South Bohemia, with its well signposted cycle paths, beautiful forests and numerous lakes interspersed by small villages, annually attracts hordes of Czechs and international travelers in Spring and Summer for outdoor adventure holidays.
There can be few experiences more soothing to the soul than cycling through the dense Bohemian forests, with only the sound of birdsong audible in the distance. Mushrooms and wild berries grow in abundance in these lush forests and are there for the picking, as are apples, pears and cherries along the main roads. In the Communist era, these fruit trees were planted for the people to pick free of charge, as they still do today.
From a bicycle, you can absorb and enjoy the passing scene much more fully than from the window of a speeding car. You are likely to spot deer, hares, squirrels, wild ducks, swans, geese, pheasants, and other bird and animal life on the string of lakes or suddenly appearing from the forests. South Bohemia abounds in man-made lakes (rybníky), stocked with carp—a much-favored fish amongst the Czechs.
All cycle trails are well marked on special Cycle Maps. There is a veritable maze of routes to choose from along quiet main roads or shady forest paths. Distinctive yellow signboards indicate all the numbered cycle routes. Picturesque villages where time has stood still are dotted at short intervals along every route. Even the tiniest village sports at least one pub (hospoda) with free-flowing Czech beer (pivo), an essential commodity in slaking the thirst of cyclists, to whom a day well spent is one with frequent rest stops at village pubs by the wayside. Another advantage of a cycling holiday is that the strict drink-and-drive laws of the Czech Republic are apparently not applied to cyclists!
A great plus of cycling in South Bohemia is that you will experience total freedom and security, even when out in the dark by yourself on the road. Violent crime is virtually unknown in this area and this alone is balm for the soul of the visitor from more turbulent parts of the world.
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