment you arrive at the hotel. All 71 rooms are designed for your comfort. Archways, ceiling, unique frescoes and painting are authentic parts of the hotel.
Hotel Clemar is located in the center of Znojmo, in the very center of the town's conservation area. Stay in 16th-century townhouses where the past blends with modern requirements.
The Barceló Brno Palace is an urban hotel that boasts a perfect location in the centre of the city of Brno with an innovative design and decor. The vision for Barceló Brno Palace Hotel was to create a hotel that would inspire and amaze by combining the chic and elegant modern design with flawless service unmatched in Brno.
Welcome to one of the most romantic castle hotels in the Czech Republic – Chateau Herálec. A luxury five-star boutique hotel, with uniquely designed rooms and impeccable service, is one of the most beautiful romantic chateaux in the Czech Republic.