The Giant Mountains
Giant Mountains are the highest and most famous mountains in the Czech Republic. They are situated in the north-east of the Czech Republic on the borderline between Czech Republic and Poland. Two thirds of this mountain range lie on the Czech side – 454 km².
Giant Mountains neighbour with Izera Mountains on the west and melt into the Broumov Highlands in the east. The highest mountain of the Czech Republic – Sněžka (1602 meters above sea level), connected by cableway with Pec pod Sněžkou, is located in the Giant Mountains.
Natural treasures of the Giant Mountains
Giant Mountains can pride on their beauty as well as natural resources. On this rather small territory you can find 21 species of plants and animals that do not live anywhere else in the world. You can admire the subalpine hardwood forests in the valley, pine groves on the mountain slopes or arctoalpine tundra on the mountain ranges.
The countryside is interwoven by many water streams and rivers with several beautiful waterfalls. The biggest Czech river, Elbe, springs here. Deservedly this territory was proclaimed the first Czech national park, KRNAP, and recently also Unesco biospherical reserve.
History and trips for knowledge
The long history of the subalpine and mountain countryside engraved many memories in the form of forgotten ruins of castles, Baroque churches, village chapels and stone observation towers. The net of military fortification from the Second World War cannot be overlooked on the mountain ridges.
Almost everybody will be impressed by the characteristic timbered cottages scattered along mountain meadows.
Much of the history, nature and human skills can be found in many local museums – Museum of Homeland Vysoké nad Jizerou, Jilemnice Ethnographic Museum, Museum of Glass and Museum of Mining in Harrachov, Giant Mountains Museum Three Houses in Vrchlabí, environmental exposition in Pec pod Sněžkou etc.
Sport, tourism and entertainment in the Giant Mountains
In winter, the Giant Mountains are the largest and most popular winter sports centre in the Czech Republic. Here, in the cradle of Czech skiing, there is a large number of modern and superbly-equipped ski resorts such as Harrachov, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Spindler’s Mill, Jánské Lázně, Pec pod Sněžkou, etc. A large range of downhill tracks adjusted in high quality, from the longest and most difficult tracks to ski slopes for beginners, will satisfy all skiers. Also lovers of cross-country sport will enjoy the 550 km of machine-adjusted and well marked paths. These tracks connect each other with the Giant Mountains Cross-country Ski Trail leading from the western part of the Giant Mountains, from Harrachov, through Spindler’s Mill, Pec pod Sněžkou and Malá Úpa up to Žacléř in the east.
In summer, visitors can enjoy the beautiful natural mountain sceneries thanks to the many well-marked trails not only for hiking but also for cycling. You will find here a lot of very interesting places that are worth the effort on the walking or cycling trip, such as the spring of the Elbe River, and Mound of Hanč and Vrbata, Sněžka Mountain, Černá hora and Úpa peat bogs, White Elbe Valley, Giant Mine, etc. In summer the ski resorts are equipped with a number of sports and adrenaline sports activities, such as cable centres, bobsleigh tracks, etc.
Thanks to the beautiful countryside, large tourist infrastructure and a lot of different categories of accommodation facilities the Giant Mountains are one of the most sought-out recreation sites in the Czech Republic.