Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Geldek a Jelenec

It is a golden corner of the Small Carpathians, especially in autumn.

Visit the peaks Geldek and Jelenec in the Small Carpathians.Visit the peaks Geldek and Jelenec in the Small Carpathians. (Source: VaGa)

You might think mystic Celtic tribes are behind its name.

This mysterious mountain in the Small Carpathians.

Geldek, after all, sounds like Keltek.

And they used to live here. Lots of them.

In their largest oppidum in Pohanská.

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But it is not from them.

Many Germans used to live here too. Much later of course.

The Holzhackers (a German word, which in English is lumberjack) or Huncokárs, from Tirol and Bavaria, who called themselves "forest people", and were invited by the Empress Maria Theresa to settle in Slovakia.

They lived, in harmony with nature, isolated in the Small Carpathians. And took care of the forests.

Thus maybe the name Geldek is derived from the German word "Goldeck" or the Golden corner.

The twin brothers

And it really is a golden corner of the Small Carpathians.

Especially in autumn.

When your hike there changes into a floundering through the sea of goldish leaves.

A route to this peak Geldek follows unmarked hiking paths through a former game-park.

In the past, it was a secret place, hidden from everyone's eyes, accessible only for few chosen.

It really was a Golden corner.

The summit of Geldek mountain is dominant and stands aloof the main ridge of the Small Carpathians.

Hiking through these hills, on the main red trail, whether from Vysoká and Vápenná in the north, or Skalnatá in the south, strange Geldek is always in your sight.

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It is the unwritten centre of the Small Carpathians.

Geldek actually has a twin. Its western brother Jelenec.

Geldek is more rocky with a flagpole on its summit.

The wind constantly blows here, and the Slovak flag flutters beautifully in the wind, day and night.

The summit of Jelenec mountain is a carst felled area with several bizarre trees. Such a plateau is unusual for the Small Carpathians.

A hike from Geldek to Jelenec opens amazing views of the monumental limestone massif of Vápenná, the third highest peak of this mountain range.

And the views from Jelenec mountain! Unbelievable! Magnifique!

You will admire the queens of the Small Carpathians, Vysoká and Vápenná, Veľký Petrklín, and the peaks which surround Bratislava.

A picturesque village with a castle

But where should you start when you want to hike there?

In Častá of course!

This small picturesque village, located at the foot of the Small Carpathians, was already mentioned in 1240 as an extramural settlement of Červený Kameň Castle. This romantic castle is the most beautiful in the Small Carpathians. It was owned by the Fugger and Pálffy noble families.

And the hike leads through the Pálffy's former hunting ground. The forests were full of animals.

The deer here make up a part of the Pálffy coat of arms.

Today you can even meet a horde of moufflons here.

First, you will take the yellow marked hiking path. Then the green one. And then an unmarked trail will take you to Geldek's summit. Continue on and you will stand atop Jelenec. And the forest trail and later the blue marked path will lead you back to Častá.

Mountains with amazing view

It will be a journey to the heart of the Small Carpathians. And maybe to yourself.

But it will absolutely be a trek to uncertainty.

As the hikes on unmarked paths always are.

When we hike through the forest beaten trails, we always count on people which were there before us.

We believe they left these trails for us, so that we could find our destination without getting lost.

We have faith, that these beaten paths won't lead us into danger. But to the mountains with amazing views.

But uncertainty is good.

We should accept it.

And sometimes even look for it.

And don´t stay stuck in the world of safety. And stereotypes.

So, grab your backpack and hike the 750 km long Trail of the Heroes of the Slovak National Uprising, meet unknown people, and hike or run with them.

Just look for uncertainty actively.

And sometimes follow an unmarked path to reach some mountain in the Small Carpathians.

It will change your life.

VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, cycling, and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offers undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: and

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