Sunday 24 January 2010

Stage 1 route summary

I'm ready at last to unveil stage 1 of my route around the Czech Republic, which starts in the northern Moravian town of Bohumín. The first section is fairly flat and gentle, passing through Opava and around the Osoblaha salient. It then goes around the back of the Jeseníky Mountains and ramps up steeply through the Rychlebské (Golden) Mountains into Poland. Once back on the Czech side of the border, I'll turn north into the Orlické (Eagle) Mountains before dropping into the finish town of Náchod. World War II is a recurring feature of this stage. The eastern section takes in a number of towns that were badly damaged during the German retreat in 1945, and the western part features a series of border defences that failed to stop Germany invading Czechoslovakia in 1939.

View Stage 1 in a larger map

Date: Sometime in April, as soon as the weather allows
Starting in: Bohumín (although I may have to get a train to Ostrava and cycle from there)
Ending in: Náchod
Distance: 340 km approx.
No. of days: 4 (3 nights)
Overnight stops in: Opava (@ 50 km), Zlaté Hory (@ 150 km) and Králíky (@ 250 km)
Bike type: Road

Stage 1 elevation profile


Karen said...

Do you have people to stay with or a bunch of penziones signed up as stage sponsors or will you couch surf?

How did you decide where to start and stop?

Circuit Rider CZ said...

Stage sponsors - there's a good idea! I'll have to look into that.

I'm planning to stay mostly at guesthouses. I don't usually book in advance when cycle touring, as I prefer to have as much flexibility as possible. I'll use local tourist offices or the internet on my mobile to find suitable places. However, for peace of mind I may break this rule in the high season and in remote areas, as I don't want to end the day with no place to stay.

I have several criteria as regards start/stop points. The start and end of each stage need to be near a railway station with good links to Prague. Each stage should be doable in a long weekend (3 or 4 days). As for overnight stops, I try to pick interesting-looking towns separated by (for me) manageable daily distances.

Thanks for your questions!

Captain Oddsocks said...

I can't tell from your map if you're planning to pass through Nove Mesto nad Metuji, but it's a lovely little town for a stop and there are good cheap hotels and pensions. Peklo is five km's out along the river to the north.

In Nachod the Hotel Praha or Hotel U Mesta Prahy on the main square has decent rates for single rooms and they don't mind you taking your bike in. There's also an interesting little bone chapel just across the border in Poland.

Circuit Rider CZ said...

I wasn't planning to go through Nove Mesto, Captain, but based on your recommendation I might well take a detour. Peklo is just 1 km or so off my route in that direction. I've never been to either place before.

For me, Nachod is at the end of stage 1 and the start of stage 2, so I probably won't be staying there overnight. In fact, at the end of stage 1 I could go straight from Nove Mesto to Starkoc station and catch the train direct to Prague from there. Then I could start stage 2 at Starkoc and pass through Nachod on my way into Poland as originally planned.

Thanks for the tips, Captain. I'm starting to get some very useful suggestions from visitors to this blog. Keep them coming in!

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