Czech Glass

Czech Republic Self-Drive

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

In the very heart of Europe, the Czech Republic might seem tiny but its historical and cultural treasures are vast. Beyond its uber famous capital of Prague, the country offers an eclectic blend of experiences: from the romantic and picturesque small towns, to impressive castles and family owned wineries, to rolling hills perfect for active exploration.

Enjoy the freedom of a self-drive program - with our White-Glove service that includes a pre-programed GPS!

In Prague, explore the labyrinths of cobblestone streets lined with architecture from all of Europe’s great eras and enjoy the delicacies of local cuisine. The city of thousand spires and dozens of bridges fills your days with amazing sites and your nights with endless flow of culture. With concerts at churches and jazz clubs in addition to the city’s three major theaters, the music never stops.

Leave the bustling capital behind on a trip to the delightful countryside and treat yourself to a stay in a castle. Explore Moravia and its wine cellars or Jewish heritage in the UNESCO listed Mikulov. Visit the battlefield of Austerlitz or one of the many charming castles that used to guard the safety and prosperity of the Czech Kingdom.

The program below is simply a suggestion. All of our self-drive programs are customized.

PDF: Exeter Czech Republic Self-Drive

For custom luxury travel, tours and self drive programs to the Central European countries of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic, please contact one of our travel experts.

Central Europe Downloadable PDF

White Glove Self-Drive Downloadable PDF

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

For two guests April – October from $4,900 double occupancy excluding air and car rental. Travel November-March not recommended.                                  

Day 1
Prague | Prague, Czech Republic

Arrival into Prague, where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city and in the heart of the historic district.

Perhaps more than any other city in Europe, Prague has kept its pre-modern charm. Spared the destruction of the Second World War, the ancient structures of the city still exist in their original state. Prague is a walking city as it was designed over many centuries for the pedestrian and the horse. The inner city lacks major avenues as found in Paris or Rome, giving the city its unique character.

Exeter Services
Arrival Transfer

Hotel
Aria

 

Day 2
Prague | Charles Bridge - Prague, Czech Republic

Today your guide, will meet you in your hotel lobby and will and take you through Prague’s famous Jewish Quarter and the Old Town. Visit the historic synagogues, including the stunning Spanish Synagogue and the ancient Old-New Synagogue, which was built in the late 13th century, making it the oldest synagogue still in use in Europe. While in the Jewish Quarter, you may decide to visit the Old Jewish Cemetery, founded in the late 15th century and still corresponding to its original medieval size. Over the centuries, more than 100,000 people are believed to have been buried here.

After your tour of the Jewish Quarter, your guide will take you through Prague’s storybook Old Town. You’ll want to see the beautiful expanse of the Charles Bridge but it’s a more magical experience to visit it very late or very early on your own, when it’s free of the souvenir stands and tourists. Your guide will give you a quick lesson of Prague’s history, evident in every building and small passage way of this 800-year-old city. Be sure not to miss the fairytale-like Old Town Hall Tower (1364) that stands above Old Town Square; you can even go to the top of the tower for a splendid view over the district.

Finally, you will enter New Town—which is new because it was only founded in 1348! Here you can visit Wenceslas Square, were over the many centuries demonstrations of civil discontent have taken place. At the top of the square you will see the imposing building of the National Museum and the Monument to St. Wenceslas, the patron of the Czech lands, by sculptor Josef Myslbek.

As you stroll, our guide will point out some of the interesting sculptures in Prague. There are several thought provoking and somewhat controversial sculptures around the city. You get little slices of Czech history and, in some cases, some interesting political commentary, too!

Exeter Services
Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel
Aria

Day 3
Prague | Strahov Monastery - Prague, Czech Republic

This morning your guide and driver at will meet you for an overview drive of some of Prague’s top sites. Drive by the famous Dancing House and through the historical area of Vysehrad, with its 10th-century fort. You will also observe modern local Czech life with a drive through the bustling residential area of Vinohrady, once covered by vineyards. You will then head towards the Castle District and Hradčany.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

Today you have a VIP visit to the Strahov Monastery. Here, you will be invited into the two main halls of the library: The Philosophical Hall and the Theological Hall. These two halls are always viewed by the public through the narrow doorways at the end of each room, but you will be allowed to enter the rooms to walk alone among the ancient books and artifacts.

Included today will also be a visit to the Prague Castle complex. Here Maria Theresa commissioned the famous architect of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Nicholas Pacassi, to design the interior of the complex. This castle, designed with courtyards inside of courtyards, is a fascinating view into the lives of the Czech monarchy. You might want to step into the towering and wonderfully Neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral inside the complex.

As a side note, the castle complex and the cathedral are often very crowded with lines because of the security measures in place. Once in the castle territory, if the line is daunting, skip the cathedral. You can then visit Lobkowicz Palace, also on the castle territory.

We love a visit to the Lobkowicz Palace to view the interesting exhibition The Princely Collection. This is a special treat, as the audio guide that you will use is recorded by Mr. William Lobkowicz himself. After the confiscation by the Nazis and later, the Communists, the palace has been returned to the Lobkowicz family, one of the most powerful Czech aristocratic families whose history goes all the way back to the 14th century. The Lobkowicz restored the palace into a wonderful private museum. The tour will give you an insight into their life and their collection of paintings, decorative art, porcelain sets, music scores (one with Mozart’s own handwritten notes), arms, and armors. Don’t miss the original score of Beethoven’s Eroica!

Your day will end in the Malá Strana or Little Quarter, which is best known for the Wallenstein Palace and Church of St. Nicholas. Also, it is here in the Malá Strana that you will find many charming restaurants and unique shops full of Bohemian glass and the marionettes that are so famous in Prague.

Exeter Services
Vehicle & Driver (3 Hours); Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel
Aria

Day 4
Kutna Hora |

This morning, you will meet your guide and driver at for a journey outside of Prague. Today your destination is the medieval town of Kutná Hora. This former silver-mining town has a beautiful collection of historic buildings in a UNESCO-protected Old Town. This was once the favored residence of several Bohemian Kings and you will find gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture.

Here you will find one of Europe’s most beautiful Gothic churches, the Cathedral of St. Barbara. It was designed by Peter Parler, the court architect and sculptor of Charles IV. You will also see the Wallachian Court, former home of the Royal Mint.

You will also visit the Sedlec Ossuary—a chapel decorated entirely in human bones located in Kutná Hora’s suburb of Sedlec. The chapel features over 40,000 human bones formed into a variety of decorative objects, including a chandelier and a coat of arms for a noble family.

Exeter Services
Vehicle, Driver & Guide (6 hours)

Hotel
Aria

Day 5
Prague - Cesky Krumlov | Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Today you will check out of your hotel and use a taxi, payable locally, to get to the rental car facility.  Today you will be driving deep into the Czech countryside to the town of Cesky Krumlov. A GPS will be provided and programmed with the route to Cesky Krumlov as well as other possible points of interest along the way.

Along the picturesque journey, you’ll see ancient castles and prominent monuments – we suggest a stop at Hluboká Castle en route.   This will be programmed into your GPS. This present-day Chateau was an early Gothic castle built around 1250.  In the 16th century, the Lord of Hradec, who bought the castle from King Ferdinand I, converted it into a Renaissance stately home.  The castle endured many changes throughout the century, but eventually became one of the most beautiful castles in Bohemia.  Today, in the former castle riding school, is a gallery that holds an impressive exhibition of Gothic paintings and statues as well as Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th and 18th centuries.

From the Hluboká Castle you will continue heading south before arriving at the charming town of České Budějovice.  Stop into an historic pub for a pint of the original Budweiser beer (for the passenger only!!)!

Once, in Cesky Krumlov at your hotel, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Note:  Cesky Krumlov has very specific parking rules.  You will park in a lot on the perimeter of the UNESCO-protected Old Town, then walk with your luggage to your hotel.

Exeter Services
No Services

Hotel
Ebersbach

Day 6
Cesky Krumlov | Cesky

Today, you will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby for a tour of Cesky Krumlov and of the castle that looms over the city in the center. The center of this South Bohemian town offers stately Gothic and Renaissance houses, a wonderful square where the life of the town thrives – narrow, winding cobbled-stoned streets, dignified monasteries and churches and of course, the 13th century Rožmberk Castle – rich in history as well as arts and crafts that have been preserved throughout the centuries.  Don’t miss the splendid view in the castle garden of a large Baroque theater with period furnishings.

We also highly recommend a visit to the unique space that is the Egon Schiele art center.  They have a collection of works by Schiele, of course, but each year they have a special exhibition based on a changing theme. 

This afternoon is at your leisure.  You can enjoy the picturesque town or perhaps venture out to explore in the countryside.

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)

Hotel
Ebersbach

Day 7
Cesky Krumlov - Mikulov |

Today, you will be driving west towards the small town of Mikulov. This drive will approximately take you approximately 3.5 hours if you drive straight through. The GPS that was provided is programmed with the route to Mikulov as well as other possible points of interest along the way.

If you want to deviate a bit, one interesting stop en-route is Telč. The UNESCO-listed Telč is a picturesque little town in Moravia. After a fire that destroyed the city in 1530, the governor of Moravia brought in Italian architects and master builders to rebuild the town and its castle. The main square is surrounded by colorful arcaded houses and leads to the magnificent renaissance chateau. The chateau is closed today, so you can only view it from the outside.  Most churches are open today if you want to stop in for a glimpse. For Jewish sites, there is a (relatively) new Jewish cemetery outside the city and a crumbling synagogue dating to 1904. 

Along this same route is Třebíč. This UNESCO-listed town is worth visiting for its well preserved Jewish Quarter and the old Jewish cemetery. The extraordinary complex features a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets with more than one hundred Renaissance and Baroque houses of the former Jewish Quarter. You should not miss the interiors of the Rear Synagogue decorated with inscriptions of lithurgical texts and the old cemetery that bears testimony to the remarkable funeral art of this region.

Upon arrival in Mikulov, you will have a parking spot reserved for you at your hotel.  Mikulov is a picturesque little town in the Southern Moravian region, on the border of Austria, which is known for its wine. The town itself is full of charming winding streets with pretty Renaissance and Baroque houses. West of the Mikulov Castle is the Jewish Quarter, once the seat of the Moravian Chief Rabbi. The thriving community used to have a well-known yeshiva, many synagogues and a large graveyard where many of the famous rabbis are buried.

When you arrive in Mikulov, you have the rest of the day to enjoy at your leisure.

Exeter Services
No Services

Hotel
Templ

Day 8
Mikulov | Mikulov, Czech Republic

Today, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby to take you for a tour of the town of Mikulov and the castle nearby, Mikulov castle.

The town traces it founding to the 13th century and has been a home for the Jewish people since 1421. As such, in the town, you will find the old Jewish quarters, many synagogues and a Jewish cemetery, where many rabbi’s have been buried over the centuries. Furthermore, you will be seeing the Mikulov castle, formally known as Nickolsburg castle. The castle that you see now was built in 1719 after the great fire that destroyed the original. This castle has been home to numerous treaties that has shaped the politics of this area and the surrounding countries.  

Afterward, a driver will meet you to take you and your guide for wine tasting in the countryside.

After your tour, you have the rest of the day to enjoy at your leisure.

Exeter Services
Vehicle & Driver (2-3 Hours); Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel
Templ

Day 9
Mikulov – Chateau Heralec |

Today, you will be driving 145 km north towards Chateau Heralec nearby the village of Heralec. This drive will approximately take you 2 hours.  The GPS that was provided is programmed with the route to Chateau Heralec as well as other possible points of interest along the way.

If you want to do some exploring, you might want to drive towards Vatice and Lednice, a beautiful UNESCO-listed complex that features two magnificent chateaus and several artificial ruins, temples, arches and colonnades. The two chateaus are linked by a 7-kilometer avenue of lime trees.  Valtice Castle also offers wine tasting of a selection of Moravian wines.  Castles are only open during the week with an appointment, so advise our local staff if you wish to visit.  The wine salon is open daily.

Honestly, it’s not so critical that you have an inside visit to either palace, but the park here is worth a stop and a visit.  However, if you’re going to choose one, we recommend the interiors of Lednice.

After seeing these two beautiful Chateaus, you will be staying in one as well that has been converted to a hotel. The Chateau traces its construction to the 13th century.

Exeter Services
No Services

Hotel
Chateau Heralec

Day 10
Chateau Heralec | Czech Glass

At leisure in Heralec. You could spend the day with active pursuits at your resort (Nordic walking or bike rental (with routes already laid out)).  If you’re interested, there are small towns nearby to explore.  All are stored on your GPS.  We used the chateau in each town as the basis for the GPS.

Pelhřimov is a 13th century town with buildings of different colors, from yellow to green. In the earlier days the town was wealthy because there were silver mines not too far. Today, the town’s main industry is tourism and the production of a beer called “Poutnìk” – popular because it’s free of chemicals. The town has a lovely chateau of the lords of Ricany built in the 15th century.

Another nearby village features a Czech medieval castle dating back to 1310—Lipnice nad Sázavou. This is the heart of the Czech glass industry—Světlá nad Sázavou. If you like you can visit a local manufacturer who will introduce you to the craftsmanship of glassmakers that produce world-famous crystal. You can then meander along the Sázava River through the picturesque landscape of the Czech-Moravian highlands.

It’s also possible to drive to nearby Třebíč if you missed it on your previous drive. This UNESCO-listed town is worth visiting for its well-preserved Jewish Quarter and the old Jewish cemetery. The extraordinary complex features a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets with more than one hundred Renaissance and Baroque houses of the former Jewish Quarter. You should not miss the interiors of the Rear Synagogue decorated with inscriptions of liturgical texts and the old cemetery that bears testimony to the remarkable funeral art of this region.

Exeter Services
No Services

Hotel
Chateau Heralec

Day 11
Chateau Heralec - Prague | Prague, Czech Republic

Today, you will be driving back towards Prague. This drive will approximately take you 2.5 Hours.  The GPS that was provided is programmed with the route back to Prague as well as other possible points of interest along the way.

If you haven’t had your fill of castles, it’s possible to explore Konopiste, one of the Czech Republic’s most famous castles.  Originally a Gothic castle later refashioned in Renaissance style, this manor was home to the unfortunate archduke Franz Ferdinand d’Este whose assassination in 1914 in Sarajevo brought about the beginning of the World War I. The manor keeps an extraordinary collection of art and one of the richest and most interesting armories in Europe.

After exploring the castle’s interior, you may enjoy the beautifully manicured gardens where quails, pheasants, and peacocks roam freely.

Another option is Karlštejn, an exceptional castle not only for its historical significance but also due to its robust structure and architecture. It was established in 1348 by the Czech and Roman King Charles IV who gave it a role of the treasury for the coronation insignia and the most valuable relics of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross features a unique collection of wall paintings by Master Theodoric dating back to the 14th century. Visitors can also view the replica of St. Wenceslas crown, the coronation crown of the Czech Kings, as well as many of the original furnishings that were used by King Charles IV himself.

You will have the rest of the day to enjoy Prague at your leisure. Your hotel is near the Prague Airport.  We recommend returning your rental car today, then walking to your hotel.  Your hotel is located in front of Terminal 1 and is connected to Terminal 2 via walkway.

Exeter Services
No Services

Hotel
Courtyard Marriott Airport

 

Day 12
Departure | Municipal House - Prague, Czech Republic

Today is your departure day. Walk on your own to the airport for departure.

Exeter Services

None

 

 

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