CYCLING TRAIL ZNOJMO - RETZ -ZNOJMO
The cycling trail Znojmo-Heiligerstein (A) leads partly over asphalt, however mostly over gravel roads through marshes and a short stretch of deciduous forest. As far as difficulty is concerned, this trail ranks among the less difficult - both with regard to length and elevation gradient. However it should be noted that in the first part - from the river Dyje to the hill Kraví hora - there is a highly difficult stretch for about 200 meters, on bad quality asphalt with an uphill gradient of up to 13%. From then on, the trail has no steep sections. There are no dangerous stretches for cyclists for the rest of the trail. Should there be children with lesser endurance in the group, it is always possible to cut the ride short by taking the Retz-Znojmo road (light traffic) back to Znojmo. When riding over Kraví hora, from which one has a splendid view of the historical city of Znojmo on the Dyje river; the trail leads on through marshes that spread all the way past the villages Konice and Popice, where you will find local pubs right by the road. The real marshes (Havranická, or Fládnitzká) begin at the chapel just beyond Popice and stretch just past Havraníky. On a small hill over Havraníky there is a chapel, from here, if visibility is good, you can see as far as the Alps (Rax range, with tallest mountain Schneeberg 2076 m altitude) and the view of the 160km distant mountain massif is a breathtaking experience. Next is the last village on Moravian territory, Hnanice, with its winery streets and a labyrinth of cellars. From there the trail leads across the borderline to Austrian territory and the sacred Heiligerstein. History left deep footsteps here, as well as the foundations of a medieval church. A round lookout was erected on the hill, from which you can overlook the Moravian and Austrian lowlands, typical namely for the omnipresent vineyards. Near the bell tower a sacred stone is protruding from the ground, imbibed with magic powers and energy that it passes on to those who sit on it. The destination point of the trail is Retz, to which the route leads across picturesque Austrian vineyards. Retz is a small, peaceful town, with a strong historical atmosphere, offering a number of tourist attractions. A short list of things to see would include the historical square with fountains, which are filled with wine at harvest time. The town hall tower serves as a lookout at local scenery. Another option is to visit the town's underground, an interesting small museum of cycling or the local swimming establishment. After about a 500m uphill slope over the town you can ride to a romantic windmill, surrounded by sacral sculptures, the nearby adapted military cemetery is definitely also worth a look.
To go back to Znojmo, you can either take the same road as on the way here, or the easier and shorter route on the Retz-Znojmo road, which has no significant elevation differences and goes downhill from Havraníky all the way to Nový Šaldorf. There you take a turn to Sedlešovice and the Louka monastery, a huge ecclesiastic building with a courtyard featuring a cellar complex and refreshments and wine from Znovín a.s., in front of the monastery is a beautiful new town swimming pool. To Znojmo you can either go directly uphill on the road, or by either of the banks along the Dyje river under the Šatovský bridge and Dyjská street. Cyclists should spare some strength for this part, Znojmo is surprisingly a hilltop town.
Trail length: 35.0 km
Trail time: 02:03:34
Upslope: 587 m
Down slope: 592 m
Minimum elevation above mean sea level: 209 m
Maximum elevation above mean sea level: 344 m
Starting point elevation above mean sea level: 293 m
Ending point elevation above mean sea level: 288 m