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EXPLORE THE HIDDEN WONDERS OF SLOVAKIA

Mountains, gorges and bears...

The early morning mist hangs damp in the air as you move slowly and quietly along the floor of a secluded Tatra valley. Your local guide points up to the open hillside pasture. There moving slowly through the grass is a large male brown bear. You reach for the binoculars and suddenly there he is, a beautiful, elegant beast.

Beyond the possible bear sightings imagine climbing narrow limestone gorges to reach the hidden ruins of a 13th century monastery. The partially restored ruins include a welcoming café for a beer and lunch. Then a lovely ridge walk with views to distant, UNESCO listed Levoca.

The open alpine peaks of the Tatra Mountains soar above us. The wooded hills and gorges of the Slovenska Raj offer fairytale experiences and the ladders and walkways an inspiring challenge. We will be crossing bridges making our way along narrow ledges and climbing ladders. You will need a head for heights but no technical skills. Take your time and enjoy.

Slavic culture and history contrast greatly with our own. We stay in three centres all immersed in Slavic charm and history. Each different, each welcoming.

Our first two centres Banska Stiavnica and Levoca (say ‘Levocha’) are deservedly UNESCO listed and beautifully preserved. Our last centre is Liptovsky Jan, a traditional village set between the massifs of the High and Low Tatras.



WALKING GRADES


Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent. These walks are in more remote areas such as the Alps or northern Portugal. Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.




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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    Date
    18 Jul 2017
    Nights
    10
    Grades
    GRADE 6
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,610
    Date
    15 Aug 2017
    Nights
    10
    Grades
    GRADE 6
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,610
    Date
    12 Sep 2017
    Nights
    10
    Grades
    GRADE 6
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,610
  • Itinerary & Map
    18 Jul 2017 - 28 Jul 2017

    Day 1 - Banska Stiavnica
    We fly to Vienna, drive over the border into Slovakia and continue to Banska Stiavnica. The transfer should take about 2½ hrs. We will have dinner in the hotel and should have time for a quick stroll around before or after dinner.

    Day 2 - Levoca
    We have the morning to walk along the Zila Tereza in the Stiavnicke Vrchy mountains offering sweeping views to the city below and the remote peaks of the Low Tatras. Our first taste of the mountains and a good place to start. We will have lunch in Banska Stiavnica before moving on to Levoca. The journey is another 2½ hrs. Levoca town is on the plain surrounded by high ground. The centre is beautifully preserved and UNESCO listed. Have a look in the Roman Catholic Church of St James which houses an outstanding wooden altar reputedly the largest in Europe.

    Day 3 - Levoca
    We take a short drive to the Slovenska Raj (Slovak Paradise), an area of wooded limestone hills. We plan to walk in Sucha Bela (Dry Gorge), somewhat of a misnomer as the gorge will likely have a pleasant stream running down it. The walk is not difficult but it does provide an introduction to the walkways and ladders we will be using on all our walks in Slovak Paradise. Please see the website of pictures of what to expect.

    Day 4 - Levoca
    We have two more days to walk amongst the gorges, forest paths and open plateaux in Slovak Paradise. We hope to include a walk up to Klastorisko Monastery. A great walk which will be at the top end of the grade but well worth it. On both days we will have ladders to climb which will slow group progress. We are in no hurry. We will also visit the Dobsina Ice Cave. A unique experience.

    Day 6 - Liptovsky Jan
    It is a short transfer to Liptovsky Jan. The pleasant town is situated on the plain between the High Tatras to the north and the Low Tatras to the south. We will have time for a walk in the High Tatras on transfer day.

    Day 7 - Liptovsky Jan
    One of our days will be spent bear watching. We start early (approx 05.00) and will be back at the hotel early afternoon. The other three days we split our time between the High and Low Tatras. It is likely we will walk only one day in the Low Tatras hopefully reaching Dumbier Peak. The other days we walk on good well marked alpine paths in the High Tatras

    Day 11 -
    It is a long transfer back to Vienna with about 5hrs driving time. Subject to favourable flight times we plan to leave the hotel early and drive 4hrs to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. We should have a couple of hours informal sight seeing here before continuing the short distance to across the border into Vienna Airport for our return flight.


  • Accommodation
    Hotel Strachanovka

    Set within a beautiful Alpine valley, the Hotel Strachanovka has pleasing wooden chalet style architecture and offers a great place to rest after a day of walking. 

    It makes for the perfect spot to explore the Tatras. 

    The restaurant proudly serves traditional Slovak cuisine and has an outdoor terrace for fine weather. There is also a sauna and Jacuzzi (chargeable). A buffet breakfast is served every morning.

    Bedrooms come with satellite TV, free internet and en-suite facilities.

     

    Hotel U Leva

    We stay in the friendly three star Hotel U Leva, which is set centrally in a handsome townhouse, characteristic of UNESCO listed renaissance Levoca, dating back to the 14th century. Along with character there are good facilities. The hotel has a sauna and fitness room, as well as a restaurant that serves delicious 

    Italian cuisine and Slovak wines, where we take dinner. Enjoy a glass of Pretzelmayer or delicious Czech beer Bakalár often with a pianist player for accompaniment. Breakfast is served as a hot and cold buffet, available every morning.

    Clean and cosy bedrooms come with flat screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar and en-suite facilities. Some rooms have views over the pretty square.

    Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

     

  • What's Included
    • National Park bear watching guide on the bear watching day.
    • All necessary permits and entrance fees included.
    • Full board with either restaurant or boxed lunch each day.
    • All local transport costs.

    Supplement for single room £135


  • Holiday Highlights
    • A chance to see the European Brown Bear in the wild.
    • The ridges in the Tatra Mountains. Easily accessible at the grade.
    • The river gorges in the Slovak Paradise.
    • The UNESCO listed town of Levoca.
    • A glass of Slovak beer. They know a thing or two about good beer.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c2hrs).
    • Flights Heathrow-Vienna (c2hrs 15mins), British Airways.
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades: Business Class available, please ask for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
    Main Image
  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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