Orava region is a very popular place for tourists in Slovakia. Especially for its mysterious castle. In 1922 it also became a Dracula home in Nosferatu movie. But probably soon we will see Orava Castle again on Netflix – they are working on a new Dracula series and some of the scenes will take place on Orava Castle.
It was for a long time in our wish list to visit. But of course there are a lot more things to do around. So if you plan a trip to Orava castle, consider our tips to prolong your vacation there.
1. Buy a ticket and walk around the castle
I guess it’s a first must-have you need to do. It is definitely worth its money. There are 3 types of tickets: A (Main tour), B (Thurzo Palace), and mix A+B. We took just A one (7 euros) if you take just B you pay 5 euros. But if you have mix A+B, you can have it together for 10 euros. B is smaller than A, and A includes almost the whole castle, so definitely take at least A or a mix.
There are also free guided tours from time to time. When we were there it was starting at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00. But many people used the Orava castle audioguide, which you can download for free for IOS or Android. In front of some places in the castle, there are tables with numbers. Based on the number you open a recording in the app and listen to a little history of it. This is the best way for you to know some history around it, since there are almost no tables with description.
2. Take a wooden raft ride on Orava river
If you want to experience going back in time, you definitely should try a wooden raft ride on the Orava river. It starts from Horna Lehota village, but in case you don’t have a car to get there, they can take you also by car from the castle for no extra money. Then you go down the river to the place, from where you can take a nice picture in the heart with a castle view (check the main picture of the article). All this costs 15 euros per person. It works mostly in summer times, in case you are there out of season, try to reach out to them through the phone in advance.
3. Check Rio de Janeiro of Orava
Not many people know, that Slovakia also has its Jesus Christ statue, so called Rio de Klin. And what is more unique is that there are just 3 statues like that in the whole world. We’ve seen one already in Lisbon, the second one is, of course in Rio (the original one) and the third one is here. 10 meters tall, Jesus has a whole magnificent view on the Orava region.
4. Go back in time with Museum of Orava village
Múzeum Oravskej dediny (Museum of Orava Village) is a set of houses that were brought here from different parts of Orava. Each house represents different parts of Orava and how Orava’s people were living in the past. You can also enter some of those houses, which are made like museums from inside.
The entrance costs 4 euros.
5. Ruzomberok and Malino Brdo
We didn’t stop only in Orava region, but decided to explore the surroundings of the city Ruzomberok (Liptov region). Not far from the city is a favorite place for skiers and bikers called Malino Brdo. For 10 euros (up and down) you can go by cableway all the way up to the hill. You can also hike instead.
We saw many bikers going up with a cableway and then getting down on their bikes. But also you can rent special small cars or scooters just for going down. There are many safe roads for it.
Down the hill is a rope park, big lake with some water sports and many other activities for kids and adults.
6. Vlkolinec village
We’ve already visited it during our other Slovakia road trip, but it’s very close to Ruzomberok, so in case you didn’t check it yet, definitely worth going there.
7. Obrova cesta – Cutkovska Dolina
From Hrabovska Dolina (bottom of Malino Brdo) there is a very nice route to Cutkovska Dolina. It’s called Obrova cesta which brings you to the kids’ park called Obrovo (like the name of the character). During the whole route you may find some things like a huge chair or a ring.
Apart of kids’ park in Cutkovska Dolina you can find a zip line, a lot of restaurants, small lake, animals and many other things.
8. Likavsky Hrad and Koliba
Just a few kilometers from Ruzomberok is a small village called Likavka. There is placed Likavsky hrad (castle), which is now stayed more like ruins. It takes around an hour walk from Ruzomberok to get there with a bit higher rising. You can check the whole view of the city from there.
And of course, after a good hike treat yourself with some good portion of Liptov halusky in beautiful Koliba (and also pension) Likavka. It’s a very cute traditional style and for those curious of you, they also have a plate with half/half halusky and pirohy. Which, of course, I also took.
9. Get some rest in Besenova aquapark
Just 12 kilometers away from Ruzomberok, Bešeňová offers relaxation in 18 pools with thermal or clear water with a temperature of up to 40 ° C. 9 pools from it are working for the whole year. There are also 15 water slides, restaurants, spa programs, and massages. From time to time there are also some events or concerts. Tickets there starts from 25 euros, but I recommend to buy it in advance on the website because it might be a bit cheaper.
Wanna know about more popular Slovak places? Let me know in comments, and I will share other tips with you!