Declared the first geopark in the country by UNESCO, the Bohemian Paradise area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Czech Republic. One of the biggest attractions is the area of rock formations between the towns of Jičín and Železný Brod. Thanks to the forces of nature you can admire lofty sandstone forms here, worn into weird and wonderful shapes, some of which are 60m tall. Some have been given strange names such as Taktovka (Baton), Kapelník (Choirmaster), Maják (Lighthouse) and Dračí zub (Dragon’s Tooth).
Mysterious labyrinths and rugged castles
The rock formations and labyrinths of the Bohemian Paradise area, and especially the Prachovské Rocks, are great places to explore thanks to the countless paths that run between them. You’ll be moving through narrow cracks in the rock, climbing up inside them and enjoying the views from their lofty heights. One of the finest views is from the Kozákov tower. Nor should you miss a visit to the rock formations at Hrubá Skála and the elegant Hrubá Skála Chateau, perched right on top of the rocks. Another attraction is the ruins of Trosky Castle; to reach it you’ll have to climb to the top of two steep peaks that were once active volcanoes. If you love fairytale castles, head for impregnable Kost.
The grand residences of the Wallensteins and Rohans
Experience the authentic romance of a French chateau at Sychrov Castle, where the aristocratic Rohan family settled after the French Revolution. The Rohans were one of the ten most influential families in France, and as cousins of the French kings were awarded countless princely titles. The Baroque chateau in Mnichovo Hradiště tells the story of Czech warlord and politician at the time of the Thirty Years War, Albrecht von Wallenstein, who was murdered in cold blood by imperial officers.
When you’re done with the Bohemian Paradise area, why not take a trip to the highest mountain range in the country, the Krkonoše. You can also head to Mladá Boleslav, a town indelibly associated with Škoda car production. Then there’s the town of Turnov, where the local museum has a comprehensive exhibition on jewellery production, a trade that has a long-established tradition in the region.