Rondrit Reuzengebergte Tsjechie en Polen
Published: 16/02/2020
The Giant Mountains
Welcome to the grounds of Krkonoš, ruler of and mountain spirit in the Giant Mountains. If you keep him a friend, he will ensure a beautiful sunny day for touring! If you make him angry, he will bring rain, hail and snow ... Even though the forecasts were positive.

Get to know the greatest and most influential myth in this region. According to legends (dating back to the 15th century), the mountain spirit lives below the Sněžka (1600m), the highest mountain in the Giant Mountains. Krkonoš protects the nature reserve and the people who visit and live in the area ... as long as you treat nature and its inhabitants well. According to stories, Krkonoš takes all possible forms, so you will never know if and where you meet the ghost.

The most famous form is that of an older man, with a long beard and walking stick. Already in the morning, on your departure from Špindlerův Mlýn, you have the chance to meet him. He regularly walks through the center of this fashionable ski resort. Krkonoš likes to tease people: if you ask him for directions, he will happily send you in the wrong direction. Be warned and make sure you have correctly loaded your MyRoute-App route in your navigation system in the morning!

The Czechs are so proud of their famous resident that they named the mountain area after the mountain spirit. We know the area as the Giant Mountains, in the Czech Republic the National Park is called Krkonoše.

Today we drive a lap through this immense area, which covers 631 km2. We visit both the Czech and Polish side of the Giant Mountains. The Silesian northern part, in Poland, descends steeply to the Jelenia Góra valley, while the southern Czech part slopes gradually towards the Bohemian basin. The western part of the Giant Mountains is marked by the mountain pass Przełęcz Szklarska. At the end of our tour, we also drive over this (RP29).

After departure from Špindlerův Mlýn we follow the river Elbe (which rises high from the Giant Mountains) to the town of Vrchlabí. This town is one of the oldest settlements in this National Park. In the center you drive past a number of colored houses. These traditional houses are among the oldest surviving houses in the city and today house a museum. Because there is more to see on the way, we do not stop here and drive on.

Since the Giant Mountains are a protected nature reserve, we can mainly only drive past it. On the Czech side we therefore follow the road along the mountains and we come along the Krkonoše Tree Top Walk (RP4). Here it pays to stop and do the walk above the treetops. In addition to a spectacular view, you can also learn more about the nature reserve itself. The walk is easy to do in motorcycle clothing and there are opportunities to take a break and have a drink after your walk.

After this stop you continue the route slowly towards Poland. Finally, you can stop at Malá Úpa (RP5), just before crossing the border into Poland. On the Polish side, the trees break open at the first hairpin bend, finally giving you a beautiful view of the mountains around you (RP6). Unfortunately there are no parking spaces here, so find a safe place on the asphalt if you want to take a photo.

Before we drive deep into the mountain roads of the Giant Mountains in Poland, we first go a bit towards the North. Just like nature, some towns in Poland are also beautiful. Kowary (RP8) for example has such a beautiful city center, but also its own “Madurodam”. The town has a modest Miniature Park where you can view various Polish architectural styles. Because today is mainly a route to enjoy driving in nature, I have not created a stop in the route. The waypoint is available, so if you still want to visit the miniature park, the route will pass right by it.

After about 80 km on the route we turn again towards the high mountains of the Giant Mountains. Before we turn up the narrow mountain roads, we visit Karpacz (RP14). In this old city you will find two special places. The first is a 12th century Stave Church (RP18), which moved here from Norway in the 19th century. The second is an optical illusion on one of the roads: objects appear to roll up the slope. Unfortunately I could not find this place. I'd love to hear from you if you know the exact location!

After the visit to the stave church we drive up the small mountain roads. We meander through the trees, occasionally enjoying the views. After a wonderful trip we come across a natural attraction just before the town of Szklarska Poręba: the waterfall of Szklarki (RP27). You can park along the road in one of the parking spaces and then walk to the falls in about 10 minutes max (500 meters). It is a beautiful waterfall, which the locals have also discovered: you have to pass all the tourist stalls to reach the entrance to the hiking trail. If you find this annoying and prefer to visit another beautiful nature point, you can keep following the Kamienna river and after Szklarska Poręba stop at Krucze Skały (RP28). This special rock formation is located directly along the road and is a beautiful one to take in the picture. If you feel like stretching your legs, it is also worth following the hiking trail to the top of the rock.

All that touring (and perhaps walking) will surely have made you thirsty again. On the Czech side, it is worthwhile to take a break in the village of Harrachov. This village is one of the larger ski villages (just like Špindlerův Mlýn) and houses a special company (RP31): a glassworks and beer brewery in one! The restaurant is freely accessible: while you pause here, you can immediately see the glassblowers in action.

After a wonderful break the last part of the route really starts. Fortunately, it is not inferior to the rest of the day: via small hamlets and even smaller winding roads you drive through and over the mountains of the Giant Mountains back to Špindlerův Mlýn.

If you still see a bench on the way back through the ski village of Krkonoš, remember that you also knew him. The mountain spirit has inspired the character Gandalf in Tolkien's famous book series: Lord of the Rings.

The route gets 5 stars from me, because it shows the most beautiful places of the Giant Mountains in both the Czech Republic and Poland. Along the way you pass through beautiful nature reserves and you drive on wonderful winding roads. Keep in mind that some (especially the small mountain roads) are not always of good quality.

This is the seventh stage in a route collection of 11 trips in total, and is part of the Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic trip that I rode with my partner in 2018.
Vang Stave Church (RP18)
Krucze Skały Rock Formation
Useful links:
The legend of Krkonoš
The Giant Mountains (National Park Krkonoše)
Vang Stave Church in Karpacz (Poland)
Glass Factory and Mini-Brewery

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Waypoint, used to construct the route
Sight, here you can see something
Viewpoint, a short stop for taking a picture
Stopping point, for hotel, lunch, etc
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Leonor Orban - RouteXpert
Lower Silesia
The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Lower Silesia", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Lower Silesia (Polish: Dolny Śląsk; Czech: Dolní Slezsko; Upper Sorbian: Delnja Šleska; Lower Sorbian: Dolna Šlazyńska; German: Niederschlesien; Latin: Silesia Inferior; Silesian German: Niederschläsing; Silesian: Dolny Ślůnsk) is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to the southeast. In the Middle Ages Lower Silesia was part of Piast-ruled Poland. It was one of the leading regions of Poland, and its capital Wrocław was one of the main cities of the Polish Kingdom. Lower Silesia emerged as a distinctive region during the fragmentation of Poland, in 1172, when the Duchies of Opole and Racibórz, considered Upper Silesia since, were formed of the eastern part of the Duchy of Silesia, and the remaining, western part was since considered Lower Silesia. During the Ostsiedlung, German settlers were invited to settle in the sparsely populated region, which until then had a Polish majority. As a result, the region became largely Germanised in the following centuries. In the late Middle Ages the region fell under the overlordship of the Bohemian Crown, however large parts remained under the rule of local Polish dukes of the Piast dynasty, some up to the 16th and 17th century. Briefly under the suzerainty of the Kingdom of Hungary, it fell to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in 1526. In 1742, Austria ceded nearly all of Lower Silesia to the Kingdom of Prussia in the Treaty of Berlin, except for the southern part of the Duchy of Nysa. Within the Prussian kingdom, the region became part of the Province of Silesia. In 1871, Lower Silesia was integrated into the German Empire. After World War I, the region became a separate province within the Weimar Republic. After 1945, the main part of the former Prussian province fell to the Republic of Poland, while a smaller part west of the Oder-Neisse line remained within East Germany and historical parts of Austrian Lower Silesia (Jesenicko, Opavsko regions) remained as a part of Czechoslovakia. By 1949, almost the entire pre-war German population was expelled.The region is known for an abundance of historic architecture of various styles, including many castles and palaces, well preserved or reconstructed old towns, numerous spa towns, and historic burial sites of Polish monarchs and consorts (in Wrocław, Legnica and Trzebnica).
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Route collections
The route collections by MyRoute-app are collections of multiple routes that belong to each other and checked by MRA RouteXperts. All routes are identical for TomTom, Garmin and MyRoute-app Navigation.
View route collection Tour Poland Slovakia and the Czech Republic
About this route collection
This collection of routes is based on a 3-week vacation that I rode with my partner in June 2018.

The journey goes through Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and a piece of Germany. In total there are 11 driving days, a combination of touristic tours and routes from A to B. All routes avoid the highway and go exclusively on the smaller roads, which makes it a beautiful and varied journey.

Along the way you regularly come across sights, where you can stop to look around. These vary from beautiful viewpoints, to museums and special buildings. You also visit various national nature parks along the way, such as the Tatra Mountains, the Giant Mountains, Eagle Mountains, Krkonoše and Bohemian Switzerland. Because the overnight places are often also located in these areas, you can alternate the driving days with days with wonderful hiking trips.

If you only want to ride a motorcycle, then this collection can also be done in 2 weeks (including a return trip from the Netherlands).

The routes themselves can be challenging from time to time, particularly because the quality of the road surface in Eastern Europe - especially on the small country roads - is not always good. In June 2018 all routes were on paved roads.