This is not a canyoneering venue, still, those visiting
Prague - capital of the Czech republic - may found useful to know that only
miles outside direction SW there is an area good for sport climbing as well
as for short day and 1/2 day hikes.
Cut deep into the Barrandien limestone basin, the Berounka canyon is heart of the wider Central European highland limestone karst area, known as Cesky kras (the Bohemian karst). Most of the climbing activities takes place on the left(eastern) river bank, which is lined with vertical limestone walls. The right bank hosts only two venues further downstream, rest is occupied by the railway track and still operatonal limestone quarry, detonations from the quarry could be heard throughout the weekdays - local climbers seem to get used to it and not paying much if any attention to it.
Climbing related info:
- following Berounka river dowstream from town Tetin till town Srbsko, a group of nice looking desolated rocks beneath Tetin (western river bank). The area is a Nature preserve, not sure wheather climbing there is permitted or not.
- western bank further downstream, where river bends to the right; Sanov kout and Andelska stena
- same bank, further downstream, one of major rocks, the
Alkazar Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 5.12d - 5.3
- same bank, accross the Lodenice creek, group of 6 rocks, core of the so called Srbsko climbing area
Pupek Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 5.7 - 5.13a, followed by Cervene steny (the Red rock),
Stena kotlu Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 3 - 8+ and
Blazina stena Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 5.7 - 5.11d,
followed by 2 smaller rocks, namely
Vlastina stena Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 4 - 9-and
Stitek Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 5 - 9
This is where the west bank story ends. Easy to follow footpath goes beneath all the rocks. Walk further down and youll reach the Srbsko camping, stroll down the road takes you into small Srbsko village, fork right accross the bridge, railway station is on your right (frequent connections to and from the Prague), continue SE where Berounka river bends sharp left and youll reach another couple of rocks,
Tomaskov lum Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 7- 9+/10- and
Anicina stena Sport climbing/Limestone rock/difficulty range 7-9.
Hiking related info: Network of marked waypaths zigzag the area left and right of the Berounka canyon. Paths are well marked till and from every trail junctions, metal signs always indicating time required, though sometimes misfortunately nailed right onto the tree. More interesting paths are those connecting Srbsko over the Koda forrest with village Tetin (one may catch suburban bus back to Beroun from here), and
Karlstejn-Bubovice waterfalls-Svatojanska skala-Beroun path, better when done opposite direction starting from town Beroun uphill toward Svatojanska skala (St. Johns rock), 300 meters long and 150 m high limestone ridge topping the surrounding woods. St. Johns rock is one of the best viewpoints in the area, hike with some easy scramble takes you to thee top (marked with large cross). Beneath the top youll notice large cave (archeological site, Halsstatt), leave the rock and fork left for Solwayovy lomy querry, following the loop-round route, and back for to the Sv. Jan pod Skalou (St. John under the rock) village - you have just accomplished the oldest marked hiking path in Bohemia - then turn left and follow the forrest path for Bubovice waterfalls (small, but nice) and further down and east toward Karlstejn. Path ends behind the 14th century Karlstejn castle, flagship example of the Central European gothic arhitecture. Stroll down the Karlstejn village takes you to the railway station - frequent connections back to Srbsko-Beroun-Prague.
Nearest airport is Prague international.
Best starting points
are villages Karlstejn and Srbsko, around one hour from Prague by car or by
train. Czech rail system is clear, efficient and reasonably priced. http://jizdnirady.atlas.cz/JRCis.asp?tt=c&cl=E5
from the East: Brno-Prague motorway, motorway all the way to Bratislava - if coming from Slovakia
from the West: Nuremberg-Plzen-Prague. At Beroun, take off right (Beroun-vychod) for Srbsko-Karlstejn
From the North: Dresden-Usti nad Labem-Litomerice-Prague
From the South: Linz-Ceske Budejovice-Pribram-Prague or Vienna-Znojmo-Jihlava and further west by Brno-Prague motorway
Berounka canyon, as whole of the Bohemian karst, is protected
In addition, both Karstejn area on the east bank, and Koda forrest on the west bank are protected nature reserves.
Usual rules for behavior in protected nature areas do apply.
There are two camping sites, one at Srbsko, already mentioned in the first chapter, and one near Karlstejn, next to the Karlstejn-Srbsko road.
Climate is typical CE, more or less.
As for the climbing season, it may stretch further then one would expect (some of the photos enclosed to this upload were taken late autumn, one or two even week or so before Christmas) winters are not what they used to be.
Snow is falling late in recent years.