Walks Around Třeboň

The area around Třeboň is wooded and dotted with literally hundreds of fish ponds, many dating back several centuries when fish-farming techniques were first being developed. Eating fish is near and dear to the hearts of land-locked Czechs. Indeed, the most important meal of the year, on Christmas Eve, is centred around carp, and much of the nation's carp is raised right here.

Much of the area has been designated as a protected landscape and is good for walks. One of the main fish ponds, Rybník Svět, is an easy 10-minute walk south of Třeboň's central square. A 12km leisurely route runs around Rybník Svět on a well-marked trail (around four hours), beginning just south of the Regent Brewery. The trail is flagged with 16 information boards in Czech, German and English, and also takes in the Schwarzenberg Mausoleum. Ask at the Tourist Information Centre for a map; it also has details on other walks in the area and can help with bike-hire info.

Part of the edge of the pond is lined with working fish foundries, where you can see how the fish are stored and harvested for that all-important Christmas meal (the carp are fried and served with potato salad, while sundry inedible bits are boiled-up to make carp soup).

Another good walk begins at Masarykovo náměstí. Follow the blue-marked trail northeast to Na Kopečku (1.5km, 30 minutes). From Na Kopečku, keep on the blue-marked trail to Hodějov Pond (7.5km, 2½ hours). A yellow trail then runs west to Smítka (2km, 45 minutes) where it joins a red trail heading north to Klec and a primitive campground (6km, two hours).

From there, for a further 13km (four hours), the red trail runs north, past more fish ponds, forests and small villages to Veselí nad Lužnicí, a major railway junction where you can catch a train back to Třeboň. Camping is allowed only in official campgrounds throughout the protected landscape region.