Most people traveling to the Czech Republic (or Czechia) only visit Prague when there is so much more to see in the country – like the Beskid Mountains. The Beskid Mountains (or Beskydy in Czech) in the Moravian-Silesian region offer hiking trails, culture, history, outdoor activities, and spa indulgences. And the best thing is that this area is still very much hidden from the tourists while being quite a popular holiday destination for the locals.
Places to See and Things to Do in and around the Beskydy Mountains:
The capital of the Moravian-Silesian region is Ostrava, and this is also the gateway to the Beskid Mountains. Unlike Prague and Brno, Ostrava isn’t polished for tourists, and its industrial past makes it a different kind of place to visit. Don’t miss Lower Vitkovice – a national site of industrial heritage. While I wouldn’t call Ostrava a dream destination for nature lovers like me, it was still interesting to see this side of the Czech Republic too.
Sigmund Freud’s Birth House
Moving on from Ostrava, the first stop would be the birthplace of Sigmund Freud. The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud was born in the town of Příbor, and his birth house now features an interactive exposition. This museum is open all year round, and an audio guide takes you through the most important moments of Freud’s life and career.
Town of Hats, Nový Jičín
Nový Jičín, also knows as the town of hats, is a picturesque cute little town. In the center of the town is the old town square, Masaryk Square, and with its colorful pastel houses, fountains and cobblestone streets, this is a place not to be missed.
Apart from strolling around and admiring the beautiful architecture, the main attraction in Nový Jičín is the museum and exhibition of hats. There you can learn more about the hat-making process and try on different types of hats – a perfect opportunity to get some funny pictures! The town has a long history of making hats and still produces some, although not on the same scale.
Within the same building, you can also find General Laudon exhibition where you can learn about the military leader’s life and contribution to the wars.
The Town of Štramberk
Štramberk is a mountain town with a very special landmark – ruins of the 13th-century castle and a tower (Trúba) that now serves as a lookout tower giving you a 360-degree view of the town and the surrounding areas. Štramberk has a very picturesque historic center, and the town is also known for its Štramberk ears – gingerbread cookies (these, however, are not vegan!).
Šipka cave is another must-see thing in Štramberk. This is an archaeological site where professor Karl Jaroslav Maska discovered the oldest recorded instance of human activity in the Czech Republic by finding a lower jaw-bone of a Neanderthal child. Not only is it fascinating to see the cave itself, but you get fantastic panoramic views of the city on the way up there.
Prosper Golf Resort in Čeladná
Prosper Golf Resort in the town of Čeladná has two full 18-hole courses, putting green, indoor golf simulators, a heated indoor hall for winter and a restaurant with beautiful water views. No club membership is required to visit the resort, and you can just book a tee time on their website. If you’ve never tried golf before, this is also a perfect place to learn and take lessons at their golf academy. Even for non-golfers, this is a nice place to visit because of its beautiful location and the stunning mountain views.
Hiking up to Lysá Hora
The highlight of my time in the Czech Republic was hiking up to the highest peak of the Czechian side of the Beskid Mountains – Lysá Hora.
The Beskid Mountains is a large mountain range stretching from the Czech Republic all the way to Ukraine. The highest peak of the whole mountain range can found on the Ukrainian side, but Lysá Hora (1,323 m) is the Czech Republic’s highest peak. The area around Lysá Hora is beautiful: pristine nature with forests, rivers and countless hiking trails.
The hike up is not too challenging and shouldn’t take more than two hours. The only thing you need to look out for is being careful with your steps where there are loose rocks, especially when going down.
I highly recommend hiking up there during the day/afternoon, watching the sunset at the summit and staying overnight at a new mountain log cabin. The rooms are super comfy, and it’s a nice place to relax after the hike. They also have a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner and even a bowling alley downstairs. If you have energy, I recommend waking up early for a sunrise photoshoot before starting the hike back down.
The Spa at Miura Hotel
If you are looking for ultimate relaxation or an excellent way to end your hike, check out the Miura Hotel located right next to Prosper Golf Resort. The hotel building itself is a fascinating piece of modern architectural work, and the entire hotel is filled with artwork.
The spa is very modern and has the same futuristic look you can see from the outside. The spa area has two sections: a water area with a large hot tub and a sauna area with herb bath, salt bath, steam room, sanarium, Finnish sauna, ice rain and snow room.
Apart from the impressive spa, the hotel also has a high-end restaurant that offers delicious meals. I had a three-course vegan menu including vegetable cream with coconut milk, chickpea burger with mashed potatoes and chickpea mayonnaise, and black rice with fresh berries. Everything was delicious, and I was surprised by the creativity of the dishes.