With the holidays already here, this section may help you to plan trips on free days to explore natural beauties, visit cultural events or just learn more about Slovakia
ONE DAY TRIP - Meeting the city
Get to know Prešov, the country's third biggest city and the centre of the largest internal region in Slovakia. While walking down Hlavná ulica (Main Street) enter the gothic Church of St. Mikuláš, built in 1347. Pay close attention to the monumental altar and other wooden sculptures created by the famous gothic artist, Master Paul from Levoča.
Get to Okružná Street through Florianova and visit the Jewish Orthodox Synagogue. Explore its interior, which is decorated with original ornaments and contains a unique collection of Judaic artefacts.
Open Tue-Wed 11:00-16:00, Thu 15:00-18:00, Fri 10:00-13:00, Sun 13:00-17:00. Okružná 32. Tel: 051/7731-638.
English-speaking guides (Sk300/hour) are available at the City Information Centre, Hlavná 67. Tel: 051/16-186.
Take a trip to Prešov's surroundings. Visit one of Slovakia's many wooden churches, the St. Lukáš Evangelist Church in Brežany, which was built in 1727. Have a look at the baroque interior, which features the sacred iconostasis (the area between the nave and the altar).
Contact: Brežany Mayor Kočamba, Tel: 0905/108-636.
Visit the planetarium and study the summer sky (show starts Aug 16 at 18:00), or participate in the astronomic observation of nebulas and star clusters (starts Aug 17 at 21:00).
The planetarium is open every Wed after sunset for regular sky observation, while every Tue and Thu a special show starts at 18:00. Dilongova 17, Prešov. Tel: 051/7722-065.
WEEKEND TRIP - Gothic Route: Spiš Circuit-Pieniny National Park
Explore the northernmost part of the Gothic Route trail (the entire 276-kilometre route winds through towns and villages dominated by Gothic churches) leading through the north-west area of Prešov region. Visit towns located in the mountains of Levočské vrchy and Spišská Magura.
FRIDAY evening - Kežmarok
Begin the route in the former business centre of Kežmarok. Have dinner at the U troch apoštolov (Three Apostles) restaurant. Hlavné nám. 9. Tel: 052/4525-725.
Accommodation: Penzión Max, Starý trh 9, Kežmarok. Tel: 052/4526-324.
SATURDAY - Kežmarok, Strážky
Explore the historical centre of Kežmarok. Visit the wooden church erected during the period of Protestant persecution.
Open daily 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00. Hviezdoslavova 16. Tel: 052/4522-242.
Continue towards the Basilica of St. Cross on Kostolné námestie. Then walk to Hradné námestie and enter the Mestský hrad (Town Castle). There, visit an exhibition of the town's guilds.
Open daily 9:00-16:30, entrance every hour. Tel: 052/4522-242.
Drive to Strážky and visit the gothic Church of St. Anna from the 15th century. Then get familiar with one of the leading Slovak painters, Ladislav Medňanský, in Kaštieľ Strážky (Strážky Manor House).
Open daily 9:00-19:00. Tel: 052/4581-312.
Accommodation: Hotel Cyprián, Spišská Stará Ves. Tel: 052/4822-342.
SUNDAY - Červený Kláštor, Stará Ľubovňa
In Červený Kláštor town visit the kláštor (monastery), founded in 1319 and home to the medieval herbalist friar Cyprián. Have a look at his house, which was a medieval pharmacy.
Open daily 9:00-17:00. Tel: 052/4822-353.
Finish your journey in the town of Stará Ľubovňa and visit the St. Mikuláš Church from the 13th century. Hiking: The green trail leads to nearby Matysová village.
WEEK TRIP - Wooden churches of north-eastern Slovakia
Wooden churches, a unique form of traditional architecture, are common across the entire Carpathian basin. Usually hidden in a copse of tall trees, they occupy a dominant position in their villages. Over two thirds of the 36 wooden churches remaining in Slovakia still offer regular church ceremonies. Explore also the countryside in the Šariš and Horný Zemplín areas.
SUNDAY - Bardejov, Jedlinka
Walk around the historical centre of Bardejov, which is listed on the Unesco world cultural heritage site. See the Basilica of St. Egídius (15th century), the original gothic fortification, and a collection of Jewish buildings - spas, synagogues, houses and a cemetery at Mierová 6 and 7.
Visit the wooden Greek Catholic Church of Protection of the Virgin Mary from 1763 in Jedlinka. Contact: See the note on the door.
Accommodation: Hotel Minerál, Bardejovské Kúpele. Tel: 054/4724-122.
MONDAY - Bardejovské Kúpele, Zborov Castle
Get to know the traditional architecture of the Carpathian region at the Múzeum Ľudovej architektúry (Folk Architecture Museum).
Open daily 8:30-17:00. Vila Rákoczi, Bardejovské Kúpele. Tel: 054/4722-072.
Hike to Zborov Castle ruins. From Bardejov centre take the 10-kilometre green trail leading up to the castle hill.
Accommodation: Same as on Sunday.
TUESDAY - Bardejov, Hervartov
See the largest collections of icons in Slovakia at the Šariš múzeum.
Open daily 8:30-17:00. Radničné nám. 27, Bardejov. Tel: 054/4722-009.
Visit the Roman Catholic St. Francis of Assisi Church in Hervartov. Built around 1500, it is the oldest preserved wooden church in Slovakia. Contact: See the note on the door.
Accommodation: Same as on Sunday.
WEDNESDAY - Svidník, Korejovce
Visit the town of Svidník - the centre of Ukraine-Rusyn culture in Slovakia - and see the exhibition of traditional crafts at the local museum.
Open Tue-Fri 8:30-16:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00. Centrálna 258. Tel: 054/7522-271.
Visit the Virgin Mary Church in Korejovce from 1764. Contact: See the note on the door.
Accommodation: Hotel Dukla Senior, Sovietskych hrdinov, Svidník. Tel: 054/7523-388.
THURSDAY - Ladomirová, Medzilaborce
See the St. Michael the Archangel Church from 1742. Contact: Ms. Pastišinová in the house on the left of the church.
Drive to Medzilaborce to see original paintings by American pop-artist Andy Warhol, whose Rusyn parents come from the area.
Open Tue-Sun 10:00-16:00. Múzeum Andyho Warhola, Ulica A. Warhola. Tel: 057/7480-070.
Accommodation: Penzión Andy, A. Warhola 121/24, Medzilaborce. Tel: 057/7321-640.
FRIDAY - Snina
Reserve the whole day for a trip to Sninské rybníky (Snina Ponds). Take the green trail from Snina centre, passing the Zemplínske Hámre village to Tri Table. There, change to the blue trail and follow it to the Snina Ponds. A further three kilometres will take you back to Snina.
Accommodation: Hotel Kamei, Rekreačná oblasť Sninské rybníky. Tel: 057/7682-605.
SATURDAY - Humenné
End the route in Humenné. Visit the monumental four-wing renaissance manor house from the 17th century, housing the Vihorlatské múzeum (Vihorlat Museum), and see the exhibition mapping the development of the surrounding countryside. A folk culture exhibition lies in the museum park.
Open Tue-Fri 9:00-17:30, Sat 9:00-13:00, Sun 13:00-17:00. Nám. slobody 1. Tel: 057/7752-240.
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