These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.

Central Slovakia Itineraries

WEEKEND TRIP - Getting to know the Liptov area

FRIDAY evening - Liptovský Mikuláš

Have dinner at the Liptovská Izba (Liptov Room), offering Slovak cuisine specialities. Námestie Osloboditeľov 21. Tel: 044 551-4853.

 Photo: Chris Togneri

SATURDAY - Liptovský Mikuláš, Liptovská Mara

Explore the Námestie Osloboditeľov square with the St. Mikuláš Church and visit the Slovak caving museum before actually visiting the local caves.

Open Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00. Admission: Sk20-40. Ulica 1.mája 38. Tel: 044 552-2061. Drive to the country's largest dammed lake, Liptovská Mara. Climb the small Úložisko Hill, on the dam's western bank, to see the Havránok archaeological open-air museum with a reconstructed Celtic settlement. Open daily 9:00-16:00. Admission: Sk10. Tel: 044 432-2469.

Then continue to the northern bank of the dam to the Liptovský Trnovec campground. There you can board the Mária tour boat and admire the surrounding natural scenery from the water. Departures at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00. Tickets (Sk40-60) can be purchased on the boat. Tel: 044 559-3100.

SUNDAY - Demänovská Dolina, Bešeňová thermal spa

Drive 10 kilometres south to Demänovská dolina, a dolomite valley in the Low Tatras. Take a guided tour through the Demänovská dripstone cave called Sloboda (Freedom). Open Tue-Sun 9:00-16:00 (with entries every hour). Admission: Sk100-200. Tel: 044 559-1673. Hike to Vrbické Pleso (Mountain Lake). Start from the parking lot in front of the cave, and follow the blue-marked one-hour path.

Relax at the Bešeňová open-air thermal pool, near the Liptovská Mara dam.

Open daily 10:00-21:00. Admission: Sk50-100. Tel: 044 439-2429.

WEEK TRIP - Preserved Slovak cultural traditions

Žilina region is reputedly the most diverse region in Slovakia, offering possibilities from hiking, cave and castle exploring, swimming and rafting to admiring the best-preserved original folk architecture and traditions in the country.

SUNDAY - Čičmany - folk architecture

Visit the village of Čičmany, unique for its traditional painted cabin houses. The Radenov dom museum offers closer insights into the customs and traditions people practised in past centuries. Open Tue-Sun 8:00-18:00. Tel: 041 549-2213.

MONDAY - Rajec

Get to know the town and the hilly surroundings famous for their tannery, wood carving and furriery. See the craft traditions at the Mestské Múzeum on Námestie SNP 15. Open Mon-Fri 8:00-15:00. Tel: 041 542-2198.

TUESDAY - Rajecké Teplice

Relax at the nearby spa area. Take a walk around a beautifully arranged spa park, rent a boat on the lake and have lunch at the Rybárska Bašta (Fishermen's Bastion) on an island in the lake (open 10:00-22:00). Then swim in thermal pools, sit in saunas and go for massages at the spa's Aphrodite building.


Visit the Budatín castle in Žilina and have a look at the world's only exhibition of the traditional Slovak tinker's craft. Open Tue-Sun 8:00-16:00. Topoľova 1, Žilina. Tel: 041 562-1943. Raft the Váh river on traditional boats. Arrive in Strečno town and go to Penzión Irenka (between 10:00-15:00), from where you will be transported to the rafting starting point. Led by professional rafters through the cascading river, you will be returned to the penzión. Tickets: Sk160-190. Tel: 0907 196-999.

THURSDAY - Blatnica

Situated near Martin, Blatnica is famous for its original houses of people who extracted oil from plants. Visit the local Karol Plicka Museum, located in an 18th century mansion, with a display of photos taken by the famous photographer. Open Tue-Sun 9:00-17:00. Tel: 043 494-8142.

FRIDAY - Nová Bystrica, Vychylovka

Explore the Vychylovka Kysuce Village Museum, an open-air museum bringing the life and culture of the Kysuce area into focus, while sitting in a unique forest train. Open Tue-Fri 9:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 9:00-18:00. Train ticket: Sk25-50. Tel: 041 439-7350.

SATURDAY - Zuberec

From Zuberec, continue to Brestová (3 kilometres) to visit the open-air Orava Village Museum, encompassing traditional farmers' houses and wooden churches. Open daily 8:00-18:00. Admission: Sk40. Tel: 043 539-5149.

WEEK TRIP - Walk the Gothic Route from Rimavská Sobota

The Gothic Route trail presents 24 villages and 9 towns dominated by churches built in the Gothic period and housing many valuable paintings. The entire 276-kilometre route winds across the Banská Bystrica and Prešov regions. It begins in the town of Rimavská Sobota in the south, an area encompassing national mountain parks in the Muránska Planina region.

SUNDAY - Rimavská Sobota

Explore the historical centre and visit the Church of Sv. Ján Krstiteľon Main Square. Open before and after masses. Tel: 047 563-1031.

MONDAY - Kurinec

Relax at the Zelená Voda (Green Water) reservoir. Swim, rent a boat or a paddle boat. Hiking: The green trail leads to the Kubinská dubina reservation.

Have a peek at the gothic churches in the following villages:

TUESDAY - Rimavské Janovce

Church of Sv. Ján Krstiteľ(medieval iconography), contact Anna Fačková, house #56, Tel: 047 567-7301; Rimavská Seč, contact Zoltán Kolozsi, house #5, Tel: 0907 351-491; and Žíp, a church with a unique altar, contact Štefan Barát, house #45, Tel: 047 569-7285.

WEDNESDAY - Rimavská Baňa

A fortified church with medieval wall paintings, contact Viera Fašková, house #26, Tel: 047 549-5293. Kraskovo, an early-Gothic church on a hill, contact Ján Boľf at the municipal office, Tel: 047 569-0158.

THURSDAY - Behind Kyjatice

See a 14th century church with a monumental Last Supper painting, and a site where pre-historic cremations were held, contact: Milan Cikrai, house #21, Tel: 047 569-0325. Rimavské Brezovo, see a church with a 13th century tower, contact Ondrej Kališka, house #18, Tel: 047 549-5420.

FRIDAY - Tisovec

The gate to the Muránska Planina mountain park. A four-hour yellow-trail hike up to the Tisovec Castle ruins is framed by limestone formations.

SATURDAY - Tisovec-Zbojiská

Get on a historical train passing through the hilly Muránska Planina area. Tickets (Sk30) available on the train, which leaves at 08:13 from Tisovec main station, Hviezdoslavova 432. Tel: 047 549-4568. Also visit the information centre, Hlavné nám. 5, Rimavská Sobota. Tel: 047 562-3645.

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2003.

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