Slavkovský forest (Emperor´s Forest)
The Protected Landscape Area of the Slavkovský forest is one of the most beautiful, romantic and fabulous places in western Bohemia. Formerly it was known as Emperor´s forest.
It lies in the altitude of 374 - 983 m above the sea level and covers an area of 606 km2, between Mariánské Lázně, Karlovy Vary and Kynšperk nad Ohří. On 3 May 1974 it was declaired as The Protected Landscape Area.
The landscape pattern is various – apart from forests stretching close to the mountain peaks there are also lowlands with lakes. Three volcanoes (Andělská hora, Komorní hůrka, Uhelný trh), originating in the tertiary period, are certainly one of the main attractions for tourists as well as numerous mineral springs.
The Protected Landscape Area of Slavkovský forest is located in the triangle of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně on the border of the West-Bohemian and the Karlovy Vary Region. The Slavkovský forest PLA has the appearance of an upland island of green vegetation and tranquility very little influenced by man. It is an impressive landscape complex of peneplain type. The highest peaks are Lesný (983 m) and Lysina (982 m), rising in western part. A large part of southwestern forest area is formed by vast raised bogs covered by Swiss mountain pine, immature birch and typical bog species. Vast forest complexes together with bogs represent an enormous natural water reserve that positively influences the water regime of the vast surrounding areas (particularly spas in the west of Czech Republic). Because of this mineral water spring conservation, Slavkovský forest PLA’s role differs from that of the other PLAs in Czech Republic. With the occurrence of diverse natural habitats and numerous plant and animal species, Slavkovský forest also ranks among the sites of the European NATURA 2000 system.
There is a well-marked tourist path network in the area, which can direct the visitors to attractive natural and historical places (a monastery in Teplá, Loket castle, Bečov town and Kynžvart chateau) whether in winter or in summer. The PLA Administration of Slavkovský forest gives you an unique opportunity to visit the Na Kladské (which is partly accessible by wheelchair) and Smraďoch nature paths.