The Heart of Beadmaking: Czech Republic

with Doris Coghill

April 24 - May 8, 2025

Prague ~ Jablonec


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 even more 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.


Day 1. Thursday, April 24. Arrive in Prague.
Today you will arrive in Prague at Václav Havel Airport (airport code PRG). Upon arrival, you will take a taxi to our hotel in the Old Town District. With some 600 years of architecture virtually untouched by natural disaster or war, few other cities in Europe look as good as Prague. Depending on your arrival time, you can relax, take a walk and enjoy the architecture, or shop (many markets are located down the cobblestone streets near our hotel). We will gather for a welcome dinner and a short walking tour, led by tour leader Doris Coghill, that will help familiarize you with the area near our hotel.

Even though we will be arriving in Prague after Easter, the Easter Markets still will be up through the following Sunday, which will give you lots of time to enjoy the various markets around the city!
Meal included: Welcome Dinner

Day 2. Friday, April 25. Explore Prague.
We will start the day with a walking tour that includes tales and ghost stories along with sightings of several provocative sculptures by David Cerney. We will stop for lunch before boarding a bus for a city tour that includes a short boat ride on the Vltava river, which will provide a good overview of the city. The most beautiful landmarks of Prague and views of the Vltava River are just a fraction of what you will see on our city sightseeing tour.  We also will have time for Easter Market shopping before an included dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3. Saturday, April 26. Flea Market and Old Town.
We will start the day with a subway ride to the northern part of the city to visit the local flea/farmers market. Upon return to Old Town, we will have an included lunch and a tour of the Astronomical Clock. You will be free for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We are working on an optional outing to one of the Prague’s famous Black Light Theaters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4. Sunday, April 27. Karlstejn Caste & the Coronation Jewels.
We will travel via bus to the famous Karlstejn Castle, which is about an hours  drive out of Prague. The castle was built in the 14th century as a place for the safekeeping of royal treasures, especially the coronation jewels.  The entrance road to the castle is packed with many vendors. We expect to be back in Prague by mid-afternoon so you can return to the hotel or explore further on your own.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5. Monday, April 28. Explore Prague.
This will be a free day to further explore the city, visit many of its museums and/or exhibits, attend a concert or black light theater production, or take a tour outside of the city with one of the local bus companies. Tour leader Doris will be happy to advise you of what is available and offer suggestions.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6. Tuesday, April 29. Travel to the Heart of Beadmaking.
Today we will depart Prague and travel north in a private bus to the town of Jablonec in the mountainous area that is the heart of the bead making district. There will be a stop along the way to visit the Garnet Museum as well as shopping in Turnov with lunch at a typical local pub. 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.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 7-14. Wednesday, April 30 - Wednesday, May 7. Experience Jablonec and Surrounding Towns.
Our time in Jablonec will be about discovering where and how the local glass and beads are made, and who makes them.  Here you will be able to buy both new and antique beads, as well as finished jewelry.

We will have a number of experiences during our time 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 and other 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 factory, as well as several local bead stores;
  • Visit the Glass Museum and antique stores;
  • Visit a commercial glass blowing factory to see the entire production process;
  • Feast on local food and beverages;
  • Have lunch in a restaurant that surrounds a glass blowing furnace so you can watch pieces being made while we eat; and
  • Depending on production schedule and availability, we also hope to be able to see button production, glass being etched, the table cut process and applied bead finishes, and bottles and vases being pressed, and local markets.

Meals Included: All breakfasts, 80% of lunches and dinners

Day 15. Thursday, May 8. Return to Prague for Departure Home.
In the morning we will depart Jablonec via our private bus for the two-hour drive back to Prague where you will be delivered to the airport for your return home. It is important that you schedule your flight to leave after 12:00 noon.  If you’re unable to get a flight out in the afternoon/evening, Beadventures can provide you with airport hotel information.
Meal included: Breakfast

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 Tucson, AZ; and growing her online business, Dee’s Place, LLC ( She has also contributed projects to 7+ books by various publishers and has had many articles/projects published in leading bead magazines. She has just retired as a bead show promoter, but will still have a booth selling at several shows per year.


Trip Details

Trip Cost
$4,100; Single supplement (based on availability) additional $350.

Trip cost will Include:

  • All lodging
  • Most meals (all breakfasts; 80% of lunches and dinners)
  • Private and local ground transportation
  • Guide and entrance fees to sites on the itinerary

Trip cost will not include:

  • Airfare to and from the Czech Republic
  • Taxi from airport to Prague hotel
  • Trip insurance
  • About 20% of meals
  • Alcohol

To Sign Up

To guarantee your spot on this trip, send in a $1,000 deposit and completed registration form after reviewing Beadventures' Conditions & Responsibilities information. Final payment will be due 120 days prior to the start of the trip.

Trip Notes . . . IMPORTANT!

Travel Insurance
You are making a big investment in your upcoming travel. In spite of all your planning, travel can be unpredictable--from cancelled flights to last minute illness. To help protect the investment you are making in your upcoming trip, you are strongly encouraged to purchase trip insurance. Research some options by clicking here.

Other Trip Notes . . .

Fitness level

  • This trip is not for people who have difficulty walking or doing stairs (many places do not have elevators).
  • Bring good walking shoes as the group will be walking on many uneven cobblestone streets and hills.