Waterbury, VT (March 28, 2006) – Forget about the sound of music – just north of Austria, where the Von Trapp family singers cemented their fame, the undulating hills of Slovakia and the Czech Republic are alive and well with exceptional beauty, storybook settings and rhythms all their own. Snug in the geographic heart of the European Continent, the cultures and splendors of these undiscovered Eastern Bloc treasures are just waiting to be experienced on extraordinary walking adventures from Country Walkers of Waterbury, Vermont.

Though Slovakia and the Czech Republic sprang from similar Eastern European roots, the two regions remain dramatically different. The former is a showcase of fanciful surroundings, with gentle hills, river valleys and rural countryside providing backdrops on the way to isolated castles and remote villages. Winding trails through the High Tatras of the Carpathian Range yield memorable views, chance encounters with local baca (shepherds), and ancient villages barely touched by the passing centuries.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s diverse terrain is chock-a-block with Bohemian hills, fragrant meadows, pristine forests, peat bogs, high plains and expansive moors. It’s the perfect setting for endless legends and fairytale castles of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance influences looming on the horizon. Though perhaps better geared for travel than its eastern neighbor, the Czech Republic is no less a treasure for travelers with an eye for culture.

Slovakia: Budapest to Krakow (8 days, 7 nights) May, June, July, August 2006
From its departure point in Budapest, Hungary, this NEW active walking tour along wooded trails, open pastures, and alpine lakes throughout Slovakia offers treasures at every turn. Memorable views are everywhere as our Country Walkers’ route leads to timeless hamlets, breathtaking scenery, and the well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage site of Banská Stiavnica in the country’s mountainous north-central region. Accommodations showcase storybook surroundings from which to admire Slovakia’s unique character and indulge in traditional cuisine. We also explore Kraków, Poland, long a marvel of history and culture. Starting at $3,098 per person/double, with all meals included.

Czech Republic: Vienna to Prague (8 days, 7 nights) May, June, September 2006
From the grand sites of Vienna, Austria, this active walking tour plunges deep into the geographical heart of Europe for an exceptional journey through the culture, history and scenery of the Czech Republic. Well-known for its storybook settings – including remarkably preserved, fairytale castles – the Czech countryside offers diverse terrain, quaint folk villages, and treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Telc, Cesky Krumlov, the historic jewel of South Bohemia, as well as extraordinary Prague and the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. Savor authentic Czech culture and traditional cuisine while overnighting in historic hotels, sipping local Moravian wines, and slugging back pilsners that originated in the 14th century. This year also marks the birth of genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 25O years ago with special tribute celebrations throughout the entire country. It’s a trip you’ll never forget! Starting at $3,198 per person/double, with all meals included except one lunch.

For more information or reservations for Country Walkers’ Slovakia and Czech Republic walking adventures, please contact (800) 464-9255, or www.countrywalkers.com

For more on Czech-Republic at ITKT
For more on Poland at ITKT
For more on Hungary at ITKT