Yesterday I returned to the village of Lipno nad Vltavou for a second visit. It’s a popular Czech destination in Southern Bohemia and about a 1.5 hour train ride from České Budějovice. The trip involved switching trains in Rybnik, a small Czech village in the Plzeň Region.
Lipno nad Vltavou is in the South Bohemian Vltava River Valley near the Šumava Mountains. The village is a beautiful two-mile walk from the train station on a trail that wraps around Lipno Lake.
I missed the early departure and took a crowded train with a lively group of Czechs on their way to a camping holiday. They were headed to Vyšší Brod, a favorite spot for camping and river rafting. Couldn’t tell what they were talking about, but they were clearly having fun!
Lipno nad Vltavou’s history dates back to the 16th century. The settlement was involved in the timber industry, and most inhabitants made their living rafting timber on the Vltava River. The village grew larger after construction of the Lipno Reservoir Dam. Today, the area is a popular resort accommodating tourists all year round.
In summer tourists camp, hike, bicycle, fish, pick mushrooms, and enjoy water sports like sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. In the winter the area is a popular skiing location. One chairlift operates in the summer. Tourists ride it to the top for fantastic panoramic views of Lipno Lake and the Vltava River Valley.
There are several small Bohemian villages near Lipno Lake. A favorite, Frymburk is in the Šumava foothills on the left bank of Lipno Reservoir. Located on the trading path between Austria and Český Krumlov, Frymburk was a historic merchant village. It’s surrounded by the “Šumava Sea” and close to the Austrian and Bavarian borders. Frymburk’s landscape is very beautiful and almost untouched by civilization.
The train stops at several other interesting villages in the reserve:
“One of the most valuable territories in Europe, the Šumava Nature Reserve, was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1990. Biosphere reserves promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.”
In 1991 the reserve became a Czech National Park. It’s 80 percent forest and the most extensive forested territory in Central Europe.
On the way back to České Budějovice, I shared a compartment with a Czech family. They didn’t speak much English but were good company and full of smiles.
Hiking at Lipno Lake is fantastic! It’s a beautiful location and summer temperatures are cooler than České Budějovice and Český Krumlov.
I’m leaving České Budějovice on Thursday, and most of all will miss listening to the cathedral bell near my apartment. I’ve become accustomed to hearing it toll throughout the day and night. Prague is the next destination where I’ll stay in an apartment in Old Town. Although České Budějovice and Český Krumlov are beautiful, I miss the energy of a big city, and there is much to see and do in Prague. Hopefully, there will be more English-speaking residents there – or I will have to learn Czech!