When I’m not traveling, I split my time between two of the world’s most beautiful cities: Karlovy Vary and Prague. Ideal for a one-day or overnight trip out of Prague, I consider Karlovy Vary a must-see for visitors to the Czech Republic. Famous for its curative warm springs, this Alpine-like town in western Bohemia was founded in 1370 by Holy Roman Emperor Karel IV for whom the town is named. Aside from its mineral spring waters the town is also well-known for its annual international film festival, Becherovka herbal liqueur, Moser glassworks, porcelain and traditional spa wafers.

 

a perfect day in Western bohemia starts in karlovy vary. here are some highlights: 

Mill Colonnade and Esplanade

Opened in 1881, the Mill Colonnade is the largest of the mineral spring colonnades in Karlovy Vary. Five different mineral springs converge here including the Mill Spring, Rusalka Spring, Prince Wenceslas Spring, Libuše Spring and Rock Spring. Continue walking from the Mill Colonnade through the Esplanade to the Grand Hotel Pupp where scenes from the James Bond flick "Casino Royale" were filmed. 

Church of St Peter and St Paul

Its beauty is almost enough to make one want to believe. Opened in 1898, construction of the ornate church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Karlovy Vary was made possible through donations from affluent Russian and Serbian patrons. 

Diana lookout tower

Built in 1914, the tower is 25 meters tall rewarding visitors with sweeping views of Bohemia and southeastern Germany. On a clear day one can see as far as 70 kilometers away.  

Hrad Loket (Loket Castle) 

Built in the 12th century and surrounded on three sides by the Ohře River, Loket Castle was once known as the "Impregnable Castle of Bohemia" because of its thick walls. It is one of the most valuable and historically significant stone castles in the Czech Republic — and my particular favorite. A portion of the popular James Bond flick "Casino Royale" was filmed on location here although in the movie it was referred to as a village in Montenegro. The castle is situated approximately 12 kilometers from Karlovy Vary and is accessible via train, bus or on foot through the Svatošské skály. 

 

How to get there, where to stay and to eat

Please reach out to me via email for my curated, up-to-date recommendations based on your particular preferences, desired itinerary and budget. In the meantime, I welcome you to view a selection of my photos showing these particular highlights.