The river has its source as Wolfsbach in the crest regions of the Saxon Vogtland, between Schöneck and Kottenheide. The Wolfsbach flows in southern direction for 4 km to Zwotental, where it gathers several small tributary brooks, uniting with them to form the Zwota.
The Zwota's river valley then runs east between Wolfsberg (771 m) in the north and the Hoher Brand. Along its course range the villages Oberzwota, Zechenbach, Zwota and the border town of Klingenthal, where the Brunndöbra joins it. Downstream the Brunndöbra's embouchure, the south-east-bound river is called Zwodau, or Zwotau, and shapes the national border between Germany and the Czech Republic for approximately 1,5 km. After that it continues its flow as Zwodau in a steep valley of the Bohemian Erzgebirge. Along the Zwodau lies the town of Kraslice, after that its course comes through Anenské Údoli, meandering towards Hory, flowing through Oloví, Hřebeny and Luh into the coal-mining area of the Sokolovská pánev. Along the underflow of the Zwodau, there are the villages of Davidov und Svatava. After 41 km, the Svatava joins the Ohře in Sokolov.
- Glasbach (l), Zwota
- Döbra (l), Klingenthal
- Grenzbach (l),
- Bublavský potok (German: Schwaderbach) (l), Kraslice
- Stříbrný potok (German: Silberbach) (l), Kraslice
- Rotava (German: Rothau) (l), Anenské Údoli
The Zwotatal represents an important traffic route through the south-west of the Erzgebirge. Besides more than one Bundesstraße, there is a railway connection from Zwickau via Zwotental, Klingenthal and Kraslice alongside the river towards Sokolov.
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