Sometimes visiting a beautiful village can be a mixed blessing.
The town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic was such a blessing. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the prettiest towns we’ve seen. Like San Gimignano, Cesky Krumlov is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site because of its lovely medieval buildings. However, unlike San Gimignano, we visited Cesky Krumlov before we knew the cardinal rule of travel – never visit a “charming village” on a day trip. That’s because everyone else in the world is also visiting it on a day trip. The town was blanketed with crowds, and we surged up the hill to the castle like a family of salmon desperately swimming upstream with their five hundred best friends.
We didn’t regret visiting. Our favourite part of the day was eating lunch on a terrace overlooking the castle. We enjoyed our Pilsner Urquells while the girls sipped orange Fanta beside us. In the serenity of those moments, we could imagine what it might be like to visit Cesky Krumlov when it was quieter.
Miraculously, our pictures reflect the charm of the town rather than the maelstrom of the crowd. And I’d still recommend you visit this lovely village. Just promise me you’ll spend a night there or see it in the off-season. That way you can enjoy the cobblestone streets, the red roofs and the medieval buildings without the presence of those five hundred best friends.