Tour the Heart of Beadmaking: Czech Republic

September/October 2018
Prague ~ Jablonec

The itinerary below is from the April 2017 Beadventure to the Czech Republic.  Doris Coghill will again lead a similar itinerary in September/October 2018 (check back for confirmed details).


This very special Beadventure, led by experienced tour leader Doris Coghill, will take you to the Czech Republic, the heart of beadmaking. Here you’ll learn about the long history of glasswork and beadmaking. You’ll experience where and how Czech glass and beads are made and about the people that make them. You’ll experience the local people, their customs, and their love for beads by visiting museums where you’ll learn about the history of beadmaking, how it was done 100 years ago compared to today, and how the glass industry impacts the local culture.

There will be ample opportunity to buy both new and antique beads to add to your collection and to buy finished jewelry made with the locally made beads. Our guide, Christa, promises several special not to be missed surprises along with a peak at her personal collection of beads.


Day 1.  Arrive in Prague.
Today you will arrive in Prague.  With some six hundred years of architecture virtually untouched by natural disaster or war, few other cities anywhere in Europe look as good as this city. Upon arrive, you will take a taxi to our hotel in the Old Town District. Depending on your time of arrival, you can relax or enjoy the architecture, shopping, and markets located down the many cobblestone streets near our hotel.  We will gather for a welcome dinner (included). 

While the trip’s schedule means you may have had to travel on Easter, it also means you will be in Prague for the Easter Markets!  Should you be unable to travel on Easter but still want to join the Beadventure, we might be able to juggle arrangements so you can arrive a day later; just let us know.  Or, if you choose to arrive in Prague a few days earlier, let us know and we can make your reservation at the same hotel.

Day 2. Tour Prague’s Highlights.
Today we will enjoy a guided tour of the city’s highlights, including the Hradcany castle district and the magnificent gothic St Vitus cathedral, the Queen’s palace and gardens, Old Town Square and its fascinating World Clock, the Opera House, and much more. Later we will walk down to the famous Charles Bridge and enjoy the view of the city from the Vltava River.  Your afternoon will be free to explore Prague; dinner will be on your own.

Day 3. Explore Prague’s Shops and Architecture.
Today will include exploration of more of the shops and m arkets and architecture of Old Town and St. Wenceslas Square, just blocks from our hotel.  If the weather cooperates, we will do a lunch cruise on the river.  The shops are filled with everything from amber jewelry to designer fashions, with even a few antiques and, of course, two or three bead stores. Plans also include an evening Folk Dinner (included).

Day 4.  Shop Prague or Visit Cesky Krumlov Castle.
Today is your day to further explore and shop Prague.  Or you can go on an optional all day trip to Cesky Krumlov, a small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic where the Cesky Krumlov Castle is located. 

Days 5 - 12.   Travel and Experience Jablonec.
Today we will depart Prague and travel north to Jablonec in the mountainous area that is the heart of the bead making district. There will be stops along the way to visit the Garnet Museum as well as shopping in Turnov; lunch will be at a typical local pub.

Our time in Jablonec will be about discovering where and how the local glass and beads are made and who makes them. We will learn about the local people and their customs and their love for beads by visiting several museums to see the history of beadmaking and how it was done 100 years ago as compared to today and how the glass industry affects the local culture.  There will be ample opportunity to buy both new and antique beads to add to your collection and buy finished jewelry and other items made with the locally made beads. Our guide, Christa, promises several special not to be missed surprises along with a peak at her personal collection of beads and buttons.

Upon arrival, we will settle into the comfortable Hotel Zlaty Lev for the week.  The hotel is within walking distance to the downtown shopping area for this city of about 50,000. We will do a number of things during our week in Jablonec, such as:

  • Travel via private bus to various factories and/or factory stores and museums;
  • See the entire pressed glass beadmaking process from beginning to end at a large modern factory as well as at one of the more common cottage industry-type factories;
  • Meet lampwork bead artists and visit their studios;
  • Visit the glass school of Zelezny Brod and see the students work at their various disciplines;
  • Visit a seed bead factory store, a Christmas Ornament store, as well as local bead stores that are a recent addition to Jablonec;
  • Visit the Glass Museum, antique stores, and a commercial glass factory;
  • Have lunch in a restaurant that surrounds a glass glowing furnace so you can watch pieces being made while eating; and
  • Depending on schedule and availability, we also may see button production, glass being etched, and bottles and vases being pressed; and
  • Visit at least one wholesale bead distributer.

Day 13.  Return to Prague to Depart for Home.
In the morning we will depart Jablonec via our charter bus for the 2-hour drive back to Prague where you will be delivered directly to the airport for your return home.  It is important that you schedule your flight to leave after 12:00 noon.

About Your Tour Leader: Doris Coghill
Doris left the corporate world in 2000 to pursue beads full-time. Since then she has spent her time being a sales representative for a bead company; designing kits and teaching them both locally and nationally; leading Beadventures to the Czech Republic, Providence, RI, and London; and growing her online business, Beads by Dee. She has also contributed projects to 7+ books by various publishers and has had many articles/projects published in leading bead magazines. She also promotes bead shows and puts on two bead shows per year in the Minneapolis area.

Trip Details

Trip Cost

Approximately USD $3,000 for shared room; single room will cost approximately $350 more.

To guarantee your spot on this trip, send in a $1,000 deposit and completed registration form. Final payment will be required 120 days prior to the start of the trip.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All lodging
  • Most meals
  • Private and local transportation
  • Guide and entrance fees to sites on the itinerary

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the Czech Republic
  • Trip insurance (you will need to provide verification that you have purchased trip insurance at the time of final payment)
  • A few meals
  • Alcohol

Trip Insurance

To protect the investment you are making in your planned travel, you are required to provide Beadventures with confirmation that you have purchased trip insurance when you send in your final payment. Beadventures highly recommends TravelEx based on its excellent customer service.  Click here for information about their coverage options.

Trip Notes . . .

Fitness level
This trip is not for people who have trouble walking or doing stairs as many places do not have elevators. We will be walking on many uneven cobblestone streets and hills so bring good walking shoes. 

What to pack
April usually is fair weather in the 60 to 80 degree range; it is, however, a good idea to also bring a raincoat or jacket in case the weather turns cold.