A hike in Rohace, Slovakia

rohace panorama

Slovakia is generally not very good at doing cities – at least compared to the Czech Republic. However it has amazing natural beauty with bears and wolves in the unspoilt mountain areas. In October 2005, I visited Rohace, an area of the Western Tatras, and had 15 days of sunshine with temperatures around 20 degrees. Here are some of the better pictures of Rohace.

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I travelled by train from the Czech Republic and then by bus up into the Tatra mountains. Public transport in Slovakia is frequent and inexpensive. Here’s a picture of a local train. The train I travelled on had air conditioning and very comfortable seats.

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On my way I passed Strecno Castle, just outside Zilina in Northern Slovakia – built in the 14th Century and destroyed by fire in the 17th Century – rebuilt in 1993. Well worth a visit.

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Where’s Julie Andrews? Superb views of the Tatra mountains from Zverovka.

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For 40 Slovak crowns, a small train called the ‘Glamour bus’ takes lazy tourists from the car park up the hill to the beginning of the hiking trail. About 200 metres up the trail was a pile of fresh bear shit. Bears are quite common in Slovakia. Alas, I have yet to meet one.

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There are four small mountain lakes in the Rohace area and they are all very photogenic.

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Photogenic Slovakia. Early morning in the Tatra mountains – it was nippy and gloves and hats were needed but as soon as the sun came out it soon warmed up.

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The view from Branik sedlo. Down in the valley there was thick fog thanks to inversion, leaving the Tatra mountains in glorious sunshine.

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The red trail leads you along the jagged peaks around Rohace, with chains to hold onto so that you don’t fall off. With strong winds and icy conditions this trail is not for the faint hearted. Some of the higher trails in the Tatra Mountains are pretty scary – even for experienced hikers.

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Another animal enjoying the sunshine.

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Pension Sindlovec, a lovely place and the closest pension to the National Park.

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After a long hike in the area, what more could a man ask for? Venison gulash with cranberry sauce – just what this tired hiker ordered.

Practical information

There is a lot of useful information about Zuberec/Rohace on the regional website.

To get to Rohace you may need the help of Slovak railways.

There is also a very useful combined bus and train timetable.