Canoe trips in Czech Republic are very popular among local residents. This has the advantage that sufficient facilities are found along rivers. The Ohre is one of the most loved rivers for multiday canoe trips and my boyfriend Wiebe and I experienced the reasons why ourselves. We paddled in 3 days from Loket nad Ohri to Perstejn, a journey of 51 km in the green scenery of the Karlovy Vary Region along historical monuments and protected natural areas. These 3 days in the canoe were the highlight of our backpacking trip through Czech Republic. After reading this article you will be prepared for a similar multiday paddling adventure.
Tours of 2, 3, 4 or 5 days on the Ohre typically start in Trsnice, Loket nad Ohrí or Karlovy Vary and end in Radosov, Perstejn or Klasterec nad Ohri. Naturally, canoes can be rented for a single day as well. In order to orientate yourself, you can have a look at the interactive map here. The 3 day trip we made from Loket to Perstejn is one of the most popular choices. Moderate streams are alternated with small rapids on this route. You will cross the unique Svatosske Rocks, massive rock pillars along the river valley. Take also your time to stroll along Karlovy Vary, famous for its hot springs. In the artificial rapid of Hubertus you can practice your canoe skills. Loket, our starting location, can be reached in less than 4 hours by train from Prague.
2. Renting a canoe
We payed around €30 for 3 days for our inflatable canoe . This price includes paddles, life jackets and a waterproof box. A small fee (~€1) was asked to return the boat to the starting point. The three main boat rental companies in the region can be found here. According to me, the website of Petr Putzer is the most informative one.
There are several campgrounds along the river where you can pitch your own tent for the night. Costs are low, only €5 per person per night, but don’t expect many facilities. On one of our camping sites, the only facility available was a single toilet. The owners are very friendly though. The first evening we wanted to build a campfire. We carefully made a teepee structure and we were pleased when the kindling slightly began to burn. Then the owner of the campground passed and threw gasoline on the campfire to ‘make a huge fire very fast’. Hmmm, those Czechs have another sense of romantics…
Camping gear can be rented together with a boat as well. Naturally, you can pass the night in a hotel or guesthouse too. In that case, you leave your canoe at a collection point. The transfer to your accommodation can be made by foot or public transportation or organized by the boat rental company.
4. Food & Drinks
From most campgrounds it is very easy to walk to the nearby town. We opted to buy food in the supermarket in the evenings to prepare breakfast and picnic for the next day. For dinner, we asked recommendations for restaurants from locals at the camping sites. One day we ended in a little bar and asked if they serve dinner as well. They prompt started to make goulash. This home-made dinner was delicious! Small restaurants and cafés can be found along the river too and are a nice stop to take a break from the water during the day. We even encountered a floating bar which saved our mood that day we accidently paddled passed our intended campground.
The best chance of nice weather is from late spring to early fall (second half of May-September). We had pleasant temperatures and long sunny days during June. The second day, however, it suddenly rained short but heavily. We looked for shelter under the canopy of a tree and met a local couple. They were better prepared than us and brought rain jackets and… rum, which they were happy to share. I can assure you I was not cold anymore 😉 So do as the locals and bring rum!
So do as the locals and bring rum!
6. More tips…
-Try to avoid the weekends as the river can get crowded with local families.
-My boyfriend and I soon discovered that we rather counteracted than collaborated as a team while paddling together. We decided to look in each other’s eyes instead of looking at the back and paddle in turns. Okay, I have to admit that Wiebe worked the most…
-Don’t cover too much distance in one day. Start to look out for a campground or sleeping place in the late afternoon and take your time to walk around town as well.
-Bring large garbage bags to protect your stuff! A small waterproof box is provided, but that did neither fit our tent nor sleeping bags.
-I suffered from a sunstroke on the last day, so drink enough water and use sunscreen.
Have you ever been on a multiday canoe trip?
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