Itinerary

Although Slovakia is a small country, it offers many valuable historical monuments included in the UNESCO list.
This trip provides you the opportunity to see for yourself these beauties from the seat of your bike. During the tour you will see unique UNESCO sites of Eastern and Central Slovakia.
Eastern Slovakia will enchant you with natural beauties, folk architecture, and well-preserved historical town centers with all the religious and secular monuments. And of course, the dominant of Eastern region - mighty Spis castle.
Central Slovakia also offers many natural attractions, historical villages and centers of former mining towns. These towns, surrounded by hills, have special atmosphere resulting from the mining history of the town.

The tour also available in reverse from Banska Stiavnica to Bardejov.
Extension or shortening of the tour is possible.

  1. Day 1 Arrival in Krakow, Poland or Poprad, Slovakia. Transfer to Bardejov.

    - arrival in Krakow airport or Poprad bus/railway station
    - car transfer to Bardejov town
    - accommodation and informal reception

    Bardejov, one of the oldest Slovak towns, rightly awarded the European award, gold medal of ICOMOS Foundation of UNESCO in 1986 was inscribed into the List of the World Cultural Heritage of the same organisation in 2000. The buildings in the historic centre are included in the Town Monument Reserve. Bardejov is spoken of as the“most Gothic of towns in Slovakia”. Its centre consists of a set of historical buildings arranged in the area limited by an almost continuous belt of town fortifications. The principal area of the historical core is therectangular Radnicne square skirted by rows of antique burgher houses with typical gable facades. The most significant monument of the square is the Roman-Catholic Basilica of St. Egidius that is located in its northern section. Its construction started at the beginning of the 15th century. It was conceived as a majestic Gothic basilica with three isles. There is an interesting set of 11 Late Gothic altars from the 15th and the 16th centuries and some of those wood carvings are considered to be supreme works of European art.

    Overnight in Bardejov town

  2. Day 2 Route: Bardejov - Stara Lubovna.

    After breakfast our first bike route along borders of this trip will lead us to Stara Lubovna town.

    Stara Lubovna is a town of interesting history and charming natural setting. The distinct countryside provides for recreation, hiking and curative stays. Town’s historical square is surrounded by burgess houses priceless from architectural point of view. Over the local quarter of Podsadek, the stone-walled Lubovna Castle rises on a limestone hill at 711 metres above the sea level. The castle belonged to the fortification line protecting the Hungarian Kingdom border. A separate exhibition located at the castle’s foot in the open air Museum of Folk Architecture displays folk architecture sights and demonstrates the past way of life in the regions of Spis and Saris.

    Overnight in Stara Lubovna

    Ride details:

  3. Day 3 Route: Stara Lubovna - Zdiar.

    This day we will get on bicycle to picturesque village Zdiar located between mountains of the Belianske Tatry and Spisska Magura.

    Zdiar is a typical Goral community formed by four most valuable groups of houses built in the old popular style contain structures built of wood with three rooms. Zdiar is famous for its folk arts and traditions. Until recently, the villagers used to put on their folk costumes on Sundays or feast days. Today they can be seen only at shows of the folk ensembles or along with other exhibits of folk art and trades in the exhibition of Zdiarska izba (room).
    Some new buildings also stick to the architecture typical for the region. The example is the stylish restaurant Zdiarsky dom.

    Overnight in Zdiar

    Shorter cycle route is available

    Ride details:

  4. Day 4 Route: Zdiar - Levoca.

    We will bike to Levoca town, the UNESCO Cultural Monument, through the National park of High Tatras. During this day you will have opportunity to admire beautiful scenery of nature in the oldest Slovak park.

    The historic town Levoca situated in the east of the Spis region is a true cultural and historic jewel among the Slovak towns as it possesses a great number of architectural monuments linked with the glorious past of the town. The dominant part of the old Levoca is the large rectangular square, with the Roman-Catholic St. James church from the 14th century, which is one of the most important sacral buildings in Slovakia. The tall slender church tower from the first half of the 19th century is the most distinct feature in the city's silhouette. The Late Gothic wooden main altar of St. James with the height of 18.6 m is the highest of its kind in the world. It was made of lime wood in 1507-1517 in the workshop of Maestro Pavol of Levoca.

    Overnight in Levoca

    Ride details:

  5. Day 5 Route: Levoca - Spis castle - Levoca.

    This day we will visit cultural monuments of Spis region which are inscribed in the list of UNESCO heritage.

    In the eastern horizont of Spisske Podhradie towers the Spis Castle. As a National Cultural Monument, Spis Castle with its area of more than four ha, and partially in ruins, is one of the largest castle compounds in Central Europe.
    Spisska Kapitula is sometimes also referred to as the“Slovak Vatican”. Church life not only in Spisska Kapitula (The Chapter of Spis) was organised from here by the bishops, provosts, and canonists. The most important building of Spisska Kapitula is the Late-Romanesque St Martins Cathedral. It acquired its massive form of a three-nave building with two towers in the years 1245-1275.
    The Spis community of Zehra is known for its precious local Roman-Catholic Holy Spirit church that is, along with other monuments around the Spis Castle, included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. Unique medieval wall paintings that were created gradually, from the second half of the 13th century till the end of the 15th century, were preserved in the church interior.

    Overnight in Levoca

    Shorter cycle route is available

    Ride details:

  6. Day 6 Route: Levoca - Dobsinska Ice Cave.

    We will move to the Nationa park of Slovak paradise and visit the unique Dobsinska Ice cave, which is included into the List of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO.

    This 1,232 m long and 112 m deep cave is one of the largest ice caves in Europe. Except for the Alps, this is the only place in Europe with 110 thousand cubic metres of ice in places thicker than 25 m. The thickest layer of ice amounting to 26.5 m is in Veľká sien (The Grand Hall) of the cave. The cave is also the lowest situated one in the world in terms of sea level altitude, which enhances its originality. Ice survives in the cave thanks to the form of the cave, which is similar to a sack. As the cave is situated lower than its entrance, the cold air maintains in its bottom and its temperature never increases above zero.

    Overnight in Dobsina village

    Ride details:

  7. Day 7 Route: Dobsinska Ice Cave - Rohozna.

    This cycling route we evaluate as the most beautiful of this tour. During this day we will pass through 2 Slovak national parks, the National park of Muranska Planina and the National park of Low Tatras, the lagest one in Slovakia.

    The National Park of Muranska planina with its wild mountain karstic landscape and minimum human interventions is located between central and eastern parts of Slovakia. On the top of the peek, we find the fabled ruins of the Castle of Muran.
    The National park of Low Tatras, the largest Slovak National Park, lies in Central Slovakia and its greatest attractions include numerous karstic phenomena and caves. The typical features of this Park are long valleys, deep canyons and steep rocks, coated by dwarf pines or grassland even though the predominants are forest overgrows, lower and mixed forests with the abies, beech, spruce, larch, and maple. Caves are also much visited assets of the area. Among them, the complex of Demanovske caves is the most popular. There is a strong population of our game as a bear, lynx or wolf. Steinbok and marmot occur as well.

    Overnight in Rohozna

    Ride details:

  8. Day 8 Route: Rohozna - Liptovsky Jan.

    We will take a cycle trip to Janska valley, one of the longest and most beautiful valleys in the Low Tatras.

    The entrance gate to Janska valley is Liptovsky Jan, where themral spring are to be found. The wells of the spa are filled with waters from the Rudolf spring. The water has healing attributes of rheumatic diseases, disorders of female organs, skin and locomotive organ diseases. In the area of the spa you’ll also find swimming pools, relaxational pools, pools for kids and a pool with a fountain. In the valley there are many of undergrounds carst´s arraies like a Stasinov cave, Cave of Stary castle, Cave of Zaskocie. Many of visitors are interested in natural reserves – Ohniste, Dumbier and summer´s termal swimming pools. The Stiavnica stream runs through it, the waters of which have washed here a lot of solution cavities, cloughs and caves. Janska valley is a great starting point for various trips, what will be surely appreciated by lovers of summer tourism. In the neighbourhood are a ski resort and a number of ski tracks.

    Overnight in Liptovsky Jan

    Ride details:

  9. Day 9 Route: Liptovsky Jan - Vlkolinec.

    This day on bicycle we will visitthe open air museum of folk architecture in Vlkolinec village. On the way to Vlkolinec we will go along Liptovska Mara dam, the largest water reservoir in Slovakia in terms of the confined water volume.

    Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture Vlkolinec is the only complete and simultaneously independent settlement in Slovakia that has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage.
    It is a remarkably intact settlement with traditional features of Central European log architecture often found in mountainous areas. The ground plan of the settlement remained practically unchanged with completely preserved architecture. It is the region`s best preserved and most complete settlement of its kind. It consists of 45 unchanged houses with many traditional and original features of construction.
    The entry was supported by the comparative analysis of the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) where under the title Traditional villages in the Carpathian Arch and Their Immediate Environs Vlkolinec was identified as the best preserved settlement of its kind in the region.

    Overnight in Ruzomberok

    Shorter cycle route is available

    Ride details:

  10. Day 10 Route: Vlkolinec - Banska Bystrica.

    Cycle route from Vlkolinec to Banska Bystrica.

    This day you will ride along western part of the Low Tatras, through Donovaly village which is spread out on a large saddle on the main road from the city of Ruzomberok to Banska Bystrica. The village successively became very attractive for tourists seeking for winter and summer sports. We can find here 11 km of downhill ski tracks, 25 km of jogging tracks, chair lifts and a lot of facilities for hiking and recreation.

    The Monument Reserve of Popular Architecture in the central Slovakia commune Spania Dolina consists of a unique set of miner houses built of wood and stones. The former mining village is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Slovakia. Copper and silver ores were mined here in the past. Along with the walled structures once owned by the mining administration a substantial part of local architecture is formed by houses of miners mostly built of logs on stone foundations. Both the stone or wooden walls were plastered with mud and painted with lime. The saddle roofs with gables were originally covered by shingles. The majority of preserved houses are from the 19th century.

    Overnight in Banska Bystrica

    Ride details:

  11. Day 11 Route: Banska Bystrica - Banska Stiavnica.

    This last cycle route will take us to Banska Stiavnica town, inscribed in the UNESCO List of World Heritage.

    On the way stop in Hronsek village and visit of wooden articled church, which was along with seven wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area included on the UNESCO's Word Heritage List.

    The urban and industrial compound of Banska Stiavnica and its environs is an oustanding example of a mediaval mining centre of great economic significance, which has lasted until modern times and gained a special characteristic form. In population that town was ranked the third largest in the Kingdom of Hungary. The central Slovakian mining region is among those regions of Slovakia that attracted attention of the whole of mediaval Europe. Rich ore deposits were the reasons why several towns were founded in this region. Banska Stiavnica became famous for gold and silver mining. Surviving authentic architecture and the irreplaceable historical, scientific and technological significance of the region were principal reasons why Banska Stiavnica and the historic technical structures in its environs were included in the List of the World Heritage.

    Overnight in Banska Stiavnica

    Ride details:

  12. Day 12 Sightseeing in Banska Stiavnica (UNESCO) and cycling in its surroundings.

    Sightseeing in Banska Stiavnica and cycling around its surroundings.

    The inscribed territory was delimited in the way that included important centres: the Monument Reserves of Banska Stiavnica and Stiavnicke Bane; the Monument Zone of Banska Hodrusa and localities with important national cultural monuments such as Vyhne, Banska Bela, Ilija and Svaty Anton; including all the most significant technical monuments associated with mining, albeit some of them abandoned. The structures covered are pits, shafts, surface and underground mines, pit heaps, mining towers and other mining facilities and buildings connected with the administration of mines and their machine equipment. They also include factories and even a miners` hospital. The inscription contains 33 water reservoirs called "tajchy" by the natives, which constitue an essential part of the original water managing system.

    Overnight in Banska Stiavnica

  13. Day 13 Transfer to Zvolen. Farewell.

    Car transfer to Zvolen bus/railway station
    Farewell and departure for home.

Basic information

from €1317/€605 per person

Duration: 13 days

Type/style: Guided/self-guided cycling tour

Level of difficulty: Moderate / challenging

Languages: English, French, Deutsch

Pick up & Drop off: On your request

Bardejov medieval main square Lubovna Castle Zdiar St James church in Levoca Levoca medieval royal town Spiska kapitula medieval monastery Zehra church UNESCO World Heritahe Spisky Castle Dobsinska Ice Cave Demanovska Ice Cave Vlkolinec Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture Spania Dolina Village The Articled Protestant Church in Hronsek UNESCO heritage

Included

- accommodation in stylish pensions/hotels for 12 nights
- 12 x half board (breakfast, dinner)
- services of professional guide throughout the tour
- information materials and maps

Extra charges:
- Luggage transport: 250,-EUR
- Bike rental: 12,-EUR/bike/day

Excluded

transport from airport to starting point of the trip and back