New bilateral agreement allows cross-border travel along Bata Canal
The Bata Canal is a man-made waterway that runs through South Moravia. Surrounded by numerous historical sites and a beautiful landscape, tens of thousands of tourists take a ride down the canal every year. But this year, it is expected to attract many more visitors as, for the first time in over a decade, they are able to travel into neighbouring Slovakia without facing a fine.
With the closest other similar waterways as far away as France and Britain, the Czech tourist authority hopes that the Bata Canal will become one of the country's main tourist destinations. Vojtech Bartek:
"From Otrokovice to Skalica, the Bata Canal is 53 kilometres long. It has thirteen locks and you can visit many interesting places along the waterway. There are, for example, regional wine galleries, trade fairs, wine cellars, castles, windmills, and other attractions. In our region, we also have famous folklore festivals. There is an international folklore festival in Straznice and in a part of our region called Hornacko we have two summer festivals 'Hornacke Slavnosti' and 'Ozveni Hornacka' and in Veseli nad Moravou we have a folklore festival for children called 'Stepi'."
A new project is underway to extend the Bata Canal. If the plan gets the green light from the Environment Ministry, visitors will be able to travel from Moravia's Otrokovice, down to Slovakia's Skalica, and then back into the Czech Republic to Hodonin, where a ten-kilometre waterway is already open.