Best of Slovakia in 3 Days

Hi Lenka,

We had a lovely time on our trip. We really enjoyed it and we are very grateful to have Lucia as our tour guide, she was very accommodating and made sure everything was ok for us.
The accommodation was very nice too.
Overall we have a great time and the trip was worth while and the cost was very reasonable as well.
Thank you so much to you and Lucia for your patience and emails in helping us with our trip and organisation, you are very patience.
Once again a big Thank you!
Kind Regards,

Leanne Mok from UK

- rating 5

Family History Tour

Hello Lenka,

I spoke to Mr and Mrs Bender and they were very pleased with your services, especially with your guide, Lucy. They said their trip "could not have been better".
They were so pleased to meet 4 cousins in Belja and then to be welcomed into their homes.It was very nice of you to arrange this in advance.
They also were very pleased with the hotels and location, and your recommendation to go to southern Poland to finish.
So thank you for making my clients happy, and I hope to send you many more in the future.

Best regards,

Charles Wysor
President of Ambassador Travel
Pittsburgh
USA

Hi Lenka,

Tom & I wanted you to know that we couldn't be more pleased with all you have done to coordinate our trip & accommodations with Chuck Wisor. The arrangements you made in choosing our hotels was perfect! All the staff and the hotels were excellent. One particular gentleman in the Golden Royal in Kosice, (his name was Robert who worked in the dining room) was absolutely super! They need to know that.
Lucy did an excellent job & you should be extremely proud to have her on your staff. We enjoyed her company & her knowledge on the areas we visited was excellent. She's a lovely girl & she is certainly welcome to visit us here in the US anytime!
. I was so happy to know that I have four second cousins in Belza, Slovakia! All the work you all did to co-ordinate our visit is truly appreciated! It has been a dream of mine to visit the homeland of my grandmother & to find relatives there was truly a blessing to me. We visited the entire day on Saturday, May 5th & their hospitality was beyond anything I could have hoped for. Some of the pictures I took along were the same pictures they had & we knew we were family!
I know for a fact that Mr. Wisor was impressed by your quick response to his questions & the accommodations you made. We would recommend Travel Slovakia in a minute to anyone wishing to make a trip to visit or to research their ancestry. Your services were priceless & we can't thank you enough.!

Best regards,

Mary Ann & Tom Bender from USA

- rating 5

Tailor Made Best of Slovakia Tour

Dear Lenka,
other than the typical post-trip exhaustion all is good here. We had a great time on the trip and the students really enjoyed travelling through Slovakia. Accommodation was excellent and we were particularly impressed by the courtesy of the staff at Hotel Stela in Levoca. Meals at the hotel were generally good and filling and during the day Lucia was extremely helpful in assisting us with the best choices at the restaurant. My favourite place overall was the organic restaurant near Ruzomberok and the students enjoyed the experience as well. Our favourite sights were certainly Bojnice, Vlkolinec and Spis Castle (from the outside) and Lucia and the driver were both extremely helpful, patient and enthusiastic in helping us (they even tried to find the Slovan Bratislava stadium for us!).

All in all we enjoyed the experience, the skiing was excellent (despite the crowded slopes) and the winter activities in Hrebienok were extremely fun. I was very impressed by Slovakia and would love to go back for hiking or folk-culture research (I'm very fond of wooden sculptures representing myths and folktales).

Thanks again for the excellent organisation of our trip!

Jan from Italy

- rating 5

Genealogy Searching

Dear Michal,
Thank you so much! I know that the records are incomplete, but this is more information than I would have ever dreamed possible!

Patricia from Germany

- rating 5

Family History Tour

Hello Lenka,

We had a great time in Slovakia. Our guide Michal was excellent and made sure our visit to the family village was wonderful. It is something we will always remember. Michal provided excellent translation and allowed us to feel a part of the family we just met. It was a great feeling to find long lost cousins and see how much we are like them. We look forward to another visit some time and will invite Michal to be our guide.
Many thanks for sending our names to Michal the most perfect guide and translator!

Rosemary and Richard Whitlock, Fredericton, New Brunswick from Canada

- rating 5

Family History Tour

Dear Lenka,

We had a wonderful time; we are so glad we visited Slovakia.
Libby ( that is what we called our guide) was tremendous and so helpful and considerate of our wishes.
The scenery was absolutely gorgeous--we never knew our home country was so lovely. We loved seeing the little villages nestled among the rolling hills and valleys. We felt very disappointed that we couldn't take the cable car ride, but that was just the fault of the weather, none of yours. But Libbby accommodated us by taking us to the lake --Strbske? which was very important to us. My grandmother had a picture of that lake and resort with the mountains behind it hanging on her wall, and we inherited it. So we were very grateful to see its beauty in person. Therefore, the Lomnicky Peak letdown was more than compensated for by our walk around and pictures of the lake. I believe the same resort is still there--it looks very much like it. The picture was probably from the 1920s. But of course, finding our relatives was the supreme delight. We spent three whole days with them, visiting Tvarozna, Levoca, cemeteries, meeting their families, etc. etc. Unbelievably exciting. Thank you, thank you. Everyone is so impressed that you could find this family with the small amount of information I gave you. You are all wonderful and it feels like a real miracle that we could meet living relatives. Give all of your staff who helped find these people a huge thank you. If it was just you, Lenka, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

There is but one criticism we have to make. The Pension Sabato was a very fine place and had atmosphere in abundance. We felt as if we were in old Slovakia. It was wonderful to stay in a 350 year old inn, and experience the real old time Slovakia. But having said that, here are our criticisms-- 1) the two-story winding staircase was a BIG problem, especially with luggage. Perhaps we should have told you our ages, but since we really do not have any trouble getting around and are in very good health, we did not think to mention it. And 2) we did not like being stuck out in nowhere away from some sightseeing, shopping or other retail outlets in the evenings-- we felt as though we needed to be closer to more conveniences. We would not go back to that hotel if anythng else were available. So we would suggest finding a different hotel for your guests to Poprad, or at least mention the drawbacks. Please realize that they were very pleasant to us, and the room was OK. Also, Libby volunteered to take us and pick us up from shopping, but we just wanted to get out and wander around on our own. The hotel in Bratislava was great for accessibility to sightseeing, shopping, etc.
But all in all, thank you for all your good work and providing us with a wonderful experience.

Paula, Jill and Garn McBride from USA

- rating 4

Grand Tour of Slovakia

Slovakia is a heartwarming, beautiful country with green rolling hills, spectacular High Tatras, scenic villages scattered throughout the countryside and agricultural fields spanning the horizons. We enjoyed the scenic hike in the High Tatras, the relaxing thermal pools afterward, the unique wooden churches, castles, the old section of Bratislava. In addition to all of the above, our guide, Lucia, introduced us to a family who are friends of hers. They welcomed us into their home, sharing with us their culture, nearby river and old railroad station, endless conversations and hospitality, concluding with a home-cooked dinner in their yard. We shall treasure the memory of this evening forever. Our guide, Lucia, seemed more like a family member or friend. She was an excellent driver, had a wealth of knowledge about Slovakia's history and geography and paid particular attention to our interests. She exuded great pride of her country which she shared with us daily. We missed her the moment our trip concluded. Our hotels were all comfortable with plentiful breakfasts. Slovakia is definitely a jewel which should be experienced by travelers from around the world.
We were truly blessed to have had Travelslovakia as our guide on this very special trip.

Kay and Thomas Anderson from USA

- rating 5

Family History Tour

Dear Lenka;
Yes, we are home safely from our trip to your beautiful country. We are tired but filled with memories of our travels and visit with family.
I would like to first let you know how much we appreciated Libby's translating talents and patience while visiting in Hrabkov. She was truly a gift to us as we all bombarded her with questions to be translated and then answered. I would highly recommend her for your future clients who want to reunite with family and need help with communication.
Next we all felt comfortable with Libby and enjoyed her insights, as well as her interest in our culture. We would recommend that guides be more available or nearer to accommodations due to the language barrier and unfamiliar surroundings.
Thank you for the luncheon on our last day; it was very nice and much appreciated.
The overall experience was positive and your tour company will be recommended by us to friends or relatives planning a trip to Slovakia.
Sincerely,

Mary Sedlock, and daughters from USA

- rating 4

From Hut to Hut Self-guided Tour in the High Tatra

The programme was well constructed and the support throughout excellent - the attention to help sort out the lost passport was well above what could have been expected and meant that what could have disrupted the vacation became only a minor issue to resolve. All bookings were well organised and of a good and very convenient standard . the problem with the landslide on Rysy was handled very well and with great re-assurance - a memorable and enjoyable holiday thanks to TRAVELSLOVAKIA

Yes, thank you very much for looking after us. It was the perfect combination of advising us in the beginning, letting us get on with the walking on our own (with every booking sorted in detail), and watching out for problems on our route. We were so impressed with the way you dealt with the alternative arrangements after we had to return from Rysy. I would certainly recommend you.


Lenka & Martin
I agree with everything that Phil says We especially valued the help with Phil's passport and the retreat from Rysy - and felt generally well looked after, so thank you all very much.


Hi Lenka
As the others have said we were very pleased with the arrangements you made for us. We wanted someone to book the huts and give us some ideas and you did that for us. Thanks. The help you gave us when the path into Poland was impassable was also much appreciated.
As the others have said, it did take me quite while to find you on the internet - I'd been looking for someone who specialised in the Tatra. English companies we found only offered guided tours and that was not what we wanted.
We are all walkers in our 60s but the the Tatras suited us because some of the peaks are accessible and the chains are fun and a bit of a challenge. We had done some research on Youtube and using a Cicerone Guide in English so we knew what to expect. We were also impressed with the maps and the timings shown on them. They helped us judge our days well. On the second day we were able to climb Jahnaci Stit and walk around the Tatranska Magistrala to our next hut. We were tired but satisfied with our walk. From Zbonika we crossed Prenom Sedlo which was great fun but, as you mentioned it was a long day and we were pleased to see Propadske Pleso. The huts were great and what we expected. Each one was different and all were a pleasure to stay in. Zbonika was the least comfortable but that was OK because it was the highest hut. The food was fine and the huts were able to provide food for one of our group who was a vegetarian. We should have told you about that but forgot to do so.
We would be happy to recommend travleslovakia to other hikers we know who are considering visiting the Tatra or Slovakia

Phil Radcliff, Brian Downing, Mike Pedler, John Park from UK and Australia

- rating 5

Self-guided Tour in the High Tatras

I am also glad for solution. the manager though seemed old was very nice. I had a great trek in the mountains though I did not do the route you made for me. it would have been too long and i was all alone. I want to thank you for reserving the pension and making plans for me. It is very appreciated.

Deepali Lindblom from Canada

- rating 4

Best of Slovakia Tour + Visit of Krakow

Yes, we were very satisfied with our tour. Our guide Lucia was delithtful. She was well informed with all the sites in Slovakia, and more than willing to be flexible.

Gail & Jim Agnew from USA

- rating 5

Self-guided Hiking Tour in the High Tatras with Grand Tour of Slovakia

Hi Lenka,

Overall we were very satisfied with our stay in Slovakia. The country is very beautiful and offers a variety of possibilities: hiking, sightseeing, water recreation etc. So we are happy we discovered your country. If you had a coastline then you could call your country little paradise...

Regarding the program we had a few thoughts based on the fact we know the country and possibilities better since our holidays. Of course we didn’t study all the possibilities in beforehand as we agreed with your program overall. So consider the following comments as suggestions or thoughts for future offers you have to make to other tourists:
the first day was too heavy for us; we finished another week of work & stress, and then hiked 27 km on the first day (24km + 3km from Hrbeniok because the train service was only operating until 4:30pm); we were exhausted and discouraged a little bit for the rest of the program – one additional remark: we couldn’t receive the free train ticket from the hotel package until the next day, so that’s why we had to walk down the last 3km after a very exhausting first day
hotel/pension accommodations: we liked the fact we could change places to stay overnight, but we were disappointed in 2 places: Popradske Pleso (local hut) and Klopacka. Your already received the feedback regarding Popradske Pleso. We didn’t like Klopacka because the kitchen closed at 7:30pm (early!), the breakfast was minimal and there was nothing around to see. We would have preferred to stay in the nearby town (Spania Dolina??) where Lucia showed us around the next day in the morning
program in general was very good with enough variety; if we had to do this again we think we would have spent 1-2 days more in the mountains, but perhaps spend only 3 days in High Tatras, and also do a few days in Low Tatras and Little Paradise to see more nature and not only rocks... the sightseeing tour was perhaps a little bit too long but Lucia was kind enough to add a few more things like visiting caves or stopping somewhere in a nice town or place for lunch.
the cruise on the Danube in Bratislava was not our thing: very touristic, zero service in the boat, nothing to see (spend 2 hours to visit an old castle ruin) – this is more for families with children or older people; we would prefer a smaller cruise, less people, some food & drinks in the boat, music etc...
food was generally spoken honest, simple, good and affordable (cheap); service is not up to date and usually too fast; your country is still undiscovered so we expect if more people from West Europe or US/Asia will visit Slovakia then automatically the service will improve.
Lucia was a great guide, very friendly and flexible; she was nice to talk to so we got never bored with her; we have nothing ‘bad’ to say about her, it was a pleasure to get to know Lucia during this trip.

We hope to be back one of these days, but since there are so many other destinations on our wish list, we can’t promise when...
Again thanks for the excellent cooperation and we wish you and your team & organization a lot of success.

Lieven & Vince from Belgium

- rating 4

From Hut to Hut Hiking Tour in the High Tatras

Tatra-Gipfelglück J
7 Tage unterwegs in herrlicher Natur (Gipfel, Bergseen, Wasserfälle, Blumenwiesen, Gemsen … ) – Übernachtungen in gemütlichen und gut ausgestatteten Hütten mit leckerem Essen (- und leckerem Bier!); geführt durch einen kompetenten, netten und aufmerksamen Begleiter …
Diese geführte Bergwanderung durch das kleinste Hochgebirge der Welt ist nur zu empfehlen.

Beate Jansen from Austria

- rating 5

From Hut to Hut Hiking Tour in the High Tatras

WANDERN in der HOHEN TATRA 21. -28.7.2012

die Tour durch die Hohe Tatra hat unsere Erwartungen voll erfüllt. Die Wanderungen führten uns durch wunderbare Bergregionen - vor allem die vielen Bergseen und die blühenden Wiesen waren eine Pracht. Von der Abholung bis zur Rückkehr war alles hervorragend organisiert und so verbrachten wir eine sehr entspannte Woche mit vielen Naturerlebnissen (Höhepunkt war eine Bärenbegegnung aus sicherer Beobachtungsposition).
Wir waren von der Slowakei, der Freundlichkeit der Menschen , dem guten Standard der Berghütten und der Qualität der Wege samt Markierungen tief beeindruckt. Es ist auch eine super-Sache, die Tour mit einem Blick in den Berg, in die mächtigen Tropfsteinhöhe Belianska, zu beenden. Und außerdem hat uns die slowakische Küche auf allen Hütten ausgezeichnet geschmeckt, vor allem Brimsennudeln ( brynsove haluski).
Adam, der uns geführt und begleitet hat, war einfach super. Alles war bestens organisiert und wir haben viele Eindrücke und interessante Informationen über die Slowakei bekommen.
Vielen Dank aus Österreich

Helga & Ludwig Vit from Austria

- rating 5

Hiking Tour in the High Tatras with Sightseeing Bratislava, Spis Region and Tatra Region

Dear Lenka,

I would like to inform you that I got the feedback from my clients and their impressions from the tour are wonderfull. They are all satisfied with everything and enjoyed every moment of the tour.
Therefore I would like to thank you again for the excellent organisation and services and also for all your effords that made this tour successful.

Gorki Balojani, Product manager, BALOJANI TOURIST SERVICES, Macedonia

- rating 5

Central Europe Tour with Genealogy Searching

We feel very fortunate that Lenka and TravelSlovakia is the company we found to help plan and book our custom trip to Slovakia as well as three other countries. Taking our Dad for his 80th birthday to explore where his father and grandfather emigrated from has been a longtime goal of our family and we were able to put together a very excellent itinerary only with their help. Lenka was instrumental from the start in helping to plan our itinerary and never failed to answer our questions promptly and with great insight and advice. TravelSlovakia was also helpful in both planning tours with partner companies in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. They coordinated every detail from our arrival in Vienna on August 2nd until our departure on the 14th.

Based on family records we sent Lenka, she not only provided translations of some documents, but also found the church where our grandfather was baptized in 1888. Additionally, she found a likely relative in the town where he was from and arranged to have our family info passed along to her and coordinated a visit for our day there where we were able to exchange information and were hosted for a great meal and hospitality.

Lucia, our guide, was outstanding. Filling the multiple roles of driver, Slovakia native and expert, translator and guide was great fun for the eight days we spent with her. She made the trip very memorable and we consider her part of our family now too! She was very knowledgeable and had an answer for most everything we wanted to know about. I would not hesitate to use the services of TravelSlovakia in the event I am lucky enough to return for a future trip!

Thanks for everything!!

Drew, Tommy, Andrew and Don from USA

- rating 5

Best of Slovakia Tour

Hi Lenka,

Barb and I had a wonderful tour of Slovakia! The tour was well organized and scheduled without any problems, so thank you very much for your efforts. Lucia was an excellent guide and was very accommodating to our requests and questions. We were shown all of the planned sights plus some extra ones that Lucia was able to fit into our schedule. Lucia was very knowledgeable and often explained information in good detail for food, customs, sights, etc. She spoke very good English and was very helpful with interpreting from Slovak to English and from English to Slovak. All of the towns and sights were fantastic; especially the castles, wooden churches and the scenery. Lucia gave us plenty of time at each location and we felt comfortable with the pace.
We found Lucia interesting and she spoke of details about the Slovak lifestyle that we would not have learned without the tour.
Again, thank you for your organization of the tour and please again express our thanks to Lucia for her wonderful efforts.
We will definitely recommend TravelSlovakia to any of our friends and relatives that may be interested in visiting Slovakia in the future.

Regards,

Andy and Barb Ftacek from USA

- rating 5

Grand Tour of Slovakia with Family Genealogy Searching

We would like to thank you and your entire staff for setting us up with such a wonderful trip. Each place of interest we toured was a good experience as each had something different to offer which we really enjoyed.
We had a exceptional tour guide (Liby) as her concerns were always to satisfy our needs and interests. She was very fluent in both Slovak and English languages which really helped us with every step of our trip including finding family members that had no contact with their American families for over 100 years.
The entire tour was very pleasant. Our accommodations were very nice at times a little hard to find and somewhat inconvenient to locate , but when we were settled in they were very nice. The outside diden't always present itself very well as the buildings looked unfinished considering the age they were exceptional. The insides were always very nice. For us we would prefer a. more quite less congested area to stay. Our meals were all very tasty with a good selection since we were interested in the Slovak traditions we leaned toward eating their food which was all great.
The castles and churches were a great experience as each offered something different we had no idea about the countries rich history. We enjoyed each and everyone. The country presented itself very well from the friendly people to the snowy mountains rich farm lands including the cities which seemed to be very clean based on there age. We could talk a lot more about the country and heritage, but we hope to come back and experience the areas in person.
The most important and exciting part of our trip was finding our relatives and where my mother was born, lived and attended church.

If we were to suggest anything different we would want our guide to stay where we stayed, because the need for assistance with a medical emergency or other emergencies that are unexpected. When we were making our long trip back to the airport it would have been better to travel the main highways rather than the narrow winding roads through each small town.
Thanks again for a wonderful tour it is very much appreciated and hope to be back soon. We really enjoyed your beautiful country and seen a lot of wonderful points of interest.
We hope to make a return trip soon and would highly recommend your Travel Agency.
Thanks again.

Lawrence and Pat Eurich from USA

- rating 5

From Hut to Hut Hiking Tour in the High Tatras

Hallo Adam !

Ich muss sagen, dass ich recht begeistert war von meiner Reise und ich es auch sehr geschätzt habe, dass du nicht starr auf der Reiseroute geblieben bist, sondern auch noch andere Gipfel mit mir erklommen hast.
Das die Gruppe nur aus uns bestanden hat, war etwas ungewöhnlich, aber es hat mich überhaupt nicht gestört.
Und deine Ruhe hab ich auch sehr geschätzt.
Nein, ich glaub, ich hatte wirklich großes Glück mit dir als Reiseführer !

Es war wirklich eine sehr gute Reise und so bin ich auch schon am Planen für nächstes Jahr.

Andrea Nobis from Austria

- rating 5

Two Slovak National Parks in 2 Days

Hi Adam This is THADANI from India!
You remember showing us the tatra mountains We had a most wonderful time in central Europe and see back to our routine in chennai! The part of the trip with you perhaps was the most wonderful and we all thank you. We really enjoyed the trip and also your company very much Should you come to south India we will be happy to have you with us

Look forward to seeing you again!
Take care

Thadanis and Doshis from India

- rating 5

Grand Tour of Slovakia

Hi Adam!

We were awfully glad to hear from you and apologise for not writing sooner.First of all you can set your mind at rest about our trip, both in the Czeck Rep. and with you. All my friends who heard about our trip are convinced that to go organized but small groups is not more expensive than hiring a car paying for the gas, plus insurance and not making mistakes on the way is best. Add to that that all is organized from the beginning to end makes a good deal.

Thanks for your letter and also for the photos. I also want to thank you for the wonderful trip you gave us. George wrote about the programs and the general arrangements but I would like to add some more personal comments. After all the years that I worked as a teacher I think I know what kind of feedback people would like.We enjoyed your company very much. Being with a small group enabled you to be more flexible and change things if they didn't seem right whether it was an ABC, or the bad weather in the High Tatras. It was not a problem for you to come back the next day, or to take us to see the lit up castle at night. And of course we haven't forgotten the extra trip you made for us to see our friends. Thanks again for that.. What was more important to me than more information about the things we saw, was that you really made us feel your love of your country, so that it passed on to us.
All in all it was a good combination of history folklore and nature, and we really enjoyed the tour and your guidance.
All the best

Yael and George from Israel

- rating 5

Family History Tour, Ancestry Research

Lenka,

We were happily surprised by the way both Martin and Libby treated us during our week in Slovakia. They were always concerned about what we wished to do each day. They gave us a large number of options each day. And they met us at the time we selected in the morning and stayed ready to continue with us each day until we said we were ready to "call it a day".
The highlight of the trip, of course, was the meeting we had with my relatives in Gocovo. Since Martin had met them before (with Andrew Kaylor), it was a reunion for him as well. Martin spent the several hours with my relatives always ready to interpret the conversations which went on. My relatives enjoyed visiting with him again. The hotels were all quite adequate and comfortable. When we were on our own (without Martin or Libby) someone at the hotel knew enough English that we could easily communicate.
We found Slovakia more beautiful than we had imagined. We hope we can return some day.
If you would like any additional information, please let me know.
Thanks for all you did to make our trip enjoyable.

Richard Shernit from USA

- rating 5

Discover Three Slovak National Parks in One Week

Hi Lenka

We really enjoyed our time in Slovakia and the national parks walking tour we did with travelslovakia.The briefings by Martin, maps, transfers, accommodation and food were all great. For future clients we think you should recommend that they have walking poles which we did and good grip boots for the ladders in Slovakia paradise park which we didn't.

We will recommend you company to others.

Regards Robert and Sally from Australia

- rating 5

National Parks of Slovakia

Lenka,

Itinerary: Each day was well planned, and well accessed from our accommodation. Each national park was very different, providing variety and stimulation. The mix of easy and difficult days was well balanced. The national parks: The beauty of each park was outstanding. Guide: Lucia was knowledgable, helpful and flexible. She was able to adapt the itinerary to our needs. She was informative on history, and each place visited. While she was always late, this was usually only 5 to 10 minutes, and was not a problem for us. Overall, she was very good. Accommodation: Each hotel was clean, quiet, and comfortable, with good food. Pension staff were very helpful. The cost was considered very reasonable for the quality. The Poprad "Fortuna" pension was remote from shopping and evening activities. However, there were enough alternative restaurants within walking distance to try.

Other comments: We were impressed with Slovakia's national parks, and believe that the autumn was one of the best times for us to go. There were very few other tourists, and the autumn colours were beautiful. Food and accommodation costs were good value compared to other countries in Europe. That we also had Lucia as a guide included in the cost was a great bonus. In contrast, we went on a self guided bicycle tour in the Czech republic prior to the Slovakia week, booked through AVE Travel. While Moravia was also beautiful, and the Czech bicycle infrastructure was good, the AVE service was poor, notes and maps were poor, accommodation below average, and even though we had no guide, the costs were higher than yours. Your tour was far better value, and far more enjoyable.

We would rate your service and the overall experience of our holiday with you as 10 out of 10, and would gladly recommend it to others.

Regards,

Michael Robinson from Australia

- rating 5

Family History Tour

Dear Lenka,

Now that we've had some time to reflect on our trip to Slovakia and sift through the many photos we took there, we wanted to get back to you to tell you what a remarkable time we had last September. We had two goals for the trip: to visit family with whom we've corresponded for years but never met, and to see Slovakia, particularly the eastern part of the country from which my family emigrated in the early 1900's. We feel that the trip more than met our goals.

First, we want to give special credit to our guide, Adam, for the great job he did in showing us your beautiful country, translating for us, especially in our visits with our family there, and being flexible in our itinerary. His English is excellent, his driving careful, and he brought along a very good sense of humor and knowledge of Slovakia. We also appreciate the advance work you did in researching my family's history and discovering new information about them. Some of the highlights of the trip were:

1. Meeting four generations of my grandmother's wonderful family, the Baca's, in Nemcovce, enjoying lunch at their house, joining them for slivovica toasts, and learning more about their fascinating family history, especially from Juraj, the familly patriarch. I'm attaching photos of our visit to their home, a dinner we hosted at a restaurant in Kapusany, and our trip to the local cemetery where we saw the grave of my great grandmother.
2. Visiting my grandfather's home town, Bardejov, a beautfiul, well-restored Medieval city, one of several UNESCO-awarded sites in Slovakia. Although we were unable to find any records of my grandfather's family there, we got an interesting clue about his family heritage from a historian who just started talking to us in the town square.
3. Hiking in the High Tatras, an extremely beautiful region up along the Polish border, where we hiked for two days--one day from Stary Smokovec at the base of the Tatras up to the Teryho Chata beyond the tree line--and the next day up to Popradske Lake. The first climb was demanding but very much worth it for the views, fresh air, and sense of accomplishment. Based on how easily he handled the trails and seemed barely winded from them, we concluded that Adam is part mountain goat.
4. Hiking in the Slovak Paradise region. Sometimes we were hugging the sides of cliffs as we made our way over steel platforms bolted into the rock, but it was less daunting than it appears in photos. Very beautiful part of the country.
5. Visiting the impressive Spissky Hrad (the audio tour of the castle is very worthwhile); the nearby town of Spissky Kupele (we had a 1:1 tour of the amazing church there; don't miss this if you visit); the Medieval town of Levoca with its incredible cathedral; the wooden church in Trocany--a real find for its extraordinary icons and in which Adam arranged another 1:1 tour for us; the town square of Presov.
6. Enjoying good food, drink, and accommodations. The hotels you selected for us were very good, with typically nice breakfasts included. We particulalry liked the Gran Hotel Praha in the Tatras and the Golden Royale in Kosice, both with excellent restaurants. Slovak beer, particularly Saris and Zlaty Bazant, are very good but too often overshadowed by the well-marketed Czech beer, Pilsner Urquell. One suggestion would be to encourage Slovak hotels to brew fresh coffee for their guests rather than relying on do-it-yourself coffee machines, which feel a bit like what you'd find in an office.
7. Meeting friendly, kind people who are genuinely proud of their country, and for good reason.

We highly recommend Travelslovakia, and hope to revisit some day. Thank you for helping to arrange a memorable trip.

Cindy and Steve, USA

- rating 5