The ancient town of Jindřichův Hradec, which dates to the end of the 12th century, is mirrored in the reflective waters of the Vajgar Pond right in the town's center. Originally a market colony near the border between Bohemia and Moravia, the town acquired a castle to protect it, and it’s the main attraction here as the third-largest castle in the country. (The interior, now an administrative center, is less interesting.) Other attractions include a town square with Gothic, Renaissance, and some baroque aspects, a regional museum, and excursions into the countryside.
Like other South Bohemian towns, this region is a popular spot for cyclists and hikers. If the countryside appeals to you but you’re lacking the footpower to explore it, hitch a ride on the Narrow Gauge Railway (www.jhmd.cz). Trains depart daily in July and August from the city’s main train station. The rails are a mere 760 millimeters apart, and the route winds south nearly to the border with Austria.