Make your own way into central Prague to meet your guide. Then, travel by air-conditioned coach to Karlstejn Castle, situated above the village of Karlstejn.
As you travel, admire the Czech countryside and hear the history of the castle, a hilltop Gothic fortress founded by Holy Roman Emperor elect, Charles IV, in 1348.
After roughly an hour, arrive and ogle the views of the storybook castle, whose turrets and towers drape a hillside surrounded by lush forests. Then, either walk or ride a horse-drawn carriage (own expense) up to the gate.
Head inside for a guided tour of the buildings as you learn how Charles IV used the castle as a treasury for his coronation jewels.
See the Burgrave’s Palace and Well Tower as your guide shares the latter’s gruesome secret and continue to the five-storey Imperial Palace and its nearby towers.
Step inside to view the Chapel of the Holy Cross, home to 129 exquisite panel paintings by Charles’ court painter, Master Theodoric; and learn how the imperial regalia were kept safely here.
See a replica of St Wenceslas’ crown, and visit the Knight’s Hall, with its central late-Gothic altarpiece. Then, explore highlights such as the Chapel of St Catherine, a place of private meditation for Charles; and the Great Tower, whose walls are hung with paintings of Karlstejn and other castles.
Behold the spectacular views from the towers, and then descend back to Karlstejn village to finish your tour back in Prague.
Please note: If Karlstejn Castle is closed, the tour will visit Český Šternberk. Built in the 13th century, this fairy tale-like fortress perches above the Sázava River and town of Český Šternberk, and is famed for its rich stucco and weaponry collections.
rescos, paintings and other treasures, including a replica crown, before your return to Prague.