Giant Mountains

Krkonoše, or the Giant Mountains are the highest and the best-known mountain range in the Czech Republic. Here, you can enjoy skiing tracks running across the ranges and descending to alpine resorts, you can see the highest peak, Sněžka (1602 m), take pleasure in the flowery alpine meadows and dark green dwarf-pine thickets, blue ponds in the middle of mysterious peat bogs, and discover plates with the symbol of the first Czech national park. The Giant Mountains are crisscrossed by marked tourist trails suitable for all age groups. Chair lifts to several peaks provide less proficient tourists with the opportunity to enjoy the breath-taking vista of the mountains.

In Špindlerův Mlýn you can take a walk along any of the 700 km of marked foot trails passing though the surrounding mountains, or you can enjoy paragliding, mountain bike rides, boat cruises on the Labská water reservoir, hunting and fishing, swimming and tennis.
If you want to spend your holidays on more than only skiing and hiking, you can visit Pec pod Sněžkou to try riding western horses, playing tennis and squash, swimming in local swimming pools, or taking in the sauna or solarium. Two cableways operate in summer, one going to Sněžka with a stop on Růžová hora (The Rose Mountain) and the other from Velká Úpa to Portášky.

There are 400 km of foot trails for mountain hiking marked in the surrounding mountains, running mainly through highly attractive areas of The Giant Mountains National Park. Plus, you can visit a fitness centre, sauna, paragliding etc. In spring, you can go rafting to the upper reach of the Elbe from the Labská water reservoir in Špindlerův Mlýn.

Janské Lázně is a small mountain town, situated in the eastern Giant Mountains just under the massif of Černá hora (the Black Mountain). This health resort owes its fame to favourable climatic conditions and a thermal spring discovered in the 11th century. In the lovely environment of the highest Czech mountains, the Giant Mountains, skilled human hands help people recover their health. Janské Lázně is not only a health resort, it is also a summer and winter recreation and sports centre offering accommodation to many tourists.

In summer, you can visit Strážné to get a convenient starting point for mountain walks, providing virtually unlimited possibilities for hiking through the entire Giant Mountains range.

Another place with a great potential for summer touring is the western Giant Mountains. There are many remarkable natural, cultural and other sights in the area. Probably the most beautiful and the most varied of the nature trails of Harrachov takes tourists to many natural sights of the western part of the mountains and provides vistas of wide surroundings. It goes to Dvoračky, running around the northern edge of Kotel and on, through a magnificent area on the edge of Labský důl and through Mumlavský důl back to Harrachov. It is a splendid tour for experienced tourists. Or you can go to visit a rocky outlook called Stráž (Watch) in Rokytnice nad Jizerou or the Museum of the Giant Mountains with mechanized nativity scene in Vysoké nad Jizerou.

The town of Jilemnice is situated in the western foothills of the Giant Mountains. It has been considered a perfect starting point for the western Giant Mountains, the natural centre of which it has become through the years. Although hundreds of thousands of tourists passed through the town each year in the communist era, Jilemnice could not leverage this benefit and was slowly losing the friendly air of a resort. To restore its face, to regenerate the valuable historic centre of the town and to provide the town with anything tourists may need is one of the primary tasks at this time.

Visitors of Benecko can walk through the countryside, ride horses or swim in local mountain pools. There is a mountain bike rental in the town. Many accommodation facilities have their own saunas, fitness rooms, swimming pools and tennis courts. The airport in the nearby Vrchlabí offers attractive observation flights.

Herlíkovice – ski centre

Giant Mountains – Vrchlabí
Vrchlabí is considered a gate to the Giant Mountains. It is the seat of the Administration Office of KRNAP – Giant Mountains National Park.

Vrchlabí will welcome you with the friendly atmosphere of a mountain community with a large number of sports shops, restaurants and lodgings.

We recommend visiting its Giant Mountain Museum. The best-known mountain resort – Vrchlabí Herlíkovice – will certainly surprise you with an abundant range of skiing slopes and a chair lift.

The unique Krkonose/Giant Mts. landscape has attracted visitors since hundreds of years. Large sections of the national park can be explored by bike on signposted, official bicycle trails. In the foothills and around the national park´s fringes you´ll find countless mountain biking lanes, as well as low-traffic roads for trekking and road biking. Those who pedal up the ascents will be rewarded with beautiful views and unique nature. In the valleys, picturesque villages and towns with well-preserved historic centres are waiting to impress. To avoid longs ascents, you can always use bicycle lifts or bicycle buses. Each of the tours we have selected will impressively present the beauty and variety of this region. We hope that you will embosom the Krkonose/Giant Mts. and treat its nature with care and respect.

Vrchlabi, “the place where the Krkonose Mountains begin”, lies on two long-distance cycle trails. Labska cycle trail No. 2, formerly designated as No. 24, begins in Vrchlabi and more or less closely follows the river Labe (the Elbe) up to its estuary in Germany. Jizersko–Jesenicka main cycle trail No. 22 crosses the Krkonose in the foothills and runs through Vrchlabi, too.

Cycle trail No. 4301, in stripe marking, starts in Vrchlabi at the train station and runs via Horni Lanov and Cerny Dul to Hoffmanovy boudy chalet in Janske Lazne (13 km). Another cycle trail which begins in Vrchlabi, namely on Miru Square near the Church of St. Lawrence, is Krkonosska cycle trail No. 10. It ascends to Krizovky chalet towards Benecko and continues via Mrklov to Horni Stepanice, the Rovinka junction and Vitkovice, where it ends at the Praha hotel (18 km). It crosses three other cycle trails which you can use to ride to the Krkonose ridges.

Vrchlabi – Lanov Cycle Trail

The cycle trail between Vrchlabi and Lanov begins approx. 100 m from the Vrchlabi bus station and is frequently used by cyclists and inline skaters. The track has a new, slightly coarser asphalt surface. The track is easy, except for a downhill

section at the edge of Lanov where the track ends half way down the slope. The cycle trail continues from the Lanovsky Dvur hotel to the end of Lanov towards Cista.

Starting point: Lanovska St., near the bus station in Vrchlabi.

Track length: 2.5 km

Do Not Ride Your Bike Uphill is the motto of Long Descents , a guide prepared for visitors by the Krkonose Union of Towns and Boroughs and the Krkonossky National Park Administration. A cyclobus or cable car will take you as high as possible into the mountains and then you can continue comfortably riding down from the ridges to the foothills. The routes are not particularly marked in the terrain but use the existing cycle trails. Some of them can be used when starting in Vrchlabi:

Where the River Labe Flows

From Vrchlabi-Herlikovice (538 m a.s.l.) take a cable car to Predni Zaly (1018 m a.s.l.) and continue by bike to Benecko, Krizovky, Knezice chalet, Vrchlabi, Kuncice nad Labem, Klasterska Lhota and Hostinne (350 m a.s.l.) = 27 km

Pod Liskou Descent

From Vrchlabi take a cyclobus to Janske Lazne (670 m a.s.l.) and a cable car to Cerna hora Mountain (1299 m a.s.l.), and descend to Prazska chalet, Lesni chalet, Tetrevi boudy chalet, Hribeci boudy chalet, Strazne and Vrchlabi (465 m a.s.l.) = 26 km

Descent from ‘Plan’ Hill to Strazne

From Vrchlabi take a cyclobus to Spindleruv Mlyn (710 m a.s.l.) and a cable car to Plane (1195 m a.s.l.) and continue by bike to Bouda na Plani chalet, rozcesti U Krasne Plane, Strazne and Vrchlabi (465 m a.s.l.) = 25 km

Reaching the Male Labe River

From Vrchlabi take a cyclobus to Spindleruv Mlyn (710 m a.s.l.) and a cable car to Plane (1195 m a.s.l.) and continue by bike to Koprivnik, Strazne, Mlynske Domky, Kamenny Mlyn, Dolni Dvur, Lanov and Vrchlabi (465 m a.s.l.) = 25 km

To Labsky Dul Valley for Views

From Vrchlabi take a cyclobus to Spindleruv Mlyn (710 m a.s.l.) and a cable car to Medvedin (1235 m a.s.l.) and descend to Horni Misecky, rozcesti na Haldach, Spindleruv Mlyn and Vrchlabi (465 m a.s.l.) = 26 km

  • Harrachov – Rokytnice/Jiz. – Vrchlabí – Janské Lázně – Pec /Sněžkou – Hor. Malá Úpa 118 km
  • Jilemnice – Horní Mísečky 22 km
  • Vrchlabí -Špindlerův Mlýn – Špindlerovka 26 km
  • Trutnov – Mladé Buky – Svoboda nad Úpou – Horní
  • Malá Úpa, Pomezní Boudy 30 km
  • Žacléř – Lampertice – Bernartice – Trutnov 22 km
  • Vrchlabí – Hradec Králové 75 km

Bikepark allows you to experience mountain adrenaline sports in a contest held in a designated and well-equipped area. This is offered by Trek Spindl Bike Park in Spindleruv Mlyn. Take a cable car from Svaty Petr and ride through hazards with various difficulty levels down a ski run. The tracks are marked and quite demanding.

Ski area Herlíkovice – Bubákov is located just 3 km from Vrchlabí close to road to Špindlerova Mlýna. We offer to our ski visitors double chair lift long 1 400 m and a new ski lift with transport capacity of 1 200 persons/hour. The skiing is available for skiers beginners and the families with the children and also for advanced skiers. All downhill slopes are daily prepared. 534 – 1005 m Ski slopes: 11,3 km Snow making: 9,3 km Groomed cross-country routes: 15 km Lifts: 5 Chair lifts: 2 Snowpark

We offer: a snowpark with own ski lift, a ski school and nursery with children ski lift, a new ski and snowboard rental, ski service, shop with sport equipment and the chalet with refreshment. The parking places are free of charge.

The top of Predni Zaly (1019 m a.s.l.) between Benecko and Vrchlabi has been a popular tourist destination since the beginning of the 19th century because of the beautiful view of the Krkonose Mountains. The first wooden viewing tower, actually more a survey beacon, was built here in 1836. Forest soon grew above the popular viewing tower, and the Riesengebirge-Verein association from Vrchlabi had a metal tower assembled in 1888, with a height of 15 m. Next to it, Count Jan Harrach had a wooden pleasure restaurant with a sun lounge built in 1890. The metal viewing tower became dilapidated after only 4 years of use and the District Council ordered its demolition.

Today’s stone tower was built by Count Jan Harrach in 1892 after an instigation of the Jilemnice branch of the Czech Club of Tourists. The viewing tower was given the name of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. and was inaugurated on 7 September 1892. Along with opening the tower, the access road from Mrklov to Zaly was built. The restaurant burnt down in 1900 and was replaced with a new wooden restaurant transferred from the Jubilee Country Exhibition in Prague. This restaurant ceased to be used during World War Two and a copy was built after a project by architect Klos in the same place in 2009.

The viewing tower indeed offers a good view of the Krkonose Mountains and the Podkrkonosi foothills area, such as Kotel Mountain, the Hanc and Vrbata Monument on Zlate navrsi hill, Medvedin hill, Cerna hora Mountain, Lucni bouda chalet and Mount Snezka. Some more remote places, such as the silhouettes of Jested, Bezdez and Ralsko hills, Trosky castle and Zvicina can also be seen.

The tower is accessible by foot down the red tourist path from Benecko. It can also be accessed by chair lift from Herlikovice. The last major repair was done in 2012.

The Krkonose Mts. are a real hiker’s paradise giving you a close encounter of a landscape unique to Europe. The rough nature high on the mountain ridges and summits will challenge and but also reward you. After you mastered some rocky ascents you’ll be treated to magnificent views over spacious panoramas. Once you feel the wind on your skin and you feast yourself to the panoramas, you will know, why this place is something special. No wonder, the Krokonose Mountains are home of countless tales and myths.

Hiking has a long tradition in the Krkonose Mts. Already Goethe had hiked up to Snezka(1602 m) to enjoy the sunrise. Hiking trails in the mountains are well marked and are distinguished by colours (red, blue, green and yellow). So, equipped with a map, even first-time visitors will easily stay on the right track.

As the weather in the Krkonose Mts. can change within one hour, we recommend to always bring a map, a raincoat and some warm clothes. Always stay on marked trails and respect the delicate nature. Dogs are only allowed in the national park when kept on the leash.

Summer season in Ski resort Herlikovice – Bubákov starts in June

You can still enjoy Herlíkovice in summer

Operation time: 16. June – every weekend, 1. July – 31. August daily

Departure times: every hour from 9.00 – 17.00

We are looking forward to seeing you in winter season as well.

Herlíkovice Ski-centre offers in Summer:

• 1x four-seat chair lift to the summit of Žalý
• Departure times every hour from 9.00 – 17.00
• Cycling paths of various levels of difficulty Hikes
• Mountain bike and top gear hire and service
• Wheel wash – FREE
• Refreshment & Accommodation at the ski-centre

View tower Zaly

• The only stone view tower in Krkonose
• Jan Harrach had the view tower built in 1892
• A beautiful view not only of Krkonose but also of its surroundings
• Trip to the view tower Zaly (1 019 m n. m.) from the square in Vrchlabi is cca 5 km long
• The shorter version is to take a chairlift from Herlikovice

Rent a scooter or bike right by the cableway

• Experience a downhill run on off-road scooters from the upper Krakonose mountains
• You will take the cableway to the peak Zaly 1 019 m and from there you ride along forest paths and downhill ski slopes
• Rental by the cableway in Herlikovice next to the boarding point. Scooter price: CZK 150 per person per one hour. Price includes: scooter, helmet, cableway.
• Rent a bike for 150 CZK for 1 ride
• Rent a mountaion for all day for 300 CZK

You need nothing but determination, enthusiasm and a good mood…

HERLIKOVICE ski resort is located in the Krkonose (Giant) Mountains 3km from the town of Vrchlabi, 120km from the town of Pratur

HERLIKOVICE ski resort is located in the Krkonose (Giant) Mountains 3km from the town of Vrchlabi, 120km from the town of Prague