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Bohemian Forest (Šumava) is a national park in South Bohemia part of Czech Republic.

The forest is a part of largest protected forest area of Central Europe and both the woods and the mountain range that forms its backbone stretch in Germany, Czech Republic and Austria. Important parts of the area are made up of the Bavarian Forest National Park, which protects the most untouched and dense parts of the forest.


Chalupská slať


The origin of the current name Bohemian Forest goes back to 400 BC. The Boii people (Roman name of the three ancient Celtic tribes) spread across Europe - and the area was named "Boiohaemum", the home of Boii. In 1st century AD, they were replaced by Germanic tribes and Gallo-Romans, and in 6th century AD, forefathers of the later Czech people arrived here. The Czech name "Šumava" has been attested in 15th century. While the folk etymology connects it with Czech words šumění (denoting a noise of trees in the wind), the most accepted opinion amongst linguists derives Šumava from a theorized Proto-Slavic word *šuma = "dense forest".


The low mountain range extends from Plzeň Region and South Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Austria and Bavaria in Germany, and form the highest truncated uplands of the Bohemian Massif, approx. 45 km wide. They create a natural border between the Czech Republic on one side and Germany and Austria on the other.

The central area is relatively flat, but the borders contain multiple deep ravines and canyons - Bílá strž, Křemelná, Vydra, Čertova stráň at Boubín stream, Čertova stěna at Vltava river.

Flora and fauna[edit]


Average temperature of the area is between 3 (at highest elevations) and 6°C, humidity around 80%. The absolute temperatures vary greatly though - the lowest measured temperature is -41.6°C, while the highest one is 36.8°C. The yearly amount of rainfall is between 800mm and 1600mm (on the most exposed country border peaks).

Get in[edit]

Fees and permits[edit]

Most of the area is freely accessible, except for a few parts. The official map shows in brown color, which areas are forbidden due to nature preservation.

Get around[edit]


Vydra river
Kašperk castle
  • 1 Kašperk castle (Karlsberg) (A road runs to within 1,200 meters of the castle, where there is a parking. Several walking trails towards the castle branch out from Kašperské Hory, where also busses are available. The railway station is at Sušice.). A medieval castle, said to be the most highly located royal castle in Bohemia. Kašperk Castle (Q1012637) on Wikidata Kašperk on Wikipedia
  • 2 Rabí castle. Ruins of the largest czech castle (in terms of area). Rabí Castle (Q366087) on Wikidata Rabí Castle on Wikipedia
  • 3 [dead link] Archeological park in Netolice.
  • 4 Koloveč museum, Domažlická 1, Koloveč. A museum of technics and manufacture


  • Hiking/cyclink/cross-country skiing in Šumava. Plethora of trails available for each part of the year.
  • 1 Rope park Libín. 1.5-km long rope park with 6 routes of different difficulty.
  • 2 Offpark Sušice (At the Otava river). Said to be the most beautiful rope park in nature.
  • 3, Náměstí míru 58, Domažlice. A company providing war "simulation" programs - like 1- or 2-day survival in nature, gun shooting, World War II event reconstructions etc.








Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

The 1 Lipno dam is geographically part of the Sumava area.

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Šumava National Park