For many decades, the Iron Curtain divided Europe into two power blocs, but now history buffs can now take a look at Europe’s past on the Iron Curtain Trail. The trail runs along the border between Austria and the Czech Republic. It leads through the former no man’s land and over some former military roads. A green wall now indicates where the west and east were strictly separated just a few decades ago.

History becomes visible and tangible on this tour. The trail start is in the Czech city of Budweis. From there, it continues to Krumau, along the Iron Curtain Trail. The whole trail runs from the North Sea to the mouth of the Danube. Along the way, you can also find a picturesque town of Cesky Krumlov, which lies on a loop of the Vltava River, which flows through what today is called European Green Belt. The center of Cesky Krumlov is worth a visit too. It is not for nothing that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because the city governors have had Krumau lovingly renovated long ago. This town attracts many tourists from all over the world.

Along the Rivers

But above all, cyclists and tourists alike come to enjoy the history of this region in the heart of Europe. Therefore, they travel from Bohemia along the rivers Moldau and Malsch, where the historical trail mostly runs on bike paths or small streets; sometimes, the cyclists switch to miniature courses along the rivers, which are easy to manage even with a city bike. But the relaxed cycling changes across the border, where you will find yourself going at an incline of over 1,000 meters.

Good Infrastructure in the Czech Republic

The towns in the Czech Republic have already benefited from the Iron Curtain Trail. Here the economy has already adjusted to the new tourist masses. Most of the hotels along the way have allocated space where cyclists can park their bikes and know that they are safely locked. Dutch cyclists especially admired this, and they nominated the section from Gmünd to Bratislava as the cycle route of the year 2021. This is where nature and culture meet and invite you to enjoy the region, mind you, not only on a bike. The condition of the route is ideal for anyone, and the signs are easy to understand.

Good Infrastructure in the Czech Republic
Good Infrastructure in the Czech Republic

Empower Your Body and Mind

All of this makes the offer attractive to numerous visitors. It is not just about physical exercise, but also about enjoying yourself and the culture. Multiple wine cellars and wine taverns also ensure this on the Austrian side of the trail. On the way, you can also visit a vast Jewish cemetery, learn about the expulsion of German settlers, and visit the Iron Curtain Memorial near Cizov, Znaim, and Retz. The numerous memorials bring the past back to life. The way back on the Iron Curtain Trail is along the Danube. In Austria, the route leads back to Stockerau along the river until the cyclists have arrived in Linz. The Czech part of the Iron Curtain Trail covers over 380 kilometers; the Austrian part is a few kilometers longer. Enjoy this trail on bike or on foot and explore the countries and their people