Day Trip

Giant Mountains

The Giant Mountains, also known as Krkonoše (in Czech) or Karkonosze (in Polish), are a magnificent mountain range located in the north of the Czech Republic and the southwest of Poland. As part of the Sudetes mountain system, they are a nature paradise in the Heart of Europe.

Comprehensive Guide To The Giant Mountains

Krkonoše National Parks and Biosphere Reserve:

Large areas of the Giant Mountains are designated as national parks - the Krkonoše National Park in the Czech Republic and the Karkonosze National Park in Poland. Together, these parks form the Krkonoše/Karkonosze Transboundary Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme.

This region is a treasure trove of natural wonders, boasting a diverse range of ecosystems from alpine meadows to rocky peaks, and deep valleys to serene forested areas. 

The biodiversity within these parks is remarkable. They serve as a sanctuary for a variety of flora and fauna, many of which are rare or endangered. The parks are home to hundreds of species of plants, including some endemic to the region, which have adapted to the harsh mountain conditions. The fauna is equally diverse, with the parks providing habitat for numerous species of mammals, birds, and insects. Some of the notable wildlife residents include the lynx, the mouflon, and a variety of birds such as the black stork and the Eurasian eagle-owl.

The Giant Mountains are not only a natural paradise but also a realm of scientific research and environmental education. Scientists and researchers from around the world come to study its unique ecosystems and the species that inhabit them. The parks also play a vital role in environmental education, offering visitors a chance to learn about the importance of biodiversity and conservation.

Human Influence and Culture

The earliest known settlements in the Giant Mountains can be traced back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when the area began to be populated due to its strategic trade routes and natural resources. Mining, particularly for precious metals like silver and copper, played a significant role in the region's development. Towns like Jelenia Góra in Poland and Trutnov in the Czech Republic flourished during this period, becoming important centers for trade and craftsmanship.

As the mining industry thrived, the cultural landscape of the Giant Mountains began to take shape. The harsh, often inaccessible terrain of the mountains gave rise to numerous legends and myths, with the most famous being the tale of Rübezahl, a mythical mountain spirit. Rübezahl is said to be the guardian of the mountains, a capricious figure who could be benevolent or malevolent towards humans. Countless stories depict him as a trickster, playing pranks on the local inhabitants, yet also a protector who guards the treasures of the mountains.

Over the centuries, the Giant Mountains have been a crossroads of different cultures and influences. This diverse heritage is reflected in the architecture, traditions, and folklore of the region. The influence of German settlers, who arrived during the medieval Ostsiedlung movement, is particularly evident. They brought with them their customs, language, and architectural styles, many of which have blended with the local Slavic traditions.

The 19th and 20th centuries brought significant changes to the Giant Mountains, as the area became a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts. The romantic beauty of the mountains attracted artists, writers, and poets, who drew inspiration from the region's stunning landscapes and rich folklore. The popularity of the area for tourism led to the development of mountain resorts and the construction of trails and lodges, further integrating the Giant Mountains into the cultural fabric of Central Europe.

Wandern im Riesengebirge

Sports and Tourism

The Giant Mountains are renowned for their ski resorts with opportunities for both downhill and cross-country skiing. When the snow melts, these rugged peaks transform into a paradise for hikers, cyclists, and lovers of the great outdoors.

The ski resorts in the Giant Mountains are among the best in Central Europe, with modern facilities that include ski lifts, well-groomed slopes, and snowmaking systems, ensuring a reliable skiing experience throughout the season. The region is not just for seasoned skiers; it also caters to beginners and families, with numerous ski schools and gentle slopes ideal for learning. Beyond skiing, the winter landscape offers opportunities for snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing, making it a comprehensive winter sports hub.

As spring arrives, the Giant Mountains shed their snowy blanket to reveal a network of trails that crisscross the landscape. Hiking and mountain biking become the activities of choice, with trails varying in difficulty from gentle walks to challenging treks. The Polish-Czech Friendship Trail, a popular cross-border route, allows hikers and bikers to traverse the main ridge of the mountains, offering panoramic views and a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of two countries in one journey.

These trails also lead adventurers to discover the rich cultural and historical heritage of the region. Hikers can find ancient castles, quaint mountain villages, and remnants of the area’s mining past. The trails are well-marked and maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors.

Cycling enthusiasts will find the Giant Mountains particularly inviting. The terrain offers everything from gentle cycles through scenic valleys to adrenaline-pumping mountain biking trails. The well-developed network of cycling routes is complemented by numerous rental shops and cycling-friendly accommodations, making it easy for visitors to plan their cycling adventures.

Beyond the physical activities, the Giant Mountains are a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. The region's natural beauty, combined with its clean, crisp mountain air, makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life in the heart of Europe’s majestic landscape.

Your Trip To The Giant Mountains

The Giant Mountains are a fascinating destination with rich nature, culture, and history. They offer something for every visitor, whether it be for the avid skier, the passionate hiker, or the nature lover.

Starting from The Oak Lodge, there are multiple access points available within less than one hour of drive. Make sure to check for more activities and points of interests in the surroundings to choose where you want to set your destination. 


35 km

Drive time:

60 min 


Day Trip 

Hiking & Biking, Mountainsports, Nature & Wilderness, Watersports, Wintersports

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