There are not many European capitals where you can slip out of your office clothes and twenty minutes later, survey the bustling city from amazing vantage points, wearing hiking boots. However, Prague is one of them.
You will return from this two hour dog walk, feeling as though you have been hiking in hills afar, when in fact you’ll barely have strayed from Smichov.
Access : by bus : num 231 from Na Knížecí to Dívči Hrady, cross the railway bridge and go up the steps to the right of the flats in Nad Konvárkou. Then go left. By car : Park in either U Divčich hradů or opposite the little hospoda, (pub) in Kroupova. 50°3’22.254″N, 14°23’55.231″E By metro : Radlicka (line B)
Difficulty : moderate with one steep climb. Distance : approx 8 Km Time : 2h
Summarized itinerary : Radlicka –Dívči hrady – hradíště děvin – Hlubočepy – prokopské údoli – jezírko – Radlicka.
Description : Climb the steps, 50°3’16.273″N, 14°23’48.647″E and go left along the path with flats to your left and fields to your right.After the antenna tower, take the little path on your left going into the woods but do not take the next path on your left, go straight on to the huge grassy plateau. Here, your dog will definitely be able to let off steam ! Follow the path right along to the left and you will have your first birds-eye view of Prague 1, 2 and beyond. You can see the Žižkov television tower in the distance and much closer, in Zlíchov, you can spot my favourite, little ferry, Josefina, taking passengers from Lihovar across to veslařský ostrov on their way to the beach, Žluté Lásně or Podoli swimming complex.
Cross the plateau choosing whichever grassy path most appeals to you and climb the rocky path ahead. A second panorama awaits, highlighting the road networks beyond Modřany and the tram mounting Barrandov hill. Now walk right along to the end of the ridge and follow the path down the rocks towards the right. Pass steps on the left without descending and make your way to the signpost near the edge of the grassy plateau. Go left along the wide path but in about 50m turn down the forest path on your left. You will emerge onto a gravel path with another stunning view of Hlubočepy in the hollow below and Barrandov above. Go right and keep following this path. When the path starts to slope down, it will veer to the right but you must leave this path, going straight on, almost into a tunnel of trees. You mustn’t miss this path ! It will bring you out into a beautiful sloping area which depending on the season, displays all shades of green imaginable. Go straight on to the end of this meadow and you are looking for a path, located slightly left, heading down. Go right to the bottom. Anticipate the fact that this path joins a cycle path, Na Placích, and you will need to put your dog on the leash for just 5 minutes as cyclists can come speeding down from the right. Go left to the bottom of the road and on your left you will see a hospoda (pub) which takes terms like “minimalist” and “knocked together” to a whole new realm. Inside, at the bar, you will beable to purchase a pint glass of kofola (a carbonated cola drink introduced in Czechoslovakia in 1960) or pívo, beer, for a mere pittance. You can sip your cold refreshment, seated on a crooked bench and enjoy the fact that a place like this is still in existence, just a few miles away from a fully modernized Smichov. Follow the road down until you can see the severozápadní viadukt and your dogs can drink and splash in the stream to your right (Dalejského potoka). Then, facing the stream, you must go through the tunnel directly behind you.
In about 50 m turn right into another huge field and walk right to the end of it. Go right, over the train tracks, across the little bridge, then go left, but almost immediately take the path on your right. Here you need to be careful not to miss the next turning. At the wall of the first house, go right. You will be walking down a shaded path, lined with high, dark and often damp rocks. At the end of the path, you will happen upon Jezírko. We love this place! Then turn back along the same path and at the end, go right and right again. After a few minutes the path becomes very steep. Climb right to the top and continue to the bench. Go left up the cycle path but straight away, take the small path going up to your right.
Follow this path, veering right and you will find yourself on a flat country path which you must keep following right. (If you have arrived on a flat road instead of a minor path, you have gone too far. It’s monotonous and I recommend that you look for the parallel minor path which is so much prettier. Once you cross the wooden bridge, keep going until you arrive at the benches and an opening in a log-effect barrier. Pass through this barrier and take the path straight ahead which crosses a field. Go right and just before the white wall, turn down the tiny path to your right. You will see the cemetry. This path brings you out, right opposite the steps you ascended at the beginning of your walk.
This walk transports me into a sort of wilderness, with my dogs, after a busy day at work. The urban panoramas at the beginning of the walk, of a city seen but not heard, allow me to enjoy the muted clamour of the capital with a sort of detachment, as though I were browsing pretty postcards at a holiday market stall.
I hope that you and your dog have enjoyed this energetic, but peaceful walk.