Boating the Vltava: Why hitting the rapids of Český Krumlov is a must-do this summer

As the owners of the oldest rafting company in town will tell you, it doesn’t get much better than experiencing magical Český Krumlov from the water.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco
Published on 22.07.2021 17:00 (updated on 23.07.2021)

Historic Český Krumlov has plenty of magic to offer as you walk its cobblestone streets to discover a medieval town filled with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. During the summer, however, you also have the option to experience Krumlov a little differently as you paddle along the historical center and see the town from a new perspective.

The rafting tradition in Český Krumlov is a few hundred years old. As far back as the 16th century, the Vltava river was used for commercial rafting, transporting logs, salt and eventually other goods down the river and to nearby villages and towns. With roads in very primitive condition and horses taking a long time pulling heavy loads, the river was the fastest way to move wood and goods throughout the area.

Today, Český Krumlov is one of the most popular areas in the country for “urban rafting.” Maleček Rafting knows the tradition well, as they’ve been there from the start. They are the oldest boat rental company in Český Krumlov and have been bringing the experience, tradition, and professionalism of a family business to the sport of rafting for over 30 years.

They offer full-service trips (including transportation to and from the start and finish points) from May to September, can accommodate up to 400 people a day in a mix of canoes and inflatable rafts, and will equip you with everything you need for an unforgettable experience, including paddles, life jackets, and waterproof bags.

Maleček Malecek RAFTY BOATS Cesky Krumlov
Choose a short 30 min trip thru Český Krumlov or paddle on the Vltava for an entire day.

Rafting and canoe excursions include plenty of beautiful scenery along the way, including Most Dr. Beneše and other historical bridges, the Church of St. Vitus, the castle and courtyard galleries, and the historic Český Krumlov brewery. Refreshment stops right on the banks of the Vltava are incorporated along the way.

The fairytale town of Český Krumlov offers plenty of options when it comes to river trips.

Maleček Rafting’s day trips provide river travel in a fun and safe environment: family and beginner trips are available as well as more intense experiences for those who might not want to spend all day on the river but still want to generate a bit of adrenaline along the way.

Their shortest day trips last between 30 minutes and two hours and allow you to explore the historic center of Český Krumlov, while half-day trips (3-4 hours) take you to the charming village of Zlatá Koruna or the Pískárna campsite and include several weirs (low dams) along the way. Or paddle and splash on the Vltava for an entire day and end your evening at the Krumlov Brewery in the center of Český Krumlov.

If you’re craving some extra adventure, the company can also organize tailor-made, multi-day trips that allow you to stay at one of the many boating camps along the Vtava or a nearby pension so you can continue your adventure early the next morning.

If you are new to water sports or prefer a calmer (and drier!) experience, Maleček Rafting also offers sightseeing rafting trips. Hop on a wooden raft reminiscent of what loggers used centuries ago to move timber down the river and sit back to experience the historical center of Český Krumlov. The 50-minute sightseeing tours run during the day and at dusk.  

This article was written in cooperation with Maleček Rafting. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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