MORAVIA

CZECH REPUBLIC

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MORAVIA

$ 4.99*

Moravia is a historical country in the Czech Republic occupying the south-eastern part of the country, and has as its capital Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic (390.000 inhabitants).The land takes its name from the Morava river, which traverses the area southward. For photographers the most iconic part of the region is Southern Moravia, near to the city of Kyjov. The most interesting area forms the shape of a triangle between the villages Svatobožice, Čejč and Žarošice. On the foothills of the Carpathians there are some smooth, long hills with large fields of extensive agriculture. Vast areas planted with cereals, buckwheat and rapeseed, as well as some beautiful vineyards make the area quite similar to Tuscany or the Palouse region. Instead of Tuscany’s classic cypresses you’ll find poplars, elms and chestnut-lined avenues and in the place of iconic Italian villas there are numerous scenic chapels, usually surrounded by trees. In the spring you’ll find stunning structured patchwork fields bursting with colour – details seen with tele lens are similar to Rothko’s paintings.

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AUTHOR’S PICKS

I have included in this small guide 14 of my favourite spots to photograph the Moravian landscapes. There are no restrictions regarding photography in the Southern Moravia area and it’s probably one of the safest places in Europe. The best time to visit the area is spring which usually begins with a flourish at the start of April and coincides with some of the first green cereal-filled lawns and plowed, brown fields. In the second half of April and first half of May the rapeseed fields are in full bloom, making the landscape spectacularly colourful. It’s also worth visiting Moravia in autumn, when the vineyards are full of warm colours and the fields are already ploughed for the winter. Your most important items of gear will be a long telephoto lens with a solid tripod. In Southern Moravia you’ll want to shoot the details of the landscape which are usually far away from the spot. Lenses should have at least 300mm on a full frame camera, but a longer focal length would be even better. In my opinion, a 400mm lens should cover the majority of spots mentioned in this guide. A stable tripod for heavier lenses is another necessity for shooting here. Please take note when packing that this area lies on a large passageway between the Alps, Carpathians and Bohemian Massiv, so strong winds are quite common here. Wading boots will also be a useful item to pack as they will help you to stay dry during scouting walks through muddy fields and paths after rain.

TRAVEL TIPS

You can easily reach Moravia by plane. There are not many flights into our out of the local airport, Tuřany in Brno, but from nearby Vienna or Bratislava airports you can easily reach the region. A rental car will be indispensable to explore the rolling fields and Moravian countryside. One big advantage of this region is the quality of the roads, which in most cases will get you directly to the spots.
In Kyjov and surrounding areas there are a few accommodation options from 10 – 25€/per person per night. The cheapest category is a kind of youth hostel, known as ubytovna (Trifin in Kyjov, www.ubytovani.trifin.cz/ubytovna-kyjov/). A more comfortable place to stay is the 3-star Hotel Pivovar (www.kyjovsky-pivovar.cz), with it’s own brewery and a good restaurant. Outside the city you can find nice places to stay in the surrounding villages. I can recommend Penzion Svatoborski Sklipek in Svatobožice (www.vinarstvi-dufek.cz/vinny-sklipek-ubytovanim/), as mentioned in The Josef Dufek vineyard spot description or try any of the pensions in the wine cellars of Mutenice. In the high photographic season (april-may) it’s advisable to reserve your room in advance. In the Tourist Information centre (informačni centrum, Svatoborska 26, Kyjov) near to the city market you can buy good maps of the region. An exchange bureau (směnárna) is located at Kollarova 226/10.

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