When you look out of your office window, do you ever wonder where you could be right now and what a nice trip you could instead be having today? If you are a fan of hiking, beautiful, almost forgotten places, and great food, then pay attention. Here is our tip for taking the newly restored Via Nisa pedestrian pilgrimage route, which opened this year. It is divided into eight day trips that we will go through together. Get your walking shoes ready, we're off!
The Via Nisa route begins at the Dolní Poustevna Meeting Centre, where you can pick up a route map with a credential (pilgrim card) and get your first pilgrimage stamp. The first stage of the route is a long 24.1 km so it is advisable to get stronger before it (attention eaters, we have a tip!). Directly in Dolní Poustevna, not far from the meeting centre, is a bed and breakfast at the U Krejzů restaurant, which offers pleasant seating both indoors and on the summer terrace. Renowned specialities of Czech cuisine await you, and you can use meal vouchers and eStravenka meal vouchers. For the rest of the route, it's better to have a proper snack ready – and you can take care of this in advance with meal vouchers andeStravenka catering vouchers.
Via Nisa combines a traditional pilgrimage site and a crossroads at the Czech-German border, specifically in the Šluknov Strip, the Lužické Mountains, the Žitavské Mountains, the Frýdlant Strip and also in part of the Jizerské Mountains. The entire route covers no less than 200 km and is divided into multiple stages which make for pleasant all-day walking tours. Why go out? The route offers the experience of a week-long walking tour of important places and connects their history with the unique nature that surrounds them. The goal is not only to reach the final point of the route, but also to understand that we create the limits of what is or is not possible within ourselves, and this walking pilgrimage is a unique opportunity to overcome these limits.
From the Meeting Centre in Dolní Poustevna, you will go to the Lipová information centre for another stamp. The first section of the route leads to the tourist information point (TIM) Čtverec, and on to TIM Horní Poustevna, and then to TIM Lobendava on the blue route. In Lobendava there will be a turn to the green route, which will take us to Anenský vrch. After looking around, we will continue along the blue route, which will lead us to Jáchym, where the chapel of St. Joachim is situated. Despite the fact that the chapel is dilapidated, it has been a cultural monument since 2014. There are still three TIMs separating us from the second stamp, all on the blue route. The first is the Jáchym crossroads, the next is U bažiny and after the third, which is Zámecký rybník, an important point of our journey awaits us, namely the ruins of Lipová Castle. It was originally a Baroque castle; it was built in the 1830s and is a national cultural monument. At the same time, it is included in the list of endangered heritage properties.
Here is an interesting fact that will please numerology fans:
the castle has seven staircases, according to the days of the week
twelve chimneys, according to the number of months
52 rooms, like weeks
and, finally – 365 windows and doors, according to the days of the year
In the Lipová information centre near the castle, we will get the second stamp and the first stage will turn into the second half. From Lipová we will go again on the blue route via TIM Lipová to TIM Solandská cesta and a beautiful view awaits us from the Prinz Friedrich August Turm lookout. After enjoying ourselves, we will return to TIM Solandská cesta and continue onwards to TIM Nové Hraběcí and TIM Pod Rožanský vrchem. Here we exchange the blue route for the green one and the last section of the route awaits us, which will take us past Židovský vrch to Šluknov Square. Here, in the information centre, we get the last stamp of the day and can take a well-deserved rest to prepare for the next stage together. Are you looking forward to it as well?
As the route is long and far from major cities and you will need rest to cover it, we recommend that you arrange accommodation nearby in advance, so you will find some of our accommodation tips for each stage.