Are you looking to spend a weekend in Hrensko but no clue where to start? Do you want to see as much of this beautiful area as possible in the mere time span of 2 days? Do you also want to know if there are any other beautiful places nearby that you should visit? Don’t worry then, Hrensko is a tiny village where you can easily spend 2 amazing days and even have time left to explore Saxony, right across the border in Germany. There are beautiful forest trails next to a cobbling river, a place that on first sight looks like a haunted house and a beautiful national park all within 30 minutes driving of each other. This is the perfect itinerary for anyone who wants to fully enjoy this area and have some spare time left to relax.
Hrensko is a small town in the Czech Republic and is located right across the border with Germany. And when I say small, I really mean it. Can you believe that only 275 people actually live in Hrensko? But this also means peace and quiet. Especially cause Hrensko is not on a lot of tourists radar! Imagine a beautiful morning walk through what pretty much looks like an enchanted forest and there is literally no one else around for hours! Sounds pretty good right?
Then are you ready to find out how to spend an amazing weekend in Hrensko?
A Weekend in Hrensko: The Ultimate 2 Day Hrensko Itinerary
Day 1: Edmund’s Wild Gorge, Old Gasworks House, Saxon Switzerland National Park
Stop 1: Edmund’s Wild Gorge
Are you ready to be blown away by this beautiful piece of nature? I am not exaggerating when I say a hike of 30 minutes took us twice as long simply because we stopped every 5 minutes to look around and take in the amazing views around us!
The most important thing to know about the Edmund’s Wild Gorge trail is that during winter time you can’t go on a boat ride. This basically means that you can’t do the trail in a loop. You either start on the West side, walk to one boathouse and return and then walk to the East side to see the other part of the trail. During Spring, Summer and Fall both boathouses are connected by a short boat ride . It’s not possible to go from one boathouse to the other on foot.
We decided to take the Eastern trail and even that we couldn’t go on a boat ride it was still amazing! The first part of the hike can be a little muddy but after 5 minutes you’ll be walking through the forest and in between the gorges.
If you don’t want to stay in Hrensko itself I strongly advice you to stay at Forester Park Resort (U Forta). It’s located in the middle of nature, it’s cheap, they serve good breakfast AND it’s 2 minutes walking to both trails!
Stop 2 : Old Gasworks House
Would you believe me if I told you that this Old Gasworks House in Hrensko is actually a hotel? Like, how amazing would it be to actually stay here? And it’s not even that expensive! Just €90/night! There is definitely something eery about this stone inn from 1905. Looking at the top window it even looks like an eye is peeping out of the house. But besides all of that it remains one of the coolest places to snap some amazing photos!
So as I said before this mystery house was originally built in 1905 and served as an industrial site for production of acetylene gas which was used for lighting. It was built of hand-carved sandstone blocks in the style of a medieval castle. But as electrification proceeded the production was shut down and the building was left abandoned. It has since then been resold twice. Once with false promises of restoring it to it’s former glory (that did not work out). And a second time with the promise to renovate it in it’s original style by only using a 100 year old photo. I think it worked out really well!
Stop 3: Saxon Switzerland National Park
I am going to be completely honest with you here. One afternoon in this beautiful National park is NOT ENOUGH!!! I could have walked here for hours and hours. So if you can squeeze in an extra day on this trip go for it! There are plenty of different hikes and they will all leave you speechless at the end. And I am not just talking about being completely out of breath because of the hike up (yeah, that happened), but especially because of the amazing 360° views you will be rewarded with!
We opted for the Himmelsleiter trail (not intentionally but oh well :D). The fastest way to reach this viewpoint is to park your car close to Pension Felsenmühle and hike up the road leading into the National Park. Make sure to map your hike out from before on an offline map cause there is no cell service here! But for your convenience I will try to explain it as well as possible!
Once you’ve entered the National Park walk until the first cross roads and turn right. From here you’ll hike up a little until you reach another cross roads. When you look to the right you’ll see stairs leading up in between the gorges. Go up until you reach the top and from there follow the sign that says Himmelsleiter. The last part of the hike is a little tricky. You’ll have to walk up some more stairs but these are in between the rocks and pretty small (not for the faint of heart). But I do promise you that the view on top is ABSOLUTELY worth it!
I would not advise this hike when it has frozen outside. All these steps could become really slippery and it would end up being very dangerous!
Day 2: Pravčická Archway, Knotenweg and The Bastion Bridge
Stop 1: Pravčická Archway
The Pravčická Archway is the largest natural formed archway in Europe. The arch is the main symbol of the Bohemian National Park and one of the most important landmarks in the Czech Republic. We didn’t have time to visit this place during our weekend cause well, we also had to drive 8,5 hours back to Belgium. But as soon as I looked this place up I immediately regretted not visiting it. Cause did you know that they filmed several scenes here from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”? Yeah, I can pretty much slap myself across the face for skipping it. Cause that book literally was my childhood (together with Harry Potter).
But how to get there? From Hrensko you follow the red hiking trail which is around 4km in total. You can skip the first 1,5km of hiking by taking the bus from Tři Prameny.
It is NOT allowed to stand on top of the arch. I repeat: it is NOT ALLOWED! There is a small entrance fee for visitors so make sure to bring some cash with you. The local currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna but I was always able to pay in Euro.
Stop 2: Knotenweg
You’ll find this beautiful winding road a little over the border in Germany. If you’re a photographer you have to add this place to your weekend trip. And definitely add it if you also have a drone!
You can find the exact details about this road and where to take the best photos here.
Stop 3: The Bastion Bridge
This stunning bridge is only 30 minutes driving from Hrensko and the perfect place to end your weekend! Bastei is the most popular and known rock formation in Saxony Switzerland and the Bastei and it’s famous bridge are the highlight for a lot of visitors. The jagged rocks from the Bastei are the result of water erosion over a million years ago. They offer an amazing view over the nearby mountains and the Elbe that is running down below.
The best viewpoint of The Bastion Bridge is from Ferdinandstein but make sure to also walk on the bridge itself. This wasn’t possible until 1824 when they decided to build a wooden bridge in between the rock formations. Later on this wooden bridge was replaced by a sandstone one which until this day is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.
There is a main parking lot close by and parking fee starts at €3. If you’re looking for a more fancy lunch or hotel to stay you have to check out Berghotel Bastei.
That’s it for my guide on a weekend in Hrensko! It’s an amazing area that definitely deserves a visit! Don’t mind me while I am already picking out dates to head back during Spring or Summer!