Tourism is a funny thing - everyone wants to do it, but if you are like me, the last thing you want to do is be surrounded by a thousand other people with the same thing in mind. I might be selfish and unrealistic, but the reality is that the crowd mentality of tourism often detracts from my overall experience, which is why I often seek out those activities that defy common thinking. On a recent visit to one of Europe's most amazing medieval towns, Cesky Krumlov, I had just one of those opportunities and I hope that others can follow my lead.
An amazing UNESCO heritage site, Cesky Krumlov IS the fairy tale medieval town you always pictured when listening to bedtime stories and fables alike. There is an impenetrable castle perched upon a high cliff face, quaint dimly lit cobblestone streets, and majestic vistas at every turn. And while this is amazing in itself, even better is to see it from the gently flowing Vltava River that flows around the town's countless balconies and over-hanging beer gardens. Even better yet, to spice it up a bit, there are some cool man-made rapids that anyone can handle that dot your route down river as you sip fantastic Czech beer and take in the scenery.
I love this bucketlist goal because its easy to do, provided you can get to Cesky Krumlov. Going to this amazing town should be a bucketlist for most people anyway if you haven't been. It's easily one of the most picturesque towns I've ever been to. Once there, there is plently of great things to do other than eating awesome Czech beer and eating ridiculously rich foods to go with the aforementioned beer - great walks, biking, hot air ballooning ... you name it.
- To rent a boat, contact the Maleček Rafting & Canoe rental located right in town. You can find more info at http://goo.gl/e9crua. They rent you everything you need for about $35 USD (for a two person boat) - boat, paddles, life jackets, dry sack for your gear, plus they will pick you up at the end of the float.
- The best tour for one day is #6 - Cesky Krumlov to Zlata Koruna. It says it takes about 3-4 hours, which is pretty average, unless you stop for lunch somewhere along the way, which I highly recommended, such as "U Milanu" for sausages and kegged beer in his riverside forested camp half way down the river. In that case, tell the boat company that you will need 5-6 hours before pick up. Start at no later than 11am so you have beautiful sun the whole way down.
- Keep in mind that this town is crazy busy in the summer months, so you may want to book ahead, well in advance. That goes for accomodations and activities.
- The best month of the year to visit is September, because most of the tourists are gone but the weather is still really good.