Posts Tagged With: slovensky raj

Paradise Revisited

Last November I paid an unexpected visit to Slovak Paradise, or Slovenský Raj, if you will, with a pretty cool collection of people from The Ginger Monkey Hostel. The hike, which took us past one of the most spectacular lookout points in Slovakia, alongside and occasionally right over the edge of the Hornad River and up a waterfall-filled gorge, is definitely a contender for the top spot on my Slovak highlight list.

However, ever since I took that hike, I’d been a little bummed out that Chris, who I’ve been traveling with the majority of my time in Slovakia, hadn’t been there. As a fellow hiking enthusiast and one of the biggest waterfall lovers I know, I felt he completely missed out on one of the best experiences an outdoor lover can have in Slovakia. And so, when we were passing by Spišská Nová Ves, just a stone’s throw from the park, I was ecstatic to be able to give the loop another go with Chris and our friend Jack.

A cliff near Tomášovský výhľad in November.

A cliff near Tomášovský Výhľad in November.

Chris and Jack looking out near

Chris and Jack looking out from the same spot in May.

Slightly senior portrait-esque, but the setting redeems it.

Slightly senior portrait-esque, but the setting redeems it.

Close to the edge at  Tomášovský výhľad.

Close to the edge at Tomášovský Výhľad.

And from the same cliff in November.

And from the same cliff in November.

My maiden journey through Slovensky Raj had been guided by someone familiar with the park, so I was basically on autopilot, gaping at scenery the whole time. Since I would be the veteran this time, I took it upon myself to find the route we took before, worried that any other path might not live up to the hype I’d been creating.

Information about the trail wasn’t hard to find. Although we barely saw another soul during our mid-November hike, it is allegedly the most popular trail in the park and is packed beyond belief in the high season of July and August. (We were lucky enough to bypass the only other large group early on this time around.)

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Categories: environment, fitness, hiking, nature, science, TEFL | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Late Season Surprise in Slovak Paradise

As soon as I came across descriptions of hikes that included cliffs, waterfalls, chains and ladders in my Slovak guidebook, I was absolutely positive I need to make a trip to Slovenský Raj National Park (also known as Slovak Paradise). However, when October came and went and I still hadn’t made it to the park, I resigned that the trip would probably need to wait until Spring, as the most interesting trails in Slovakia seem to be closing.

Luckily for me, this weekend fantastic weather combined with fantastic people (one of whom is extremely knowledgeable of both the trails and language) for the most ideal journey to Slovenský Raj I could have hoped for.

My first view of the entire High Tatra Range

Saturday morning, a small group of us from my favorite hostel, The Ginger Monkey, set off past Poprad, to the Small Carpathians. After checking out the charming village of Levoča, which has a very impressive square and church, we entered Slovenský raj. From the parking lot, a yellow trail led us to a dramatic lookout point over a valley we would later hike through. To our left we could see the rolling Small Carpathians and to our right, the stunning High Tatras.

Not too shabby for mid-November

Denis was snapping pictures of us, but he was in a pretty photogenic spot himself.

Unable to contain our excitement at the lookout point

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Categories: hiking, tourism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Slovak Paradise

Slovak Paradise

Some perfect timing for perfect weather made for an amazing visit to Slovensky Raj this weekend. More about hiking through forest, rock, river and darkness soon.

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