Prague and the “Garden of Bohemia”
Our explorations both start and end in the romantic Czech capital with its incredible mix of architectural styles from the medieval through to art nouveau and a vibrant intellectual and artistic scene. We then pedal to more tranquil places into an area of rolling countryside known as the “Garden of Bohemia”. At the small town of Melnik, beautifully sited on a vine-covered hill, we reach the mighty river Elbe, our companion for the remainder of our ride.
Ruined Fortresses along the Elbe
The towns and villages along this ancient trading route have a long and colourful history; Litomerice was founded on the site of a 9th century Slavic hill-top settlement, whilst the fortress town of Terezin was used as a prison by both Habsburgs and Nazis. Later the valley narrows and steep verdant hills roll down directly into the swirling river. High above looms the romantic old ruined fortress of Strekov, which is said to have inspired many of the great Czech romantics and German composer Wagner. Across the border into Germany, the massive fortification of Konigstein crowns a thousand foot cliff on a sweeping bend of the Elbe.
Saxon Switzerland and Meissen
As we journey north, we enter a region known as the “Saxon Swtizerland”, typified by bizarre sandstone rock formations and wild and craggy canyons. Entering Dresden we pass Pillnitz castle and Blue Wonder Bridge as we head to the historic centre, home to the renowned Zwinger gallery. Through a multitude of vineyards, we come to Meissen, famous for its porcelain. This compact cathedral city, with its perfectly preserved old centre, makes the perfect base to relax and enjoy a glass or two of the famous local wines.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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