Moravian Karst (Moravský Kras) is a Protected Landscape Area in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic. It features numerous deep caves and gorges. Even though it is not listed as national park, it is often regarded as one of the most interesting natural sights in the Czech Republic.
LandscapeMoravian Karst is by far the most interesting karst area in Czech Republic. As such, there are numerous sinkholes (with the deepest being deep) and caves. Most of the caves here are connected together, creating a vast cave system called Ametérská jeskyně. This cave system is around long and is, as such, the largest in the region. Because of the karst landscape, there are also numerous deep valleys with interesting rock formations. The elevation of the whole area is between and above sea level. The main river is Punkva, which goes underground in many places, and you can even sail it on a boat in its underground section.
Flora and faunaThe area is covered by the usual spruce forest of the region, with the most interesting animals being probably roes, foxes or deer. There is a kind of flower which grows only at the bottom of Macocha Gorge.
ClimateThe climate is mild, pretty much the same as in the rest of the Czech Republic.
By trainThe town Blansko lies on the main railway between Prague and Brno. As such, there are regional trains departing Brno every hour serving it. From Prague, there is a direct express train (Rychlík category) serving Blansko every two hours. The ticket from Prague to Blansko costs around 300 Kč, from Brno it is 41 Kč. If going from Prague, you can try buying a ticket to Brno instead of Blansko, which might save you up to 200 Kč - just check that the train stops at Blansko. You can check the timetable or buy the tickets at the Czech Railways website.
Blansko train stationThis is the bigger train station in Blansko, there is also Blansko-město train station, which lies more in the town center but further away from the main sights of Moravian Karst.
By carIf going by car, you will probably go via Brno, which is served by numerous motorways. From Brno, there are a few curvy roads that connect various towns and villages around Moravian Karst. You can park in the town and villages for free, or you can use paid parking lots near Macocha Gorge or in Skalní Mlýn village, which is only few hundred meters from the main sights.
By busThe bus is useless when going to Blansko, as this town is served only by trains. However, if you do not want to walk the last leg from Blansko, a bus will take you almost to the main sights. All of these buses run from the main bus station in Blansko. Use IDOS to find the timetable.
Fees and permits
phone: +420 516 413 575address: Skalní mlýn 96An information center near the bus stop Skalní Mlýn
phone: +420 516 444 260address: Vilémovice 6An information center near the Macocha Gorge
By busBuses can take you between villages and sights of Moravian Karst. Most of these buses originate in Blansko. The bus stops are listed here under the same name as they are listed in the IDOS timetable. The fare is payable to the bus driver.
Blansko, Skalní Mlýn bus stopA bus station in Skalní Mlýn. Marked tourist trails further into Moravian Karst start here.
Vilémovice, Macocha rozc.2.0 bus stopThe nearest bus station from Macocha gorge, but you still have to walk to get there.
By footMoravian Karst is relatively small. It is around from Blansko to the main sights. There are numerous well-marked tourist trails. You will definitely have to walk from Skalní Mlýn to the Punkva Caves, as the road is forbidden to enter by car. Use mapy.cz in outdoor mode to see the tourist trails.
By cable carThere is a cable car from the entrance to Punkva Caves to the top of Macocha gorge, which saves you a very steep ascent. It costs 90 Kč.
phone: +420 516 418 602A huge cave system shaped by the Punkva River, which is about long. You can only go there with a guide (included in the price). During the one-hour-long guided tour, you will see huge stalactites and caverns, get to the bottom of Macocha Gorge (otherwise inaccesible) and ride a boat on Punkva River which flows inside the cave. Definitely worth the journey. To secure your entry, write them an email, as the cave is heavily visited by tourists, especially in summer
Macocha GorgeA sinkhole deep, the deepest in the Czech Republic. There are two lookout places around it.
phone: +420 516 435 335Another large cave offering one-hour guided tours. The entrance is located directly in Sloup village
phone: +420 516 444 330address: +420 516 444 330Located directly in Ostrov u Macochy village.
Ostrov u Macochy windmillA large, renovated windmill near the Balcarka cave in Ostrov u Macochy village.
phone: +420 516 414 826A place offering a permanent exhibition about the nature of Moravian Karst.
Knight's caveA small, free accessible cave which used to serve as a castle during medieval times.
Blansek castle ruinsA rather large castle ruin in the forest above the entry to Punkva Caves. To get there, use the green marked hiking trail
phone: +420 602 729 084address: Rudice ev.č. 90Another large renovated windmill, a bit far from the main sights, with a museum inside.
- Hike - there are numerous marked hiking trails.
- Bike - the main valley is accessible by its whole length. You can rent a bike at Blansko railway station.
- Caving - the main caves are difficult to visit outside of guided tour using paved trails. If you want to do something more adventurous, go find some caves that don't have controlled access, as these are plentiful in Moravian Karst. You can also try writing the information center Skalní Mlýn and ask, if it is possible to visit some other parts of the caves (there have been rumors about such activities)
Jídelna Skalní Mlýnphone: +420 565 451 118
phone: +420 516 418 923
phone: +420 516 412 321address: Ostrov u Macochy 6
phone: +420 516 435 489address: Sloup 30
phone: +420 516 444 250An accommodation just next to the Macocha gorge. They also provide food.
phone: +420 516 418 113An upper-class hotel located at the start of the marked trails, very close to Punkva caves
phone: +420 731 495 555address: Blansko, Lažánky 73
Hotel Broušekphone: +420 602 587 734address: Sloup 248A good-looking hotel at the end of Punkva Valley
phone: +420 721 239 489Nearest camp from the sights, in Sloup village.
phone: +420 725 896 488A large camp located a bit farther away from the area ( from Macocha), but located at the shore of a large fish pond, in which you can swim or rent a paddle boat.
BackcountryWild camping is not allowed and might be difficult, because of the steep cliffs and the area's small size.
- Brno. The second-largest city of the Czech Republic is away.