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CZ: Sazava – The Most Popular River

Published: 20.7.2017
The Sazava is sought after by many paddlers. Should you hear somebody saying anything about riding the Golden River, he certainly talks about the Sazava. The alternate name for the river comes from its brown-yellowish color created by clay releasing from the riverbed. The upper stream of the Szava is the Struzny creek. It feeds Velke Darko the largest pond of the Bohemian Moravian Highlands. This pond is a popular vacation place and the center of windsurfing and dragon boats.

The River Sazava flows out of the pond. Its current has 225 in lenght. For the most part, it is travelable by boat. The Sazava has wonderful meanders with many weirs. Should you decide to ride on the river, take a book guide with. Or download an app how which would tell you the easiest way to sail over weirs. The Sazava flows slowly so make sure your route won't be longer than 15–20 kilometers in a canoe or 10–15 kilometers on a raft.

River Sazava   beautiful nature surrounding the Sazava

Paddlers seeking for wild parts of the river should go to Stvoridla, a nature reserve with Melechov granite massive through which the river flows. There the river creek consists of massive boulders which make the current flow wilder. Stvoridla could be oversailed only when current is high. There runs a red tourist trail on the left riverbank. A nature trail is situated nearby as well. This is splendid section of the river. There is even a legend about it. The devil dumped the boulders here when he got scared of a rooster. A wilder current is within the Tynec-Pikovice section. High current as well is necessary in order to sail thorugh it. However, this could be a problem especially during summer.


The middle and lower stream are the most popular among paddlers. The reason is simple – there are camps, paddling equipment rentals and snack stands on the banks.  The Zelivka and the Blanice rivers are the largest tributaries. The confluence of the Sazava and Zelivka is considered the most romantic place of its kind in Bohemia. There is a rock above the confluence overseeing the mixing of two currents. The Zelivka is crystal clear yet freezing cold. It is easy to recognize which current is of what river – the Sazava is rather yellow-brownish and the Zelivka crystal clear. These characteristic features of Zelivka could be partially attributed to Svihov water dam which is situated about 4 kilometers from the very confluence. 

a parking lot before the church

Beatufiul nature and many weirs which could be sailed over are among the best features of the River Sazava. But there are some cons as well. The water before weirs is still, therefore you must constantly paddle. Many historic places are situated along the river as well as places where you can anchor your boat for a while to explore the river's surroundings.

Ledec nad Sazavou

Ledec nad Sazavou is easy to recognize for its castle rising above the river. The original castle was built in the 13th century. In the historic center, there is another landmark worth seeing – St Peter and Paul's church. In case you have more time on your hands, go to Zamecka and Septouchovska rocks or Septouchov parkZruc nad Sazavou chateau is another great place on the River Sazava. This is situated about 25 kilometers of sail from Ledec. The Museum of Bohemian Paddling is situated within the chateau compound. There you may see historic expositions and modern boats and kayaks.

Zruc nad Sazavou

A nature trail runs across the adjacent chateau park. Also, notice a brewery situated upstreams in Kacov. Salanda pub and Hubertus, localy brewed bear, are well-known.  There are not many seats in the pub but there is a terrace with some free space.   Kacov, up the river stream. Cesky Sternberk is another important stop. Its majestic castle is a gem of the Posazavi regoin. Perhaps this stands for a reason why most of paddlers don't even notice St John of Nepomuk's baroque statue (the latter half of the 18th century) standing on the opposite riverbank. There are another 3 amazing statues around the castle. A walk in Rataje nad Sazavou may be considered yet another pleasant stop on your way. Historic center and its upper and lower castles are amazing. Should you paddle further into the Szava River, you should see the Sazava Monastery (the 3rd oldest male cloister in Bohemia). The garden is free to enter.

brewery, Kacov   cloister

Cesky Sternberk

Ahoy, paddlers!


Text: Martina Brožková

Photos: Martina Brožková, archiv TIC Ledeč

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