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The Heart of Beadmaking: Czech Republic

with Doris Coghill

Prague ~ Jablonec

September 2 - 16, 2023

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 and buttons.


Day 1. Saturday, September 2. 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 and a short walking tour led by tour leader Doris Coghill that will help familiarize you with the area near our hotel.
Meal included: Dinner

Day 2. Sunday, September 3. Explore Prague via Tram.
We will board one of the historical tourist trams and ride the entire route to give you a good overview of the city, stopping for lunch along the way. The most beautiful landmarks of Prague and views of the Vltava River are just a fraction of what you will see on a city sightseeing tour.  The remainder of the day will be on your own to explore or attend one of the many concerts or theaters available in Prague or to catch up on your jet lag.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3. Monday, September 4. Prague Castle.
We will start the day with a walk across the Charles Bridge and a tram ride to Prague Castle to see the magnificent gothic Saint Vitus cathedral, the Queen’s palace and gardens, it’s many museums and other attractions. You can tour the castle groun ds and its many museums, cathedrals, chapels and shops at your leisure and then be on your own to explore the streets and shops between the castle and our hotel.  We will meet back at the hotel for an included Folk Dinner with traditional dancing.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4. Tuesday, September 5. Cruise the Vltava River and Explore the City.
In the morning the group will take a short walking tour of Old Town Square on our way to the Charles Bridge Museum. A boat ride that leaves from the museum will give us a view of the Vltava River.  We will continue to an included lunch in a floating restaurant a few blocks from the bridge. You then can return to the hotel or explore further on your own.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5. Wednesday, September 6. Explore Prague.
This will be a free day to further explore the city, visit another of its many museums and/or exhibits, attend a concert or a black light theater production or take a bus tour outside of the city with one of the local Prague bus companies.  During your time in Prague we can advise you of what is available and make suggestions.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6. Thursday, September 7. 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. Friday - Friday, September 8 - 15. 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. Saturday, Sepember 16. 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
$3,695 for shared room; single room (based on availability) additional $350. Cost to only participate in the Prague portion of the trip is $1,045 for a shared room; single supplement of $250.

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
  • 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!

COVID Travel Requirements
We will watch how the requirements continue to unfold between now and the start of our trip to know what vaccination/testing requirements will be in place. Be assured that Beadventures’ number one priority will be the health and safety of its travelers and we will follow any requirements in place at that time. 

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 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.