Vyhlidka Maj is the famous viewpoint spot overlooking the Vltava River near Prague. Some people also call it the “Horseshoe Bend of Europe”. After doing some amazing day trips from Prague like Kutna Hora and Karlstejn Castle we really wanted to find a good place to hike and get out in nature.
That’s when we saw the famous viewpoint picture that shows the Vltava River bending around a bunch of trees and were sold. It was our mission to find how to get to Vyhlidka Maj via public transport and make a day trip out of it.
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Vyhlidka Maj day hike near Prague
The Vltava River is the famous river that runs through Prague where you can ride a paddle boat and overlook the historic Prague Castle. The Vltava River is also the longest river in the Czech Republic and slithers and bends all the way down to the south of the country.
There are plenty of great viewpoints to take in the Vltava but the one in particular that caught our eye was Vyhlidka Maj. And then it’s of course a bonus how close it is to Prague. So we made it our mission to find a hiking trail to this awesome lookout point.
Practical information about the Vyhlidka Maj Hike
Distance: 11.2 km return / 6.95 miles return
Elevation: 392 m / 1286 ft. elevation gain
Type: In and out
Length: 2.5 – 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (nice trail just need to use maps to not get lost)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When is the best time to visit Vyhlidka Maj
You’d be surprised how hot Czech Republic gets in the summer. In June, July, and August temperatures can easily hit 30+ Celcius. So that’s why we’d say it’s best to visit Vyhlidka Maj in late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall.
For two reasons, you’ll get amazing pictures during the season changes. With all the trees you’ll get so much green in spring/summer and then so much orange and brown in early fall. The foliage is incredible and this viewpoint gives you the opportunity to capture it all.
If you are planning on hiking to Vyhlidka Maj in the summer just try and go earlier in the morning. That way you’ll be back in Prague by late afternoon and can enjoy some ice-cold beers in the city under an umbrella as a post-hike reward.
How to get from Prague to Vyhlidka Maj
The easiest and most convenient way to get from Prague to Vyhlidka Maj is by bus from the Smichov terminal. You can either walk or take the bus, metro, or tram to the Smichov station in Prague. It’s a popular station in the city so there’s lots of public transport that goes to Smichov.
Once you’re at the Smichov station you can take a few busses to get to the town of Štechovice where the hike to Vyhlidka Maj starts. From Prague Smichov you can take bus 360, 361, or 390. If you have a public transport card for Prague you can use it on this bus otherwise just buy a ticket from the driver (bring cash).
The bus ride is about half an hour and takes you out of the city and parallel with the Vltava River which is the river you’ll overlook from the viewpoint Maj at the end of the hike.
As soon as you pass this bridge (see image below) the bus will stop in Štechovice and this is where the hike starts!
A little bit about hiking to Vyhlidka Maj
If you don’t know, well now you will! Basically, whenever we go somewhere we try to make a hike or a full day trip out of it. It’s what happened when we hiked to Velka America and the Adrspach Mountains as well. We always try to make the most out of the trip and explore nature wherever we go.
Vyhlidka Maj was no different. We absolutely recommend taking the bus only to Štechovice earlier in the morning. Once you get to Štechovice, there is a beautiful trail right from town that takes you by the Vltava River, up into the forest, through some villages, and finally to the lookout point.
The hiking trails from the Štechovice to Vyhlidka Maj are easy to find and follow as long as you know where to go. All you have to do is follow the yellow marks.
There are a few signs to follow and marks but they’re not always that obvious. So we created this trail to follow to make sure you stay on track. Click here to see it. We basically tried to plan the most convenient and scenic route to the viewpoint.
There isn’t much elevation on the hike and as long as it hasn’t rained lately running shoes will be perfectly fine for this hike.
Other than that, there are a few spots to stop along the way like a pub and a little bakery we found and the rest is all out in the beautiful Czech nature.
Preparing for your hike
- If you don’t have MapyCz already, then we’d definitely recommend downloading the app before hiking anywhere in the Czech Republic. It’s extremely handy for finding all the right trails and it’s very useful. We use it on every hike we do.
- In case you don’t have data and can’t download MapyCZ you can also find all the details with Google links here.
- Vyhlídka Máj is not a challenging hike at all but if you need some inspiration for gear or looking for some stuff you may want to bring you can take a peek at this hiking checklist here.
- It’s also worth checking the weather to make sure you’re not going to get dumped on by rain. Here is the Stechovice weather forecast for where the hike starts.
The hike up to Vyhlidka Maj from Štechovice
The hike starts as soon as you get off the bus in Stechovice. If you forgot snacks or food this is your chance. There’s a little grocery store, sweet shop, and a fruit market, nice and close to the bus shop. We stocked up on some chocolate bars, buns, and fruit here before we made our way across the bridge.
#1 Stechovice Bridge to the country road
The first part of the hike is very chilled out. Walk across the Stechovice Bridge and take an instant right where you’ll follow the trail parallel to the Vltava River. Already from the beginning of the trail the signage and marks aren’t great but as long as you see some yellow markers you’re on the right track.
You’ll see a soccer field, a church tower, and some hills in the distance. The trail is really nice here and used by locals. It is possible to take a bus closer to the hike itself, but we chose to hike from the bridge because it offers beautiful views of the Czech countryside. Since we already took a bus an hour out of the city we said we might as well make a proper hike out of it.
Eventually, you’ll come across what looks like a water dam. Before you get to this point, make sure to take a left up the hill and into the forest. There should be a sign with a map and a yellow mark, and that’s where you head left. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t but you’ll end up bushwacking a bit through the forest or back tracking.
Always just double-check on Google Maps or MapyCZ to make sure you’re not lost. We’re only saying this because we had a first-hand experience getting lost in the forest, lol.
Once you take the left and start hiking up the hill, the path will be quite obvious and you’ll follow it until you hit the main country road.
#2 From the country road to Vyhlidka Maj
Yay, you made it! If you didn’t get lost more than once you’re already doing better than our first time doing this hike. From this point on, the hike is quite easy to follow and as long as you continue to see some yellow marks you’re golden.
Make your way to the little town of Trebsin and just follow the village road which then connects back to the main road you walked on earlier. Cross the main road and follow the trail that leads to the big open field.
It might seem like private land but don’t worry it’s normal and legal to walk on this land in the Czech Republic. If you’ve seen our post from Velka Amerika you’ll know it’s quite common.
In the summer the field is lush and green and connects to the yellow trail that brings you to Vyhlidka Maj.
Once you’re at the last stretch you’ll see a bunch of people walking to the viewpoint. Depending on the season it might be easier or harder to get a good picture of the Vltava bending and curving. If you go slowly and watch your step you can go down a few feet from the viewpoint and get some really good pictures.
It’s one of the best places to photograph the Vltava River. There are some other viewpoints in the area but some have gotten shut down or the land has been bought for private use. So this is one of the last viewpoints that you can really get the best view of the Vltava River.
#3 Vyhlidka Maj to Teletin bus stop
Remember this isn’t an in-and-out hike so we don’t have to go all the way back to Stechovice. Instead, walk to Teletin which is only a 5-10 minute walk from Vyhlidka Maj.
Teletin is a tiny tiny village where you’ll find the bus stop right in the center of it. Next to the bus stop, you’ll find this old house that has been converted into a mini bakery. We grabbed some coffee and sweets while we waited for the bus to bring us back to Prague.
Depending on the time of day and which day you go you might have to wait a bit for the bus. You can find the bus times from Teletin to Prague here or of course on Google Maps.
What to bring on your day trip from Prague
Even though it’s only an hour away from Prague it’s always nice to be prepared and have all the essentials you may need for a day trip. We usually always end up forgetting something because we don’t make a list and we don’t want you to follow in our footsteps! 😉
Here’s what you should bring to Vyhlidka Maj:
- Outdoor/running shoes are fine for this hike.
- A water bottle! A Lifestraw is great since you can fill it up wherever you go.
- Phone, wallet, camera, public transport card, and headphones for the ride from Prague to the hike.
- Sunscreen is a must during the summer months! In the summer months, you can see 30 degrees Celsius or more. We can highly recommend this eco-friendly sunscreen from Sun Bum that we use wherever we go.
- It’s always nice to pack some snacks. There are cafes and restaurants at the beginning of the hike but it’s good to have snacks if you get hungry along the way at some point.
- A portable charger for your phone and/or camera. It’s crazy how fast your battery drains on day trips from all the Google Map usage and photo taking. Especially being somewhere foreign where you don’t know the public transport and all that it’s nice to always have your battery charged on your phone.
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Vyhlidka Maj is one of the best places to photograph the Vltava River. There are some other viewpoints in the area but some have gotten shut down or the land has been bought for private use. So this is one of the last viewpoints that you can really get the best view of the Vltava River.
We hope you enjoy this outdoor day trip from Prague. We always try to find these day trips from Prague that are convenient by public transport. Prague to Kutna Hora is another incredible one. If you love beer it might be worth doing a day trip to Pilsen and checking out the Pilsner Urquell Brewery.
Every corner and area of Czech has something beautiful to offer. Fortunately, Prague is in the heart of Czech and quite central for all these trips.
Have a great time enjoying the views and hiking in the forests. We can’t wait to hear about your adventure.