Iron curtain trail

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Day 1 Arrival to České Budějovice (Budweis)

Description of the day: This day is yours to explore České Budějovice, the capital of the Bohemian south. Take your time to climb up the Black tower, walk the huge Přemysl Otakar II square or simply enjoy the local Budvar beer (yes, this is the home of the one and only original Budvar!) on the banks of Vltava or Malše rivers.

Day 2 České Budějovice - Nové Hrady

Distance: 50 km / 31 miles

Description of the day: You start cycling from the lovely town of České Budějovice to the southeast, along a route taking you through a country of lakes and ponds, even past the legendary spot where the Hussite warlord Jan Zizka was born in the cozy town of Borovany. We conclude the day in Nové Hrady, a small but picturesque town with a castle, a chateau and a monastery. The place was related to the Buquoy noble family for over 3 centuries, and remains the capital of Novohradske hory, a remote but lovely area. When there, do spend some time exploring the lovely Tercino udoli, a great landscape park dating back to the 18th century!

Day 3 Nové Hrady - Slavonice

Distance: 65 km / 41 miles

Description of the day: Today we meet the border and history of the Iron Curtain trail! It will zig-zag across the Czech-Austrian border showing us tons of remote nature beauties and forgotten villages and towns telling stories and tales of those who have lived here. We can admire the Chateau in Litschau, the majestic castle in Landstejn and finally the great renaissance beauty – the town of Slavonice. In between tons of ponds, bunkers and even spots where villages and across-the-border connections used to be.

Day 4 Slavonice - Vranov nad Dyjí

Distance: 60 km / 38 miles

Description of the day: Again, across the border and back and again and again… First, we use the lovely dismantled railway track into Austria, then start meandering through the villages of Upper Austria like Neugiers and Drossendorf. We learn who Grassel was and how his surname became a nickname for bandits and villians. Finally, back on the Czech side of the border we end up in the small sleepy town of Vranov with a magnificent chateau crowning the town.

Day 5 Vranov nad Dyjí - Znojmo

Distance: 45 km / 28 miles

Description of the day: Today we combine the lovely nature of the Podyji / Thayatal National Park with its wealth of small villages like Hardegg,  WWII monuments and remains of the Iron Curtain itself. When it all gets too heavy, we squeeze through some lush vineyards and end up in lovely Znojmo, to relax, drink some great local wine and simply enjoy the views!

Day 6 Znojmo - Laa an der Thaya

Distance: 56 km / 35 miles

Description of the day: And here we go again! Saying goodbye to Znojmo, we hop across the border, fly through the sleepy town of Hardres which shelters the longest cellar lane in Austria and on we go to the sleepy chateau in Jaroslavice. All this framed in the countryside where Maria Theresia’s military cartographers drew the first maps of the kingdom. When tired by riding, we end up in the teeny-tiny spa town of Laa, the local castle tower giving us a good view of the area around!

Day 7 Laa an der Thaya - Břeclav

Distance: 55 km / 34,5 miles

Description of the day: Today we enter the lands of a family that has written the history of the area for over 8 centuries – the Liechtensteins! Yes, the people with their own country between Austria and Switzerland. We can admire what they have built here, the lively town of Mikulov, wine palaces like Valtice, numerous saletts in the forest and of course ponds and vineyards. And naturally, we learn more Iron Curtain stories and have time to remember the unfortunate ones who died along it at the raw but very touching Monument of the Victims of the Iron Curtain. On a happier note, the town Breclav is our final destination of the day!

Day 8 Břeclav - Bratislava

Distance: 75 km / 47 miles (to Marchegg)

Description of the day: The last cycling day brings on board another country – Slovakia and its capital Bratislava. As the full distance would be over 100 km, we only bike to Marchegg, a historical town in Austria right on the river March/Morava which creates the Slovak-Austrian border. Until then we admire the lovely so-called Moravian Amazon at the confluence of Dyje and Morava rivers, the tiny Austrian villages with views across the border and centuries of history of the area. From Marchegg a transfer takes us to Bratislava, the lively Slovak capital which has all the ability to refresh us after a long cycling journey!

Day 9 Departure

Description of the day: 

We highly recommend you take a time to tour this magnificent city, the Slovak capital has a tiny city center full of picturesque places and buildings, and the castle is worth a visit.

You can also prolong your tour by a ride to Budapest or take a boat trip there or to Vienna!

 

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