Veltrusy – Říp – Mělník Circle

This was one of the longer trips of the summer of 2020. We started from the parking lot in Veltrusy and planned to visit the castle (national cultural heritage site) on the way back. The plan was to follow the red tourist mark “Poutní cesta Blaník – Říp“. This pilgrimage route is connecting two of the most important mountains in the Czech traditional symbols. Mount Blaník is the symbol of protection and Říp represents birth, the beginning. Inside Blaník the army of knights is sleeping, waiting for the time when Czechs will be in trouble and will need some military support. Obviously, Czechs were not in real trouble yet, since the army did not wake up. Říp was the place on top of which the Ancient Father Čech (praotec) with his troop of followers arrived in the year 644 and said, “Well, I am tired of walking, so we will stay here, OK?” In the mythology-inspired literature the speech is interpreted rather differently “Here is the promised land, full of game and birds, abounding in honey!”

Following the red mark was tricky along the river from point 3 to 4 and even impossible in the village Jeviněves, so we preferred to use the road for a little bit. To reach the tourist path we had to use a busy road from Veltrusy to Nové Ouholice. So this was the only unpleasant part of this trip. After passing along Říp and reaching Roudnice nad Labem, you will be riding on a very nice bike route number 2 Labská and number 7 Vltavská all the way to Lužec. There you will cross the river over the new bridge and follow the local roads to Veltrusy ending with the ride through the castle gardens. Even though this is a little longer trip, the good news is that after point 10 at about 20 km into the trip, you will be going only flat or downhill.

During your trip you should not miss the interesting geocache at Jevíněves at point 6. This intersection of bike roads is quite unique with all kinds of amateur art and the note stating that it was NOT supported by European Union. On the square of Ctiněves you can take a break and think about praotec Čech, who is said to have his grave in this village. After Roudnice you will be biking along the artificial water canal built for the International rowing competitions. But the most remarkable visit you can make is at point 13, where you can look at the creations of folk artist Roman Deutsch. If you will be lucky, he may change to his special robe and give you a personal tour of his place abounding with the bizarre art. 73 km, 320 m elevation gain. To see this ride in context, check our interactive maps.

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