Side trips from the Czech capital
Known as Theresienstadt in German, this 18th-century garrison town 60 km north of Prague was transformed by the Nazis into a concentration camp. Spirits invariably sink as the grim red-brick walls of Terezín's fortress slowly swing into view. About 140,000 Jews from all over Europe were interned here during the war. Deportees were initially crammed into the town's barracks and when they were full, the civilian population was moved out and the entire town turned into one huge ghetto. The "small fortress", used as a prison by the Gestapo, now houses the Terezín Memorial. Theresienstadt was not an extermination camp as most of its prisoners were sent on to Auschwitz or other death camps, but some 34,000 people died here and visiting the town today is a moving experience.
Terezín is 50 minutes by bus from Prague's Nádraží Holešovice train station. Buses leave every half hour.
Kokořínsko Nature Reserve
This area of primeval forest and sandstone towers, 60 km northeast of Prague is ideal for walking and little visited by tourists. Kokořínsko offers dozens of colour-coded hiking trails that crisscross this unspoilt area of deep forest and rolling hills, with odd shapes looming out of the sandstone rocks.
A good starting point is the sleepy town of Mšeno; follow the green and blue trails past the 1920s outdoor swimming pool into the virgin forest. Take the yellow trail to Raj (Paradise), the excellent country pub there offers hungry hikers and bikers steaming plates of wild boar in cranberry sauce or artery-constricting fried cheese, washed down with foamy pints of Pilsner. Ask for a hiking map (turistická mapa) of Kokořínsko in any map shop. You will see the trails marked on trees, walls and lampposts.
The nature reserve is only an hour away by car but is also possible to reach by public transport for adventurous travellers. Look for train and bus connections to Mšeno.
Rob Cameron is the BBC's Prague correspondent.