Day-walks from a pension in the Slovak Paradise, hiking trails, Slovakia
The Slovak Paradise between the higher Tatras in the north, the lower Tatras in the west and the Volovsky mountains in the south, is recognized as a National Park of Slovakia - Národný park Slovenský raj. You will find here about 250 kilometres hiking trails through canyons, over mountain-ridges and through woods.
Getting there: by car : the highways in Germany, Austria, Bratislava (SL) and travel eastward to Banská Bystrica. Or you fly to Bratislava and by public transport further on. 320 km to go!
Maps: you can buy everywhere in the NP maps. Or try by internet: Kompass 2133, Slovak Paradise.
Accommodation: because of the numerous possibilities for hiking in the area, we decided to stay at a private pension in Mlynky (Salamander, 05376 Mlynky).
Campsites: as far as we know, there are few campsites in the NP. In Hrabušice ( in the north) we found a "car camp." Close to this campground is the Suchá Belá-gorge. One of the most visited gorge of the Raj.
Easter 2004: day-walks from the village of Mlynky in the Slovak Paradise. Mlynky is an ideal base to start your walks. Well marked foot-paths, in different colors, very good to see at trees, houses, walls, poles and traffic-signs, bring you to beautiful villages, such as Dobsinska Masa, Stratena, Dobsina and Rakovec.
The park has 300 km of hiking trails.
Our advice, but at your own risk: the trails along the Stredne Piecky en de Velky Sokol, along and through little rivers, upstream, in the eastern part of the Park. Shaky gangways, ladders, ropes, chains……. Don’t do it in case of fear of heights! Or claustrophobia. Type those trail names on Youtube……..or see the video below this page.....and shiver.
Both routes start at the parking place near Pila.
For the Velky Sokol trail go two kilometres more south.
A “must” is the path along the river Hornad, with steep walls up to 300 metres in height The start you can find at the parking place Podlesok , south-west from the city of Hrabusice, in the northern part of the Park. The “trail” runs about 15m above the river, to Smižianska Maša and consists of iron grates along steep cliffs. As said: at your own risk!
Prepare yourself well. Don't carry backpacks that are too big or too heavy, as this will cause too much trouble when manoeuvring on the ladders and grids.
Distances a day: 15-20 km
The national park is part of the Slovak Ore Mountains in the Western Carpathians.
The Slovak Paradise consists of preserved karst plateaus, deeply carved river gorges, gorges with enchanting waterfalls, a craggy underground caves and gorges and a rich fauna.
The Park is 90 percent covered with beech, spruce, pine and fir forests.A perfect environment to support all the usual Slovak wildlife - deer, bear, boar, lynx, wild cat - as well as some rarer endangered species, including the golden eagle, martens, otters and the European ground squirrel.
The highest mountain in the area is Vel'ká Knola (1266 m).
The sparsely forested mountain offers phenomenal views of the various Tatra peaks.
A marked trail leads you to the summit. About 1,5 hrs walking to the the foot of the mountain.
In the Slovak Paradise you'll find deep underground about 200 ice caves. One of the caves is the one near Dobsina ( Dobsinska ice cave), open to the public.15 km west of Mlynky ( our pension/B&B).
Read more about hiking in Slovak Paradise
For a cinematic impression of the "walks" in the Paradise please see below: