The fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is a perfect spot to take a short river trip in a raft, kayak, or canoe.
The unique layout of the meandering Vltava River means you can hop in the water to the south and hop out just north of the downtown area without having to take any kind of car or bus to the drop-off or pick-up points. The city route we took lasted around 45 minutes, but this could have easily been extended by visiting any one of the many excellent bars and restaurants that line both sides of the river along the way.
There were two “rapids” to be tamed on our journey. These are man-made passages specifically designed for anyone in a raft, kayak, or canoe. If you miss the entrance to either of these “shortcuts”, it could get a little hairy. But don’t worry, there are signs clearly marking the correct access point.
Just a short walk into the city from our apartment, we found Malecek Rafting & Canoe. They offered some of the best prices in town, and the gentleman behind the counter was really nice, so we decided to rent one of their inflatable canoes!
The 45 minute city tour certainly isn’t your only option. Some folks spend up to 4 whole days floating north along the Vltava river! They put in far to the south and lazily drift north, stopping to camp, eat, and drink along the way.
We opted for an inflatable canoe because we weren’t quite sure how stable we would be heading down the two “rapids” in the city. There ended up being nothing to fear, since the rapids are little more than a quick acceleration, followed by a soft bump at the end.
There were only a few other boats on the river when we rented our canoe, so it was a nice, quiet (and sunny!) ride.
Renting from Malecek Rafting & Canoe gave us a chance to see Cesky Krumlov in a whole new way. We loved the city on foot, but we loved it even more once we were able to see it from the water. We past St. Vitus church…
… and the town’s beautiful castle complex.
We also floated pass several restaurants that cater both to landlubbers and adventurous boaters.
The river is constantly flowing, which means you can paddle for a short while and then sit back and enjoy the view!
Sitting in the front, I hardly paddled at all! I was so focused on just taking in the scenery… and a few pictures!
The 45-minute city tour conveniently ends right next to the historic Eggenberg Brewery. The brewery itself is currently closed for renovation (though we sensed some doubt from the locals that it would ever re-open), but there is a pub still in operation right near the water.
The beer was cold and refreshing, and at just over one euro apiece, definitely a welcomed treat after soaking up the sun on our lazy ride down the river!