Star-shaped hiking to Velehrad
Cyril and Methodius Route in Czechia
Welcome to a route with 928,5 km of marked and well-maintained hiking trails. A route that blurs a line between a pilgrim and a tourist. Long-distance marked trails connecting the major pilgrimage sites in Moravia and Bohemia have emerged for individuals and groups of tourists, in cooperation with the Czech Hiking Club. The trails of the Cyril and Methodius Route refer to the cultural roots of the Slavs connected with the arrival of the Thessalonian brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius, in Great Moravia. On the signposts of the Czech Hiking Club you can find dark blue stickers with the white symbol of the Cyril and Methodius Route.
The trails leading to Velehrad from five directions are marked, e.g., from Jablunkov via Pustevny in the Beskydy Mountains, from Skalka near Trenčín in Slovakia via Uherské Hradiště, or from Šaštín via the Great Moravian sites of Kopčany and Mikulčice. It is also possible to walk from Levý Hradec near Prague via Sázava and Křtiny or from Svatý Kopeček via Olomouc and Kroměříž.
What's ahead of us?
Take plenty of food and drink with you, as there are sections of the trail with no food available for purchase during the hike.
Which way are we hiking?
Recommended distribution of one-day stages including accommodation at the end destinations.
The 200 km long trail will take you mostly through the pleasing countryside of Silesia and Moravian Wallachia. You can start in Visla, Poland, a well-known sports and tourist resort, and continue via Malý and Velký Stožek across the border to Jablunkov in the Czech Republic. Here you can visit the unique World Museum and the Bible Library located in a former monastery. On your journey through the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy Mountains – a vast protected landscape area in the Czech Republic – you will climb many mountains, such as Kozubová, Vyšní Kamenitý, or Bílý Kříž. Through the popular resort of Bílá, which is frequented by tourists year-round, and the equally popular Pustevny you will reach Radhošt’, 1129 m above sea level. From there you can continue via Rožnov pod Radhoštěm with its Wallachian Open Air Museum or Svatý Hostýn – an important pilgrimage site – as far as Velehrad, a major place of veneration of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
The trail connects three large mountain ranges, i.e. Chřiby, Moravian Karst and Pálava Protected Landscape Area, and further connects places with a rich spiritual and cultural tradition. Velehrad, Křtiny, Brno, Rajhrad and Mikulov. Nature lovers will find something to their liking. Wandering along the ridges will bring beautiful views.On the territory of the Czech Republic, the route combines the Cyril and Methodius Trail and the St. James Trail and continues from Mikulov to Austria and Italy.
The trail of the Cyril and Methodius Route represents an ideological connection between the beginnings of the church structure in the Great Moravian period and the present-day centre of the Moravian Church. The marked route begins at the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary at Svatý Kopeček near Olomouc, a popular destination for admirers of Baroque beauty as well as many pilgrims and the heart of the parish, where the most precious mysteries of the faith take place. Our steps take us further to Olomouc, the seat of the Archbishop Metropolitan of Moravia, the direct successor to Archbishop Methodius. Olomouc boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Holy Trinity Column, as well as the Archbishop’s Palace and St. Wenceslas Cathedral. In the period of Great Moravia, Olomouc was a strategic place at the crossroads of trade routes. The pilgrimage church in Dub nad Moravou can be visited further along the route. The beautiful Baroque shrine with two 59-metre high spires is one of the largest churches in Moravia. The trail continues through Tovačov, which is dominated by a chateau of the same name with a tower 96 metres high. It also passes by the famous Tovačov lakes and ponds. Another interesting stop is the town of Kroměříž, which was declared the Czech Republic’s most beautiful historical town in 1997 and a year later the local Archbishop’s Castle, together with the Flower Garden and the Castle Garden, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The trail ends at Velehrad, where the Cyril and Methodius trails converge from several directions.
The trail from Skalka u Trenčína to Velehrad connects one of the oldest pilgrimage sites on the Moravian-Slovak border and brings us back to the time of medieval monasteries, when Christian thought was being formed. Slavs, who had engaged in the slave trade found inner dignity and developed their own culture, even in the written form with the introduction of the first Slavic script, the Glagolitic alphabet. Follow in the footsteps of the legacy of Great Moravia through the captivating landscape of the White Carpathians (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) and the Prakšice Highland and listen to the stories that bring it to life. You will discover real gems – impressive pilgrimage sites, the quaint Kopanice around Žítková, the remarkable museum in Bojkovice, the spa culture of the magnificent Luhačovice and the royal town of Uherské Hradiště, Staré Město and Modrá associated with the Great Moravian period. The Cyril and Methodius Route thus puts the sites that have significantly influenced the local cultural environment on a string like beads. The countless cultural events associated with the unique atmosphere and hospitality along this trail are proof that the local people still draw their life force from traditions and preserved nature. Let them inspire you!
MARŠOV - UHERSKÉ HRADIŠTĚ
UHERSKÉ HRADIŠTĚ- VELEHRAD
The trail starts in Hodonín with its good train and bus connections. From there, you will want visit the important centre of Moravia: the Mikulčice–Kopčany Archaeological Park. Mikulčice is home to the most extensive archaeological site, while the only partially preserved church from the 9th century can be seen in Kopčany. Both locations are now connected by the Great Moravia footbridge. Your journey will take you to Holíč, where you will find a Baroque castle with fortifications – the former summer residence of the Habsburgs. From Skalica you will pass through a total of four ports on the Bata Canal. Take the opportunity to rent a boat and try sailing on this unique piece of waterways engineering. Along the way, don’t miss Petrov, famous for its ornately painted wine cellars located at Plže, and Strážnice, with its open-air museum of villages of south-east Moravia and the chateau with its grounds, where the International Folklore Festival takes place. From there the route runs through uninhabited countryside. Enjoy especially the pine forests near Bzenec, which are a favourite destination of mushroom pickers each September and October. The trail continues through open countryside between fields and vineyards, offering beautiful views. An interesting location is Žeravice, where J. A. Comenius, “the teacher of nations”, was ordained a priest. Next, you will reach the Chřiby Mountains, which is a very interesting area not only in terms of natural history, but also from the historical point of view. Let yourself be enchanted by romantic forest sceneries with rocks, springs, streams, valleys, lookouts, and numerous archaeological sites.
HODONÍN - HOLÍČ
HOLÍČ - SKALICA
SKALICA - STRÁŽNICE
STRÁŽNICE - VRACOV
VRACOV - OSVĚTIMANY
OSVĚTIMANY - VELEHRAD
The connection of Bohemia and Moravia between Levý Hradec and Velehrad continues with its extreme touches to the ancient nodes of the spread of faith, education and culture, originally in the direction from east to west, as we know. Today, the pilgrimage trail, with a 40-year tradition, is mainly directed in the eastern direction towards Velehrad, the most important pilgrimage site in our country. From the Church of St. Clement in Levý Hradec, the oldest standing church in Bohemia, the trail winds its way through our metropolis via Prague Castle and then along the Vltava River past the ancient centre of Slavic learning, Emmaus under Vyšehrad. At Kunratice, it leaves Prague towards the famous Průhonice Park and continues to climb along the Botič river basin to its source, from where it sinks into the depths of the forests along the Sázava river. Despite the fame of the local breweries in Velke Popovice and Kácov, this region is dominated by the town of Sázava with its monastery, where St. Procopius raised Slavic liturgy and writing for the western part of our country thousands of years ago. Passing the meanders of the Sázava with views of castles and chateaux in Rataj, Český Šternberk, Zruč, Ledeč or Světlá, our path will rest at another pilgrimage site at Ždár na Zelená Hora with the church of St. Jan Nepomucký, decorated with Santini’s architecture. After crossing the watershed, when we leave the Sázava basin and enter the Svratka basin, the local church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Vítochov near Bystřice nad Pernštejnem reminds us of our approach to Velehrad, not only by coming to Moravia. From Bystřice, the road slowly yet steadily descends to Tišnov with its Romanesque monastery …. With tradition… A stage further on, the Paulan monastery in Vranov, with its silent appearance, introduces us symbolically into the unbridled nature of the Moravian Karst, through which we travel through deep forests to Křtiny, to the pilgrimage church of the Virgin Mary’s name, again by chance from the hand of Santini. The final part of the pilgrimage trail through the famous Slavkov to the Chřiby Uplands offers a tour of the castle in Buchlov, as well as quiet and long forest trails along the Chřiby ridge until the moment when the longed-for descent to Velehrad and the view of the cathedral opens up before the pilgrim.
LEVÝ HRADEC - PRAŽSKÝ HRAD
PRAŽSKÝ HRAD - PRŮHONICE
PRŮHONICE - PYŠELY
PYŠELY - SÁZAVA
SÁZAVA - ČESKÝ STERNBERK
ČESKÝ ŠTERNBERK - ZRUČ N. SÁZAVOU
ZRUČ N. SÁZAVOU - LEDEČ N. SÁZAVOU
LEDEČ N. SÁZAVOU - SVĚTLÁ N. SÁZAVOU
SVĚTLÁ N. SÁZAVOU - HALÍČKŮV BROD
HAVLÍČKŮV BROD - PŘIBYSLAV
PŘIBYSLAV - ŽĎÁR NAD SÁZAVOU
ŽĎÁR NAD SÁZAVOU - NOVÉ MĚSTO NA MORAVĚ
NOVÉ MĚSTO NA MORAVĚ - BYSTŘICE NAD PERNŠTEJNEM
BYSTŘICE NAD PERNŠTEJNEM - TIŠNOV
TIŠNOV - VRANOV U BRNA
VRANOV U BRNA - KŘTINY
KŘTINY - ROUSÍNOV
ROUSÍNOV - BUČOVICE
BUČOVICE - BUKOVANY
BUKOVANY - VELEHRAD
Why walk the trails of the Cyril and Methodius Route?
The long-distance trails of the Cyril and Methodius Route invite you to pilgrimage sites and archaeological sites that have contributed significantly to the development of Slavic culture. They are signposted in both directions and encourage wandering without borders, not only state borders.
What can be obtained?
Perhaps everyone likes to bring back something from hiking, be it various tourist and souvenir items. If you will be hiking the Cyril and Methodius Route, we have prepared the following printed materials to motivate you to hike the trail: