Bubbling mofets, salt fields, diatomaceous earth, gas vents. Near Františkovy Lázně there is a landscape that does not even seem to belong to the Czech Republic. It looks more like somewhere in Iceland. Welcome to the Soos National Nature Reserve.

The reserve offers a unique view of nature from a completely different angle. The place, which resembles a barren moonscape, was once a salt lake, but over hundreds of years it has been transformed into a peat bog. There are many mineral springs and carbon dioxide in mud volcanoes, called mofettes. Unlike other areas that have been conquered by man in the past and turned into spas, such as Karlovy Vary or Františkovy Lázně, the Earth still rules here. The bubbling mofets here spontaneously find new ways to the surface, and the gaseous effusions colour the soil differently every year.

Unique ecosystem

In recent years, the nature reserve has also been renowned for its flora and fauna. Here, nature is left to do all the maintenance and decisions, thus creating unique independent ecosystems. It is, in short, a spectacle unparalleled in our territory. A nature reserve has a nature trail, but you will also find a museum, a geological park, a pavilion with models of prehistoric lizards and an animal rescue station. Visitors can also use the information centre, which is the gateway to the Soos National Nature Reserve and the nature of the Cheb region. Visitors can find information about Soos, the nature trail, nature and landscape conservation and other tourist destinations in the region.

Soos Nature Trail

Today, a nature trail nearly one and a half kilometres long runs right along the bottom of the dry lake. Those who follow the trail will learn many interesting facts from the information panels. They not only describe the geological uniqueness of the site, but also the unique fauna and protected animals that live here. On the way, the visitor passes a mineral water spring. It is called Císařský Spring and is said to be the most delicious and also the warmest spring in the entire Cheb basin. Its year-round temperature is around 17 degrees Celsius. And flora lovers will surely enjoy it as well. In Soos NNR you will find a wide representation of salt-loving vegetation. These are real rarities, such as the salt-loving orchid, the triple-crowned bead orchid and other salt-loving plants.

Soos Museum

The price of admission to the reservation automatically includes an exhibition of the local museum, which is worth a visit not only in case the weather is not in your favour. The Soos Museum offers the Nature of Cheb Region and Nature of Soos expositions, as well as the exposition The Bird World of Cheb Region, where you can learn a lot of interesting facts about the reserve, flora and fauna of Cheb Region.

Dinosaurs in life size

A big attraction for families is the pavilion with the History of the Earth exhibition. Here you will find an exhibition of fossils and life-size models of dinosaurs that will thrill geoscientists of all ages. The exhibition is complemented by large-scale reproductions of paintings by Zdeněk Burian, a legendary Czech artist specialising in Mesozoic prehistoric lizards. There is also a lot of interesting information from the field of palaeontology.

Handicapped Animals Station Soos

The large Soos Reserve also includes a rescue station for injured animals. Thanks to the care of local experts, hundreds of endangered animals survive each year and, if possible, are returned to the wild after recovering. Some of the animal patients stay here permanently and there are some for whom the station is looking for a new home, such as the stork named Chebáček. 🙂

Foto: Infocentrum Františkovy Lázně – Jan Konopiský, TaGreta, Martin Vrbický