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Three hikes perfect for Slovak Paradise

A light hike, spectacular gorge and ice cave. Slovenský Raj has much to offer.

Suchá Belá (Source: Author)

Ladders, chains, footsteps and bridges. The High and Low Tatras are usually the first hiking choice for foreigners in Slovakia, but just a few kilometres further east there is Slovak Oaradise - Slovenský Raj, one of the most spectacular natural areas in Slovakia.

Less than 4 hours of driving from Bratislava or little more than one hour from Košice, Slovenský Raj is situated near Poprad and Spišská Nová Ves in the north-west of Slovakia. It is possible to find accommodation in the northern part of Slovenský Raj, in the villages of Smižany, Čingov, Hrabušice and Letanovce, as well as in the southern part in Mlynky, Dedinky and Stratená.

Between the southern and northern part of Slovenský Raj the distance is about 23 kilometres, so it is important to think about preferable hiking routes before booking accommodation. If visiting Slovenský Raj for the first time, the most popular hiking routes start from the northern part, so it may be more practical to choose accommodation there.

The highest point of Slovenský Raj is 1,272 metres above sea level, the starting point varying between 540 and 800 metres above sea level. However, there are easier and more difficult routes and the following is a proposed schedule on how to organize your weekend.

1. Tomášovský Výhľad (Tomášovský Viewpoint)

If arriving on a Friday afternoon in summer, one route that does not take much time is hiking to Tomášovský Viewpoint (680 metres above sea level). The route starts at Čingov, an area with a paid car park, various restaurants and bus stop.

Tourists who want to reach the viewpoint follow yellow mark, the whole route marked well. The path to the top leads most of the time through forest so

it is a good idea on a hot sunny day to walk in the shade as well as on a light rainy day when the leaves of the trees protect you from getting wet.

The vertical distance to be conquered is not even 200 metres. In about one hour it is possible to reach the top at a slow pace. Spacious forests are visible from Tomášovský Viewpoint and when the weather is good it is possible to see the High Tatras as well. The highest part of the limestone viewpoint reaches 25-32 metres. The locality has been formed gradually, mainly through erosion processes caused by the Hornád River

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