Cycling trip to Zemská brána and Deštné

The weather was very nice on Saturday and that’s why I decided to go for a little longer cycling trip. I wanted to see Zemská brána (literally “Land’s Gate” in English), beautiful natural reservation on Czech-Polish border.

Main POIs Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Total ascent
Zemská brána, Šerlich, Deštné 137 km 1013 m 272 m 1720 m
Elevation diagram - to Šerlich and back

Elevation diagram - to Šerlich and back

I set out from Choceň at 7:40 a.m. and went along the river Tichá Orlice (“Silent Eagle”) via Ústí nad Orlicí to Letohrad. There are nice and comfortable cycling tracks (route nr. 4061 Choceň – Ústí nad Orlicí and route nr. 4048 Ústí n. O. – Letohrad), so after less than two hours I got to Letohrad.

From there I went across the Šedivec hill (that separates valleys of Tichá and Divoká Orlice) to Nekoř, village located near Pastviny water reservoir. It’s quite a favorite holiday resort, but two days ago when I rode around it to the north to Klášterec nad Orlicí, most of camps and restaurants were empty and looked closed. I arrived to Klášterec at about quarter to eleven, having 46 kilometers on my cyclometer.

Pastviny

Pastviny

From the town I continued along the Divoká Orlice river to Zemská brána – this part of the trip was maybe the best one, even though I had a little problem there: some bee or probably hornet bit me in the leg and while it was OK during the ride, now it hurts me quite badly and have to cool it by icepacks. Hope it will be better by the morning, today at work I couldn’t concentrate…

I took a few photos of a beautiful bridge at Zemská brána (it’s its symbol) and had a short break before continuing to north-west to Bartošovice nad Orlicí, where I stopped for a lunch (pork, cabbage, dumplings and glass of beer – all for about 90 Kč).

Zemská brána - bridge

Zemská brána - bridge

After the meal I left Bartošovice and rode along 311 road to the north-west. I’ve never been on that road before, and I liked it a lot – it leads just under main crest of Orlické hory mountains and passes through beautiful mountain villages of Neratov and Orlické Záhoří. If you ever manage to get there (and I strongly recommend it to you), don’t forget to visit beautiful Neratov church.

Church in Neratov

Church in Neratov

Between Bartošovice and Orlické Záhoří, road stays near the river and so there are no very big hills. However, this radically changes behind the Záhoří village, because in following 7.2 kilometers the road slowly turns to the west and climbs from 730 meters up to 970 meters to Šerlich saddle, where it crosses the Orlické hory mountain crest. This ascent was quite difficult for me, since at that time I already had nearly 80 kilometers behind me.

Fortunately after a few pauses I made it and even climbed from the saddle to the top of Šerlich mountain, to 1013 meters. Naturally I was very happy, because it was the first time I managed to got by bike from Choceň (287 m ASL) to elevation higher than thousand meters!

Šerlich - Masarykova chata

Šerlich - Masarykova chata

Journey down the hill to Deštné (ski resort under Šerlich) and through beautiful narrow valley of Bělá river to Skuhrov nad Bělou was a great reward for the previous steep ascent. Also the rest of the trip was relatively easy and at quarter past five I returned back home, after 9 hours and almost 140 kilometers (138 km to be exact).

It was the second longest cycling trip I ever made (the first one being trip Choceň – Znojmo) and probably the one I liked the most… If you have time I strongly encourage you to try at least some part of it!

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