Znojmo is an ideal starting point for trips to the Dyje Valley. Two protected natural parks are located in its surroundings: Podyjí National Park on the Czech side and Thayatal on the Austrian side.
In recent history, it was a strictly guarded border zone. The area was inaccessible and that is why its nature is better preserved than in other nature reserves exposed to long-term massive tourism. We definitely recommend you to visit the romantic castle ruins of Nový Hrádek near Lukov, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the valley and the meanders of the Dyje. Nature enthusiasts can see here many rare specimens of fauna and flora. Right here we saw a black stork for instance. In the courtyard of Hrádek, denseflower mulleins are growing and with a little luck you will see here two rare butterfly species: clouded Apollo and Old World swallowtail.
Another interesting historical site is the Kaja castle ruin on the Austrian side of the border. Some better preserved historical monuments worth visiting are the castles in Vranov nad Dyjí, Bítov or Hardegg on the Austrian side.
Only a stone's throw away from Znojmo is a small village called Hradiště with a terraced descent ending at a water dam. Also from here you can enjoy some beautiful views of Znojmo. Fig trees are growing on the terraces, reportedly being the northernmost occurrence of fig tree. We also found here the eresus moravicus, a 1.5 cm large spider that was only described quite recently (2008).
We also recommend you to visit the Havranice Heath, preferably in the early evening with a picnic basket with some local wine. It just tastes gorgeous here. You might only be disturbed by a flying stag beetle, our biggest beetle species.
If you are looking for active relaxation, you can try the extensive network of Znojmo cycling routes or hike down the hills and valleys in the scenic nature around the Dyje.
There really are a plenty of spots around Znojmo worth visiting. We will be happy to give you more information and help you plan your trips.