A small town with great significance, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, the spa industry enjoyed its greatest boom in the 15th century; however, the local springs with a high carbon dioxide content have been used for treatment since the prehistoric era. Thanks to its elevation of 445 metres above sea level and to its parks resplendent with lush vegetation, one can enjoy fresh air year-round. The surroundings of the town are made even more beautiful by fascinating nature reserves or historic castles.
On dry and on wet feet
The new colonnade above the sourcing of the gas spring seems like an apparition from completely different lands. Its entrance is guarded by two Sphinxes, and it is decorated by Tuscan columns in the Neo-Classicist style. Nearby, there is the Gas Spa, where carbon dioxide is used for treatments, and just a kilometre on foot away from here is the Town Museum, documenting the evolution of architecture and the spa industry since the time when the František Spring was first discovered.
After a walk through the historic town centre, it is ideal to refresh yourselves in the modern water park Aquaforum. Especially parents will appreciate it, as they can relax in the whirlpool while their children have a good romp on the toboggan. Golf Resort Františkovy Lázně, located in Hazlov just a ten-minute drive away, offers its services for non-straining movement outdoors.
One hundred different faces of the Middle Ages
To the west of Františkovy Lázně, Seeberg Castle peeks through the trees of the forest by Ostroh. This is one of the last preserved ministerial castles in the Czech Republic, and it contains an exhibit on the famous furniture-making from Cheb, on folk culture, and on porcelain. Its history reaches to the 12th century and is strongly associated with the expansion of the Holy Roman Empire.
A couple of kilometres to the south, Vildštejn Castle peers down from a granite cliff above the tributary of Vonšovský Creek. Do you wonder what a medieval smithery, royal hall, or prison looked like? During the tour of Vildštejn, you will experience history brought to life, and after it is over, you can top it all off by ordering the knight’s menu at the castle tavern.
A historical excursion through the town’s surroundings would not be complete without visiting the village of Nový Drahov, which consists of a group of six original Franconian farms, and where you can enjoy accommodation and tasty food in an authentic rural environment.
Volcanoes and mysterious marshes
Everyone who enters the Soos National Nature Reserve, known as the “Czech Yellowstone”, will at first think they are on the surface of another planet. This is an extensive peat bog and fens interwoven with a network of wooden bridges on the bottom of a dried-out lake, in between bubbling mud volcanoes, called mofettas.
However, you can find more volcanoes nearby. One of the most famous Quaternary volcanoes in the Czech Republic, along with its adjacent stone pit quarry, adit, and rocky outcrops, is the youngest extinct volcano, Komorní hůrka (Chamber Hill).
The Amerika Forest Park and Fishpond is noticeably more peaceful. The fishpond has a bird observatory. It connects directly to the parks of Františkovy Lázně, so you can reach it on foot, or take a several-minute ride on the tourist mini-train.