Within these uncertain times with traveling during the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve got more time to explore Slovakia and its surroundings. This time we had a chance to celebrate traditional Slovak wedding on the northeast of Slovakia – Stará Ľubovňa. So we decided to combine a celebration with a shorter trip and made one more itinerary for you.
Note: this article is part of a series of blog posts about backpacking in Slovakia. You can find the rest of the articles about Slovakia here:
- Vlkolínec village, Donovaly, Bojnice castle and Čičmany village
- High Tatras (The Silent Valley and Poprad lake) and Low Tatras (Ďumbier peak)
Predné Solisko from Štrbské pleso
Our first night we slept in Poprad city so we had it pretty close to Štrbské pleso, from where the hike was starting. We were hiking on “as it’s called” one of the easiest >2000 meters peaks in the High Tatras. We are usually checking some of the routes on this website, but unfortunately, it is only in Slovak language.
It wasn’t really hard until Chata pod Soliskom, where you can get some chill, eat, drink and see the great view on Štrbské pleso. It takes approximately 2 hours to get there. Then there is the hardest part to go on the peak, usually leading you through some rocks climbing up. But it is just one kilometer, so you can get it in 40 minutes. The views are astonishing from there.
Together for this hike you can get about 10 kilometres and 700 rising.
P.s.: If you will stay in Poprad or will pass buy, get some fresh pizza cooked in front of you in Utopia restaurant. Especially if you are 2 and more people – try their Family pizza, you will not regret it!
After visiting this city it became one of my favorite in Slovakia. Small, cute, with its own atmosphere. Good to spend there day or two, to walk around. One of the main attractions there is Ľubovniansky hrad – castle. There you can spend the whole day exploring the inside and outdoors.
Together with the castle, there is Múzeum ľudovej architektúry – Museum of Folk Architecture. It consists of a set of folk buildings from the surrounding villages, which together with the castle creates unique and impressive scenery. The exposition also includes a smithy, a gamekeeper’s lodge, a school, and a water mill from Sulín.
If you are hungry in Stará Ľubovňa, without any doubts visit Salaš u Franka. It is one of the best traditional Slovak restaurants I’ve ever seen. They have so huge menu choice, that we simply ate there 3 times for that period and still had a lot to choose from.
Nestville Park – whisky factory in Stará Ľubovňa
Very close to Stará Ľubovňa located a factory, where Slovak Whisky is being produced. They’ve made the whole attraction from it, so now you can go there for 8 euros and see the traditional, historical and modern parts united in one place.
I recommend you to make at least half a day for it, if you really want to enjoy and check everything there. Nestville Park has also the Nestville Chocolate Kingdom with a children’s playground, a craft brewery with the Nestville Taberna restaurant, the Nestville Horses equestrian center, the Nestville Market and Nestville Apartments. In the restaurant you can get interesting food combinations, flavoured with Nestville whisky.
What to see in Zakopane, Poland
In case you’ve got more time and you want to “go abroad”, you can prolong your trip. Stará Ľubovňa is very close to Polish borders, so it’s just 1.5 hours to the famous between Slovaks city Zakopane.
For many locals, Poland is associated only with bargain shopping and visiting markets, because this is what many people used to make. And some are still doing. Zakopane is one of the cities, where many Slovaks were visiting such markets.
Nowadays you can still see a lot of markets there. Just go to the city center, get lost there a bit, check out things. You will see, how cheaper it is in comparison with Slovakia.
At the end you can get Gubałówka Hill Funicular up the Gubałówka mountain. It costs just few euros, but you can get an amazing view from there.
Morskie Oko in High Tatras
Just a bit from Zakopane is the biggest lake in the High Tatras. It looks incredible, but also in a touristic period, there are incredibly lots of people. It’s the easiest hike when it comes to rising – not more than 400 meters in total. All the time you’ve got an asphalt road. The only one minus is – the lake is about 10km far from the parking place. So together you’ve got a 20km walk. It is pretty manageable, in my opinion. There is also an option to go with horses (costs around 10 euros one way).
What new did you visit this summer? What is your favorite mountain place? Write in comments!