From Karlovy Vary's celebrity-filled spas to the snow slopes of the Krkonoe Mountains and Plze's Pilsner Urquell beer, there's plenty to entice you to the Czech Republic. Prague remains a highlight with its cobbled historic centre and vast Prague Castle. But don't miss out on a visit to the beautiful, UNESCO-listed town of esk Krumlov.
After the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and years of Nazi then communist rule, the Czech Republic finally emerged as a nation after the Velvet Divorce in 1993. Prague lies nestled within mountainous national borders and is divided by the Vltava River. The country's longest river, the Vltava snakes its way northwards from the Bohemian Forest, eventually merging with the Elbe River at fertile Mlnk. Join Czechs in their love of the great outdoors in the mountainous northern Krkonoe region. Or explore Moravia in the east for the medieval city of Brno and most of the nation's vineyards.
Start with Prague, the Czech Republic's Bohemian capital, where cobbled streets lead to golden spires, majestic Prague Castle and ancient Charles Bridge. The world's first golden beer was brewed here, at Plze, and the brewery remains open for tours and tastings. Join the celebrities in the spas of Karlovy Vary during the annual film festival in July and don't miss the UNESCO-listed town of esk Krumlov, cradled picturesquely within a loop of the Vltava River. Brno is the country's second city, more industrial than Prague, but boasting a good share of historic villas, theatres and museums.
It doesn't cost much to go cross-country and downhill skiing in the Czech Republic. Choose from its mountainous border regions, such as the Krkonoe Mountains in the north-east. Or go hiking and rafting in the summer months when Czechs emerge from hibernation and throw their cottages open to the fresh air. Explore and marvel at the sandstone cliffs and canyons of esk rj, literally the Bohemian Paradise, a popular place for riding, biking, watersports and skiing.