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Ceský ráj

Ceský ráj, meaning the Czech Paradise, is place worth its name. The area is naturally rich and hills full of gems. Czech Paradise is famous for gem handwork and crystal industry but even more about flourishing nature. Paradise includes old groves and conifer tree forests and specially shaped sandstones, which look like hi-rises but are actually pillars shaped by nature.

Very central town in Paradise is Turnov. You can find gem museum from there and with it is shop that interests many women. Price level is also much more appropriate level, if you compare it to Prague. The most well known hiking route starts from Turnov and is called the Golden Path. On the Path you’ll see stone pillars and old forests. There are even few castles and at least from Valdstein castle there was quite nice view over the Paradise. Trosky fortress controls the area. It has been built on two high mountains on two high stone pillars, so you can see it from everywhere in Paradise. If you like to stay one of these castles you can do it in Hruba Skála castle, as there is hotel. You can imagine being a knight or a lady of the castle and taste some rabbit or deer in the restaurant of the castle. If you like to hike, we recommend route between Hruba Skála and Valdstein – just beautiful.

More nature is located northeast from Turnov in Krkonos area near German border, and thus in favourite by famous German tourists. During the communist era pollutions from East Germany flowed to northern Czech and many forests were badly damaged. Slowly the nature has taken what is her back and forests are recovering, as pollutions are decreased.

Home of Czech crystal is the town of Nový Bor located northwest of Turnov. Almost every Czech crystal companies have a factory or shop in Nový Bor. Supplies are numerous, as there are 19 different companies and many more private sellers. Most are hand made, which can be seen from results. You just can’t get same kind of art from Ikea.