Itinerary

Main role of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage is to create a list of the world's unique natural and historical monuments to guarantee their preservation and protection for next generations.

Three localities from Slovakia were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List of cultural monuments already in 1993: Spis castle and its environs, Banska Stiavnica town and Vlkolinec. In 2000, the historic town of Bardejov was added and Wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area were inscribed in 2008.

Slovakia's unique natural phenomena are represented in the UNESCO list by Caves and Abysses of Slovak Karst and by Dobsinska Ice cave. In 2007 the Carpathian primeval beech forests of the Bukovske vrchy and Vihorlatske vrchy Mts. in the east of Slovakia were added to this list.

Fujara is the most typical Slovak musical instrument. It was inscribed into the UNESCO List of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Fujara is an overtone fipple flute that can be up to 1.8m long. It is usually made from elder tree and has a characteristic meditation tone. It is known nowhere else in the world but Slovakia. This country is considered to be the place of origin of this instrument, especially the region of Polana and North Gemer. It used to be the typical instrument of shepherds. Fujaras were decorated by ornaments or figural decorations.

  1. Day 1 Arrival in Bratislava, Slovakia.

    - Arrival in Slovakia; Bratislava city
    - Accommodation
    - Free time

  2. Day 2 Bratislava old town visit, transfer to Banska Stiavnica town - sightseeing.

    - Breakfast
    - Bratislava Old town sightseeing
    - Transfer to Banska Stiavnica
    - Afternoon sightseeing of Banska Stiavnica
    - Accommodation in Banska Stiavnica

    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.

    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.

  3. Day 3 Visit to the wooden articled church in Hronsek village, Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture in Vlkolinec village. Transfer to Kezmarok.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Hronsek
    - Monument Reserve of Folk architecture in Vlkolinec
    - Transfer to Kezmarok
    - Accommodation in Kezmarok

    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.

    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.

  4. Day 4 Sightseeing: Levoca town, Spis castle, Spisska Kapitula town, Zehra church.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Kezmarok
    - Levoca town sightseeing
    - Spis castle, Spissa Kapitula town and Zehra church
    - Return to Kezmarok

    One of the best preserved Slovak wooden sacral buildings is the articled Evangelical church in Kezmarok. The church was built in 1717 next to an older sacral stone building from 1593, which today serves as a sacristy. This unique wooden building made of yew and red spruce wood was built without using a single metal component and its ground plan is in the form of a Greek cross. Baroque interior of the church and the organ is also made of wood.

    Historic town of 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 Martin 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.

  5. Day 5 Visit to the wooden church in Hervartov village, Bardejov historic town sightseeing.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Hervartov
    - Transfer to Bardejov
    - Sightseeing in Bardejov
    - Accommodation in Bardejov

    The Roman Catholic wooden church of St Francis of Assis in Hervartov was built by the end of the 15th century. It is the oldest and best preserved wooden church in Slovakia. Gothic pictures and wall paintings from 1655 and 1805 are the most valuable parts of its interior.

    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.

  6. Day 6 Greek Catholic wooden churches in Bodruzal and Ladomirova villages. Transfer to Snina.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Ladomirova
    - Wooden church in Bodruzal
    - Transfer to Snina town
    - Accommodation in Snina

    Greek Catholic wooden church of St Michael the Archangel in Ladomirova was built in 1742 without a single metal nail. Independent belfry with column construction stands by the church. Valuable iconostasis and altar are from the mid-18th century. It is a five-row wooden architecture filled with icons, part of which was destroyed in the World War II.

    Greek Catholic wooden church of St Nicolas in Bodruzal was built in 1658. The log building consists of three parts. Its shingle roof is dissected and has three little towers. Remains of wall paintings from the 18th century are preserved in its interior. Iconostasis and several icons are from the end of the 18th century. The church was completely reconstructed in 2004.

  7. Day 7 Visit to the wooden church in Ruska Bystra, Viticultural region of Tokaj, Kosice historic town sightseeing.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Ruska Bystra
    - Wine tasting in Tokaj viticultural region
    - Kosice city sightseeing
    - Accommodation in Kosice

    Greek Catholic wooden church of St Nicolas the Bishop in Ruska Bystra was built at the beginning of the 18th century, in the years 1720 to 1730. The log building consists of three parts. It is covered by shingle roof. The interior in the Baroque and Rococo style is from the beginning of the 18th century.

    This very exclusive and simultaneously the smallest Tokaj viticultural area is located on the southwestern ridges of the Zemplinske mountains, south of Trebisov town. The area includes 7 villages in Slovak part. It is one of the few areas in the world where grapes can be grown to produce natural sweet wines. The area also reaches out into Hungary.

    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.

  8. Day 8 Dobsinska Ice cave and Orchtinska Aragonite cave visit.

    - Breakfast
    - Dobsinska Ice cave in Slovak Paradise National Park
    - Ochtinska Aragonite cave in Slovak Karst National Park
    - Return to Kosice

    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.

    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.

  9. Day 9 Farewell.

    - Breakfast
    - End of the tour

Basic information

from €1078 per person

Duration: 9 days

Type/style: Guided sightseeing and cultural discovery tour

Level of difficulty: Easy

Languages: English, French, Deutsch

Pick up & Drop off: On your request

Banska Stiavnica Trinity Square Vlkolinec Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture The Articled Protestant Church in Hronsek UNESCO heritage St James church in Levoca Spiska kapitula medieval monastery Spisky Castle Bardejov medieval main square The Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Hervartov UNESCO heritage The Church of St Nicholas in Bodruzal UNESCO heritage The Church of St Nicholas in Ruska Bystra UNESCO heritage Kosice Dobsinska Ice Cave Ochtina Aragonite Cave

Included

- Trip transport
- Accommodation in stylish hotels and pensions with breakfast:
1 night in Bratislava
1 night in Banska Stiavnica
2 nights in Kezmarok
1 night in Bardejov
1 night in Snina
2 nights in Kosice
- Tour guide as your driver and an interpreter for 7 days
- Wine tasting in Tokaj region
- Information materials and maps

Excluded

- Meals (lunch, dinner)
- Admission fees to proposed sites (estimated cost 40,-EUR/person)
- Transfers on arrival and departure day (possible to arrange for an exta fee)