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Hiking in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park- the Prebisch Gate

Again and again I am asked where one should go hiking best, what would be most worthwhile, where it is most beautiful. I always put a counter question to this: "Have you ever been to the Sandstone Mountain National Park?", because anyone who has never been there will be thrilled anyway... because all paths have their charm, they always lead past spectacular views, offer beautiful picnic spots and sufficient relaxation.

Hike to the Prebischtor (Pravčická brána)

Not only on the Saxon side there is a gigantic network of well-developed hiking trails, but also behind the national border in Bohemian Switzerland (seamlessly merges into Saxon Switzerland). Bohemian Switzerland has only been a national park since 2010 and so it became Czech Republic latest protected natural habitat. Together with the German/Saxon part, both national parks form the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Amazing view on the trail towards the Prebischtor. Source: Leon Pellegrin

Again and again I am asked where one should go hiking best, what would be most worthwhile, where it is most beautiful. I always put a counter question to this: "Have you ever been to the Sandstone Mountain National Park?", because anyone who has never been there will be thrilled anyway... because all paths have their charm, they always lead past spectacular views, offer beautiful picnic spots and sufficient relaxation.

But if I have to recommend something, then it is (among other things) a hike to the Prebischtor (in Czech: (Pravčická brána) , a rock gate formed of sandstone, which is also a national park symbol for Bohemian Switzerland, because it is the largest rock gate in the entire national park (actually even in whole of Europe).

I recommend this hike not because of the already spectacular rock gate, but because it means a varied tour by boat/ train and foot, which I would like to show you today.

The Prebischtor ((Pravčická brána) in Czech Republic/ Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Source: Pixabay, Ronile

From Dresden you can get there by train. The train runs regularly and you are independent, because it always runs. After a good hour and a beautiful train ride, you reach the border. From here you can easily take the ferry and you are in Hrensko at the beautiful, clean little river, the "Kamenice". Here even salmon come to spawn again, all the way from the North Sea. Awesome, isn't it?

Now you walk along the Kamenice Stream until you reach the first gorge, the Edmundsklamm (Edmunds Gorge). Here, one should absolutely get in (but one can also continue hiking on the hiking path beside the little river, otherwise 3,50 € per trip).

After this spectacular boat trip, one surprisingly arrives at a second jetty (see hiking map below), now one has arrived at the "Wilden Klamm" ("Wild Gorge" for 2,50 € per person), which also offers one or two smaller surprises that I don't want to reveal here. Take the boat again.

Amazing 20 minute long boat trips through the gorges. Photo: Leon Pellegrin

From now on you just follow the map (see below) and come to the biggest rock gate of the Elbsandsteingebirge, the Prebischtor (Pravčická brána). It nestles beautifully impressive into the landscape, unfortunately it is fenced and you have to pay about 3 € entrance fee (open from 9:00 to 18:00 only). But you can also look from the outside if you don't want to go in.

At the end you walk back to the starting point in Hrensko, where you can treat yourself to a good "Pivo" (Pilsener Beer of course: Pilsener Urquell or Krušovice, a yummi Dark Beer) and typical Bohemian food like "Goulash and Dumplings" (around 10€ for everything).

Get back to Dresden via ferry and train.

How long do I need for this hike?

You should plan a whole day for the hike. Who is already too late and arrives only in the afternoon in the Bohemian Switzerland, which consider please only the last ferry trip (to see at the timetable directly at the Elbe locally), because you should come also home again (you need to get back to the train on the other side of the Elbe River, where the train gets back to Dresden). The last boats in the gorge leave at 17:00.

If you have to take a shortcut spontaneously, you can do so via the sleepy village "Mezná". The turn-off from the main hiking trail then comes to the left after the "Edmundsklamm", further along the "Mühlenweg" in a nice round back to Hrensko. Then one does not see the Prebischtor anymore, but has made a boat trip and goes also otherwise a very nice, much shorter footpath through the Kamenicer valley.

How to get there from Dresden

  • generally I recommend to take the train, it goes there anyway, so why bother with the car? You're also more flexible by train, you can get on and off wherever you want and you're less tied to a specific place. Apart from the fact that you go to a national park to admire its beauty (where you don't contribute too much, you still go by gasoline). Besides, the train ride alone is wonderful if you take the time to look out of the window.
  • start from "Dresdner Hauptbahnhof", "Stop Bischofsweg" or "Bahnhof Neustadt" with the S1-Bahn direction "Schöna" (every hour in winter, every half hour in summer) to the final station "Schöna" (about 60 minutes). Schöna is the last german village on the border.
  • then take the ferry from "Schöna" to "Hrensko" and cross the Czech-German border (ticket 1,50 € for one ride, please bring enough change).
  • Ticket for the train: single trip 6,40 € per person or you can take a day ticket for 14 €, family day ticket for 2 adults costs only 20 €, even cheaper is the group day ticket for 29,50 €, which is already suitable for 3 to 5 persons (VVO Verbundraumticket).
Not only as a fish would I like to come back here again: the Gorge. Photo: Leon Pellegrin

What else do I need to know?

Nature conservation has always been important to me. It doesn't stop me from pointing out important things. In the worst case, a misconduct in the national park ends with a high fine or worse, like last year, where in the core zone in extreme drought was smoked/cooked and the forest burned. Again and again people underestimate nature and overestimate themselves, such damage is quickly done, even if you don't notice it. I've been encountering national park rangers more often lately, which certainly has something to do with the ever-increasing popularity of the national park in the last two or three years.

  • It should be natural not to make a fire in the nature reserve or in the core zones, but unfortunately it is not. Again and again I see smoking people, whom I then friendly point out to. I am not an enemy of smoking, but the forest is very susceptible (especially in the more and more frequent droughts), too much can get lost.
  • When hiking I always have an extra garbage bag with me, because there are often people who "lose" their packaging, I realize that this can happen, but it should not. It's also not difficult, you can easily dispose of your rubbish at home again, where the rubbish separation is better anyway. It's also not difficult to carry. That's what I've always done as a child.
  • If possible, please use the toilets in the surrounding villages, restaurants or public toilets. Tissue paper does not rot so easily, everywhere you can see leftovers on the wayside, this clouds the wandering mood and also damages the environment.
  • In the core zone, one should not leave the paths, not even to take a quick photo, one might walk on rare plant or fungus species, which should actually be protected there and which otherwise have not many alternative areas to grow.
  • There is no entrance fee for the Natonal Parks, cool, ey? So the least thing you can do is to not leave any personal residues, right?
My Boat Ticket from "Edmundsklamm", which is also a little hiking map on its backside. This was very useful. Source: Juliane Schäfer


Technically you don't need much: enough water (especially on very hot days), head protection, sun cream, some food for on the way and off you go. A hiking map is great, but doesn't have to be: The entrance ticket of the Edmundsklamm has a sweet sufficient "overview drawing" of the hiking trails and hiking times, so that one cannot get lost. Solid footwear is only necessary in bad weather, otherwise sports shoes or other comfortable footwear are sufficient.

Furthermore you should take cash with you (ferry trips, gorge trips, possibly goulash food in Hrensko). Euro are sufficient and are accepted. For possible controls, one should also carry a passport or identity card (I have never experienced this since Schengen, but there are probably occasional controls).

Adventure like Indiana Jones: the amazing hike along the Kamenice Stream. Photo: Leon Pellegrin

Translated with DeepL

18.09.2019, 18:15 @ Jule
Categories: activities · surroundings · things to do · tips · travel // Tags: Prebischtor · Wilde Klamm · Edmundsklamm · Hiking in Czech Republic · Hiking in Bohemian National Park · the biggest mountain gate in Sandstone Nationalpark · boat trips near Dresden · good photo spots near Dresden · Hiking in Saxon Switzerland National Park · Daytrip in the National Park · Krušovice · Pilsener Urquell · typical Bohemian Beer