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Natural Points of Interest
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Homolka 

Homolka near BečovThe cone-shaped rock known as Homolka can be found at an elevation of 675 metres on cycle route No. 362 (Teplá - Bečov - Loket) in the vicinity of the village of Chodov near the town of Bečov. The unique rock formation, which has been protected since 1972 and declared a nature monument in 1997, is of volcanic origin and it is composed of basalt columns. Such nature monuments are usually called "basalt organs" and they are most often uncovered during stone mining in quarries. In the district of Karlovy Vary, you may find basalt formations not far from  Hlinek u Toužimi, or near the village of Rotava. Homolka's topHomolka is, however, somewhat different. Even though stone was mined in the area, the quarry was at a different place and thus, Homolka has been preserved as a marvellous example of a cone-shaped projecting neck. The cone towers approximately 12 metres above the surrounding terrain and it is formed by grey-black basaltic rock with visible granules of green olivine and augite. 
If you decide to go to Homolka, you have to climb a hill from Bečov in the direction of Otročín on cycle route No. 362. When you exit the woods just before Chodov turn right to the field pathView from HomolkaYou can easily reach the old quarry even on a cross bike and the foot of Homolka is not far from there. Since the basalt cone is hidden in the forest stand, it will take same time before you find it. The top is accessible by carefully climbing up a narrow spiral path. The breathtaking view from the top on the deep woody valley of the Teplá River is indeed worth the effort. Moreover, the surroundings are renowned as a paradise for mineral collectors. Feldspar compound crystals (known as Carlsbad Twins) or cyanite - disthene (aluminium silicate) are frequently found here. The locals traditionally walk to the foot of Homolka from Bečov on New Year's Day. Typical thermophile flora characterising the area of Doupovské hory (Doupov Mountains) may be found in the surroundings of Homolka, e.g. common polypody (Polypodium vulgare), maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)Scotch broom (Sarothamnus scoparius)Martagon lily (Lilium martagon) or large yellow-foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora)Moss-covered rocks form picturesque coves at the foot of the basalt cone.