Deep in the Beskydy mountains in South-East Czechia lies the 1129m peak of Radhošť, home to the legend of Radagast. Radagast was a Slavic deity, the god of hospitality or hosting. His presence was traditionally associated with this summit, his statue placed up here and worshipped. However, Christian missionaries St. Cyril & Methodius reportedly visited the mountaintop to destroy his idol, the buzz-kills. I decided to take a trip to the Beskids for a hike up to see him on a murky August day.
I cheated slightly and took the chairlift up part of the way; this departs from Raztoka and heads up to one of the shoulders of the mountain for a reasonable price. It took a while, but the views were pleasant enough over the ski area.
At the top of the chairlift lies the peculiar village of Pustevny, with ornate traditional buildings, a handful of snack bars and somehow, a road snaking up from the other side of the hill.
Turning right and continuing up the ridge from the village, the wide easy track passes creepy forests…
…and seemingly abandoned fairytale slavic hostels looming in the mist…
…before arriving at Radagast himself. This statue was actually supposedly created fairly recently as a publicity stunt by the local brewery which brews Radagast beer, replacing a much older one.
I headed further up the shoulder of the mountain and into thick mist. Fortunately, the route was easy enough to follow and any times I was unsure I used the fantastic Mapy app which features high-resolution Czech outdoor map data with location tracking, all for free. At the very summit of Radhošť was a TV transmitter and a curious little chapel, again in a traditional Slavic style.
I retraced my steps for a few hundred metres, then headed Northwards off the main ridge into dense forest on the shoulder of Miaši. I didn’t see another soul as I wound my way down through the misty woods back down towards Raztoka.
I finally broke out below the mist and joined a road winding its way back down to the village, having enjoyed a delightful little walk. No doubt the views would’ve been fantastic from the top on a clear day, but the unique creepy fairytale atmosphere of the dense fog was also a good do.