Practical advice for visitors to the Moravian Karst
The Moravian Karst is one of the most important karst areas in Central Europe. It is comprised of heavily karstified Devonian limestones.Karst formations have developed here both on the surface and underground on an area of 100 km2. There are more than 1,000 known caves in this area, five of which are open to the public. The Moravian Karst was declared a Protected Landscape Area in 1956 in the interests of preserving this unique natural phenomenon.
The Moravian Karst is the most important tourist locality in our region and is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year who are fascinated by the exquisite nature of the Moravian Karst, admire the vertiginous depth of the Macocha Abyss, and look forward to a tour of the caves.
We would like to use this space to give you a few pieces of practical advice to make your holiday in
the Moravian Karst as enjoyable as possible.
Access and transport to and within the Moravian Karst
The Moravian Karst is literally interwoven with a dense network of tourist trails. A green tourist trail, beginning at the railway station, leads from Blansko to Skalní Mlýn (the “heart” of the karst) where there is an information centre and car park. A yellow trail will bring you here from Sloup and the Sloup-Šošůvka Caves. Another important point is the upper viewing point of the Macocha Abyss, where the yellow trail from Sloup meets up with a red trail from Rudice.
Automobile transport in the karst has been restricted in view of the enormous number of visitors and replaced with ecological transport. Pustý Žleb, the connecting point between the Punkva Caves and
the village of Sloup, and part of Suchý Žleb (from the Katherine Cave to the turn-off to the upper viewing point of the Macocha Abyss) are entirely closed to vehicles. You will have to leave your car at the car park by the Skalní Mlýn Hotel or the upper viewing point of the Macocha Abyss.
An ecological train is in operation on the section from Skalní Mlýn to the Punkva Caves, and there is a cableway from the Punkva Caves to the upper viewing point of Macocha. The train and cableway operate in connection with entry to the caves (the train every 20 minutes, the cableway in uninterrupted operation). You can buy tickets at the information centre in Skalní Mlýn and at both cableway stops. We recommend you purchase a COMBI ticket, which is a combined return ticket for the train and cableway at an advantageous price.
You can also get to Skalní Mlýn by bus. There is a regular bus connection and a seasonal Krasobus tourist service that takes tourists from Skalní Mlýn back to the centre of Blansko in contrast to other services that end at the railway station. More information at www.krasobus.cz
Ticket reservation system
All reservations for the caves are performed by The Skalní Mlýn Central Information Service
– telephone number: 516 413 575 or 516 415 354. A written order is required for groups of more than 15 people.
It is essential to book tickets to the Punkva Caves in advance, especially in the summer tourist season. We recommend booking at least a week in advance!
The caves can only accommodate a limited number of visitors in view of the maximum number of people that can be carried by the boat.
Reserved tickets must be collected at least 40 minutes in advance, otherwise they will be forfeited and offered to people without reservations. Uncollected tickets are available every day, particularly in the early morning. Tickets may become available during the day, so it may be worth asking at the information centre throughout the day.
Tickets to the Balcarka, Katherine, Výpustek and Sloup-Šošůvka Caves are usually available, and no reservation is necessary.
Each cave has its own guide and tours can be booked in various languages.
Practical advice for your visit to the caves
The Katherine Cave, Punkva Caves and Macocha Abyss
Skalní Mlýn is the starting point for your trip. You can buy tickets for all these caves and our ecological transport here. Katherine Cave – most famous for its stalactite formation The Witch and the legend of Katherine and her lost sheep – is just a ten-minute walk away. A tour of the cave, which is extremely popular with children, lasts 30 minutes.
Then you can go back to Skalní Mlýn and board the ecological train which will take you to the Punkva Caves. A tour of these caves is divided into a “dry” part and a boat trip, and lasts 60 minutes. Important note – entry to the caves is prohibited to children up to the age of 3. Not far from the entrance to the caves you will find the bottom of the cableway which will take you to the upper viewing point of the Macocha Abyss. You can get back to Skalní Mlýn on the cableway or by taking the footpath.
Balcarka and the Sloup-Šošůvka Caves
You can get to Ostrov u Macochy via Vilémovice – the Balcarka Cave is just before the village. It is famous primarily for its richly coloured stalactite decoration. No reservation is needed for this cave. From Ostrov set out for Sloup – Village of the Year 2000. The Sloup-Šošůvka Caves have recently been restored, and the tour also takes in the Kůlna or Shed Cave, a famous archaeological site. You have the choice of two routes –
a short route and a long route. The short route take 60 minutes, though we recommend the long route (which takes 100 minutes and covers 1,670 metres) for the more able-bodied.
The Výpustek Cave
From Blansko, go to Jedovnice and take the turning in the direction of Brno to Křtiny. The Výpustek Cave is located in the Josefov Valley around 1 km from Křtiny. Centuries ago, the cave was an extensive and unique subterranean system. In the 20th century, the cave space was, however, greatly affected by the extraction of phosphate soils and the actions of the Czechoslovak and German armies. An underground nuclear shelter was built in one of its passages in the nineteen sixties. During your tour, you will learn something of
the history of the cave, including the building of the formerly top-secret military command centre. At
the present time, the finishing touches are being put to the exhibitions “The Výpustek Cave in the Křtiny Valley” and “Cave of Ancient Rituals”, presenting Výpustek as the oldest cave in the Moravian Karst open to the public, a cave of “dragons and unicorns” and the largest bear cave in the Moravian Karst.
Finally one important piece of advice – don’t forget to dress warmly, as the temperature
in the caves is 7–8 °C!!!
Blansko and the surrounding area
Further information about the caves, the Moravian Karst and other items of interest in the Blansko area, including details on how and where to spend your leisure time or holiday, is available on the web Blanensko.cz