If size matters, Loket is the exception. A cluster of houses in sweet-shop pinks, greens and blues huddled around a fairy-tale castle, this tiny village stands on a loop in the river Ohře so extreme it almost makes an island (loket means 'elbow' in Czech, a reference to the river bend). In fact, ‘JW Goethe’s favourite town’ (as the tourist bumph likes to describe it) is so pretty, if you saw it in a film you’d think it was a painted backdrop. (Actually, it does appear in a film – in the 2006 James Bond movie, Casino Royale, where it doubles for Montenegro.)
Loket’s German name is Elbogen (which also means 'elbow'), and it’s been famous by that name since 1815 for the manufacture of porcelain, as have the neighbouring towns of Horní Slavkov (Schlackenwald) and Chodov (Chodan). You can look at some fine examples in the town and do a bit of shopping too.