Moravian Karst – Beauty Above and Below the Ground

Some of the lush woodland to be found in the Moravian Karst
Some of the lush woodland to be found in the Moravian Karst

A Protected Paradise

Located in South Moravia, near the town of Blansko, the Moravian Karst has been a protected nature reserve area since the 1950s.

Covering an area of a little under 100 square kilometers, the karst contains an extensive system of gorges and caves and is covered in numerous cycling and hiking trails with which to access them. Four of the caves are open to the public and are very popular places to visit for both Czechs and tourists alike.

If you wish to visit in the high season, a reservation is usually required if you wish to tour one of the caves. This is particularly true of the Punkva Cave, the best known and most popular of the open caves.

Macocha Abyss

Bottom of Macocha Abyss in the Punkva Cave
Bottom of Macocha Abyss in the Punkva Cave

Created when the roof of a cave section collapsed, the Macocha Abyss is considered to be one of the most important geological features in the Czech Republic. The Punkva Caves take their name from the river that runs through them and it is through the abyss that the river begins going underground.

The bottom of Macocha can be viewed only as part of the Punkva cave tour; however, the top can be visited via a cable lift to the upper part of the karst.

Into the Caves

The Punkva cave is by far the busiest of the caves in the karst and even with a reservation you may find yourself waiting a bit to get in. Even in summer it is advisable to bring a jacket and wear longer trousers as the caves are quite damp and chilly.

One of the many stone formations in the Punkva Caves
One of the many stone formations in the Punkva Caves

You will be led past a series of fantastic stone formations, subterranean chambers and ponds as well as viewing the bottom of the Macocha Abyss. The final part of the Punkva tour is done by boat on the river that runs through the cave. As there are some low ceilings and overhangs along the way, it is advisable to watch your head through this part of the tour.

Winter in the karst has its own special beauty.
Winter in the karst has its own special beauty.

Getting there and Learning More

Blansko is not difficult to access by train from Brno, once there a regularly scheduled bus runs from Blansko to the karst. If you go by car, there is parking at the karst, but driving is not permitted within the protected area.

Follow this link to the karst website to find out more:

http://www.moravskykras.net/en/moravian-karst.html

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