Probably every tourist saw it first in a leaflet or a calendar than in real life. In general, the Máj vantage point is considered the most beautiful Vltava vantage point, and it is certainly the best-known, also thanks to its proximity to Prague. The view of the Vltava River meandering in a U-shape through the valley will enchant you both in the summer and during the magical white winter.
In warm months, a lot of Prague citizens, geocaching hunters, photographers, mushroom pickers, and families with children come to this place. It is not far from Prague, and you can spend an afternoon or even a whole day on a pleasant trip – you can visit also the Smetana vantage point. In the winter, it is beautifully calm.
The way from Prague to the Máj vantage point
The Máj vantage point is located about 1.5 km from the village of Teletín on the yellow tourist track. The best way to get to Teletín from Prague is by bus from the Smíchov station with a change at Štěchovice. The journey takes about an hour. Near the bus stop in Teletín, you will find a signpost pointing to the yellow track to the vantage point. You will enjoy a beautiful walk in the nature, along enclosures for cows. You can take a shortcut through the enclosure on the left but be aware of the cattle and the electrical fence with live wire, especially if you have dogs or children with you.
Be careful when taking a selfie!
At the vantage point, the whole surroundings of the Vltava River opens in front of you, with a large horseshoe-shaped meander in a deep rock canyon. The view is not secured with a platform or railing, so be careful when taking photos from the rocks..
The history of St John’s Rapids
Originally, this part of the Vltava River between Štěchovice and Slapy was called St John’s Rapids, after the statue of St John of Nepomuk, which was placed by the river bank in 1722. The river was full of rapids and the rocky terrain complicated its passability. In 1889, the first signposted track of the newly found Club of Czech Tourists led from Štěchovice to St John’s Rapids. Tramp settlements were established in the area, and in the beginning of the 20th century, tourism started to boom in the local forests.
Flooding by the Štěchovice dam
Currently, St John’s Rapids are flooded by the Štěchovice dam which was built between 1938 and 1944 as the second stage of the Vltava Cascade. That was the end of the local raft navigation. You can still see a copy of the statue of St John of Nepomuk on the other bank, near the Slapy dam (on the left side from the vantage point).