Adventures / Wild Hikes

Adventure Hiking in Slovakia

Explore the perfectly named Slovak Paradise National Park via a network of trails, ladders, bridges and catwalks

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Trip Ref #8777

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Adventure Hiking in Slovakia

Explore the perfectly named Slovak Paradise National Park via a network of trails, ladders, bridges and catwalks

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

Slovakia

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 ½ days off work

SEASON

May—Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 16 people

MEETING POINT

Kraków Airport, Poland

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll be covering 11 - 17km each day, so a moderate level of fitness is needed along with a head for heights.

Explore forests, meadows, plateaus, canyons, caves and waterfalls as you travel through one of Europe’s most beautiful National Parks

Cross canyons and ascend gorges using network of ladders, catwalks and bridges

Spend time in Levoca, a charming and little-visited medieval town that's surrounded by natural splendour

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Philip, October 2022

    Fantastic trip hiking through the gorges of Slovak National Park. Both the guides, Martin and Yan were excellent in their knowledge of the local cuisine and ensuring everyone's safety with the ladder climbs and also a lot of witty humor. As others have said, October is a lovely time to visit to take in the beautiful Autumn colours. I'll definitely be back to hike the High Tartas!

    Kirstin, October 2022

    This was a fun trip with diversity in all the walks. Martin and Yan gave us a really personalised experience and we’re flexible with the itinerary. I definitely recommend going in October to get the beautiful colours in the forests.

    Clare, July 2022

    We had a brilliant trip to Slovakia. Our guide, Jan, was brilliant and our group dynamic was great. We would not have had the confidence to hike the trails at Paradise National Park without a guide, due to the number of ladders, bridges & platforms. We are so glad that we did - it is unlike any hike we've done before and the scenery is beautiful. The local host has put a huge amount of thought into making this adventure special - from the thermal baths, to the lake swims, to the picnic spots. We wholeheartedly recommend this trip!

    Daniel, October 2022

    "The best holiday I have ever had" were my partners words to me on our trip home after our Slovakia adventure. A wonderful combination of wilderness, adventure, thrills, culture and immersion. Martin and Jan, our guides, were just brilliant- full of local knowledge, witty humour and yet still able to control our sometimes raucous group! The fitness grading seemed pretty accurate, the description and photos really do show it as it is. We loved every moment and the thermal baths were a superb way of relaxing aching muscles at the end of two days of gorge walking! The beech leaves fell like nature's confetti while we were illuminated by the sun breaking through the trees. It was magical. My partner and I are already planning on returning to walk the Tatras with this great host. Can't wait till our next adventure!

    Samantha, September 2022

    Really enjoyed this trip. The walks were great, the national park was amazing and the guides (Martin, Andy and Jan) were very knowledgeable and able to change the plans to suit the weather conditions without us missing out. They kept us informed the whole time and the trip was very well organised. The guides were really supportive and helpful with the via ferrata style platforms, ladders and walkways. You could tell they really enjoy what they do. One or two of the ladders were a little scary but the guides are very encouraging. The hotel was nice, spacious and comfortable. All of the food during the trip was delicious and the guides were on hand to tell us about the local dishes. The group were really nice and despite quite a bit of rain everyone had an amazing time. If you’re looking for an adventure, this is the place to be!

    Dorian, October 2022

    A fabulous trip with the right level of difficulty and some stunning scenery. The guides were perfect and the group dynamic wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyable and looking forward to the next one!

    Sam, October 2022

    Great trip

    Trystan, October 2022

    Simply incredible. Martin and Jan were sublime tour guides and completely faultless. They were well organised, calm and humorous. They were flexible and kind to those who needed some support. The hikes were so fun, like an adult playground, and the thermal spa was a perfect end to the walks. The group were fantastic and gelled really well. Highly recommended!

    Charlotte, October 2022

    What an adventure! Climbing ladders, hopping from platform to platform around rock faces and finding rocks to balance on to cross the water, all topped off with stunning scenery and wonderful guides. Martin and Jan were fabulous hosts and they were both professional and friendly throughout. Highly recommended trip and Slovakia is 100% worth a visit - very tempted to book the trip in a different season to see the changing scenery!

    rosie, September 2022

    This trip was fantastic! It felt like a giant adventure playground and it was so much fun climbing ladders, jumping over streams and making our way through different gorges via the metal platforms in the rock. We had a lot of rain and it honestly didn't make any difference for me because we were having so much fun. Our guides Martin, Andy and Jan were wonderful and lovely people. Don't hesitate to book this trip :)

    Included

    Guides

    Expert, English-speaking local guides

    Accommodation

    3 nights in a hotel in Levoča

    Meals

    3 tasty breakfasts

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Permits

    All park permits and entry fees

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Some meals as described

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Krakow Airport, Poland

    17:00

    Ends

    Krakow Airport, Poland

    19:30

    Transfers

    Your adventure begins at Krakow Airport (KRK) with your airport transfer at 17:00. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before this time, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area.

    At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Krakow Airport (KRK) at 19:30. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 21:20.

    Travel options

    There are regular flights to Krakow from major airports across the UK and Europe.

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Slovakian food is fresh and hearty and staples include pork, poultry, cheese, pastry, potatoes, onions and garlic. Lentil and vegetable stews are also common, as is wild game, pasta and the Gnocchi dish "Bryndzove Halušky." You'll have plenty of time to stock up on local food for lunches while out hiking.

    There are also a variety of restaurants in town, including European-American fusion, pizza, pubs and Italian. It’s possible to accommodate Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free and Dairy free diets on this trip, just let your host know before arrival.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Levoča

    You'll stay at the Hotel U Leva, a family-run, 3-star hotel in a restored Medieval building right in the heart of town. Rooms are en-suite and include Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and a minibar. The guesthouse also has a cafe that serves a fresh breakfast each day.

    Upgrades

    For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability)

    Day 1

    Arrival

    Meet your host in Krakow and take a scenic drive over the border into Slovakia and on to your guesthouse in the UNESCO protected town of Levoča. Check-in, unwind and then meet up with the rest of your group for dinner and a chance to review the plan for the days ahead.

    Day 2

    One day, two canyons

    Hiking

    6-7hrs · 17km · 520m up

    Head into the Slovak Paradise National Park and see for yourself why it lives up to its name. Hike along the bottom of Sucha Bela Gorge, one of the longest and most popular canyons in the park, trek through water, climb over fallen trees and ascend ladders - you'll even pass through a window-like hole in the rock. Emerge from the canyon and have lunch at a mountain hut before continuing through Prielom Hornadu gorge, famous for the series of ledges and catwalks that rise above the Hornad River. Return to Levoča in time for dinner and a good nights sleep.

    Day 3

    Fireplace Gorge

    Hiking

    6hrs · 350m up

    Head back into the park and explore Piecky (Fireplace) Gorge, which gets its name from the amazing rock formations that span the canyon. More ladders await as you climb beside multi-story waterfalls, including some horizontal ones that take you over green and blue pools of water. After hiking we head back to the town, have an early dinner before heading out to relax at the thermal pools when it's quiet and cool.

    Day 4

    One last hike

    Hiking

    4hrs

    Check out and venture into the National Park one last time on a hike to a stunning, 200m high rock shelf with excellent views over the entire area you’ve been exploring. Hike back down and return to Krakow in time for your flight home with new stories and photos to share with your friends.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What do I need to bring?

    • Sturdy, broken-in waterproof hiking shoes or boots. Or at least waterproof socks, because you will have to step into water every now and then.
    • Rain/windproof jacket
    • Lightweight, breathable hiking shirts, trousers and shorts in summer.
    • Sweater or fleece
    • Water bottle
    • Small rucksack for carrying personal items
    • Swimsuit
    • Insect repellent
    • Gloves for ladders and chains (optional)
    • Ear plugs - recommended

    Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Private Room Upgrade

    Per Person

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 124kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    You'll be covering 11 - 17km each day across uneven terrain, so a moderate level of fitness is needed to enjoy it to the full, however, elevation gains are modest (400 - 700m) and while the trails are complex, you'll be moving at a slow pace.

    The ladders, catwalks and ledges (some of which are quite narrow) are very sturdy and secure, however, you should be comfortable with heights. Imagine climbing up to the 3rd story of a building on a ladder. If you can do that, you'll be fine and your guide will never be far away.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    The Slovak Paradise National Park in summer is beautiful and relatively warm. From June to August the average daytime temperatures range from 18 - 22°C, but at night it cools down to ~8 °C. In the spring and fall it's a little chillier, ranging from 10 - 18 °C during the day and 3 - 6 °C at night. Autumn is the driest season and also boasts some beautiful colours.

    You'll need to bring all your luggage with you, however on each day of hiking your main luggage can be left in the accommodation, or left with the transfer vehicle and driver depending on the day of the trip. You will only need to have a daypack for each day of hiking.

    For current advice about travelling in Slovakia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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    Pay In Installments

    You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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