Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Czech Republic : South Bohemia : Kleť
Kleť is the highest mountain in the Blansky Lees area at 1084m and it has a tower, cafe and restaurant and an observatory on top. It can easily be identified from afar by the large red and white TV aerial. The tower costs 20 Kc to climb and there is a excellent 360 view of South Bohemia from the top, including Český Krumlov and České Budějovice. In case of good weather and clear sky the peaks of Alps can be seen of the horizon. The observatory provides public tours every day in the week during the summer holidays (July and August), otherwise check the availability. There is also facilities to hire mountain scooters (like these) and it seems that you can go cross country and drop off the scooter in various other locations. However, some local knowledge would no doubt uncover many unmarked downhill trails through the woods.
The summit of Kleť is quite busy with people due to the chair lift on the approach from Holubov. However, if you want to hike or bike then it only takes 50 paces in any direction to escape the toursists and enjoy the fantastic forest trails.
Flora and fauna
Climbing from Holubov
You will see Kleť from the train station due to the tv aerial. You need to follew the yellow markings and climb roughly 2 kilometers up to the hill through Krasetin village to the base of the chair lift. Various sources say that this is a cable car or a funicular but it's really a chair lift! From here you can make use of the chair lift (~70 Kc, Aug 2010) or walk up under your own power. The climb is ~500m high gain and ~2km so it is not to be taken too lightly. You can climb up underneath the chair lift, which is quite steep and rough in places, or you can take the green trail up through the woods, which is probably going to be much nicer. There is also another place to hire mountain scooters at the bottom of the chair lift.
Climbing from Český Krumlov
From here it is a gentle ~7km walk largely through forest and with ~600m high climb, which should mean ~3 hours. You can get up the mountain by car if you’re not up to the hike. Follow the green marked trail from the Český Krumlov railway station, cross over the tracks and continue up the road, following horizontal green lines painted on trees. Cycle route 1166 also heads to the top.
Once at the summit it is easy to see where to go. There is a large set of sign posts to all the surronding villages indicating which colour trail you need to follow and roughly how far it is. The distances are not especially accurate though. Options include taking the green trail to Český Krumlov, the red trail down to Zlata Koruna or the yellow trail down to Plesovice (a nice little village, the bar/restaurant at the station is only open Tues and Fri-Sun though). From most places it is possible to get the bus or train back to where you have started, although the trains are less frequent.