Tiny villages, medieval towns, the world famous spa Karlovy Vary are awaiting you during this 6 days cycling adventure along Ohře river
We jump on the route in Cheb, one of the oldest cities in Czechia with magnificently preserved historical sites and unique medieval atmosphere, approx. 9km from the river spring near the border with Germany. The total distance is about 220 km. The route connects the cities of Cheb, Karlovy Vary, Klášterec nad Ohří, Žatec and Litoměřice. During the tour you cycle past castles, beautiful viewpoints, historic towns and of course along the banks of the beautiful river Ohře. The moderate trail with no major rises and free of motor traffic is suitable for cyclists of all abilities, the section Cheb–Karlovy Vary is even appropriate for families with young children.
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Detailed map of the tour
Day 1 arrival to Cheb
Arrival and check-in at the hotel in the center of the town of Cheb. It’s worth seeing the center with a truly beautiful square.
As you walk across the medieval square in Cheb, your eyes immediately fall on the symbol of the city – Špalíček. This picturesque group of eleven medieval merchant houses was built here as early as the 13th century. Above them loom the towering twin towers of St. Nicholas’ Church. You can also explore the grounds of the castle, which has stood here for more than 800 years. You will see a preserved part of the Romanesque fortifications, including the Black Tower and the castle chapel.
- Distance: 0 km
- Overnight: Cheb
Day 2: Cheb to Loket
The first part of the Ohře cycling trail immediately connects a number of top tourist attractions in the area. From Cheb you cycle along the river to the beautiful ancient town of Loket nad Ohří (translated: Elbow on the Eger) where you will find plenty of restaurants at the historic market square. A James Bond film was recently shot in this beautiful town.
Along the way you can explore Kynšperk nad Ohří (18km from the start) with several interesting monuments – the remains of Königsberg Castle, the Catholic and Evangelical Church, the manor house, the Holy Trinity Column, the Jewish cemetery. On km 32 (a junction of cycling routes), there is a possibility to see artificial lake MEDARD about 200m from you original route.
- Distance: 45 km
- Climbing: 175 m
- Descent: 224 m
- Overnight: Loket nad Ohří
Day 3 Loket to Karlovy Vary
Today we bike probably the most popular section on the Ohře cycle route, relatively short (only 17 km), but a very scenic route to Karlovy Vary spa town.
You can spend a morning by exploring Loket Castle with its exposition of the medieval practices of torture. Roman emperor and King Charles IV stayed here many times and it was from here that he discovered today’s Karlovy Vary. From Loket, the route goes along Ohře river for about 9km. One of the most beautiful places that the bike path passes is the beautiful natural scenery of the Svatošské rocks, which are a popular destination for climbers. The cycle path in this place overcomes the Ohře on a suspension bridge. Remarkable rock formations were created by gradual weathering and removal of granite blocks, river activities and the erosive effects of frost. Bizarre granite shapes were declared a protected natural creation in 1933, now a national natural monument.
In the so-called DOUBÍ village, we leave Ohře cycling route and climb on “Sovova stezka” (owlś path) to High rope centre Linhart. Worth of a longer stop is nearby game reserve U Linharta, which covers an area of almost seventy hectares, offers people, in addition to the classic observatory, a unique view of animals and the landscape. View from above. For this purpose, a system of bridges is used, which in some places leads the path up to a height of six meters.
Approx.2 km from the finish in Karlovy Vary we start to descent to the valley again till we reach the most famous “Vřídelní kolonáda” ( the Hot spring colonnade). The modern glass and reinforced concrete colonnade was built in Functionalistic style in 1975 arches over the most popular spring in Karlovy Vary. The geyser of the Hot Spring is in a separate pavilion and it gushes to a height of up to 12 metres. Be careful, because this part of Karlovy Vary is restricted for bikes in many pedestrian sections, so better walk to your accommodation nearby.
- Distance: 17 km
- Climbing: 208 m
- Descent: 243 m
- Overnight: Karlovy Vary
Day 4 Loket to Klášterec nad Ohří
We start the 4th day of the cycle route in the centre of Karlovy Vary. As soon we partially ride and walk along the sights until we reach the Ohře river again. From there it is easy to join the National route No 6 through taking us to a part of Karlovy Vary Dalovice and Vysoká, where we again leave the river for a while until we join the yellow marked path to Radošov village. Here we cross the wooden covered bridge and continue on route 6 to Velichov, Jakubov, Stráž nad Ohří and Okounov to Klášterec nad Ohří.
In 1794, the second oldest porcelain manufactory was founded here (Klášterec nad Ohří – Porcelain Thun).To this day, the prosperous factory uses the THUN brand for its products. Lázně Evženie will be the first to welcome us in the city. Here we can taste two healing springs Eugenie and Městský pramen in the information stand.
We can bike through the beautiful spa complex park till we reach the fountain just in front of the chateau.
- Distance: 38,5 km
- Climbing: 422 m
- Descent: 510 m
- Overnight: Klášterec nad Ohří
Day 5 Klášterec nad Ohří to Žatec
The route from Klášterec nad Ohří, where the cycle path leads to the Ústí region, to Kadaň is one of the best-groomed sections, it offers views of steep rivers and the river is dotted with castles. Between the castle park in Klášterec nad Ohří and Kadaň, there is a ten-kilometer stretch of a high-quality asphalt path that leads to the attractive Maxipes Fík embankment, suitable for beginners.
The route from the Nechranice dam to Žatec is more demanding, but offers nice views and a path around the vineyards, more reminiscent of South Moravia. The bike path ends at the first bridge that leads over the river Ohře. Shortly after the railway bridge, we drive to a brand new section of an asphalt cycle path 1.2 km long and 2.5 m wide in the immediate vicinity of the modern area of the Žatec swimming pool and sports ground with an in-line track.
From here we continue through the center of the royal town of Žatec to the tourist complex Chrám Chmele a Piva with a unique lookout tower, the Hop Astronomical Clock, the U Orloje beer hall, the Klášterní zahrada and the Hop Museum.
- Distance: 40 km
- Climbing: 303 m
- Descent: 348 m
- Overnight: Žatec
Day 6 Žatec to Libochovice
Behind Žatec in the village of Trnovany we turn left in the direction of Stekník and after a while we find ourselves in a hop paradise! A picturesque path between hop gardens will lead us to Stekník Castle.
The first written mention of the village dates from 1389. The castle is one of the most important Rococo buildings in Bohemia. It has been undergoing a complete reconstruction since 1997. The chateau garden with a beautiful view of the surrounding hop gardens is open to the public, and an exhibition space is located in the corridors on the ground floor of the chateau.
From Stekník we continue along road III. class through the village of Hradiště, where we turn right through the villages of Strkovice, Mradice and Skupice. Before Louny, we will stop for the last time. Right next to the trail we can take a break in the unique Archeoskanzen, which is located in Březno near Louny. It was created as a result of many years of archaeological research. Reconstruction of buildings from the Late Stone Age to Slavic settlement was carried out here. Louny are often called ” the southern gate of the Bohemian Central Mountains” or “Pearl on the river Ohře”. The city has an interesting historic center, two thirds of which is surrounded by walls.
We continue on route No 6 to Veltěže, Slavětín and Radonice and Pátek to Libochovice, our place for todayś overnight. The town of Libochovice is located on the left bank of the river Ohře in a picturesque landscape at the foot of the Bohemian Central Mountains, near the memorable Říp. The ruins of Hazmburk Castle rise above it like a majestic crown on the heads of kings. The most famous monument is the beautiful Renaissance chateau Libochovice, built on the very bank of the river Ohře.
- Distance: 50 km
- Climbing: 306 m
- Descent: 373 m
- Overnight: Libochovice
Day 7 Libochovice to Litoměřice
Today is our last biking day, a short flat route to Litoměřice. On the way from Libošovice we come to the beginning of Kostelec, where we either turn right to get to the village center, or we turn left and continue along a paved forest road to Budyně nad Ohří.
We bike along forest paths through the Myslivna nature reserve and after a short interruption of the forest path by road, we set out through the Budyně Forest to the town of Budyně nad Ohří. The city has a historic water castle. from the 13th century which was subsequently rebuilt several times. From Budyně we have to continue on the road to Doksany. It is not yet possible to lead the trail off the road with cars.
We are approaching Terezín. The city lies on both sides of the river, which divides them into the Small and Great Fortress Terezín. The fortress was founded in 1780 by Joseph II. In 1782 it was declared a free royal city. During World War II, the Main Fortress on the left bank of the river served Nazi Germany as a Jewish ghetto. From Terezín it is only 2 km to Litoměřice BIKE TOWER – the endpoint of our tour. You can store here 24 hrs a day safely your bikes for a small fee (10 CZK per day) incl. Helmets and side bags. The storage is self-serviced.
You can walk to the city centre from here within a few minutes. Litoměřice itself deserves a longer stop. The city full of history, good restaurants and especially the unmistakable genius of loci is a beautiful destination. The historic core of the city has been a city monument reserve since 1950, which includes a total of 44 streets and nine squares.
Please note: transfer back to Cheb is booked at 17:00 p.m. from Litoměřice bike tower unless you booked an extra night in Litoměřice (in that case the departure back to Cheb will be handled individually).
- Distance: 29 km
- Climbing: 39 m
- Descent: 50 m
- Overnight: none
What's included and excluded?
- 6 nights based on bed and breakfast in family rooms / multi-person rooms with private facilities
- transfer by minibus from Litomerice to Cheb
- Luggage storage costs at the first overnight address in Cheb
- Itinerary and various suggestions for additional cycling tours
- Map with detailed routes (topographical 1:40.000) and separate detailed route description
- Information package
- Emergency hotline
- ATOL comparable security by SGR (Dutch)
- Surcharge single room and double room
- Parking costs in Cheb during the tour
- Rent bicycle (s) with helmet and small bicycle bags
- Luggage transport
General travel information
Formation of the Ohře River Valley
The romantic valley of the Ohře River stretches from Karlovy Vary to Loket and is part of the Slavkov Forest Protected Landscape Area. Less than eight kilometres long, the deep canyon of the valley was created by the Ohře River forcing its way through the Karlovy Vary granite massif. Parts of the left bank are lined with massive rock pillars and pinnacles that formed due to gradual wind and rain erosion of the surrounding high granite walls. In the first half of the 19th century, the valley of the river full of rapids became a popular destination for Karlovy Vary spa guests. Opposite a formation called the “rock town” used to stand a small inn for excursionists, visited often by hackney carriages from Doubí and Karlovy Vary. The inn offered its guests boats to rent.
The path through the valley holds many surprises in store
Marked tourist routes through the surrounding wooded hills start in Loket, Doubí near Karlovy Vary and in Cihelny. A blue tourist route running through the deep valley itself has its beginning in Doubí and, after 9 kilometres, will bring you to Loket. From Doubí you can follow one more trail. It is an educational nature trail with 12 stops offering information from geology, archaeology, history and botany. The 10 kilometre long trail will guide you along the left bank of the Ohře River all the way to the village of Hory where it ends.
The access to the valley from the Karlovy Vary side is protected by a massive rocky promontory with remains of an early medieval Slavic Starý Loket (Old Elbow) settlement, deserted in the middle of the 10th century. The Tašovice fortified settlement evidences the oldest Slavic settlement in the area. This archaeological site is one of the stops on the educational trail.
Indisputably the most attractive feature of the valley is, however, the Svatoš Rocks (Svatošské skály), a granite rock town formed by rock towers with their distinctive block jointing. In 1933, the rock town was declared a protected natural creation for its uniqueness, and in 2007, it was recognized as The Jan Svatoš National Natural Monument. The Svatoš Rocks offer ideal conditions for climbing. Opposite the Svatoš Rocks, two popular restaurants excursionists wait for you along with a footbridge across the Ohře River known as the “swing bridge”.
On your way throughout the Ohře River valley you can see remains of some of the local old mines. Several excavated drifts and slag heaps are located in the steep rocky slopes. It is very likely that the history of the local iron ore and other mineral mining dates back to the early Middle Ages. One of the proofs of the mining activities is the Venetian Gallery (“štola Benátčanů” in Czech) named after Italian prospectors who were intensively searching for deposits of precious metals, minerals and glass materials in the region of Karlovy Vary. The drift is located along the educational trail.
How to get there
The valley is accessible only on foot, by bicycle or canoe. Passenger cars are not allowed to enter. For the best access to the valley from Karlovy Vary, choose the blue tourist route leading off from the district of Doubí. To get to the starting point, use the Bus No. 6. A car park is located on the Doubí periphery. You can also walk through the valley from its other side, from the town of Loket. An intercity bus or train will take you there. Rent a canoe or a raft and go down the river through its rocky canyon all the way to Karlovy Vary. Or you might as well ride your bike on the cycle path running through the whole valley from Karlovy Vary to Loket. It is part of the backbone cycling route No. 204.