The mountain range of the Doupovské hory (English: Doupov Mountains, German: Duppauer Gebirge) spreads along the right bank of the Ohře River, with only a minor portion extending to the left bank in the small area between Ostrov and Perštejn.
The mountain range lies in a triangular-shaped area enclosed by the towns of Karlovy Vary, Klášterec nad Ohří, and Valeč. The Doupov Mountains are clenched between the Sokolov and Most Basins. The highest point is Hradiště, a woody hill rising to 934 metres. Another of its hills is Jánský vršek (Jánský Hill), for example, which is 718 metres high. In the north, the Doupov Mountains edge on the Ore Mountains and in the south, they border with the Carlsbad Highlands and the Plzeň Uplands. The flat volcanic hilly country of the Doupov Mountains is a uniform mountain mass formed by the separation of a mighty Tertiary stratovolcano with a diameter of about 30 km and covering an area of approximately 650 km². In geomorphologic terms, the Doupov Mountains are divided into three areas – i.e. Hradištská hornatina (Hradiště Uplands), Jehličenská hornatina (Jehličenská Uplands), and Rohozecká vrchovina (Rohozec Uplands).
The original vegetation mostly comprised of herb-rich beech forests. To this day, relatively extensive remnants of these original forest stands have been preserved namely on the steep slopes of the Ohře River valley between the towns of Kyselka and Kadaň. Beech stands, occasionally of a primeval forest character, may be found also on the hillside of Pustý zámek Hill. The herb layer is quite variegated.
The decaying and disintegrating volcanic rock transformed into vast debris fields covered with talus forests.
The central part of the Doupov Mountains is a typical mosaic of grassy communities, bush stands, and deciduous woods formed by natural succession on abandoned and unmanaged agricultural land.
Composition of Individual Environmental Types
- 30% forests
- 15% shrubbery
- 20% humid and mesophilic meadows
- 5% wetlands and water bodies
- 5% rocks and debris
- 25% other
55% of the area of the Doupov Mountains serves as a military training area. Environmental protection: The whole territory of the Doupov Mountains is protected as a Natura 2000 Important Bird Area (IBA) with the total area of 63,116 hectares. Another IBA has been also declared in the territory with an area of 63,000 hectares.
Small-Size Protected Areas
- Úhošť National Nature Reserve
- Ostrovské rybníky Nature Reserve
- Vinařský rybník Nature Reserve
- Sedlec Valeč Nature Reserve
- Dětanský chlum Nature Reserve
- Mravenčák Nature Monument
- Rašovické skály Nature Monument
- Orchidejová louka pod Himlštejnem Nature Monument
- Čedičová žíla Boč Nature Monument
- Orchidejová louka Černýš Nature Monument
- Skalky skřítků Nature Monument