Doksy, North Bohemia, Aug 6 (CTK) – Swiss experts will help develop the Czech Ralsko Geopark, situated in the former military district in the vicinity of Ceska Lipa, north Bohemia, that should turn into a recreational area, project coordinator Petra Cernouskova told reporters yesterday.
The Geopark Ralsko covers almost 300 square kilometres around the villages of Ralsko, Doksy and Hamr na Jezere. It offers not only natural beauties, but also an interesting history.
The first settlement was there in the Neolithic Era (New Stone Age). The central site of Ralsko, Kurivody, was founded as a royal town by Czech King Premysl Otakar II in the 13th century.
“The Ralsko Geopark has a great potential for the development of environmentally friendly tourism. It has a chance of becoming a driving force of the economic development of the region,” said Ulf Zimmermann, from the university in Rappeswill, Switzerland.
Experts connected with the only Swiss geopark – Sardona, established in 1999, will participate in the development of Ralsko within a one-year project worth two million crowns. They will assist in the drafting of its concept and advise how to get local inhabitants involved in the Geopark.
In Sardona, for instance, some 50 guides are recruited from locals, which might also work in Ralsko, Cernouskova said.
Ralsko can primarily boast of its unique natural beauties that can attract tourists.
A natural reserve and ponds with peatbogs are also part of the Ralsko Geopark.
The first marked 19-km-long tourist trail was opened in the Ralsko Geopark this year.
“We would like to place information panels for tourists along the trail by the end of the year,” Ralsko Geopark public beneficial company director Lenka Mrazova said.
In the future, a whole network of marked tourist paths both for hikers and cyclists should be created there along with better accommodation and catering services for tourists, Mrazova added.