If you happen to find yourself in the eastern side of the Czech Republic, a great activity is hiking Lysa Hora in the Beskid mountains. You can get there and back from Ostrava in a day, but I’d recommend going overnight so you can see the sunset and sunrise from the summit.
Where are the Beskids and Lysa Hora?
The Beskids (or Beskydy in Czech) is the group of mountain ranges that extend into several countries around central and eastern Europe. The range in the Czech Republic is called the Moravian-Silesia Beskids, named after the region of the country they’re in. Lysa Hora is the highest summit in this range with an elevation of 4,341 feet – not exactly impressive but a good challenge for a day or overnight hike.
To get to Lysa Hora, drive or take the train from Ostrava to Ostravice. It’s about an hour either way, although the train only costs $3! If you’re starting off in Prague, you can get a Flixbus to Ostrava for as little as $11. I highly recommend spending a couple days exploring Ostrava, particularly in July when they have the Colours of Ostrava Music Festival.
Hiking Lysa Hora
The summit of Lysa Hora is about 2.5 miles west of Ostravice as the crow flies, although the hike will be closer to 4.5 miles, depending on which trail you take. There are many to choose from, all winding their way up the sides of the mountain. In Ostravice, take the road across the street from Hotel Freud and cross over the river. After about a mile, you’ll pass the Rope Maze Opičárna and the mountain trails will start.
All of the trails have convenient white signs pointing the way to the summit of Lysa Hora. None of the trails are particularly difficult. The scenery ranges from verdant forests to flowery fields…at least in the summer. In the winter, you’ll only see white. Lysa Hora gets an average of five feet of rainfall each year, and a lot of snow in the winter too. It’s possible to climb the mountain in the snow with the proper boots, equipment, etc.
Staying at Chata Maraton
Located at the summit of Lysa Hora is the Chata Maraton Lodge. Designed in a rustic style, this beautiful hotel offers simple accommodations for hikers. Well, maybe simple isn’t the right word. It’s not luxurious, but the rooms are really comfortable and I loved the wooden architecture. The cafeteria-style dining room isn’t anything to write home about, but if you have some extra time, there’s a small bowling alley on the lowest level.
The Czech Republic is one of only four countries in Europe that doesn’t allow wild camping. However, I did see a few tents at the summit of Lysa Hora. I’m not entirely surprised, considering how beautiful the sunset and sunrise can be. It does tend to be a bit hazy up in the mountains, but if you plan to stay overnight, you’ll have the best view in the region for the pastel colors of dusk and dawn. Just make sure to bring a jacket. It gets cold up there, even in the summer.