836 meters above sea level, surrounded by fog and eerily atmosphere, towers a mountain that allegedly offers the third nicest view of the world. Surrounded by the most beautiful fall atmosphere one can find, Milešovka and its many brother and sister peaks are well worth a daylong trek to the Northeast of Czech Republic.
Despite the fact that this jewel is way out when you look it up on a map, it is perfectly possible to ascend the highest peak of the Central Bohemian mountain range within 3 hours. How, you ask?
We packed our bags, layered up and set out for a magical journey to the Central Bohemian Highlands (České Středohoří) to find out. Follow us on a journey on pebbly roads, thrilling heights and magical views that will make you want to pack your bag and set out yourself.
Milešovka: More than just a view
Milešovka not only overlooks countless mountains in the Czech Republic, it also is the witness of a time long ago. Scientists have proven that already in the Stone Age, the areas of Litoměřice Polabí and Poohří must have been inhabited and even served as trade routes! Walking through the land surrounded by various mountains and hills, one easily can imagine how our ancestors lived in the area which is covered in forest and farmland. Milešovka, or as it is called in English ‘Thunder Mountain’, inhabits not just a magnificent forest: On top of the peak resides the weather station that documents air quality, rainfall and heat of the surrounding area.
Besides contributing to natural research, the white, bulky building offers what the geographer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt called the ‘third nicest view in the world’. We set out on a journey to find out whether he was right.
The Climb – Us against the Highest Peak of the Central Bohemian Mountain Range
After enjoying views of Lovoš – Milešovka’s little brother – several castles, fortresses and the magnificent nature that surrounds them, we are being let off where civilization borders to wilderness: Velemín škola. If you are realizing just now that you forgot to pack a lunch or water, the Mini Market right next to the bus stop is your last option to fill up your backpack with necessities.
Then comes the walk into the wild. We opted out for the path away from the main street, which passes the school (to our left) and quite abruptly becomes a country way with a gorgeous view of the peak we are attempting to climb: Milešovka in its full fall glory.
Follow the path for about 200 meters and then take a right in order to stay on the blue trail (the intersection points to the left with a green trail sign). From then on, you simply follow the trampled country path and after approximately 500 meters, you turn left into a beautiful alley surrounded by pear trees. We are 15 minutes in at this point and the trail already starts to incline. As we pass by the pear tree plantation, some fluffy haired cow herd grazing to our left, we spy up to the top, before we disappear in the woods of Milešovka.
What awaits us is Fall Beauty at its best and a relatively steep incline, which is rather uncommon for the Czech landscape. As we follow the rampant path through a wonderful oak and birch forest, we surpass a small wooden cottage to our right.
Just a few more meters up beckons a resting spot in form of a red little house with a signpost towering before it. This is the optimal resting place to drink some water, take a breath and brace ourselves to climb the last 1.5 kilometers to the top. Though that might not seem like a long way to go, 1.5 kilometers at such an incline can feel like a lot more – so ration your energy, for your are about to change altitude by 300 meters in this relatively short distance!
We quickly get into a thick, magical forest kissed by falls colors and are sucked into a wonderland. Moss borders our path and the fall leaves paint the forest in red, yellow and green. After climbing over a fallen tree trunk, it is time for the last 500 meters of our hike. And the last bit – as per usual – turns out to be the heaviest.
Pebbly roads make it hard to find grip here and there, but roots sticking out from the earthen walls surrounding us help one keep the balance. Then, finally, a stone wall arises in front of us: The mural of the weather station of ‘Thunder Mountain’!
What awaits us are two – this time of the year unfortunately closed – refreshment stands, loads of wind and a magical view over the Central Bohemian mountains and their villages tucked away in between. An overwhelmingly beautiful lookout.
We identify the white, castle-like building behind us as the weather station, which not only has a lookout tower but also a small museum about the weather station and its doings throughout the many years of its existence. For CZK 30.00 each – the ticket is a postcard that we get to keep – we get to climb the last few steps to a platform and then are officially on the highest point of the Central Bohemian Uplands! And while we are up here, we get to see all the way to Ústí nad Labem as well as the many surrounding mountains in the distance.
How to get there
Prague – Lovosice
Hikes around Prague are usually easily accessible by bus or trains. For destinations outside of Prague however, it can get a little difficult, involving changes of trains and relying on buses you have never even heard of. The trip to Milešovka however is an easy one. Within only 1.5 hours you start your trek at the foot of the mountain.
Starting point: Hlavní Nádraží or Masarykovo Nádraží
Trains to Lovosice depart every 2 hours from Hlavní Nádraží and hourly from Masarykovo Nadrazi. However, the ride from Masarykovo Nádraží takes an extra 30 minutes, since it is a commuter train that stops in every other town. The price for the ticket? CZK 105.00
Lovosice – Velemín
After a surprisingly scenic train ride through the Czech countryside, you will find yourself at Lovosice train station. Right out of front of the latter arise newly constructed bus terminals. All those of you that are keen to get to the foot of the mountain to start your trek as fast as possible, will want to opt out for bus number 663 or 506 which will bring you to ‘Velemín škola’, the start off point of your ascent. Be sure to have CZK 21.00 ready for the ticket.
Starting Point: Lovosice, Train Station
Destination: Velemín, škola
The way back home
For your return, follow the trailhead back and simply hop on the same bus (663 or 506), which will bring you back to Lovosice train station. From there, catch one of the trains back to Prague. Always make sure to check when the last bus respectively train comes around before you start your hike.
When one Mountain isn’t enough
Want to challenge yourself and make your trek a daylong adventure? No problem! If you got a full day for hiking on your hands, simply cut out the bus journey and start your walk in Lovosice or near Lovoš. Find your hiking route from the – unfortunately rather unspectacular – town right here.
If you want to cut out the walking along the main street part, start off at Lovoš’ foot. To get there, hop on bus number 663 and get off at ‘Velemín, Bílinka‘. Then follow the linked maps to get to Lovoš and then Milešovka. Please be aware that this hike quickly can become a 5-8 hours walk (return).
Gear Up and Know your Limits!
Due to the rapid ascent, you will definitely need solid hiking boots or shoes with a very good profile. Especially when hiking in autumn, trails can get slippery. Besides, the last bit of the trail is made of loose rocks, so you should have a strong foothold.
This hike is demanding, so if you are not used to hiking steep trails, you might want to start with one of the hikes we introduced here. As always, be sure to pack enough water as well as a lunch, since the refreshment stands might not be open when you visit the Mother of the Central Bohemian Mountains.
Duration: Between 1.5 and 2, if you opt out for the longer hike 5-7 hours
Cost: Approximately CZK 289.00
Got your boots all ready and lunch packed? Then set out for this magical journey through the Central Bohemian Highlands! Climb the highest peak, take in some gorgeous views and get home within only 4 hours! Happy Climbing and stay safe!
Have you climbed Milešovka already? Tell us about your journey and how you got to the peak in the comments!