In a quiet, mysterious forest situated 80 km west of Prague hides the best bouldering area in the Czech Republic, Petrohrad. Thousands of bouldering problems on egg-shaped rough granite stones, low-balls and high balls, makes this place to an amusement park for climbers.
After a few days in Pirna we crossed the border and drove to Petrohrad. Before we left Norway for our journey we watched the series, Europe’s best crags on Epic TV. The series (produced in 2014) is about a couple who travelled around trying out different crags in Europe. They also visited Petrohrad, which gave us the idea of going to Czech and explore it ourselves. We found a campsite a few km from Petrohrad in the village of Jesenice. Already in the reception of the campsite we met some climbers, and we could buy guidebooks for the bouldering areas – made us pretty stoked.
This is a place for those who like the forest, there are plenty of hiking and biking paths if you’re not into bouldering. On your rest days you can take a swim in the lake, go to the local villages and take a visit to the famous Karlovy Vary spa. You can also drive about an hour to Prague, like we did. Read the blog post here.
The local people are very friendly, so were the people at the campsite, most of them from Czech. Even though we don’t speak the same language we had a really good tone with our neighbors and the people working there.
There are many high balls in Petrohrad. Sometimes a bit scary, but so cool when you send it.
Smula – the crag dog
Like many other bouldering destinations Petrohrad is divided into sub-areas. We bought a guidebook for a newer area, Petrohrad Zihle. There is also another guidebook for an area closer to Petrohrad, both for bouldering and for climbing as well. If you don’t have the guidebook it’s possible to use 27 crags and some other online guides, still, we recommend you to buy the book.
The walk-ins are usually short and easy to find from the road. You can also park wherever you want as long as it’s not on the road. The paths are well marked, it was easy to navigate with our guidebook with nice topos. Sometimes it can be really hard finding the bouldering problems, so this was very much appreciated.
The rock here is rough granite, not the best for the skin, but really good for the friction. It’s a huge variety of bouldering styles, nevertheless if you like crimps and slopers this is the perfect place to be. The grades vary from very easy to almost impossible. There are many high standard boulder problems up to 8B. The Czech climber, Adam Ondra has opened many of these himself. We found the grades hard, especially in the beginning, but after a few days we started to get more used to the style and stones, and managed to send some cool boulders.
On the campsite we met a really nice climbing couple, Maren and Markus. They had the other guidebook so we joined them for bouldering in the area that our guidebook didn’t show. It was a wonderful day, with cool people. Actually that cool that we hanged out with them the rest of our stay in Czech and met them in Munich at the Bouldering World Cup as well.
Maren reading the topos
Miriam sending her highest boulder so far
Smula & Maren
Markus & Maren
Don’t expect your skin to last too long on the rough granite!
When to go?
We read that the weather in Petrohrad generally is quite good, so basically you can go and have good conditions year around. During the winter it can be some snow, but the friction is supposed to be at it’s best.
Spring and autumn is maybe the best time to go, since the weather and the temperature usually will be good, but late summer wasn’t to bad either. There is a lot of trees and shade, so it’s no problem to find nice and cool boulders in the shade.
A few tips:
- Watch out for ticks, it’s very common in Petrohrad and can carry diseases. We found one huge on our dog, and one crawling on Miriam’s shoe. They’re so disgusting! You can bye different sprays, both for human and animals, at the local supermarket and pharmacies.
- You have to pay a fee for driving on the highways in Czech, so remember to buy a vignette (window sticker) for your vehicle when you’re crossing the border. You can buy it on gas stations on the border, and it cost around 20 Euros for 30 days.
Camping / Accommodation
Wild camping is permitted at the Josemit area, but since we are traveling with this huge rig, we went to the only campsite in the area, Autocamp Jesenice in stead. The campsite is large, green and very cheap, perfect for us. In fact the living cost here in general are very low – something worth mentioning is that a 0,5l beer costs 0.50 Euro!
Jesenice is about 4 km away from Petrohrad. Both Jesenice and Petrohrad are two small towns, but you will find everything you need. There are also some small pubs and restaurants.
We stayed here for ten days, could easily stayed for ten more. This is a nice, easy and cheep place to be!
- Large grass fields
- Great for tents, caravan and automobiles. You can also rent small cabins
- Free WiFi
- You can pay with card for the accommodation, but cash for everything else
- Restaurant / bar
- Sanitary facilities ok
- Walking distance to the lake, supermarkets and ATM
- Friendly and helpful staff
Tel: 608 029 189