After pick up at your hotel in Prague or Vienna at 9 am we will head south-east to South Moravia.
The first stop is in Lednice, a town with the dominant feature of the whole Lednice-Valtice Complex – Lednice Castle. There are not many places in the Czech Republic that can equal Prague in the beauty of its architecture and atmosphere. But Lednice Castle, a masterpiece of romantic architecture and a Czech national cultural monument is definitely one of them. It looks amazing from the outside as well as from the inside. The interiors are among the most beautiful you can find in Europe. The gorgeous French-style garden and Palm greenhouse are adjacent to the castle. Around the castle there lies a Baroque park that turns into a natural landscape with romantic structures (Minaret, ruin of a Roman aqueduct) and lakes with artificial islands. Minaret – a 60 meter high romantic-style observation tower stands at the far end of the park and offers magnificent views from three galleries and has a total of 302 stairs. The first floor of the Minaret houses eight oriental-style rooms which serve as museum of oriental items. The top gallery offers a view of the park, nearby Pálava highlands, Bílé Karpaty Mountains and even the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
After visiting the castle and the park which would take approx. 1,5 – 2 hours there will be lunch in one of the very good local restaurants serving modern Czech cuisine.
In the afternoon the tour will continue in the mode preferred (and chosen in advance).
- Active mode
At approx. 2:30pm our rented bicycles will be picked up and we will start the ride on great Lednice-Valtice Complex bike trail. The trail is about 30 km long and goes through a landscape of monuments and vineyards. Along the way there are all the main romantic style buildings of the Complex – Janohrad (Jan´s Castle) Apollon´s temple, Nové dvory farmstead, Tři Grácie monument and Rendez-Vous hunting castle. The ride continues to Valtice town where we will check the Chateau and its beautiful gardens and continue to Reistna temple on the hill. After that a snack and cup of coffee / tea / soft drink in Valtice cafeteria will refresh us. From Valtice the trail continues to Hraniční Castle and around the ponds back to Lednice town. We should return back to Lednice town around 5:30pm and continue by car to Velké Bílovice where your accommodation will be organized.
- Relaxing mode
After lunch we will walk to Maurská vodárna through Lednice town where you will board a comfortable horse carriage and will ride to beautiful Janohrad (Jan´s Castle). The journey would take approx. 30 minutes. After visiting the castle we board a small motor boat and start a tranquil cruise along the shoulders of the river Dyje to Minaret guided by commentary about the points of interest of the grounds. After visiting Minaret we will walk back to Lednice Chateau. The whole trip will take approx. 2 hours. To make your afternoon even more splendid we will go by car to the most beautiful of the Lednice-Valtice Complex monument – Reistina temple near Valtice. On the way back we will stop in the local cafeteria to have a cup of coffee / tea and a delicious sweet snack. We should return back to Lednice town around 5:30pm and continue by car to Velké Bílovice where your accommodation will be organized.
Velké Bílovice is a village located about 12 km from Lednice town surrounded by vineyards. All its wealth and prosperity is based on WINE! There are more than 60 wine cellars there and the wine production for the majority of them is still based on family traditions. Cellars and vineyards are handed from one generation to another so you can be sure that the wine you drink really originates from the grapes grown in the local vineyards.
One of the local producers with excellent quality wines is Lukas Prikryl, Honza´s good friend who also inherited the vineyards and the cellar from his grandfather. Lukas will not only let you taste his wine but will also tell you a lot about grape growing and processing.
After arriving in Velké Bílovice, you will check into the hotel and have dinner there. After dinner we will take a short walk through the vineyards to the local chapel on the hill. This spot offers a simply stunning sunset view. Overdosed by the beauty and romance of the place we will descend to the main highlight of the tour – wine tasting in Lukas´ wine cellar.
He will explain you about the varieties of wine, about the technology used and about the local traditions of grape growing and wine making. After the tasting we will pick bottles of your favourite wines and sit on the terrace of his cellar, enjoying the specific tranquil atmosphere of the village where wine making has been a tradition practiced for centuries.
Your hotel is within short walking distance from the cellar.
After breakfast, we will leave Velké Bílovice and continue our tour to Pavlov, a village that lies on the edge of the Pavlovské hills. Apart from wine, this village and the next village of Dolní Věstonice are famous for their archaeological relics. It was confirmed that the initial human settlement took place right here approx. 30.000 years ago. Also the world-famous Věstonická Venuše (Venus of Dolni Vestonice) – a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE was discovered here. This figurine is among the oldest ceramic articles in the world! There are many artefacts of early human history from the times when mammoths were wandering in the modern and architecturally unique Pavlov Archeopark which we will visit in the morning.
The travellers who chose to see the beauties of South Moravia in an active way will continue the tour by hiking the beautiful Pálava hills to the ruins of Děvčičky Castle from 13th Century, overlooking the whole region, including networks of dams called Nové Mlýny. The dam was constructed in 70´s and 80´s of 20th Century by flooding the vast area of bottomland forests and a few villages. The sad memorial of this environmental and social catastrophe is the small island with an abandoned church visible from one of the dams. The trail is approx. 4 km long and will take about 1 hour.
Those who prefer not to sweat so much while climbing the hills will have the tour continuing in more relaxing way with a cup of excellent coffee in the famous Café Fara in Klentnice village near Pavlov. The history of this place is quite fascinating. The Fara building is in the late baroque in style; it was built during the reign of Joseph II as a purely functional building determined for a new role for a parish priest – a clerk that, in the emperor’s opinion, should participate in administration of the country. It is an oblong, one-storey building, built vertically to the road. It is roofed with a ridge roof; the gable facing is very austere. It is positioned very symbiotically in relation to the church – they were built in parallel, in distance of 3 m.
The new purpose of the building quite differs from the original one – instead of the priest’s flat and office there is a café and other facilities. Fara was reconstructed rigorously using historic methods. The original facade was repaired and the decorations, floors and panels overhauled. The aim was to create authentic background. There are also tables typical for cafés, walnut benches and chairs, a bar covered with a slab of marble, ceramic Empire stove, etc.
After refreshment at Café Fara the tour will continue to Mikulov, another historical gem of the region with a surprisingly rich wine and vinicultural tradition.
There are several sights worth seeing in Mikulov but the chateau and its gardens are really impressive. The former Liechtenstein and Diestrichstein chateau on the rock has had a unique and dominant position in the town´s skyline for centuries. Mikulov is definitely one of the most picturesque chateaux in Moravia and its silhouette is visible from afar. In its time it has played host to a number of important personalities, such as French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and many others. Here visitors can see various museum exhibitions, paintings, libraries and a gigantic wine barrel. The castle dates back to the beginning of the 13th century and was later reconstructed into a renaissance chateau, then reconstructed in the baroque style following a fire in 1719.
After the excursion to the chateau and lunch in one of the delicious local restaurants, the active travellers may enjoy short walk to the Holy Hill that is another important dominant landmarks in Mikulov. The area has been declared a nature reserve due to rare and protected plant and animal species that may be found there. A Way of the Cross will lead you to the summit of Holy Hill with its Pilgrimage Chapel of Saint Sebastian, bell tower and Holy Sepulchre. There is a beautiful view of Mikulov town and large part of the region from the top.
And those of you who would rather have a relaxing afternoon without any physical activity can enjoy the view to town centre from one of the cosy local cafes or wine bars with a perfect farewell glass of Moravian wine.
The departure to Prague will be around 4pm and we should arrive back to your hotel between 6 and 7 pm.