Feb 7, 2011
Czech Jizerky - heaven for cross country skiing
Splendid views, perfectly maintained trails and very versatile landscape. All this, plus usually good snow conditions thorough most of winter, make Jizerske Hory in Czech Republic mountains a true mecca for all fans of cross country skiing.
Czechs are cross country skiing freaks. Everybody does it here even if not in the best style. From small kids to really well ageing pensioners, from total amateurs to unstoppable professionals. There is whole infrastructure with perfectly signed and prepared trails not forgetting about carnal needs - pubs, bars, restaurants or even simple stands with mulled wine, hot sausages and snacks are easy to find on most of routes.
Main points of setting off on trails (as well as accommodation) are Bedrichov, Jablonec nad Nisou, Nove Mesto pod Smrkem and Harrachov - famous for international ski jumping competitions. Altogether 170 km of trails with numerous possibilities of loops that fit your physical condition (from 12 to 50 km). And as soon as you make it up to mountain ridge (which can be demanding depending on the slope) you are free to choose between many routes that are mostly flat, well connected and maintained as cross country skiing highways - six lanes :)
As for Czech mountain hospitality, be sure to try such food specialties like svickova (pork medallions in creamy sauce with dumplings), smazony syr (fried camembert), gulas (spicy meat stew), cmunda (potato pancake with smoked meat and sauerkraut), boruvkove knedliky (yummy yeast dumpligs filled with blueberries). And beer comes in abundance!
Pleasant and well located accomodation (prices start form 15 euros per person for 1 night):
Pension house "U Potoka"
Penision House "Uko"
Family Hotel Valentino