The beautiful town of Telc was the first stop on a walking tour with Country Walkers in the Czech Republic. But before we got to town we made a short side stop just inside the Czech border to see some military bunkers left over from the days of communism. It was eye opening to say the least – and it’s no wonder so few people would get through this zone with their lives.
What’s missing in the picture is the miles of barbed and razor wire traps along with pictures of all the bunkers that dot the landscape, approximately every few hundred feet across a huge swath of the borderlands.
Why Telc is a great stop on an itinerary
It was a treat to reach Telc – a quiet city in the southern Czech Republic that sees a fraction of the tourists that you’ll find in more popular centres like Prague and Ceský Krumlov. I loved this place for its gorgeous historic square lined with fairytale like buildings in a rainbow of colours that date back to the 1500’s. In fact the historic centre of Telc is a UNESCO site.
Around Telc are high walls and a complex of artificial fishponds that form a semi-circle on three sides of the town centre. In the early morning and again in the evening, the reflections around the ponds are particularly beautiful. The whole of the old town and all the grounds beg to be explored at leisure on foot.
There’s also a large Renaissance chateau called the Telc Castle. Tours are offered and are a good idea if you want to see how people lived back in the 1600’s. (The Czech guides with Country Walkers know the history of the castle really well and do their own private tour.)
Walking in the Telc area
We spent a couple of days walking in the Telc area. The first walk is described in this blog. It was a 30 minute drive to get to our starting point – an old hunting lodge beautifully situated in beech forests at the edge of walking trails.
Over approximately 8 miles we wandered through delightful sections of shady forests, through farmer’s fields with nary a soul in sight and along country lanes – with every house decorated with the same boxes of pink and red geraniums. Some added a stand of sunflowers. We’d pass fishing ponds which I learned dot the Czech landscape – yet they are only a few feet deep.
I think what amazed me most was the size of the woodpiles – like nowhere else I’ve seen. I know it gets cold in the Czech Republic but I really wonder if a little hoarding is going on – in case times get really tough again. Just my observation!
Lunches were always a big meal – though the lunch at the end of this walk, consisting only of vegetables was considered light by Czech standards.
As our guides would say, the Czech people like their heavy duty grease so you can expect to see a lot of fried food on menus. In the Czech Republic beer is cheaper than water – and likely part of the reason the Czech people are the biggest consumers of beer in the world. Expect to drink at both lunch and dinner.
Where to stay in Telc
According to our guides the hotels around the historic square aren’t great – despite their first rate location. We stayed at the Hotel Anton – originally a cooperative distillery just a five minute walk from the beautiful grounds around the chateau. It wasn’t fancy but it sure had character – and I’d stay here again.
Looking back at the trip, Telc and Tabor (our next stop) were my favourite cities. Both were beautiful but hadn’t yet been discovered by tourists. And now you know where to visit!
Other posts related to my walk you might enjoy:
- Highlights in 15 Photos of the Austrian Countryside
- Cesky Krumlov: One of the Prettiest Cities in the Czech Republic
- 19 Photos That will Make You Want to Discover the Czech Republic on Foot
- 48 Hours in the Tabor area of the Czech Republic
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