The cycle path Becva offers almost 160 km of cycling along the Becva river passing castles like Helstyn, palaces like Hranice or Tovacov. There’re also natural wonders like caves or SPA town with a very pleasant atmosphere. Although we were not able to go through it all, we’re proud of ourselves to finish at least a part of it.
IS AUTUMN A GOOD TIME?
The only disadvantage of going on any trips/journeys etc. in Autumn is that sun sets quite early compared to what we were used to during summer. At half-past six, it was getting dark. That’s why it’s quite important to plan and organize your trip in advance in a way you won’t have to get back in complete darkness. Unless you have any lighting, it may be problematic. On the other hand, the biggest advantage is definitely a riot of colour you can admire, rich orange, red and golden leaves intertwine with evergreen leaves of cone-bearing trees.
I had been thinking over the place to visit for quite a long time before I came up with Becva cycle path. The main reasons for choosing this spot were a distance from Brno and so-called points of interest in it. It goes through several attention-grabbing cities and places, it also ends in Beskid mountains in Horni Becva, which is good information for all mountains’ lovers.
Tyn nad Becvou
Our journey began in Tyn nad Becvou, which is remote only 100 kilometers from Brno. We arrived there Friday afternoon so that on Saturday we could start fresh and well-rested. It was about 40 kilometers ahead of us. The part we rode on Saturday was flat as a pancake. We rode through Lipnik nad Becvou, where we’ve seen a small colorful Roof Garden, amazing wrought sculptures in the park and Masaryk Square, which is shaped as a letter L.
Teplice nad Becvou
Next stop on our route was the city of Teplice nad Becvou, which is known for SPA, especially cardiac rehabilitation against stroke and heart attacks. The one who goes there can count on a bath in mineral water, massages, wraps, or electrotherapy.
We, however, were just amazed by the magnitude of the whole area situated in the valley of the Becva river and surrounded by forest, it seemed like a perfect place to relax.
Zbrasov aragonite caves
As we were in Teplice, we couldn’t resist getting to the warmest caves in the Czech Republic: Zbrasov aragonite caves. There’re 126 stairs leading down to go on 375 meters in length. There’s around 14 Celsius degree all year round inside the cave, caused by the existence of mineral water in that region but also by Carbon dioxide deposits in the lower parts of the cave. The lower, the concentration of gas is stronger. There’re places where it goes up to 100%, while the norm for people is 1%. Zbrasov aragonite caves are also known for their formations like stalagmites rising from the floor and stalactites hanging from the roof. There are also 27 geyser-like formations, which originate from water dropping from the ceiling.
In 2013 caves celebrate 100th anniversary of its discovery. In the biggest Mramorova corridor, there is an exhibition called “Back to cave” by Michal Trpak presenting businessmen and businesswomen willing to return to older times, when people’s survival was dependent on nature.
Our trip finished in Hranice city, where we spent few minutes gazing on the fountain and Church of Saint John the Baptist, both situated on the Main Square, then we moved to Hranice castle, which is also a seat of municipal office.
In the evening, attractions continued… we booked the night sightseeing at the Helfstyn castle, which besides “regular” tour guide, included also knight’s performance or fire show.
Even though it was freezing cold after sunset, I really enjoyed the time spent on the castle. The history of the castle, although mixed up, was full of adventures.
The tour guide seemed really excited that he could share some interesting facts with us. First of all, Helfstyn castle is among the biggest and the most durable castles in the Czech Republic, even Swedish couldn’t get through it in 1643 and 1645. Castle was probably built at the end of XII century by Fridrich from Linava, back then it was at least twice smaller than we see it today. Through ages it was passed from one family to another. In XV century Pernštejn family rebuilt the castle to its current look. In XVII century, after Swedish invasion, it was decided that castle will be torn down, but fortunately, it was saved. After World War II the castle was classified as an important landmark and since 1960 it is the Prerov city Museum.
Night sightseeing is organized in September and October, but keep an eye on the Helfstyn calendar published on an official webpage to search for free entrance or thematic tours, that will take you to the Middle Ages, when the King with its knights and craftsmen lived on the castle.
On Sunday we drove to Valaske Mezirici, where we continued to Vsetin on bikes. There’s also a 50-kilometer-long path directing to Velké Karlovice, but because it’s all way uphill I strongly recommend going the other way round, there’s about 200 meters difference in heights.
Until the end of September cycle buses or cycle trains can take you to Velke Karlovice and then you can enjoy your ride all way down through Karolinka, Halenkov, Hovezi, in all mentioned you can stop to go into the heritage park.
Next on the way is Vsetin, which by the city’s brochure is advertised as a “paradise for winter and summer sport activities”. It’s a starting point for various hiking and biking trails. On the other hand, in winter you can enjoy skiing in Horni Jasenka, located at the edge of the city. While in Vsetin, we dedicated some time to see the view from the Wallachia Region Museum’s lookout tower. We could see Beskids mountains, Museum’s yard, or the nearby church.
Before we rode back to Valaske Mezirici, we’d enjoyed the most caloric meal we’ve ever had. We stayed in a restaurant “U tri slunecnic”(at three sunflowers) ordered hot chocolate and pancakes with ice creams and maple syrup. We gathered strengths for the comeback and rode the same path number 501 to Valaske Mezirici.
On our way to Brno, we stopped for a late dinner in Motorest Vapenka‘s Restaurant, which is located nearby Teplice nad Becvou. This unusual building was reconstructed from ex-lime stone works, hence the circular shape. Lime’s burning was practiced until 1976. Nowadays, you can eat cheap delicious food or stay overnight in one of 9 rooms.