Annual long-distance hike from Prague to Prčice kicks off today

The annual pilgrimage has taken place since 1966, and now covers a total of 70 kilometers between the Czech capital and Central Bohemian town.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 20.05.2023 11:21:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

One of the biggest events in the Czech Republic's domestic tourism season is now underway, as hikers set off from Prague to Prčice this morning. The Prague-Prčice March, now in its 56th year, has taken place annually since the 1960s with tens of thousands of people participating each year.

The march from Prague to Prčice now covers around 70 kilometers and was founded in 1966 by Jiří Dvořák, then-editor-in-chief of Turista magazine, which has promoted tourist activities within the Czech Republic since 1889.

Organizers originally sought a destination from Prague that covered an interesting route and could be undertaken within the daylight hours of a single day to promote the summer tourism season in Bohemia. They ultimately chose the town of Prčice, which is now part of Sedlec-Prčice.

A total of 469 people took part in the inaugural Prague-Prčice March in 1966, but that number quickly grew over the next two decades, reaching a high of 35,732 people in 1981.

Interest in the event waned during the 1990s but shot back up to a decades-long high of 26,069 people in 2019 before the event was cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Last year, a total of 17,508 people participated in the Prague-Prčice March.

Those interested in the event don't have to walk the full 70 kilometers between Prague and Prčice, with the route broken down into smaller segments that can be tackled individually; the shortest of these is 23 kilometers.

To help hikers to and from their destinations, Czech Railways has increased service between Prague and stops on the Prague-Prčice March route this weekend. Details about the expanded train service for the march can be found from Czech Railways and Prague Integrated Transport.

Despite a recent cold front, hikers from Prague will be met with warmer temperatures today expected to reach the mid-20s Celsius.

While anyone can join in for the march or selected portions, recent years have required online registration to officially take part in the journey. Those who register will receive an official map of the hiking route(s), a souvenir plastic shoe, and can receive stamps at stops along the journey.

If you're interested in registering for next year's march, you can do so through the official Prague-Prčice March website when registrations open for 2024. The event takes place annually on the third Saturday in May.

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