Itinerary

Our Grand tour of Slovakia is a wonderful way to experience the best Slovakia has to offer. Our stops are in the most interesting places in Slovakia:

Bratislava - the capital of the Slovak republic, also referred to as the Beauty on the Danube, Banska Stiavnica - historical UNESCO town, Kosice- the second largest city in Slovakia and the European Capital of Culture of the 2013, Levoca with the wooden tallest altar in the world, Kezmarok- old medieval town, one of the most beautiful and in historical terms one of the most interesting towns in Slovakia, Bardejov. You will visit two Slovak National Parks The High Tatras Mountains the smallest Mountains in the world and Pieniny park with Dunajec river canyon - largest in Central Europe, two castles (Spish Castle - UNESCO site and fairy-tale Orava castle) and UNESCO open air museums of folk architecture Vlkolinec extraordinary and remarkable oasis of folk architecture.
In addition to visiting these places you will taste local cuisine, you will meet local people and explore diversity of Slovak cultural heritage. So, do not hesitate and join us to discover heart of Europe!!!

  1. Day 1 Arrival in Bratislava, Slovakia.

    - Arrival in Slovakia; Bratislava
    - Accommodation
    - Free time

  2. Day 2 Bratislava city sightseeing: The old town and Bratislava castle.
    Afternoon options: Devin castle, Cerveny Kamen castle or Viticultural region of the Little Carpathians.

    - Breakfast
    - Bratislava Old town and castle sightseeing
    - Afternoon options: Devin castle, Cerveny Kamen castle, Viticultural region of the Little Carpathians

    Bratislava castle dominates the center of Bratislava city and its four towers became symbol of the city. The castle hill was inhabited from neolithic Hallstadt and Roman era. It reached its highest importance during the reign of Austro-Hungarian Queen Maria Theresa. In 1761 - 1766 the fortress was rebuilt into a typical royal residence. Today, after reconstruction, the castle shelters a historical part of the Slovak National Museum.

    Old town tour includes many monuments. Top visited sites are St Martin's Cathedral, the Primates' Palace with historical Zrkadlova sien (The Hall of Mirrors) and the famous Bratislava tapestries, Michalska gate offering panoramic view of the Old town.

    Devin castle ruins tower over the confluence of the rivers Danube and Morava.The fortress, used as a watchtower by the Slavonic count Rastislav Dovina, was mentioned in the manuscripts as early as the 9th century AD. After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire of the ancient Slavs, the Devin fortress became an important strategic fortification of the Hungarian Kingdom. As early as in the 13th century, a smaller building with a tower (foundation of a later castle) was situated at the top of rocky hill. In 1809, advancing Napoleon troops destroyed the fortress. Since 1965 an archaeological research has been carried out in the castle area. The castle ruins have been partially reconstructed under auspices of the Municipal Museum in Bratislava..

    Cerveny Kamen castle, the most beautiful castle in the Little Carpathians situated just 40 km from Bratislava, is one of the best preserved Slovak castles. In the 16th century it was rebuilt into quite large fortress with a fortification system that was one of the top military defensive systems of its time. Because of its unique charm, the castle has become the venue of shooting of various films and fairy tales like The Princess Fantagiro, the Dragon Heart or Cinka Panna.

    Viticultural region of the Little Carpathians consists of 12 viticultural areas and covers administrative territory of 120 viticultural communes. The vineyards stretch in a continuous belts on the slopes of the Little Carpathian mountains from Bratislava to Pezinok and further to Horne Oresany village. Its size and significance makes it the viticultural centre of Slovakia.

  3. Day 3 Transfer to Banska Stiavnica town, UNESCO. Full day sightseeing.

    - Breakfast
    - Transfer to Banska Stiavnica
    - Banska Stiavnica sightseeing, UNESCO site
    - Accommodation

    Banska Stiavnica is former mining town and lies amid the forests of the Stiavnicke mountains. Banska Stiavnica is one of the most beautiful anf historically one of the most interesting towns in Slovakia. The town is inscribed on the List of the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
    Banska Stavnica progressively became the biggest mining centre in the Habsburg Monarchy in the 18th century. In 1735, the oldest mining school in the Kingdom of Hungary was founded here, few years later it became the first university of its kind in the world. Banska Stiavnica monument town reserve comprises as many as 360 structures. Together they present a unique set of high cultural and historical value, which is set into the wonderful environment of the Stiavnicke mountains.

  4. Day 4 Transfer to Kosice city. Stopover in a UNESCO cave or Betliar manor house.

    - Breakfast
    - Ochtinska Aragonite cave or Dobsinska Ice cave visit, both UNESCO sites
    - Betliar manor house visit
    - Transfer to Kosice city
    - Accommodation

    Ochtinska Aragonite cave is a world rarity and unique natural phenomenon. It is interesting for variety and abundance of aragonite formations and a rare development of underground space. Thanks to its significance and unique ornamentation, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    Dobsinska Ice cave is one of the largest ice caves in Europe. Thanks to its significance and unique ornamentation, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    Betliar manor house is a hunting noble residence, a fairy tale-like two-storied building surrounded by a wonderful English park with romantic structures including an artificial cave and waterfall. One of the most remarkable things about the manor house is its main library established in 1790 with the furniture and interior of the library from the same period. More than 14 thousand volumes of mainly theological, historical, geographical and philosophical literature from the 15th to 19th century written in 6 different languages have been preserved in the library.

  5. Day 5 Sightseeing: Kosice city (St. Elisabeth Cathedral, historic center). Transfer to Bardejov town with stopover in Presov city and Hervartov village with wooden church.

    This day we will do morning sightseeing in Kosice town and after lunch we will drive to Bardejov town. On the way we will have 2 stops in Presov town and in Hervartov village.

    The city of Kosice, as the first in Slovakia, was awarded the prestige title of European Capital of Culture with its Interface project. We support creativity – this is the main message of the project and the new vision for Kosice, a city which has always been known for its rich history and developed heavy industry. Thanks to the Interface project and the European Capital of Culture 2013 title, the city shall also become the centre of creativity and a new future for young, creative people who wish to live and work in our city, which is their home.

    Almost all monuments of Kosice are concentrated in the historical core of the town, size of which makes it the biggest Town Monument Reserve of Slovakia. The spindle-shaped Main square of Kosice is the heart of the town and rightly considered one of the most beautiful squares in Slovakia. The dominant of the square and the town is the monumental Gothic Cathedral of St. Elisabeth. This building, rather isolated from the rest of the square, is the largest church of Slovakia and the easternmost situated Gothic cathedral of western type in Europe.

    1. Presov town the town with an interesting past and dynamic present and mixed Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian and Ruthenian population is the metropolis of the north-eastern Slovakia.
    2. Hervartov village has the oldest and best preserved wooden church in Slovakia. The Gothic pictures and wall paintings from 1655 and 1805 are the most valuable parts of its interior.

    Overnight in Bardejov

  6. Day 6 Sightseeing of Bardejov historic town, UNESCO. Transfer to Kezmarok. Possible to make stopover in Pieniny National Park and raft down the river Dunajec on traditional wooden rafts.

    We will do sightseeing tour in Bardejov town and afternoon we will drive to Kezmarok town.

    Another Slovak town inscribed in the List of the World Cultural Heritage is the historic Bardejov, one of the oldest Slovak towns, rightly awarded the European award, gold medal of ICOMOS Foundation of UNESCO in 1986. 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 the rectangular Radnicne square skirted by rows of 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.

    Option: on the way possible to have stop in the National park of Pieniny and raft down the river Dunajec on wooden rafts.

    Overnight in Kezmarok

  7. Day 7 Kezmarok historic town visit.
    UNESCO sights: Levoca town, Spis castle, Spisska Kapitula tow.

    After breakfast walk in Kezmarok town, then we will visit Levoca town, Spis Castle and Spisska Kapitula.

    Kezmarok is one of towns with the long and famous history. Its position below the Tatras makes it one of the centres of both the summer and winter holiday. Summer is the season when it becomes very lively due to the European Festival of Popular Trades. The buildings in the historic centre are the parts of the Town Monument Reserve. The pride of Kezmarok is the Protestant wooden articled church. This Protestant church was built in 1717 next to an older sacral stone building from 1593, which today is a sacristy. This unique wooden building made of yew and red spruce wood was built without using a single metal component. The Baroque interior of the church is also made of wood. Of immense artistic value is also the church organ with wooden pipes.

    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.

    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.   Spis Castle was included in the UNESCO list of monuments belonging to the world cultural heritage in 1993.

    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.

      Overnight in Kezmarok

  8. Day 8 High Tatra Mountains with optional program: Walking around glacial lakes, cable car to Lomnicky peak, Belianska cave visit, short hike.

    We will spend the whole day in the National park of High Tatras.
    The tallest mountains of Slovakia High Tatras situated in the north of the country with its tallest peak Gerlachovsky peak (2654 m above sea level) is in fact the smallest in Europe in terms of area (what explains their attribute of the “miniature Alps”). However, as far as natural assets are concerned they are among the most interesting in central Europe.

    We have several options:

    1. walking aroud Popradske pleso lake and Strbske Pleso lake
    The relief in their territory has been modelled by glaciers that created glacier valleys with high-mountain lakes.
    2. trip to Lommnicky peak by cable car is among the most attractive adventures for tourists in the High Tatras and, indeed, it enjoys the popularity of the public. It reaches the differential height of 1,700 m and carries tourists to a height of 2,634 m above sea level in only a few minutes.
    3. visit to the Belianska cave the only one accessible to public in the Tatras and situated in the slope of the Belianske Tatry Mts. above the commune Tatranská Kotlina. It is among the first caves Europe in which electric light was installed.
    4. short walking in the mountains

    Overnight in Kezmarok

  9. Day 9 Transfer to Banska Bystrica. Stopover to visit Orava castle and Vlkolinec village (UNESCO).

    Car transfer to Banska Bystrica town and on the way stop in Vlkolinec village and Oravsky Podzamok.

    1. the Orava castle lying on the river Orava near the village Oravský Podzámok, below impressive cliffs. In 1370, it became a county castle and the seat of the Orava Castle estate, which included almost the whole region of Orava.

    2. Vlkolinec village a monument reserve of folk architecture is extraordinary and remarkable oasis of folk architecture. It was included in the List of the World Cultural and Nature Heritage of UNESCO in 1993. The community was first referred to in 1376. Its unique compound of original folk buildings remained untouched by modern construction. Based in comparative study of ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Settlements) it was classified as the best-reserved settlement of this time within the Carpathian Architecture. Originally it was the settlement of loggers, shepherds and farmers.

    Overnight in Banska Bystrica

  10. Day 10 Visit the wooden church in Hronsek village (UNESCO). Transfer to Bratislava.

    Car transfer to Bratislava on the way stop in Hronsek village.

    The wooden articled church in Hronsek from 1726 is set in the wonderful environment of big lime trees. There are 1,100 chairs in this church. Its organ was fitted in 1764. Four bulky lime trees stand in its yard. Fine wooden belfry from 1726 stands nearby. The church has a central floor plan in the form of uneven Cross (longer arm is 23 m, the shorter 18 m). Height is 8 meter. 5 entrance gates leads into the church building, there is 30 windows on the perimeter. The construction is completely of solid oak and red spruce. Inside the church roof recalls the inverted ship shape. There are elements of Scandinavian architecture, distinctive colonnade on the galeries. The altar of the church has six interchangeable images, originating from 1771. On the altar is arranged the crucifixe with inscription and the year 1739. Above it are the escutcheons aristocratic families, which promote the evangelical church. In early November 2000, visited the church the English Crown Prince Charles.

    Overnight in Bratislava

  11. Day 11 Farewell.

    Farewell and departure from Slovakia.

Basic information

from €1239 per person

Duration: 11 days

Type/style: Guided sightseeing and cultural discovery tour

Level of difficulty: Easy

Languages: English, French, Deutsch

Pick up & Drop off: On your request

Bratislava Old town buildings Devin Castle New Castle in Banska Stiavnica Ochtina Aragonite Cave Dobsinska Ice Cave The Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Hervartov UNESCO heritage Kosice Bardejov medieval main square Spiska kapitula medieval monastery The Articled  Protestant Church of Holy Trinity in Kezmarok UNESCO heritage Spisky Castle St James church in Levoca Vlkolinec Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture Orava Castle The Articled Protestant Church in Hronsek UNESCO heritage

Included

- Trip transport with private car
- Services of guide as your private driver and interpreter
- Accommodation with breakfast in first class hotels:
3 nights in hotel Crowne Plaza**** or similar, Bratislava
1 night in pension Cosmopolitan*** or similar, Banska Stiavnica
1 night in hotel DoubleTree by Hilton**** or similar, Kosice
1 night in Hotel pod Branou**** or similar, Bardejov
3 nights in hotel Hviezdoslav**** or similar, Kezmarok
1 night in hotel Arcada*** or similar, Banska Bystrica

Excluded

- lunch, dinner
- admission fees (estimated cost 30,-EUR/person)
- trip to Lomnicky peak on request
- rafting down the river Dunajec (around 9,-EUR per person) depends on the weather conditions.
- airport transfers (possible to order)