A Trip to Brno’s Mariánské údolí: For Swimming, Hiking, Rollercoasters and Picnics
This summer, I have decided to make the best use of my weekends to see more of South Moravia and places near Brno that I might have overlooked. With the aim of combining a sweaty weekend hike with a refreshing swim, I did some research on the lakes that are still within the city borders of Brno. Brno Dam is surely fit for that, and without doubt a spectacular place, but I set my eyes on somewhere less mainstream than Bystrc. That’s how I found myself in Mariánské údolí, and I regretted that I hadn’t discovered this gem sooner!
Mariánské údolí is one of the absolute best places for a day trip at the weekend, with something to offer for kids, families, friends, couples, and solo walkers. Located in Líšeň and accessible by several different buses and trams from the city center (the best option would either be the number 58 from Stara Osada to Obecka or 55 to the last stop), the place is not very crowded, even at weekends. The paths to the lakes are much preferred by bikers, but can still be great for hikers as well.
I used Google Maps to plan and check the route for the whole trip. After getting off bus 55, I walked the pathway from the parking lot to Bobovka U Mlýna, an outdoor rollercoaster that is safe for both kids and adults. I took the opportunity and tried the ride, which was great fun at a good price (CZK 60 for one ride). As the speed can be adjusted and the seats are secured with stable seatbelts, those like me with a fear of heights can still get the best experience out of it while you sweep through the forest. You will possibly wait for 7-8 minutes in the line at the weekend, but it is surely worth the wait. It is also possible to buy refreshments at the spot, including ice cream, fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, and beer.
After the ride, I followed the marked pathway to the lakes, and was struck by the beauty of the area. Once you reach near the water, you find a big grass area for sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, or just enjoying the surroundings. Although the water quality is not perfect, many people still enjoy a nice swim. I took my time sitting by the first lake you come to after the short walk from Bobovka U Mlýna, reading, having a beer and taking in the relaxed Saturday atmosphere. The lakeside is delightful with a view surrounded by forests, and feels almost secluded.
Near the first lake, there is a small kiosk with drinks, snacks, and ice cream. Several portable toilets are situated around the lake.
As you continue your walk along the pathway, you will find that the path narrows and the bends get bigger, almost drawing S-shapes. There will be spots where you will see even greater views than the ones you saw as you started your journey, and less busy swimming areas where you can enjoy some peace and quiet. Cyclists and hikers looking for a long route can head up to the Pekarna Cave and on to Ochoz u Brna by following the same path. If you get all sweaty from the hike or bike ride, there is another smaller lake on the green route named Hádecký rybník where you can take a dip.
Travel tips from mapy.cz come in handy at this point as you will lose your internet connection. It is useful to follow the routes set by previous travellers and not go deep into the jungle! If you survive the route, you can take a bus from Ochoz u Brna (number 201 to Stara Osada again).
If you are not in the hiking or cycling mood, you will need to return to the bus stop and parking lot where you started your journey to get back to the center, following the same pathway.
Mariánské údolí is definitely a great place to have a full day of lakeside fun, with loved ones or by yourself. Grab a blanket to sit on, a bottle of suncream, and your summer playlist, and soak up the relaxing summer atmosphere!