Slovensky raj is located in the Eastern part of Slovakia where magnificent peaks meet deep gorges, large plateaus, and mysterious caves. This is a national park, which starts in the Low Tatras slopes. Here you can find virgin nature, sinuous paths, roaring waterfalls, overhanging rocks, and dizzying panorama make this territory a true tourist Eldorado.
What is Slovensky raj
Slovensky raj is rich in picturesque landscapes area in the Spis region, which is situated in the Northern part of the Slovak Ore Mountains. The highest point of the region is Velka Knola Mountain (1272 meters), the lowest point is the Smizany-Masa valley (466 meters). The area of this region is 19 763 hectares. 13 011 hectares are under the protection of the Natura 2000 organization.
Almost 90% of the territory is covered with forests including beeches, firs, and relic pines. Various flora representatives including thermophilic and frost tolerant plants can be seen here due to the special microclimate. There are 35 types of protected plants including six endemic species. The fauna of the region is also rich and includes 2200 different types of various insects and amphibians as well as squirrels, rabbits, weasels, foxes, and deers. The forests are inhabited by wild boars, wolves, lynxes, and bears.
Travelers who want to conquer that beautiful region and one of the most beautiful national parks will meet interesting places and unique natural objects here.
Spisska Nova Ves
This is the gate to the Slovensky Raj and the so-called capital of the National park. It is located on the shore of the Hornad Spisska Nova Ves river. The village was established in the XII century as copper ores were found here. One century later the village received town status and its local market was the biggest in the northern part of the Hungarian kingdom.
Despite the small size, the town has plenty of interesting sites. A Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption of Saint-Mary is famous for its high tower (87 meters). Another popular place is the city hall, created in 1779. It is surrounded bu medieval houses of classic, Barocco and renaissance styles.
The hills are covered with thick green, the air is clean and the panorama is breathtaking allowing you to see the High Tatras from here. You can find everything in this region (680 meters above sea level). Tomasovski Vyhlad is a wide ledge on the southern slope of Ludmanka mountain. A beautiful view to Certova Sigot and Beli Potok valley opens from here.
This rocky wall is 200 meters length narrowing to the northwestern part to 35 meters. The plateau was conquered by the alpinists on October 8, 1938. This place is the Mekka for the tourists since. There are 100 tourist routes here. You can train your alpinist skills here and even take part in the competitions. This is the only part of the national park where the alpinism is legal.
Along with splendid landscapes, you can find mysterious under terrain worlds in Slovensky raj. There are more than 200 karstic caves in the National park. Only 69 of them are examined. And only one cave is available for the tourists – Dobsynska cave, one of the biggest under terrain caves in Europe, found in 1870. The ice volume is 110 132 cubic meters.
The length of ice corridors decorated with immutable cascades, fancy crystals and stone caves is 1483 meters. The thickness of ice, which formed here for 2000 years is 26.5 meters. The Great hall is totally covered with the ice reminding a transparent lake. This is the most mesmerizing scene of this tour. Details
Slovensky raj is a popular hiking place. You can also take a bike or even ride a horse here. The routes are equipped with ladders and bridges. The total length is about 300 kilometers. The routes start in the following towns – Podleska, Spisska Nova Ves, Cingova, Dedinki, Vernara. The entrance fee is 1.5 EUR.
There are special signs informing about the length, complexity and time you will spend to pass this or that route. Do not forget the rules and the recommendations, wherever the route you take:
- Take your time to learn the route. Do not forget to take a GPS-navigator and a map with you.
- Take special equipment with you including water resistant boots, multi-layer clothes, and light hat.
- Do not forget to put a bottle of water into your bag as well as a medical kit (antiseptics, patches, bandages, painkillers).
- Do not start your route during the period of predators’ activities (before the sunrise and after the sunset) to avoid meeting wolves and bears.
Podlesok – Suho-Bela
This is the most romantic and visited place in Slovensky raj. This picturesque valley attracts visitors by the water falls and rock windows. The road to Suho-Bela starts in Podlesok camping. You will be accompanied by the ravines covered with plants and trees, waterfall cascades, sharp risings, and fallings. The part of the routes comes through a shallow creek meaning you need waterproof shoes. The route takes 2-3.5 hours averagely.
Podlesok – Hornado – Klastorisko
The route starts in Podlesok tourist center and has many paths of high difficulty. The road becomes narrow as you approach Prielom Hornado. Sometimes it is too close to rocky cliffs. This route includes cable bridges and wooden shelters. The aim of this trip is Klastorisko – the ruins of the Cartesian monastery, created in 1299. This route will take four hours at least.