The Turiec hiking "massacre" - and how to complete it

The Koruna Turca challenge crosses five mountain ranges.

Hikers relax at the top of the Minčol peak. Hikers relax at the top of the Minčol peak. (Source: TASR)

The Tatras have long enjoyed more publicity than the neighbouring Fatras, though the latter provides hikers with equally scenic views and adventures.

A few months ago, the Turčianska Záhradka project, founded by Branislav Šimko, announced a new hiking challenge – Koruna Turca – to promote peaks in the mountain ranges, including Malá Fatra and Veľká Fatra, that surround the Turiec region.

Find out more about region of folklore, national parks and modern attractions in our Žilina Region Travel Guide. Find out more about region of folklore, national parks and modern attractions in our Žilina Region Travel Guide.

“Koruna Turca is a challenge after which you will have walked more than 200 km with an elevation gain of more than 10,000 m,” Šimko wrote in his blog. The local described it as “a hiking massacre”.

He explained that hikers can walk across five mountain ridges: Krivánska Malá Fatra, Lúčanská Malá Fatra, Veľká Fatra, Žiar and Kremnické Vrchy.

When hikers come to the region, they often set out on hikes to popular peaks such as Ostrá and Tlstá or Chleb. But in last year’s challenge, Šimko called on people to hike 21 lesser-known hilltops in Turiec.

Šimko’s latest hiking recommendations come with tips on where to begin a hike, where to sleep overnight, where to find drinking water in the hills, and what to watch out for.

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1| Krivánska Malá Fatra

Track: Šútovo (village) – Šútovo Waterfall – Chleb – Kriváň (s) – Suchý – Chata pod Suchým (hut) – Strečno (village) – Saračníky – Minčol – Martinské Hole

Length: 38 km

Where to eat: Chata pod Chlebom, Chata pod Suchým, Strečno, Martinské Hole (Javorina)

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Where to sleep: Experienced hikers can complete the track in one day. Otherwise, hikers can spend the night at mountain huts. The Vendovka shelter can be found near the Malý Kriváň peak.

Spring: a spring at the Pekelník peak (It is better to refill bottles at huts, though.)

Potential problems: weather changes and water

2| Lúčanská Malá Fatra

Track: Martinské Hole – Veterné – Horná Lúka – Hnilická Kýčera – Kľak – Fačkovské Sedlo

Length: 28.5 km

Where to eat: no places to eat

Where to sleep: a sleeping bag, Koliba at Fačkovské Sedlo, a small shelter made of branches below Hnilická Kýčera

Spring: 2 minutes from a hiking trail sign below Hnilická Kýčera

Potential problems: sleeping place, water, food, bears

3| Žiar

Track: Fačkovské Sedlo – Vrícke Sedlo – Závozy – Hadviga (declined German settlement) – Vyšehrad – forests above Budiš (village) – forests above Dubové (village) – Sklené (village)

Length: 41 km

Where to eat: no places to eat

Where to sleep: no shelters

Listen to the Spectacular Slovakia podcast: The Slovak region compared to Tuscany is a big unknown Read more 

Springs: a spring in the Repeš BBQ area near the village of Brieštie (5 minutes from a hiking trail), springs near the Štyri Chotáre hut, in the Jalové Lazy cottage area, and near woodsman’s cottages below the Malý Vyšehrad peak and the Chrenovské Lazy cottage area

Potential problems: most of the hike is through forests, lack of beautiful views

4| Kremnické Vrchy

Track: Sklené – Bralova Skala – Kozie Chrbty – Vysoká – meadows near the village of Kunešov – Kremnické Bane (village) and John the Baptist’s Church (heart of Europe) – Krahule (village) – Skalka – Vyhnatová – Kordický Štít – Svrčinník – Malý Šturec (saddle) – Hotel Kráľova Studňa

Length: 50 km

Where to eat: Kunešov (grocery store), Krahule (bar/restaurant), Skalka

Where to sleep: small shelters near Kunešov, Görgei’s Tunnel, and close to Šturec, and Hotel Kráľova Studňa

Springs: near the Kunešov shelter, Krahule, Skalka, near the Cabanka hut, Kráľova Studňa

Potential problems: wild animals, a long track (It is better to split it into two days.)

5| Veľká Fatra

Track: Kráľova Studňa – Krížna – Ostredok – Ploská – Borišov – Šoproň – Malý Lysec – Jarabiná – Kľak – Ľubochnianske Sedlo – Kopa – Krpeľany (village) – Šútovo (village)

Length: 50 km

Where to eat: Chata pod Borišovom (hut)

Where to sleep: several shelters (Salaš below the Suchý Vrch peak, Salaš Mandolína, Príslop above the village of Nolčovo), Chata pod Borišovom

Springs: a well below the Ploská peak, Borišov, a well below the Jarabiná peak, springs near the Príslop shelter and below the Nižná Lipová peak, Ľubochnianske Sedlo, a spring below the Kopa peak

Potential problems: Experienced hikers can complete the track in one day. Otherwise, hikers can spend the night at the hut below Borišov. Šimko also warns of wild animals and fallen trees between Malý Lysec and Kľak.


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