From treetop walkways to fantastical forest theme parks, Madeleine Barber finds the Czech town of Lipno well worth a visit.
An unconventional way to descend the observation tower of the Czech Republic’s first treetop walkway is via a shiny spiral slide. It’s almost as thrilling as taking in the panoramic views of the Lipno region from the top of this corkscrew structure in Active Park Lipno.
The vista reveals Lake Lipno and Lipno nad Vltavou village to the south, most of the activity park to the north, and pine forest and the Novohradske mountains in between.
From next summer, Active Park Lipno will be offering an app that gives treetop walkers advice on the wildlife to look out for en route to the top. This sky-high attraction opened in 2012, joining other family-friendly activities in the park including swimming, scooter riding, boating, cycling and rope climbing.
“The top attractions in Lipno are completely different from those in the surrounding historical destinations,” says Katarina Hobbs, director of Czech Tourism’s UK and Ireland office. “Lipno nad Vltavou and Active Park Lipno are famous for the beautiful lake, ski resort, and the treetop walkway. There are lots of things to do, most of which are connected to nature,” she adds.
While the park is open in winter for the ski season, its summer offerings are far more diverse. The Forest Kingdom was added in 2016 and is one of the summer-holiday highlights, featuring giant trampolines, climbing frames, rope bridges and even a herd of friendly goats. Plus, parents won’t need to worry about their children, as the 2,000-capacity area is entirely fenced in and offers a tracking bracelet system for little ones.
Plans for expanding the Forest Kingdom are underway, with a Forest Theatre projected to launch in 2020 showcasing fairytale performances inspired by local flora and fauna.
Currently, 80% of Lipno’s visitors are Czech and, with the resort being located around three miles from the Austrian border, the remainder are predominantly Austrian and German.
“I think British tour operators are only going for the safe sell – new product can be risky,” Hobbs explains. “But Lipno suits all people looking to get off the beaten track and explore, from couples and families with young children to more demanding guests seeking luxurious accommodation.”
Flights: Linz, Austria, is the closest airport to Lipno with flight times from London just under two hours, or Prague is three hours by car.
Currency: Czech koruna.
Accommodation: There is a basic hotel in Active Park Lipno, but advise guests to choose one of the many lakeside options in the village.