Walking down the ridges with stunning views, picturesque villages or towns full of historical monuments is the best way to get to know this little country located in the heart of Europe – Slovakia. It’s also good and easy way to keep you healthy. If you literally never leave your car in the week-days, I have some great ideas for you for the weekends, to stretch your legs and re-set your mind.
1. Tatra: From Štrbské Pleso (tarn) to Popradské Pleso (tarn)
High Tatras are probably the most admired place in Slovakia. Every hike or walk is magical. But if you don’t really feel like climbing the rocks (or just walking on an asphalt path), try this modest path leading through the forest from Štrbské tarn to Popradské tarn. This route is 4km long and you can make it in apx. 1h and 30min. You can also extend this route, by walking around the Popradské tarn, which is an amazing idea, mostly in the warm sunny days.
2. Looking for the abandoned gem: From Nitra to Drážovce
Not as famous as the first one, but certainly equally interesting is this route from the district town of Nitra to the unique Roman Church of St. Michael in Drážovce, laying on the western side of the Zobor mountain. Path from Nitra – Šindolka is interesting mostly thanks to the amazing panoramic view over the Nitra basin and surroundings.
3. Seaside: Around the Vinné Lake
When you want enjoy the atmosphere of seaside (almost) in Slovakia, head to the Vinné Lake laying near the town of Michalovce in Eastern Slovakia. During 3,5h long tour on the tourist path around Vinné Lake to the Senderov Hill and Vinné Castle you can admire view over the second biggest dam in Slovakia – Zemplínska Šírava; wander between vineyards with tiny chalets and uncover history of the Vinné Castle built in the beginning of 14th century.
4. UNESCO Heritage: From Sivá Brada to Žehra
Sometimes are 3 hours and good shoes enough to see several unique places. On this route you will see nature reserve Sivá Brada, try local mineral source and also spot travertine heaps. Your next steps will take you to the ecclesiastical town of Spišská Kapitula. From there you can get by village of Spišské Podhradie and close meadow to the gem of the Spiš region – Spiš Castle.
From castle you will continue to another nature reserve Drveník. The last stop of this tourist path is unique Holy Spirit Church in Žehra. All these locations are also in the UNESCO heritage list.
5. Folk: Around Vlkolínec with view over Liptov and High Tatras
Picturesque village of Vlkolínec full of glorious shacks is located in the beautiful area of Veľká Fatra National Park. There are many ways to get to Vlkolínec on foot and admire also the nature around, not only the traditional life of natives in wooden huts. The most beautiful and interesting trail leads from the suburb of town of Ružomberok called Baničné. Here you will see also Rock Krkavá, which is the highest needle rock in Slovakia.
During this walk you can admire view to the Liptov villages, town of Ružomberok, but also peaks of Western and Low Tatras. After sightseeing made in the village you can get back by Valley Trlenská to another suburb of Ružomberok called Biely Potok. This whole route is less than 2 hours long.
6. Historical: Around Banská Štiavnica to the Calvary
Banská Štiavnica is certainly one of the most magical places in Slovakia. But it’s not only about walking in the narrow streets of the town, around are many trails for walking and hiking in the nature, too. Route to the Calvary laying on the hill above the town is only 45 minutes long and path to this Calvary does not offer only nice view over Banská Štiavnica and its surroundings, but also exposure consisting of chapels and religious artifacts.
7. Fantastic: Around Červený Kameň Castle
When you aren’t really into hiking in the mountains and nature, Červený Kameň Castle is perfect place to spend a day in. Walk around courtyard and parks nearby will take you into the fairytale. If you want to move a bit more, go up to the Častá Castle. That will take you less than 30 minutes.
8. Insular: Between water mills on Žitný Ostrov (Great and Small Rye Islands)
Great Rye Island is the largest river island in Europe. Flow of the Small Danube used to be used for motion of the water mills. Nowadays are these water mills significant technical artifacts in Slovakia. When you want to see the mills in Jelka, Tomašikovo, Dunajský Klatov and a water wheel in Jahodná, you can use 10km long educational train called ,,Od mlyna k mlyn – From watermill to watermill’’.
9. Carpathian: Around Smolenice
Between one of the most beautiful trips in Small Carpathian Mountains belongs this tour around the village of Smolenice. While walking around, you can visit the Carpathian highest mountain of Záruby, ruins of the Ostrý Kameň Castle, amazing Smolenice Castle, Driny Cave or archaeological site Molpír.
In this area is also located 4,5km long educational trail called Smolenický kras. When you want to visit the Driny Cave while being here, plan your visit between 1st April and 31st October.
10. Nationwide: Route of heroes from Slovak National Uprising from Devín to Dukla
If you have already managed to hike a lot and walking is not a big deal for you, try traveling across whole Slovakia on foot. The most famous trail leading across the whole country is the Route of heroes from SNU from Devín to Dukla. On this route you will see majority of places in Central and Northern Slovakia that were important during the SNU. It passes across some towns and mountain ranges, too.
Different sources mention different lenght of this trail, but it’s apx. 720-770km long. Whole route can be overwhelmed in apx. 30 days. Some adventurers accomplished it in a shorter time, but they had to walk at least 30km everyday, what is…not really comfortable to be honest haha.
Longer days are approaching, so why not to use them for some hikes and walks? 🙂