Starting in the Moravian Highlands, the route will take you to a Jewish memorial which tells an important story in a unique way, past a sustainable living project where you can collect free apples & cherries and make use of the facilities. During your walk you will pass a Quartz "mountain", Choustnik Castle Ruins (with a fantastic view over South Bohemia, The Sumova mountain range and Austria beyond) walk through Turovec Flower Forest, visit the castle home of Jan Hus and finish at Zaribnicna Lhota – a swimming lake with a terrace restaurant which serves wild game such as Venison and Wild Boar. From here you can jump on the frequent bus from the lake to Tabor. Finally, during the summer months in Tabor you can visit Housuv Mlyn – the Hussite Tavern for a dinner fit for a warrior. Either stay overnight in Tabor, where accommodation can be found from 200kc upwards, or, if you are recovered enough from the crowds, continue your journey to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Česky Krumlov.

Instructions

To reach Černovice, public transport options include a narrow gauge railway.  The Czech transport website is idos.cz - which is available in English. You want to get to Černovice (Pelhrimov district - watch out - there are five towns with the same name!). After your journey your first port of call in Černovice should be the chocolate cafe Budik. The Czech Chocolatiere Bon Bon is based in this village, and the local cafe they created is chi chi for such a little place. If it’s hot, hot, hot you can head straight for the swimming pond in Černovice. From Marianske Namesti walk north on Taborska. Take the second right Na Pelišku and walk up behind Hotel Mlyn. You’ll pass two millponds on your left, continue on the same track till you reach the third pool which has a beach like grassy bank for swimmers to dry off in the sun.

The Jewish Memorial is on the next road up from the swimming ponds. You will see signposts with the Star of David indicating the direction. On the left the plated stones give information of those who died, on the right, those who survived.  The number of plaques give a strong impression of how much of an impact these missing people had on such a small community. 

From Černovice, the walk starts along the St Anne’s Pilgrimage Trail. From the Main Square of Černovice, head west on Soběslavska, going over a mini Charles Bridge – with religious statues and past a house on the left guarded by a yellow lion on the gable. As the road turns round to the left you will see on the right a Christian chapel and signpost ahead of you for Svata Anna. Walk along the path across the open fields, before entering the forest, you’ll drop down to a stream which can be followed downstream to Nový Mlýn. If you walk upstream you will reach the field in which the last Czech battle of the Hussite wars was fought on the 19th August, 1435. Look out for the Gingerbread House – a curiously painted cottage in the valley. From Nový Mlýn, follow the country road (number 136) to Mlyny. In the summer the roads are lined with poppies, chamomile & cornflowers.

At Mlyny, take a left turn towards the forest surrounding Choustnik castle. You can take a break to explore the Quartz mountain at this point. From Mlyny, follow the path labelled with a green stripe between two white. This will take you to the castle, and then drop back down into the small village of Choustnik – there is a pub on the square if you’re thirsty after your climb. From Choustnik you follow the path labelled with a blue stripe over the hill Ve Vrch, from whereon the walk will be downhill all the way. The forest of Turovec is carpeted with flowers in the spring, and offers respite from the sun. Continue on the blue path until you reach Stary Kravin pond – where you turn right and follow signs towards the Hussite castle ruins Kozi Hradek. This is where the reformer Jan Hus wrote and preached before the beginning of the Hussite wars. There is a restaurant here to stop for a drink, or continue for the last mile on the green path North to Zarybnicna Lhota for a rest and a swim in a beautiful setting. The bus stop for Tábor is a few metres from the entrance to the lake, on the same side of the road. Check the timetable for buses that run approximately every half an hour.

Geoclub map 44 Pelhřimovsko can be purchased at outdoor pursuits shops in Prague. This route is a substantial walk - however you can opt out at any point by hitching a lift from a passing car.

Please note that outside of Prague most people do not speak English - especially those working in public transport. It might be handy to have the name of the place you want to go to written down as pronunciation can be tricky.