You can pinch yourself, but the Prachov Rocks in the Czech Republic are real. While Prague gets all the fame and is hardly a stranger to international tourists, the Prachov Rocks are usually not on their bucket list. Turns out, not many may have heard of them. But do not let that put you off – it is a perfect escape for those who want to experience nature beyond their imagination.
Prague, Brno and Karlstejn Castle are on tourists’ lips when they hear about Czechia. Only a few, however, are aware of the Prachov Rock City.
Why are the Prachov Rocks in the Czech Republic famous?
The Prachov Rocks are famous because they are one of the well-known rock cities in Czechia. Prachov Rock City has a breathtaking landscape with many deep gorges and unique sandstone rock formations. They are one of the most famous parts of Bohemian Paradise because they offer gorgeous views.
The Prachov Rocks are a natural wonder attracting hikers and rock climbers for their incredible landscape. They are a protected natural reserve and rank among the best day trips from Prague. We cannot deny that it is well worth adding the Prachov Rocks to your schedule.
Far less discovered than the famous Adrspach Teplice Rocks, without all the Czech, Slovak and Polish tourists.
If you do not know, the rock cities like the Prachov Rocks were once at the bottom of the sea. Over the years, deposits from the ocean hardened into layers and created layers of sandstone.
Yes, that is right, millions of years ago, the shallow sea flooded large areas, including this part of the country. After the sea disappeared, winds and rains eroded the rocks and gave the Prachov Rocks its distinctive shape.
Today, sandstone rock formations in this rock city reach almost forty metres (131 ft).
Must-visit places at the Prachov Rocks
So, what are the must-visit attractions in Prachov Rock City? Here are our picks for the most beautiful places in the Prachov Rocks.
- Bohemian Paradise Lookout point (Vyhlídka Českého ráje)
- Piece Viewpoint (Vyhlídka Míru)
- the Emperor’s Corridor (Císařova chodba)
- the Mousehole – the narrowest path, only 60 cm wide
- the Leaning Tower (Šikmá věž)
- and the sculpture of Pelíšek the Elf
Trails at the Prachov Rocks
Despite its relatively small size, the Prachov Rocks offer two sightseeing circuits. Well-marked trails pass the best spots in this nature reserve and provide gorgeous views. Get lost in twisting paths, visit numerous observation points and see these unusual rock formations.
Follow winding paths and find viewpoints on the top of the rock formations. The views from here are the best because you can see deep gorges and high rock towers from them.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Do it right, and do not walk outside marked routes because you are in the protected landscape area. The Prachov Rocks trails are about 5 kilometres long and have 10 lookout points. If you decide to hike both routes, you will need to climb more than 2800 stairs – but it is well worth it!
No matter which trail you take, you can be sure that you will find many beautiful rock formations.
A short trail at Prachov Rock City
If you are visiting the Prachov Rocks with children or are limited with time, go for a shorter Small Loop, or Malý okruh, as the locals call it. Yellow tourist path is not only a less challenging circuit but also shorter. A short trail is about 1.5 km long and takes only 45 minutes to complete. There are some steep stairs on the path, but nothing very intense.
The short trail at Prachov Rocks is easy to follow. This trail (along with the other paths marked with different colours) will lead you through the beautiful Emperor’s Corridor and the Mousehole. You will find two beautiful viewpoints on this trail: the Bohemian Paradise Lookout point and Peace Viewpoint.
A long trail at Prachov Rock City
If you follow a green tourist path, you should know that you will need up to two hours and a half to complete it. A long trail, or Velký okruh as the locals call it, is a more energy-consuming circuit. It is because you will climb more steps to reach the lookout points.
This trail at Prachov Rocks is about 3.5 km (2.17 miles) long. Many visitors prefer this path because it includes all viewpoints – apart from the beautiful Bohemian Paradise viewpoint on a yellow trail. Hence, make sure you do not forget to visit it.
The Emperor’s Corridor
If you do not know, the Emperor’s Corridor, or Císařská chodba, is one of the most beautiful parts of Prachov Rock City. This pass got its name from Emperor Francis, who was once the founder and ruler of the Austrian Empire.
The legend has it that the King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia visited rocks himself during a visit to a nearby town of Jičín. The story says two men carried the ruler on a sedan chair through the pass. Hence, the name the Emperor’s Corridor.
The narrow paths and steep stairs lead between the sandstone rock formations.
Mousehole at Prachov Rock City
One of our favourite parts when exploring the Prachov Rocks was the Mousehole. This narrow rock formation is the narrowest part of the Prachov Rocks. Believe it or not, the Mousehole is only about 60 cm wide. Many years ago, the Mousehole was even smaller. However, tourists passing through the rocks made it wider.
You can find the Mousehole on a yellow circuit not far from the Emperor’s Corridor.
How do I get to the Prachov Rocks?
Prachov Rock City lies in the easternmost part of Bohemian Paradise, or Český Ráj, as the locals call it. The closest town to the Prachov Rocks is well-preserved Jičín which is only 15 minutes drive away. Charming Jičín is a popular base for everyone who wants to spend more time here.
The Prachov Rocks are also a perfect day trip from Prague. The best is to book a tour or rent a car – there is no direct public transport. If you decide to drive from Prague, it takes about 1 hour and a half to get here. The Prachov Rock City is about 100 km (62 m) away from the capital.
If you visit the Prachov Rocks on a day trip from Prague, there is a direct bus from the capital to Jičín. The journey from Prague takes about 1 hour and a half.
Buses depart from Jičín to the Prachov Rocks several times a day from May to October. They stop directly at the entrance, where you need to buy an entrance ticket.
Prachov Rocks opening times
The tourist season at the Prachov Rocks usually lasts from the 1st of April until the 31st of October. It is also possible to access it outside the season because the Prachov Rocks are open year-round. However, be extra careful during the winter because the steps are icy. Visit during the tourist season for the best experience.
Opening times at the Prachov Rocks during the tourist season:
- From April until June and from September to October (weather permitting) from 9 am – 5 pm
- July and August between 8 am and 6 pm.
How much is the entrance fee at the Prachov Rocks?
The entrance fee to the Prachov Rocks costs 100 CZK (£3.70) for adults and 50 CZK (£1.80) for children, students or the disabled. If you visit Prachov Rock City with a dog, expect to pay an extra 10 CZK (£0.38).
The parking fee for a car or a motorbike is 100 CZK (£3.70) for all day. You can pay by cash or card for your ticket and parking. The nearest ATM is in the town of Jicin (in Tesco or Kaufland).
Do not forget to keep your ticket – it is for all day, and you can leave Prachov Rock City and come back later during the day.
Where to stay at the Prachov Rocks
If you decide to stay here a little longer, you should know that you can find numerous hotels and guesthouses nearby. Most of them are in the town of Jičín, which lies only 15 minutes drive away. Charming Jičín, with arcade Renaissance and Baroque houses, is a perfect place to base yourself. You can also find numerous restaurants here.
There are also a few guesthouses in the village of Prachov.
Pin the gorgeous Prachov Rocks for later!
Have you been to Prachov Rock City in the Czech Republic? Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments below. If you like our post, please save it also to Pinterest.
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Last updated: 05/07/2023