Sumava is an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Czech Republic, close to the Bayerische Wald in Germany. During the cold war, this area was off-limits – which was excellent news for the wildlife in the area. Parts of Sumava have been ravaged by acid rain but despite that, it is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.
Sumava has a lot of forest. We hiked up through a pine forest (and the mist) in September 2009.
This is what acid rain does to forests, probably caused, at least in part, by burning large quantities of brown coal in the Czech Republic – or Czechoslovakia as it was then. Ironically, the Germans plan to shut down their nuclear power plants for environmental reasons and will probably have to import energy from neighbouring countries – like the Czech Republic.
The view from the top of Velky Ostry (Grosser Osser) 1293m a.s.l. This ridge forms the border between the Czech Republic and Germany so the forests you can see are part of the Bayerische Wald.
It was hot work hiking up that hill with a load of camera equipment.
Wonderful inversion on the Czech-German border.
We were not the only ones enjoying the sunshine.
I love the hazy hills behind hills behind hills.
More haze on the Czech side, but beautiful rolling hills.
And there are some fantastic lakes in Sumava – wonderful to swim in during summer and skate on in winter.
And not bad for taking reflective photos of clouds.
As you can see the Sumava forest is mixed so you do get some great colours in autumn.
Doesn’t it make you want to pull on your hiking boots and get out there? Now that Sumava is no longer off limits, it is possible to hike along parts of the border. Just get yourself a good map so you don’t get lost.
How to get there
There’s an early (07.07) train from Prague main station direct to Hamry, taking just over three and a half hours. Check the timetable for details.
Where to stay
A lovely place to stay is Hotel Kollerhof near the village of Hamry.
Where to eat
Well, hopefully you’ll have a packed lunch for your hikes but Hotel Kollerhof has fantastic food.
More of the Czech Republic?
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