The Heart of Beadmaking: Czech Republic

with Doris Coghill

Prague ~ Jablonec
Working dates: August 27 - September 10, 2021

(The itinerary currently is being fine tuned and the dates may change slightly)

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. Christa, our guide in Jablonec, promises several special not to be missed surprises along with a peak at her personal collection of beads.

Draft Itinerary

Day 1. Friday, August 27. Arrive in Prague.
Today you will arrive in Prague (Václav Havel Airport--PRG airport code).  With some six hundred years of architecture virtually untouched by natural disaster or war, few other cities anywhere in Europe look as good as Prague. Upon arrival, 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) and a short walking tour led by tour leader Doris Coghill that will help familiarize you with the area near our hotel.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2.  Saturday, August 28. Tour Prague.
In the morning we will all have a tour in which we will see the city’s highlights, including the Hradcany castle district, Old Town Square and its fascinating World Clock, the Opera House and much more.  After the tour we will have a group lunch and then walk across Old Towne Square to the Municipal House for a tour. You will have free time to explore before we end the day with a bus ride to our Folk Lore Dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3.  Sunday, August 29. Continue to See the Sights of Prague.
We will start the day with a walk across the Charles Bridge and a tram ride to The Prague Castle to see the magnificent gothic Saint Vitus cathedral, the Queen’s palace and gardens.  You can tour the castle at your leisure (with an included lunch) and then be on your own to wander the streets a nd shops between the castle and our hotel and choose where you wish to have dinner. There will be an optional evening excursion to one of Prague’s many Black Light Theaters or concerts or just relax in your hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4.  Monday, August 30. Experiencing Prague Continues.
In the morning the group will take a boat ride and have lunch on the Vltava River; the afternoon will be free for your own explorations.  We will conclude our time in Prague with a group dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5.  Tuesday, August 31. Travel to the Heart of Beadmaking.
We will depart Prague and travel north in a private bus to Jablonec in the mountainous area that is the heart of the bead making district. There will be a stops 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 6 - 13.  Wednesday - Thursday, September 1 - 9. Experience Jablonec.
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 noth new and antique beads, as well as finished jewelry.

We will have a number of experiences 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 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, shop for locally made Christmas ornaments, as well as 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 14.  Friday, September 10. 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, Tucson, AZ 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 has just retired as a bead show promoter, but will still have a booth selling at several shows per year.


Trip Details

Trip Cost
Approximately USD $3,600 for shared room; single room (based on availability) additional $400

Trip Cost Includes:

  • 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 Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the Czech Republic
  • 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. Final payment will be required 120 days prior to the start of the trip.

Trip Protection

To help protect the investment you are making in your planned travel, you are strongly encouraged to purchase trip insurance. Beadventures recommends TravelEx Insurance Services; click here for more information about its policies.

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.

What to pack

  • May is usually fair weather in the 60-80’s, but it is a good idea to also bring a raincoat or jacket in case the weather turns cold or rainy.