On this hiker’s odyssey, you’ll make easy scrambles up local peaks, traverse long green valleys to high summit ridges, and meet the friendly locals who share the trails with you . Hikes range in length from five to eight hours, with a return to the hotel at the end of the day.
To complement the challenging hikes, you’ll get a taste of the history and culture of the ancient lands of central Europe with visits to unspoiled medieval towns like Levoca and Spisska Sobota, little-changed since the 13th century, Vienna, once the seat of the old Habsburg Empire and the hub of Europe, and Prague and Kracow.
Private tours are a special opportunity to organize your own group or tour designed up your special inquiries and wishes and dates.
Suggested hotels are just one of option.
Day 1: Malá Fatra National Park, Slovakia. First day will depend on meeting point. Clients may be pick up in Vienna(Austria), Kracow(Poland) or arrive to city of Zilina in Slovakia.
Transfer to Malá Fatra National Park in Slovakia, noted for its unusual alpine flora, orchids, and bird life, and mountains that offer great hikes across open ridges and through deep limestone gorges. Our first warm-up hike takes us from the village of Stefanova into the nearby forests where brown bear roam (though it’s unlikely we’ll see any). We’ll also take an introductory walk through village and its surroundings. Overnight in the village of Terchova. Hotel Gavurky, Terchova.
Day 2: Gorge or ridge hike. Hike through a gorge, then ascend a section of metal ladders and chain assists (which will help us negotiate some steep and narrow places) to the summit of Maly Rozsutec (4,405'). Optional traverse to its big brother, Velky Rozsutec (5,281'), via a ridge requiring tough scrambling, or walk through a beautiful beech forest around to it. Return to Terchova for dinner and overnight. Hotel Gavurky, Terchova.
Day 3: Western Tatras. After breakfast we transfer to a lesser known corner of the Tatras, a ridge near the Polish border. This part of the Tatras is called Rohace, or Western Tatras. On the way we’ll stop at the medieval castle of Oravsky Podzamok, one of the best preserved in Slovakia. After a two-hour tour we will continue to the Western Tatras. In the afternoon we may visit the skanzen of Orava village, an open-air museum opened to the public in 1975. The traditional wooden buildings set in a 22-hectare site reflect Slovak rural life through the ages. At the end of day we transfer 1 ½ hours to our hotel. 4star hotel Grand or Tulipan, Stary Smokovec.
Day 4: Rysy climb. After a 40-minute transfer, we hike about four hours to the summit of Rysy (8,197'), one of the “jewels” of the Tatras and the highest peak in Poland (there is some scrambling and chains near Rysy Hut, the highest mountain hut in the Tatras). Its rocky summit affords spectacular views across the nearby peaks and ridges. Legend has it that Lenin climbed Rysy in 1912 and his footsteps still remain! Descend about three hours to Popradske Pleso and transfer back to the hotel in Stary Smokovec. 4star hotel Grand, Stary Smokovec.
Day 5: Malá Studena Valley. Walk for 30 minutes or take the funicular from Stary Smokovec to Hrebienok and hike up the Malá Studena Valley (Small Cold Valley) to Teryho Chata (6,609'), a hut built more than a hundred years ago and surrounded by five lakes and huge mountains (three hours hiking). Along the way we may see a few young men portaging supplies up to the hut (their loads average close to 180 lbs). We’ll also see many local Slovaks on the trail. The Slovaks love to hike and this is one of the most popular trails. 4star hotel Grand, Stary Smokovec.
Day 6: Local outings. Depending on the interests of the group, we will make one of the following excursions:
- Optional day trip to the historical city of Krakow in Poland. (The cost of this excursion is not included in the land cost of our itinerary.)
- A day trip to Pieniny National Park, a mountainous park with a rich ecosystem on the Slovak-Polish border. Here we can take a walk along the Dunajec River or possibly take a rafting trip through its scenic gorge. On our return journey we can stop in the lively medieval town of Kezmarok, dating from the 13th century. We can also tour Cerveny Klastor, a former Gothic church and monastery of Carthusian monks built in 1319. It was rebuilt in the baroque style of the 18th century and is now a national cultural monument.
- More suggestion of excursions may be discussed with local guide including extra hike in Tatras range or limestone gorges of Slovak Paradise.
- For very strong, ambitious hikers, it is possible to make an optional climb of Gerlachovsky, the highest peak in the Tatras (weather permitting). Gerlachovsky is one of 12 peaks over 8,000 feet that are accessible only with a mountain rescue guide. Ropes are used at times, and there are a few places equipped with fixed chains and ladders. Those with good natural balance and no fear of heights can do this difficult six hour climb. Some climbing experience is essential. 4star hotel Grand, Stary Smokovec.
Day 7: Belianske Tatry. Transfer 30 minutes to the eastern part of the High Tatras, a limestone region called the Belianske Tatry, which was closed to visitors until 1993. It is known as a wildflower paradise for its high density of alpine flowers, including many orchids and endemic plants. From the village of Tatranska Javorina or Tatranska Kotlina , with its many houses of typical wooden architecture, we’ll hike steadily up the Monkova Valley before dropping down to the Brncalova Chata (hut), one of the most beautifully situated mountain chalets (it’s over 100 years old!). Transfer back to our hotel Farewell dinner in a restaurant with traditional folk music. 4star hotel Grand, Stary Smokovec.
Day 8: Optional day. Transfer to airport and flight to Prague or transfer to different departure point(Vienna, Kracow, etc.)
Spissky Hrad – Prague. En route to the airport at Kosice, we’ll stop to visit Spissky Hrad, a large castle-ruin complex dating from the 11th century. The location attracts many movie makers (one of the last movies filmed here was Dragonheart). Continue to the airport in Kosice (2½ hours total driving) and take a 1½-hour afternoon flight to Prague, a cosmopolitan city with a great history, culture, and beautiful architectural monuments. Transfer to hotel. Dinner in a traditional restaurant. 4star hotel Bellagio, Prague. Trip may continue to Kracow (Poland) or Budapest (Hungary).
Day 9: Prague or fly home. Transfer to the airport (40 minutes) and depart on homeward-bound flights (your flight can depart at any time) or Prague extension.
Tour cost based on hotel standart and size of group will be send you on request.
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