We Czechs may not have a sea but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like boating. I personally went boating on Vltava but I am also going to give you some general tips for boating. There are several rivers in the Czech Republic that allow you to drive a boat in it and each of them offers an entirely different cultural experience.
Boats on a river (source)
Luckily, casual boating doesn’t require you to have much special equipment. Because boating has become over time one of the all-time favourite hobbies of Czech people, there are many companies that will provide you with most equipment for a moderate fee. For example, the company that I rented my equipment with provided us with everything – boats, safety vests, paddles and barrels where you could keep your belongings. And not only that! If you have more luggage you need transport for, they provide that too! So, besides that, what do you need?
First of all, definitely pack something to drink and just to be safe, something to eat. If you are in luck and the weather is pleasant, you don’t want to end up dehydrated. Even though all frequented rivers are surrounded by a great number of various pubs, restaurants and hotels, it is still recommended to have something to drink with you. You can put it in your waterproof barrel or you can tie it to your boat to keep it cool. Beware, though! Tie it very tightly so you don’t lose it! Next thing that I would highly recommend is a hat! Whether you decide to wear something more practical or whether you decide to join the many thematic boats with something extravagant on your head, that’s up to you. Last but not least, swimsuit and bathing shoes. Sometimes rivers can be tricky and especially if you board a canoe, it is possible that your boat will tip! The bottom of the river is very rocky and I would recommend you to wear bathing shoes to avoid injuries.
A Raft or a Canoe?
That is the question for sure! Depends. Each of them offers different advantages and disadvantages. It is probably best if you and your friends assess what you look for on this trip. Do you want to have fun, chat during the ride or you are perhaps a beginner? In this case, I would recommend you to get a raft. A raft is very stable and it is meant for a bigger group of people. If you’ve never attempted to sail a boat, this is a safe choice for you. However, rafts are also pretty slow and manipulating them can prove a bit harder.
On the other hand, a canoe is generally recommended to more skilled sailors. If you want to have fun on your trip and you don’t mind if your boat is going to tip every once in a while, a canoe is a great choice for you. A canoe is faster and easier to navigate than a raft but it’s also less stable and usually meant only for two people maximum. In conclusion, each of them has both advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you what kind of experience you want.
Where to Stay?
Again, since the Czech people grew fond of boating, there are wide options for you to take. Do you like your comfort and you would prefer to stay in hotels on your trip? The options for you may be slightly slimmer than if you would just stay in camps but still, many tourists cities are happy to accommodate you. For example Český Krumlov by Vltava but we’ve already talked about that in one of our previous blog posts so I highly encourage you to read that one!
However, if you are a seasoned traveller and a few nights of moderate discomfort in a tent are okay with you, I have many more recommendations for you. For starters, I recommend that you plan your trip beforehand carefully and make reservations in camps, where you intend to stay in. That way you can be sure that you have a spot in a camp, especially during the tourist season. Also, pick your camps carefully. Most have everything for your basic needs like a shower, a small restaurant, toilets and charging spots. But just to be safe, take a look at the reviews before you book your place.
To name a few around Vltava river that I can recommend from my personal experience:
- Pod Hrází (in Vyšší Brod)
- U Fíka (in Nahořany)
- Vltavan (in Český Krumlov)
- U Kučerů (in Zlatá koruna)
Even if boating isn’t really your thing and you like to travel by foot, we have more recommendations for you, visit our blog to read more! Also, if you are tired of keeping up with it and you would like the tips to be delivered directly to your inbox along with the newest developments of the coronavirus situation in Czechia, sign up for your newsletter!