Our journey begins in the town of Valašské Meziříčí, sometimes dubbed the gateway to the Beskids, other times the Athens of Wallachia. You can easily reach the chateaux, one of which once belonged to the Žerotín family, the other to the Kinskýs. From Valašské Meziříčí we continue to Rožnov pod Radhoštěm.
A traditional Wallach town and a climb to meet the god Radegast
The must-see in the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm is the Wallach Open-Air Museum. This Moravian “skansen” is the second oldest museum in Europe and is steeped in tradition and folklore. Here you can experience traditional trades and handicrafts and take a stroll through sections called the Little Timber Town and the Wallach Village.
Then get ready for a stiff climb up Mount Radhošť, a great work-out, especially for the legs. From a starting altitude of 400m above sea level, you have to work your way up to 1100m. The route leads along field tracks via Planiska, Bystré and Maňáky to Radhošť. According to local legend, Radhošť is the home of the Slav deity Radegast – god of the Sun, war and victory.
Take a break from the saddle at Pustevny
Get your breath back at Pustevny, where you can have a beer named after Radegast. However, most visitors come here to see the typical wooden houses built in a particular folk style. There’s also a ski centre, and if pedalling loses its appeal, you can always make your way back down by cable car. After looking round Pustevny it’s an easy climb to see the statue of Radegast, from where there are amazing views of the entire Beskids range.
It’s all pleasantly downhill from the top of Radhošť. For instance you can head for the Pulčinské Rocks on Mount Hradisko. This nature reserve containing a number of rock formations is 0.5km from the village of Pulčín. However, the most visited rock formations in Wallachia are at Čertovy Rocks near Lidečko. This sandstone cliff is 150m long and 25m high, and provide some great holds for climbers.