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 former mining town (UNESCO). Kosice - the second largest city in Slovakia and the European Capital of Culture of the 2013. Levoca with the tallest wooden altar in the world (UNESCO). Kezmarok and Bardejov - old medieval towns, ones of the most beautiful and in historical terms ones of the most interesting towns in Slovakia. You will visit two Slovak national Parks - Tatra National Park in the High Tatras and Pieniny National Park with Dunajec river canyon. Two beautiful castles - Spis castle (UNESCO) and fairy-tale Orava castle. Slovak folklore is represented by Vlkolinec village, extraordinary and remarkable oasis of folk architecture (UNESCO).
In addition to visiting these places you will taste local cuisine,l meet local people and explore diversity of Slovak cultural heritage. So, do not hesitate and join us to discover the 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
    - Return to Bratislava

    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.

    - Breakfast
    - Kosice city sightseeing
    - Wooden church in Hervartov visit
    - Transfer to Bardejov town
    - Accommodation

    Kosice city, as the first in Slovakia, was awarded the prestige title of European Capital of Culture with its Interface project. "We support creativity" is the main message of the project and a new vision for Kosice, a city that has always been known for its rich history and interesting cultural life.
    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. Dominant of the main square and the city itself is monumental Gothic Cathedral of St. Elisabeth - the largest church in Slovakia and the easternmost situated Gothic cathedral of western type in Europe.

    Presov city has an interesting past and dynamic present with mixed Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian and Ruthenian population. It is also called the metropolis of the north-eastern Slovakia.

    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.

  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.

    - Breakfast
    - Bardejov town sightseeing
    - Possibility of rafting down the river Dunajec in Peniny National Park
    - Transfer to Kezmarok
    - Accommodation

    Bardejov town, 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 (UNESCO). Bardejov is known as the "most Gothic town 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 most significant monument of the square is the Roman-Catholic Basilica of St. Egidius from the 15th century that is located in its northern section.

    Option: Possible to stop in Pieniny National Park and raft down the river Dunajec on wooden rafts.

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

    - Breakfast
    - Kezmarok town sightseeing
    - UNESCO sites visit: Levoca town, Zehra church, Spis castle, Spisska Kapitula
    - Return to Kezmarok

    Kezmarok is a town with long and famous history. Its position under the Tatra peaks makes it one of the centres of summer and winter holidays as well. 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 is a sacristy today. 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 and the organ are also made of wood.

    Levoca, situated in the east of the Spis region, is a true cultural and historic jewel among the Slovak towns as it compounds a great number of architectural monuments linked with the glorious past of the town. The dominant part of Levoca is large rectangular square with the Roman-Catholic St James church from the 14th century, one of the most important sacral buildings in Slovakia. Late Gothic wooden main altar of St James with the height of 18.6 m is the tallest of its kind in the world. It was made of lime wood in 1507 - 1517 in the workshop of Master Paul of Levoca.

    Spis castle is the largest medieval castle in Central Europe located on a travertine rock hill. The castle hill was populated as early as 5th century BC; it is one the greatest archaeological and historical gems of Central Europe and is under UNESCO protection.

    Spisska Kapitula is sometimes also referred to as the "Slovak Vatican". Church life not only in Spisska Kapitula (Spis Chapter) was organised from here by the bishops, provosts, and canonists. The most important building of Spisska Kapitula is Late-Romanesque St Martins cathedral from the 13th century.

    Zehra village is known for its precious Roman-Catholic Holy Spirit church included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. Unique medieval wall paintings were created gradually from the 13th century till the end of the 15th century.

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

    - Breakfast
    - Tatra National Park visit
    - Activities according to choice
    - Return to Kezmarok

    The High Tatras are the highest mountain range of Slovakia and the most significant tourist center for summer and winter holidays. There is about 35 valleys, 110 mountain lakes, but the most amazing are the Tatra peaks. There is more than 500 peaks in the High Tatras, out of which 10 peaks are above 2600 meters high. The silence of the valleys, mountain lakes, silky sheen of the waterfalls and simultaneously monumental touches with the heights of the peaks - all of that is the magical world of Tatra National Park.

    Options:
    1. Walking aroud Popradske pleso lake and Strbske pleso lake. The landscape in the territory has been formed by glaciers that created glacier valleys with mountain lakes.
    2. Trip to Lommnicky peak by cable car. It is among the most attractive adventures for tourists in the High Tatras. It reaches 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. Belianska cave - the only one accessible to the public in the High Tatras. It is among the first european caves where electricity was installed.
    4. Short hiking in the mountains.

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

    - Breakfast
    - Orava castle visit
    - Vlkolinec UNESCO site
    - Transfer to Banska Bystrica town
    - Accommodation

    Orava castle lying on a high rock above Orava river near Oravsky Podzamok willage. In 1370, it became a county castle and the seat of the Orava castle estate, which included almost the whole region of Orava.

    Vlkolinec village - Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture is the extraordinary and remarkable oasis of folk architecture and was included in UNESCO list 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 Arch. Originally it was the settlement of loggers, shepherds and farmers.

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

    - Breakfast
    - Hronsek wooden church visit
    - Transfer to Bratislava city
    - Accommodation

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

    Wooden articled church in Hronsek along with seven other wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area was included in the UNESCO Word Heritage List in 2008. The wooden church and wooden belfry are from 1726. There are 1100 chairs and organ was fitted in 1764. Four bulky lime trees grow in its yard.

  11. Day 11 Farewell.

    - Breakfast
    - End of the tour

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 private guide as your driver and interpreter
- Accommodation with breakfast in first class hotels:
3 nights in 4* hotel, Bratislava
1 night in 3* guest-house, Banska Stiavnica
1 night in 4* hotel, Kosice
1 night in 4* hotel, Bardejov
3 nights in 4* hotel, Kezmarok
1 night in 3* hotel, Banska Bystrica

Excluded

- Lunch and dinner
- Admission fees (estimated cost 30,-EUR/person)
- Trip to Lomnicky peak by cable car (available on request)
- Rafting down the river Dunajec (15 EUR/person, available on request).
- Airport transfers (possible to arrange for extra feer)