The Czech Republic is a fine example of extraordinary European variety. While occupying a relatively small area the country is made up of several completely different regions, each of which can be easily reached from the other. This diversity can be seen in the thermal springs in the west, the mountains and spectacular sand stone rock formations in the north, the picturesque landscape of lakes and ponds in the south and the sun-drenched vineyards in the south-east. When you add historic towns, unique castles and chateaux, traditional spa towns with hundreds of years of heritage, thousands of kilometres of well sign-posted hiking and cycling tracks and a range of modern conference facilities it is very clear that it will take more than just a few days to truly discover the Czech Republic.
The capital city of Prague is without doubt the most attractive tourism destination in the Czech Republic. The city of one hundred spires located on the Vltava River is recognised by people all over the world. Prague is ranked among the ten most charming European cities. But there is so much more to see in the Czech Republic for those who decide to venture beyond Prague. If you are interested in historical sights, taking in beautiful scenery, enjoying a relaxing game of golf or rejuvenating in luxurious spas there are plenty of unforgettable experiences.
A wealth of history
Previous generations of Czechs certainly did not shy away from constructing outstanding structures. There are more than 2000 castles and chateaux to admire today with 10% of them being open to the public. Among them are medieval castles with draw-bridges and the charming seats of ancient noble families. The numerous historic towns around the country will make you think time has stood still, especially when the colourful traditional festivals are held each year celebrating famous events or people.
The Czech Republic is often said to be among the most atheistic nations in Europe but the huge number of ecclesiastical sights and monuments that grace the country do not support this claim. It was at the end of the 9th Century that the two Byzantine scholars Cyril and Metodej came to preach Christianity and founded the first churches. Jewish culture has similarly long established roots. More than 200 Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and Jewish town quarters point to its presence going back 1000 years.
The Czech Republic’s unique wealth of natural healing resources, its balneological tradition dating back hundreds of years and its range of around 40 elegant spa towns with their beautiful architecture and parks make it one of the leading spa destinations in the world.
The Czech spas successfully combine high quality medical care, progressive healing and innovative methods of rehabilitation utilising natural resources such as mineral water, mud and peat, natural gas and the positive effects of the pleasant local climate.
The spa towns are no longer seen solely as places for senior citizens or those recovering from major health problems. The modern spa offering today includes a wide range of popular wellness programmes and treatments. These are tailored to suit individual needs and guests can try programmes for managers or anti-stress, weight-loss, detoxifying or wellness & beauty treatments. Czech spas specialise in medical wellness programmes using healing natural resources. Delivered by highly qualified medical practitioners these can be combined with recreational activities including golf and Nordic walking.
The most famous Czech spa towns can be found in the west-Bohemian spa triangle, which is formed by Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně. Please don´t forget that there are more than three dozen spa towns all over the Czech Republic.
There is nothing like a long walk in the countryside taking in a mysterious castle along the way or stopping off at a welcoming beer garden. Organised walking and hiking is very popular in the Czech Republic and its history goes back more than 100 years. The well sign-posted walking tracks have been in use for generations. Younger people may prefer jumping on a bike to take a faster trip along the many kilometres of paths. The international cycling tracks lead all the way to Vienna or Paris.
Mountain resorts are an ideal starting point for walking tours in the summer and a fantastic base for skiers in the winter. There is no need to worry about favourable snow conditions as most of the resorts are now equipped with the latest technology producing artificial snow in case Mother Nature fails to deliver. There is a great choice of accommodation, leisure facilities and entertainment. These “one-stop-shops” are further enhanced by skiing schools and ski rental and repair facilities. If you are wondering where the most popular spots are then that would be Krkonoše (The Giant Mountains), the Jizerské Mountains, Šumava or the Jeseníky Mountains.
Memories which last
Do you remember when you bravely ordered a meal which you had never heard about before? Be prepared to enjoy extraordinary experiences in the Czech Republic even in the most ordinary circumstances.
Popular traditional Czech dishes include sirloin steak with cream sauce, roast pork with cabbage and dumplings and fruit dumplings. The Czech Specials Project developed by CzechTourism in conjunction with the Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Chefs and Confectioners aims to promote traditional Czech cuisine. The www.czechspecials.cz website lists restaurants which offer at least one traditional Czech and one regional speciality. But that is not all. There are a number of interesting events which take place as part of the Czech Specials programme each year. When it comes to gastronomy do not forget about the outstanding Czech beer. Wine lovers will not miss out either as the white wines of Moravia are becoming more popular at home and abroad and at international wine competitions.
Customs and traditions have always played an important role in Czech society as they have been passed from generation to generation. In Moravia, in particular, thousands of events celebrating local folklore are held every year. They demonstrate that folklore is still very much alive here and not just at museums but above all in the people.
The summer belongs to open-air festivals, the autumn to jazz and the festive season to various advent concerts. Don´t worry as there will be plenty of cultural events to keep you going throughout the year. And what else is missing on our list? Perhaps the Jewish cultural festivals, historical festivals or celebrations of beer and wine. There are countless opportunities to learn something and have a bit of fun at the same time.
Meetings and incentive tourism
The Czech Republic is an attractive destination for congress and incentive tourism. It is a peaceful and safe destination conveniently located in the heart of Europe, serviced by five international airports and a network of international train lines. Dozens of luxurious hotels and conference centres of the highest international standards can be found in Prague and beyond. The list of conference venues also includes facilities which can accommodate more than 5000 people.
One of the major advantages of organising a congress in the Czech Republic is the outstanding value for money it offers. While the standard of service remains extremely high, the price you pay will be more than acceptable. Even more reasonable prices can be found outwith the capital but the standard of service remains just as high. Let your imagination roam while choosing the perfect incentive programme in the Czech Republic. You will be able to experience beautiful events in period costumes at castles and chateaux, industrial shows in one of the old factory halls, Celtic feasts in wild meadows or spend an evening as a secret agent like James Bond. The only thing you need to do is to express your wish.