The Czech Republic has almost all types of landscape on its relatively small area.
Fertile lowlands lie next to hilly country as well as high mountains, karst areas
with mysterious caves are just as inviting as bizarre sandstone rocks.
The main mountain ranges are situated on the state border. The highest is the
Krkonose (Giant Mountains) in the north, with the peaks (Snezka-Snow Mountain,
1,602 metres above sea level) rising above the forest line. The Jizerske hory
(Jizerské Mountains) is very attractive for tourists. The deep forests
of the Sumava (Bohemian Forest) in the south-west, with gladallakes and numerous
peat bogs, have a spedal charmi nature in the Sumava is stilllargely unaffected
by modern dvilization. Also the mountain ranges in Moravia, the Jeseniky and
the Beskydy, attract visitors by beautiful sceneries and a friendly ambience.
But the landscape at lower altitudes has its charm too. The vast Ceskomoravska
vrchovina (Bohemian-Moravian Highlands) is covered by a picturesque mosaic of
the woods, grassland and fields the Bile Karpaty (White Carpathians) in the
southeast are well-known for their flowery meadows which are 50 charming in
springtime. The Ceske stredohori (Central Bohemian Highlands) creates a dramatic
landscape of long-extinct steep-sloping volcanoes where many peaks offer an
outlook far and wide. A valuable naturallandscape, quite close to Prague, is
represented by the Kriivoklat protected landscape area with deep river and brook
valleys and original forests, and the protected limestone formations of Cesky
kras (Bohemian Karst).
The most valuable natural areas are protected in four national parks (Krkonose,
Sumava, Podyjí and Ceske Svycarsko districts) and
in many protected landscape areas and nature reserves. Most protected areas
are open to visitors free of charge, no special permission is required.
The Czech Republic is also a country of lakes and ponds. The serene waters of
hundreds of lakes in the south Bohemian basin com plete a harmonic landscape,
which offers a welcome refuge from the rush of modern times. Artificial reservoirs
on many rivers in Bohemia and Moravia serve both domestic and foreign visitors
for recreation. The largest dams with reservoirs are on the Czech "national
river" - the Vltava (Moldau).
A special kind of landscape is represented by sandstone areas, where millions
of years of action by frost, water and wind created deep canyons and imposing
rock labyrinths. The Cesky raj (Bohemian Paradise) is
a fitting name for one such area. Limestone formations offer a chance to see
caves and vast underground spaces the Moravsky kras (Moravian
Karst) north of Brno is the largest of these territories.