It’s a perfect day for drinking coffee – we all agreed as we were sipping our freshly brewed coffees while looking at rain clouds rolling quickly around us. We were about to get soaked but none of us cared – this day trip out of Prague was exactly what we needed, no matter the weather.
Coffee & Canyons – day trip from Prague
After spending 4 weeks in Prague, city-life became a little bit too much. We wanted to go on a walk, surrounded by nature instead of hordes of tourists and see a different part of the Czech Republic.
We joined Coffee & Canyons tour with Northern Hikes as it indeed sounded like our cup of tea (or shall I rather say coffee?). It promised a day filled with easy hikes in off the beaten path parts of Bohemian Switzerland, freshly brewed coffee along the way and spectacular views, which pretty much describes all the things we enjoy.
Rock Labyrinth – Tisa Walls
Few steps into this natural labyrinth of majestic sandstone rock formations and I was already in awe. Nature can really create some stunning scenery. Here, the landscape is ever changing as the sandstones are carved by continuous wind and water activity.
We were merely 90 minutes from Prague but felt like we were transported to another world. Also, the stories about malevolent dwarfs and sleeping giants told by our guide might have had something to do with that feeling.
The place was very quiet and still. We wandered around for a while and when we reached a scenic lookout it felt like the right moment for the first coffee of the day – Indonesia Aeropress brew. Still feeling a bit dreamy (maybe those dwarves got me after all?) we were looking over a valley below us, sipping our coffees and loving life. If there ever was a perfect tour for me, this is it – popped in in my head at that moment and it definitely was a recurring thought throughout the day.
Were we loving life 20 minutes later when we were getting soaked? You bet we did. I was cosplaying Big Bird in a yellow raincoat while the views mixed with scary-looking clouds kept being epic.
It didn’t look like the rain is going away anytime soon, so we took a break from hiking and went to Kristin Hrádek for lunch. The restaurant is located in a restored hunting lodge from the 18th century, surrounded by a peaceful forest and specialises in Czech cuisine. We all went for venison dishes and also couldn’t say no to kulajda – a thick, sour soup, served with a poached egg.
To get our afternoon coffees and cakes we had to work for it a bit. A short hike was in order, which after generous lunch wasn’t such an easy task. I have a special trick for such occasions – when I get tired I stop and take photos of my surroundings. The rest of the group thinks I’m just taking photos while in reality, I’m resting. Works every time.
As more and more rain clouds started to appear around us, we set up our coffee base in a small hut. Here, we were about to taste two more coffees from Bohemian Coffee House and learn about two other methods of brewing, when the biggest cloud of the day decided to provide some entertainment. This (pic below) was coming straight onto us and there was no escaping.
Fortunately, our guide was able to quickly whip up a waterproof screen in a true MacGyver style and we stayed untouched by the rain.
We weren’t really fazed by the rain as it was time for another two methods of brewing: V60 and Chemex. We enjoyed them with a homemade apple strudel and as the rain stopped, we once again had great views of the River Elbe canyon in the background (and just a few days later we were down there on board of a train to Berlin).
Tour Company vs DIY trip
We like to organise most trips ourselves but sometimes, like in this case, it’s smarter to be a part of an organised trip. We went with an experienced guide who was happy to not only share his knowledge about the area but also about all things coffee. He seemed to be prepared for every weather scenario and carried a lot of useful things in his backpack. As we’re currently on a slow travel world tour we don’t have too many things with us and it wouldn’t be so easy to survive a day of hiking without a pro’s help.
Northern Hikes offers tours in small groups, which is also very important to us – nothing worse than being stuck with 40 people on a bus all day (done that once in Turkey, learned our lesson). And speaking of buses – there aren’t any – a small group means comfy van travels (with WiFi on board to make things even better).
Coffee & Canyons
Includes: transport, snack pack, water, lunch, a local guide, few cups of coffee and a cake
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Northern Hikes. All opinions, as always, are honest and our own.