Jeseníky – Beauty on the Border

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A view to the Jeseníky mountains from the Priessnitz spa and wellness area.

A Year Round Northern Playground

Straddling not only the regional border between the Olomouc and Moravian Silesia regions, but also the international border between the Czech Republic and Poland, the Jeseníky mountains and associated natural areas contain a rich array of geological features alongside equally varied plant and animal species. Much of the area is protected as nature reserves and is dotted with a variety of walking, cycling and hiking trails that are both relaxing and educational. The attraction of the area doesn’t stop when winter comes either, it’s very popular with both downhill and cross country skiing enthusiasts.

Even if you’re not a die hard outdoors type, there’s plenty from a tourism point of view in the Jeseníky to keep you occupied and make it worth the trip for you. There is a selection of spas and wellness centres, chateaus and cultural monuments, caves and much more to take in.

The contents of this entry are but a small taster of the region from a long weekend we spent in the area in July of 2015.

Looking towards the Jeseník townsite from the hills surrounding it.
Looking towards the Jeseník townsite from the hills surrounding it.

Jeseník: At the Heart of the Region

The main centre in the region is the small city of Jeseník. While small, it does have a few points of interest within it and has a selection of hotels and other lodgings that you can use as a base for your time in the area. Jeseník itself is not that picturesque, but it must be kept in mind that people come to the area for the outdoor attractions above all and nature is close at hand in Jeseník.

Within easy reach of the townsite are two caves, and observation tower and a major spa and wellness retreat to take in.

Overlooking the townsite is the famous Priessnitz health spa where Vincenz Priessnitz developed and perfected his revolutionary cold water hydrotherapy methods in the 1800s. The spa area includes the Priessnitz Spa Hotel plus two others as well as a large outdoor spa park that includes walking trails where you can visit a number of natural springs and sample the fresh, cold, natural mineral water coming from them.

Collecting a bottle of cold, spring water in the spa park. Perfect refreshment on a hot day!
Collecting a bottle of cold, spring water in the spa park. Perfect refreshment on a hot day!

While the spa hotels and wellness centres require a fee and booking for their services, of course, the spa park and walking trails are free to enter and explore. A stop at the park information centre will provide you with a map of the trails and the trails themselves are quite well marked.

As well as springs which provide drinking water, there are also springs which feed small wading pools where you can dip your lower legs or lower arms into and sample, to a small degree, the refreshment of cold water therapy for free.

On the weekend we visited the area, temperatures were reaching the upper 30C range and I can assure you a short dip in the near ice cold water was most welcome.

Jánský Vrch chateau in Javorník, a short trip north of Jeseník.
Jánský Vrch chateau in Javorník, a short trip north of Jeseník.

Not a Nature Nut? Not a Problem!

As mentioned at the start of this entry, one doesn’t need to be a devoted outdoors enthusiast to be able to take something away from a trip to the Jeseníky region. There is no shortage of historical sites and monuments spanning pre-historic settlement to modern times throughout the region.

In addition to the chateaus and other historical sites, one should most certainly make an effort to seek out restaurants which serve regional specialities and venture up at least one of the viewing towers that dot the area to take in the stunning vistas around.

Visiting and Learning More

These websites are for the Jeseníky region and the town of Jeseník respectively. Between them, you’ll get a good overview of the year round goings on in both as well as information on accomodation and travel tips:

http://www.navstivtejeseniky.cz/en

http://www.jesenik.org/turista/

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