Have you traveled all around Slovakia and don’t know what else to try? Or maybe you are tired of long hiking already and wanna do something else?
Recently I’ve bought my second bike and we decided to make a weekend trip spent with cycling in Slovakia. We went to a small town of Povazska Bystrica and had an intense 100 km cycle all around. So here I want to share a few moments from our cycling tour in Slovakia, so you can get inspired for a different type of weekend vacation.
It’s never too late to learn how to cycle
Firstly, I want to share with you my short history of cycling. I’ve learned how to cycle last year in Slovakia. For me, as a Russian citizen, it was not very practical to use a bicycle at all. We don’t have almost any roads for it + it is not a popular sport there. At least that’s how it was in my city.
When I came to Slovakia, I didn’t meet a single European who didn’t know how to cycle. I felt a bit ashamed and wanted to learn it. On another hand, I never thought I can learn it because I am too clumsy for all of that. But I did.
Cycling in Slovakia: Good to know information
We have a lot of places to cycle in Slovakia. But usually, the roads are normal car roads, signed also as cycling routes. Fortunately, many of them are not too frequently used by cars. We didn’t find so far a perfect map which shows just roads made for cycling. We like to use this map when cycling in Slovakia. It is not translated into English, but you can at least see on the map which roads are usable for cycling (counting car roads, cycle routes and etc)
Cycling in Slovakia: How to get there?
Well, if you’ve got the car and you are able to take bikes with you – then no problem. If not, the best way to get there is by train. Many trains nowadays got a separate room for bikes. On the main website of the railway you can always search for tickets and if you see a bicycle sign in front of the name of the train – means you are good to go with your baby.
You always need to pay extra for the bike. For us, it was 1.5 euros per bike. Plus, if you want to have a place in the special room, you pay + 1 more euro. There are also places in the wagons from time to time for the bikes. But as it is written on the website: it’s at your own risk and they have a right to not let you in in case the train is full.
So my recommendation is to pay an extra euro and get a place in the room. It is locked by the workers, so no worries about being stolen.
We went to Povazska Bystrica from Bratislava on Friday evening. Back we went already from Puchov.
Saturday – cycling around Povazska Bystrica: Maninska Tiesnava, Sulov rocks
On Saturday we had the most time to cycle, so we decided to make a circle around Povazska Bystrica. Our first main destination was Maninska tiesnava, which is a road between two mountains. It was a nice going up on a small hill on the car road through some woods. We’ve taken some nice pictures over there and headed to our next destination.
We went to the highest point of our trip for Saturday – village Vrchtepla. There we had our on go lunch, bought some water (there is a very small shop in the village, as in most of the villages), and went farther to the direction of Sulov rocks. There was no car road between those 2 places, so we had to go in the woods there. Be careful and download an offline app mapy.cz, so you can always check the road. We’ve got a bit lost without it, so we had to go wherever we saw some way.
When we got to Sulov (there is a village called Sulov and an area in nature having the same name), we restored with some ice creams. If you have more time, you can walk to Sulovske skaly (Sulov rocks), we just cycled around it. There was also Zraková pyramída (Visual Pyramid) until this year. But it was removed recently because of complaints from people living there.
After that, we just went all the way back on a car road to Povazska Bystrica through Jablonove and Predmier villages.
Sunday – cycling to Puchov: Povazsky Hrad, Nimnica and Vah
On Sunday we had to get to Puchov because of our train. We stopped by Povazsky hrad (castle) which is a bit farther from the city center of Povazska Bystrica, but was on our way.
Then again a bit going up – to the village Udica. Because there was a nice way right to the vodna nadrz Nosice. It was a nice road close to the water up until Nimnica village. This place is famous for its wellness. So in case you have more time, you can stop there for some relaxation and also walk around. Go on some bridges to take pictures.
Soon after Nimnica by the river Vah starts cycle road up until Puchov. Not very long one, but definitely you will have a pleasant journey.
Other possibilities to cycle around Povazska Bystrica
If you’ve got more time, there are plenty more things to do around. For example, you can go to Cicmany village, which is around 40 km far from Povazska Bystrica. I was writing about it more in my article about our previous road trip in Slovakia. On the way there you will go through a few villages, one of them is Rajec – where the famous water is from.
There is Trencin city not very far (around 45 km). It has a nice city center and a castle to check.
Or if you are even more advanced, you can get to Bojnice to see a famous fairytale looking castle. It will take around 70 km to get there.
Food options around Povazska Bystrica
In Povazska Bystrica get yourself a decent Burger with big fries or Coleslaw salad for 6-7 euros in Burger Corner. They’ve also got some steaks, hot dogs, salads, and some Mexican dishes to try.
In Puchov if you will feel like some interesting food options, stop by Reštauracia U Jakuba, which is right on the way from the cycle road. It is also a hotel and a bowling place there. They’ve got traditional Slovak dishes as well as some Asian food, Indian and Tibetian. For 7-8 euros you can get a good portion of whatever you wanna choose. You can find the menu here.
Also if you feel like coffee, in Puchov stop by El Colibrí café. They have an amazing variety of coffee drinks. I’ve had an iced coffee with ice cream and it looked like a piece of art.
We already had cycle tours in Slovakia like this before and I really enjoy it. It gives you the freedom and a nice feeling of doing something active. Do you have some tips for our next cycling tour? Share down in comments!