Sandy beaches, warm seas, exotic plants and free-roaming flamingos. We don’t usually have that in the Czech Republic outside of the zoo, so you have to get on a plane and soar into the clouds. Or not?
One of the solutions is called Tropical Islands and it is a resort located near Berlin, which hides a taste of a tropical paradise with exotic plants, flamingos, “sea” and “lagoon” inside a former airship factory. And it is there that you can go all year round and soak up the atmosphere of eternally warm regions.
And since the current motoring world is going through a certain fuel transformation, we decided to reach the place with the help of electricity. Therefore, we saddled up a fresh Hyundai Ioniq 6 4 × 4 in the highest specification for 1.65 million crowns and tested whether it is possible to drive to Tropical with this electric car on one charge and whether we will not struggle with a lack of fast chargers along the way.
If you start from Prague, then the three-hour route of 300 kilometers is quite easy. In the north of the capital, you connect to the D8 highway and follow it all the way to Germany on the highway number 17, which takes you through Dresden (highway number 4), and then you roll towards Berlin on the highway 13. Except for a few exits, you keep going straight.
From Hradec Králové it is an hour longer on the D11 highway. Anyone traveling from Pilsen will have an hour and twenty minutes longer to travel. The place can also be reached from Liberec, following the German road 178 through Žitava and Weißenberg with a connection to the D4 highway at Budyšín, which leads to Dresden. Passengers from the eastern part of the Czech Republic can then travel via Poland or choose a more comfortable road connection via Prague.
Speed versus range
In this highway test, we were mainly looking at the consumption of the four-wheel drive Ioniq 6, so we set a defensive pace of 110-120 km/h (off the descents) and observed what gradients or light weekend traffic would do to the car’s energy appetite.
It is practically impossible to get lost on the way from Prague to Tropical, and there are only two static radars lurking in sections where the speed is limited to 120 km/h. A far greater number of sections offer unlimited speed, so you can pedal it without a hitch if you don’t mind the increased consumption.
We preferred to drive defensively, not exceeding the recommended 130 km/h, thanks to which the destination can be reached with reasonable consumption, and therefore also at reasonable costs. If your diesel will require 6-7 liters per hundred on the highway, then you are in for about 240-280 CZK per hundred kilometers. With gasoline it will be around 320 CZK. These are of course general values, as there are cars that simply run on 5.5 liters of diesel, but also models where you run on 9 liters of petrol and above.
With an electric car, the transport price is affected by where you charge, but we managed to stabilize the average consumption at 17.1 kWh per hundred kilometers. If we were to charge the car at home from the regular network, then a hundred kilometers would cost us about 130 CZK (the battery can realistically cover over 400 km).
If we were to drive only from public chargers using a Hyundai charging card, then we are at around 240 crowns per hundred with a stated consumption of 17.1 kWh, with a small energy reserve still left.
After all, look at the average cost table based on the general values of consumption and prices listed above. For electrics, charging at home (the first 400 km) and at public stations is taken into account.
|Olomouc (1000 km)||3200 CZK||2600 CZK||2330 CZK|
|Prague (600 km)||1920 CZK||1560 CZK||1110 CZK|
|Hradec K. (800 km)||2560 CZK||2080 CZK||1480 CZK|
|Pilsen (800 km)||2560 CZK||2080 CZK||1480 CZK|
|Liberec (500 km)||1600 CZK||1300 CZK||760 CZK|
And what about charging on the way to the Tropical Islands? In practice, the Ioniq 6 would manage the trip from Hradec Králové to the place on one charge at a comfortable pace (110-120 km/h), but we stopped for lunch just outside Dresden (Thiendorf), where we topped up the battery with a usable capacity of 77 in half an hour. 4 kWh from about a fifth to full.
Overall, there were no complaints about the number of chargers along the way, there was a station every few kilometers and at least three places along the way (Lovosice, Dresden, Thiendorf) with ultra-fast charging.
Tropes for all the money
Finally in place! The advantage of the resort is that you can park in a nearby parking lot for less than 75 CZK for the whole day. The machine also takes cards and issues you a parking ticket, which you place outside the window. Then you just take your things to the tropical environment and head for the entrance.
That’s where the worst part comes in – the entrance fee. This is no longer as popular as fuel consumption or parking. For an adult, the all-day entrance fee (8:00-23:30) is converted to almost 1,300 CZK, for a child around 1,000 CZK.
However, you can order tickets online in advance, which will save you a little. If you arrive here after 6:00 p.m., you will receive an additional discount. Sometimes the resort has a promotion for the all-day family entrance fee, which costs 3,500 CZK. The place also offers a sauna, but it is paid extra (200-340 CZK).
At the entrance, you take out a smart watch, which can then be used to pay for food, drinks or various souvenirs or clothes from local shops inside. The thematic parts of the area include, for example, an Asian restaurant or an exotic bar. So you won’t go hungry and thirsty.
Outside the sweet shop, the children will be delighted by the 200-meter indoor pool simulating the sea heated to 28 degrees, a real sandy beach, an indoor lagoon or outdoor pools with a wild river. There are also several interesting water slides, palm trees and a tropical forest with various plants and flamingos.
It is also possible to spend the night in the area or outside, in cabins, bungalows, tepees, campsites or just on the beach on a deckchair. However, the last option is a bit controversial, as the former airship factory is quite crowded inside. In short, the unique complex attracts many visitors not only from Germany, the Czech Republic, but also from Poland.
Where else for warmth?
If Tropical Islands didn’t quite excite you, we found several alternatives where you can still go in search of warmth. There are several thermal spas close to our borders, where you can go even when it is snowing outside and Europe is preparing for the arrival of Santa Claus, i.e. other gift-bearing fictional characters.
Tuscany Therme Bad Schandau
Only a few kilometers from Hřensk and 145 kilometers from Prague is the Bad Schandau thermal spa, where you will not be deprived of a beach bar, sauna, wellness or indoor and outdoor thermal pools. The spa is open all year round except December 24 and 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., with the exception of Saturdays, when it is open until 11:00 p.m. Daily admission costs CZK 830 in conversion, children get half price. Czechs also work there, so you can usually communicate here in our language.
Europa Therme Bad Füssing
The extensive aquatic center offers indoor and outdoor thermal baths, a sauna and massages. Due to the size of the area, it is not so-called head to head inside, but everyone will find their space here. In addition to classic relaxation pools, they also have a large swimming pool and two pools right next to each other with warm (40 degrees) and cold (18 degrees) water.
The entrance fee is 540 CZK for the whole day, or 440 CZK for 5 hours. Europa Therme Bad Füssing is located on the border of Germany and Austria, about 170 km from České Budějovice and 253 km from Prague. It is open year-round from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., except Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, when it closes at 10:00 p.m.
Only 34 km from Znojmo, 64 km from Brno and 261 km from Prague is the Therme Laa thermal spa in Austria. Although it is a smaller thermal spring with a couple of pools (indoor and outdoor), the spring contains sodium, chloride, iodine and minerals, so it is a health-promoting bath.
The spa has a website in Czech and sometimes Czech staff. It is open here daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., with the exception of December 24 and 31, when it is open until 5:00 p.m. A three-hour entrance fee costs CZK 622, a full-day ticket costs CZK 930. Children (parents) pay 400 CZK for three hours of swimming, 560 CZK for the whole day.
Jelení Hora is a Polish town located approximately 110 km from Hradec Králové and 162 km from Prague. It is a more modest water park connected to the thermal baths, which, depending on the pools, have a temperature of 27 (larger pools) to 36 degrees (small pools). They are therefore suitable for everyone who does not want to cook so much in larger pools.
The Cieplickie thermal baths are open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 250 CZK for two hours, or 420 CZK for the whole day.
You can also go to these named thermal baths by electric car, as you will always find at least one super-fast charger on the way from Prague. And if a full battery is enough for you for 400 km, you can manage these routes practically with only one or two charging stops. In any case, we recommend some way to find warmth, especially in the coming months, when autumn is knocking on the door and the cold is nervously treading on the switchboard.