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Orlickie Mountains

The Orlickie Mountains is a range of the Central Sudetes almost entirely in the Czech Republic, and in Poland available only in the vicinity of Duszniki Zdrój and Zieleniec.

\From the north-east, through the valley of Bystrzyca Dusznicka River and Dzika Orlica River, they connect with the Bystrzyckie Mountains parallel to them. From the north-west, they border the Polskie Wrota Pass (660 m above sea level) and the Bystra valley (near Kudowa-Zdrój) with the Lewińskie Hills and Stołowe Mountains, and in the south they end at the Czech village of Herzmanice. In the west, on the Czech side, they pass into the Orlické foothills.

The compact 50 km belt of the Orlické Mountains together with the Bystrzyckie Mountains is a mountain complex, but it is much higher than them, with the average height of the main (Deszteński) ridge over 1000 m above sea level. There are also two other and much lower ridges – Mladkowski (with Mount Adam 765 m above sea level) and Bukovohorsky (the highest peaks are Suchy vrch 995 m above sea level and Bukowa hora 958 m above sea level).

The area is particularly extensive and attractive in terms of nature, climate, skiing and tourism. Hiking trails lead along the peaks, and forests on the slopes and in the valleys are crossed by a dense network of forest roads. Due to the climate and space they occupy, these mountains may appear larger than what the map shows.

In the higher parts they are covered with spruce forest, with the original beech trees preserved here and there. The forests reach the very tops, so there are not good viewpoints everywhere. There are numerous swamps and peat bogs in the valleys. Geologically, the Orlicke Mountains are built of crystalline rocks – gneisses and mica slates. They are characterized by varied steep slopes and domed peaks.


On the Czech side, the whole of the Orlické Mountains is protected by a special landscape protection zone, and there is also the highest peak – Wielka Desztna (Velka Destna 1115 m above sea level). After the Polish one, the highest hill is Orlica (1084 m above sea level). Interesting towns on the Polish side: Duszniki-Zdrój, Kudowa-Zdrój, Zieleniec, and in the Czech: Rokytnice, Bartoszowice, Rziczki, Destne, Olesznice. In addition, Zamberk, Vamberk and Rychnov lie further in the foothills.


Hardly any mountains offer as many tourist and sports attractions as the Eagle Mountains. In addition to large ski resorts – Zieleniec in Poland, as well as Rziczek and Desztne in the Czech Republic, there are also a large number of individual lifts. In addition, due to the specific shape of the surface in the form of flattened ridges, as well as the height above sea level and a high level of rainfall, the Orlickie Mountains are, next to the Jizera Mountains, the best area for cross-country skiing. Normal here is that the season lasts until the end of April.

For cyclists, a paradise is provided by various routes stretching for kilometers along a dense network of forest roads. The level of their difficulty will satisfy both those who only think about a recreational ride, and those who are looking for thrills. There are marked trails for hikers along the main mountain ridges. The climate of the Orlickie Mountains is very diverse in terms of altitude and the occurrence of warm south-western winds. The foothills are warm and the main ridge is frosty and extremely snowy, with an average rainfall of 1500 mm.

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