In the heart of the Bohemia and Saxon Switzerland National Parks, dozens of enchanting corners unfold, beckoning to be explored. These unique locales, thoughtfully showcasing the area's natural and cultural wonders, invite you to an unforgettable experience. Join us on a virtual journey as we embark on an exploration of 10 captivating sites, each holding a unique story and a breathtaking vista, giving you a glimpse into the splendor that awaits.
Bohemia and Saxon Switzerland National Park's history is intricately linked to the creative souls of two Swiss painters, Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff, who were captivated by the area's resemblance to their homeland. The name "Switzerland" was bestowed upon this captivating region as a nod to its striking similarity, becoming a tribute to the breathtaking landscapes of their home.
Let's start our journey with the iconic Bastei Bridge, a marvel of engineering that offers an incredible view of Bohemia and Saxon Switzerland National Park. Perched high above the landscape, this bridge connects us to the past while providing a glimpse of the untouched beauty that stretches out before us.
The name "Bastei" means "bastion," and it's easy to see why. The towering rock formations that surround the bridge create a natural fortress, revealing the power of nature's craftsmanship over time. Walking across the bridge, you can't help but feel a sense of wonder as you look out over the Elbe River and the rolling hills below.
Location: Basteiweg, 01824 Lohmen, Germany
Perched majestically on a rocky plateau, Königstein Fortress ranks among Europe's grandest rock fortresses. Its ensemble of structures spanning late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and the 19th century rise above the table mountain by the Elbe River, near the Hřensko border crossing. This fortress, deemed one of Saxony's safest havens, has a rich history as a monastery, a state prison, a camp for war captives, and even a hospital. Explore the Studniční House with its 150-meter-deep well, military barracks, officers' casino, provision storage, garrison church, treasury, stables, and more. Engage with history at the War Museum and stroll the fortress walls for a 2 km route offering stunning vistas. Notably, an April-to-October panoramic elevator transports you from the forecourt to the ramparts.
Location: 01824 Königstein, Germany
A mere 6 kilometers from the border lies the Schrammsteine sandstone massif, a haven for hikers and climbers alike. Trails weave through this rocky city, guiding you through mesmerizing natural nooks to the pinnacle's viewpoint. Here, a breathtaking panorama reveals the surrounding landscape, a tapestry of rock formations and towering mesas separated by the deep Labe canyon. This expedition to Schrammstein caters to the physically adept adventurer, inviting you to uncover the artistic whispers of the earth.
Location: 01814 Bad Schandau, Germany
Amselsee, often referred to as the Swan Lake, is a cherished retreat within the charming Kurort Rathen. This serene lake nestles within the Niederrathen district, a mere 15-minute walk from the town center. Its still waters beckon boat rides, be it on rowboats, paddleboats, or canoes. Stretching around 500 meters in length, the lake offers a 20-minute roundabout journey. As you glide upon its surface, picturesque natural vistas and unique rock formations unfold, including the captivating Stork's Nest, Mine Guardian, Lamb, and Great Goose. Nearby, the enchanting Amselsee introduces you to the Amsel Waterfall (Amselfall) and the Amsel Cave (Amsellöch). During summer, the lake welcomes romantic evening cruises, while winter transforms it into a paradise for ice skaters.
Location: 01824, Germany
Ranked as Europe's finest, Felsenbühne Rathen captures the essence of unparalleled beauty. Its stage isn't just set by mighty sandstone cliffs; the iconic Bastei Bridge and remnants of Neurathen Castle provide a backdrop of pure wonder. Acoustics here are attuned by the rock's embrace. The theater's repertoire spans drama, opera, and a notable musical adaptation of the fairy tale "Three Wishes for Cinderella," filmed at Saxony's Moritzburg Castle. The journey to the theater begins with a ferry ride across the Elbe River from Rathen, followed by a 20-minute stroll. Performances grace the stage from May to September, with start times varying based on each production.
The awe-inspiring Pravcicka Gate, Europe's largest natural rock arch, spanning 27 meters in width and reaching a height of 16 meters. This majestic wonder is located just around three kilometers from Hřensko, inviting you to embark on an accessible journey to its magnificence. Follow a comfortable path adorned with bridges and passages, allowing you to stroll beneath the captivating rock formations. Dating back to 1826, an inn was established beneath the arch, offering a unique retreat. In the late 19th century, Prince Edmund Clary-Aldringen commissioned the creation of the Sokolí Hnízdo hotel, now a cherished historical site. This enchanting hotel, known as the Falcon's Nest, was designed to provide his distinguished guests with an exceptional escape amidst breathtaking scenery.
Location: 405 02 Hřensko
Edmund and Wild Gorges, nestled within Bohemia and Saxon Switzerland national park, stand as prized gems of natural beauty. Named after Prince Edmund Clary-Aldringen, these gorges unveil the scenic allure of the Kamenice River. As you navigate the pathways winding through their depths, you'll encounter towering sandstone walls that frame a remarkable response of vegetation due to climatic inversion. Cold air accumulation nurtures species like the two-flowered violet and fir clubmoss, typically found in mountainous regions. Marsh marigold graces the sandstone walls, and the gorges offer sanctuary to diverse wildlife, including kingfishers, water shrews, and water bats. Certain areas are accessible solely by boat, a tradition since 1890. An intriguing extension awaits in the form of the Wild Gorge, a mirror of beauty accessible by boat since 1898, a testament to collaborative efforts by the Mountain Association for Bohemia Switzerland.
Location: 405 02 Hrensko
Maria's Viewpoint promises a rendezvous with nature's finest. Crafted by Ferdinand Kinský in the 19th century as a tribute to his beloved, this enchanting lookout is a cherished symbol of the National Park. Accessible year-round via the red trail from the information center, the roughly 3 km round trip offers a splendid escape. As you ascend, the panoramic vista unfurls before you, granting breathtaking views without any admission fee. Note that this journey is not recommended for those with a fear of heights due to the iron stairs.
Location: 407 16 Jetřichovice
Discover the romantic allure of Dolsky Mill, nestled at the confluence of the Kamenice River and Jetřichovická Bělá, approximately 1.5 km from Kamenická Stráň and 3 km from Jetřichovice within Bohemia and Saxon National Park. This charming mill holds a history that dates back to 1515 when it operated as a three-wheel mill and sawmill. While the original structure's remnants remain as a testament to its past, the mill's significance was officially recognized when it was declared a cultural monument in 2007. As you explore the grounds, you'll encounter the remnants of the original construction, standing as a reminder of the mill's former glory. With its rich history and picturesque location, Dolsky Mill offers a glimpse into the region's past, where the forces of time and nature have converged to create a truly unique and captivating site.
Location: 405 02 Růžová
Once a stage for aristocratic concerts, Belveder has a history steeped in elegance. Nobility and their guests traveled the leafy avenue from Bynovec, where the Clary-Aldringen family owned a manor and a castle, to indulge in merriment at this enchanting spot. However, when the Bynovec castle burned down in 1791, the allure of the viewpoint waned among the aristocracy. Since 1889, a stone building has graced this location, now known as Hotel Belveder, offering its charm to tourists. A cascading terrace, crowned with an arched arcade and the Clary-Aldringen coat of arms, adorns a lofty sandstone rock. A whimsical man-made grotto and a nearby aristocratic pavilion add to the allure of this site. Belveder's transformation from a gathering place for the elite to a welcoming destination for all reveals a unique facet of its enduring allure.
Location: Labská Stráň 105, 407 14 Labská Stráň
Are you ready to turn your dreams of exploring Bohemia and Saxon National Park into reality? Saxon Tours is your gateway to discovering this natural masterpiece. We offer two captivating journeys, both starting from Prague or Dresden, leading you to the heart of this enchanting region.
Easy tour with Boat ride and Bastei Bridge - If you're seeking a leisurely escape, our first tour is tailored just for you. Immerse yourself in the region's charming landscapes and stories without the demanding climb to Pravčická brána. This experience is designed to let you unwind and savor the tranquil atmosphere.
The Best of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland - For those with an adventurous spirit, our second tour beckons. Embark on a thrilling expedition that begins at the iconic Bastei Bridge and continues with a scenic boat ride along the Kamenice River. The majestic Pravčická gate awaits you atop the cliffs. This tour is designed for spirited explorers who crave trails and memories.
Regardless of your choice, Saxon Tours guarantees an unforgettable experience. Let us guide you through Bohemia and Saxon Switzerland's hidden treasures, rich history, and natural wonders. You can also see how to get to Bohemian Switzerland from Prague Join us in exploring this captivating landscape.