The 7 most postcard-perfect Czech destinations in 2021

Which Czech places make for the prettiest pictures? Get travel inspiration from the 2021 Czech Postcard of the Year competition.

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw
Published on 25.02.2021 11:35 (updated on 25.02.2021)

Sending postcards is becoming a bit of lost art particularly at a time when travel is on hold. In Europe, Eurostat reports that fewer and fewer postcards are being sent (time period from January to December last year saw the smallest number of postcards printed in the Czech Republic in over a decade).

There's one annual event that aims to keep the postcard ("pohlednice" in Czech) tradition alive: the Most Beautiful Czech Postcard competition.

The competition is usually judged by attendees at the Regiontour International Travel Fair, which takes place each year in Brno, but current COVID-19 restrictions meant that this year's winning entry was selected by a special jury, rather than the public.

This year a composition of a forest chapel at dawn, by photographer Ladislav Renner, has won the 24th Annual Most Beautiful Czech postcard competition.

Mr. Renner, known for his dreamy renderings of the Czech vistas, took seven of the top ten spots, claiming first prize for his shot of St. Kaple sv. Huberta. The second prize was awarded to Martin Rak for Pravčický důl.

While the current restrictions do not allow for overnight stays, many of the winning destinations are within easy reach of Prague. We've listed seven of the most photogenic locations among this year's winning entries for those who want to pack their hiking boots and capture their own postcard-worthy photograph.

St. Hubert’s Chapel

Kaple svatého Huberta, Lednicko-valtický areál (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz
Kaple svatého Huberta, Lednicko-valtický areál (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz

Located in the middle of the Boří forest in the Lednice-Valtice demesne, this neo-gothic chapel is dedicated to the patron saint of hunting, St. Hubert. It was built in 1855, for Alois II. Prince of Liechtenstein, but it’s designed to appear much older than it actually is. During construction, the sandstone blocks used were marked with fictional medieval stonemason’s marks, to lend it an air of authentic antiquity.

The chapel is located in the Boří Forest between Valtice, Lednice and Břeclav. It can be found on the yellow-marked route from Břeclav to Hlohovec, or the red-marked route from Valtice to Lednice.

Pravčičký důl

The Pravčický důl is the valley below the famous Pravčičky Gate rock formation. Most visitors come to see the stone archway, but the valley beneath it is also awe inspiring. Film buffs may also recognise the landscape - it was used as location for the filming of The Chronicles of Narnia - the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The valley is located in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. It can be found on the red-marked route from either Hřensko or Mezni Louky.

The Lusatian Mountains

Lužické hory (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz
Lužické hory (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz

Saddling the border between southeastern Germany and the Czech Republic, the Lusatian mountains (Lužické hory) separate the Czech town of Nový Bor from the German town of Zittau. Although they range has quite modest peaks, there are abundant walking trails, cross-country ski and cycling trails, as well as ruins, caves and viewing towers.

The Lusatian mountains are best reached by car, although there is some public transport available from both Ceská Lipa and Liberec. For help in planning a trip, consult www.luzihory.cz.

The Windmill in Kuželov

This Dutch-type windmill lies on a ridge of the White Carpathian mountains, on the Czech Slovak border, near the village of Kuželov. The mill was built in 1842, and for over a century, it served the farmers of the surrounding area. The mill was decommissioned in 1946, and subsequently transferred to the Technical Museum in Brno. The machinery underwent a comprehensive restoration in 2019, and it now functions as part of a museum of milling and traditional agricultural practices.

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The village of Kuželov lies 75 km southeast of Brno. Although slow and infrequent, public transport is available.

The viewing tower on Jedlová mountain

Rozhledna na Jedlové (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz
Rozhledna na Jedlové (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz

The summit of Jedlová Mountain stands at 774 metres above sea level, and on clear days it offers views from the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory) in the west to the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše) in the east. In 1891, a 23-metre tall lookout tower was built on the summit, by a local hiking association. The mountain also boasts a major European watershed. A glass of water spilled on the northern slope will drain into the Baltic, whereas water poured on the southern slope will eventually find its way to the North Sea.

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Jedlová can be reached by train from Prague, via Dečín. Follow the green-marked route from the train station to the summit. There is a hotel on the summit which offers refreshment to weary travellers when travel is permitted. 

The view from Ortel towards Klíč

The view from Ortel towards Klíč (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz
The view from Ortel towards Klíč (photo: Ladislav Renner) via www.pohlednictvi.cz

Ortel is a lonely, haystack-shaped hill that protrudes out of the landscape near the town of Nový Bor. Formed by ancient volcanic activity, the hill is decried by those who subscribe to the pseudoscience of psychotronics, who claim that it emits negative vibrations. Whether or not the hill does actually possess “bad energy” is up for debate, but it is known that the hill was used as an execution site by the nearby town of Cvikov, during the Middle Ages.

You can climb Ortel by following the yellow-marked route from Cvikov.

St. Bartholomew’s Hill, Kolín

St. Bartholomew’s Hill, Kolín (photo: Ladislav Renner)
St. Bartholomew’s Hill, Kolín (photo: Ladislav Renner)

St. Bartholomew’s Hill (Bartolomějské návrší) is the name given to the area surrounding the Gothic church of St. Bartholomew and the cluster of eccelisastical buildings, including a Baroque ossuary (bone church), in the town of Kolín. The church, which dominates the hill, is the work of Peter Parler, the famous stonemason responsible for the Charles Bridge, and the medieval section of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Kolín is easily accessed by train from Prague.

Postcards and prints by Ladislav Renner can be ordered at www.pohlednictvi.cz; you can find Martin Rak's work at www.pohledy.cz/martin-rak a Czech platform that is associated with the international postcrossing.com project which allows people from around the world to send each other postcards (a kind of social network for snail mail!).