Karlovy Vary lies in a valley surrounded by extensive forests with more than 120 kilometers of paths, with many beautiful views and travellers' restaurants. The city also boasts tennis courts, golf courses, the second oldest horse racing track in the Republic (the first horse races
were already being run here in 1899), and an international airport, which also offers observation flights (every Saturday a regular airplane link between Zurich and Karlovy Vary operates).
The region is also known as Goethe's love - having stayed here several times, he spent a total of over three years in West Bohemia, which is longer than his stay in Italy. What does the spell of West Bohemia exactly consist of, why has the region been attracting people both famous and ordinary, from far and near, for several centuries?
Most remarkable about it is the unusual concentration of tourist, cultural and natural attractions
in a relatively small territory. As one of the visitors put it: it is a land with a thousand different faces - everyone can find there exactly the things he or she loves. An old historical land, romantic and noble, with undulated plains, ancient forests, picturesque valleys, hot and cold mineral springs
, idyllic corners, palace gardens and medieval castles.
It is also a land where both body and soul are healed. The spas in West Bohemia, the Land of Health, have for centuries been the place where generations of sufferers have sought cures. West Bohemia is a huge, natural clinic. Among the immense wealth of mineral springs gushing out from the ground, there is likely to be one for almost every possible disease. Patients have been seeking cures in West Bohemia's spas since the Middle Ages, and the local mineral water used to be sent in earthen bottles with tin caps even to remote places from the late 19th
Well-kept forest paths for walking and jogging are a very pleasant surprise for visitors of Karlovy Vary. Around the town is a complex of paths connecting interesting places. There is a wonderful view of Karlovy Vary and its surroundings from Petr the Great Hill, Mount Friendship and from Charles IV. Observation Point. 8 km southwest of Karlovy Vary are the Svatosske Cliffs, a group of bizzare formations which represents a petrified wedding procession. This theme was developed by the brothers Grimm, Goethe, K.T. Korner and by composer H. A. Marschner
in his opera Hans Heiling. 11 km northwest of Karlovy Vary there is Loket with a large 13th
century Gothic castle which houses a porcelain museum. One of the most famous products of Karlovy Vary is the world known herb liqueur Becherovka.
Many programs run after the spa season officially begins, with a ball in the Grand Hotel Pupp - in May, it's the International Jazz Festival Karlovy Vary; in June, the Opera and Musical Festival
; in July, Mozart and Karlovy Vary; in August, the Days of Beethoven; and in September, Dvorak's Autumn of Karlovy Vary.