Slovakia made a wonderful impression on us. We drove to Slovakia through a mountain pass from Zakopane, Poland. The drive itself was spectacular, hardly any other cars on the road, views to die for.
When we travel we look for moments when we feel that we are truly experiencing a country instead of getting a tourist served experience. We crossed the border to Slovakia and immediately noticed the sheer beauty of the landscapes. Slovakia is not densely populated which ads to its beauty. The road infrastructure was excellent which made for a wonderful road trip. We set our destination for the Spis Castle which is a UNESCO world heritage site. We love those…
On the way we encountered small towns and vast valley landscapes. We even saw a stork family nest in one of the towns.
Our drive from Poland took us only a couple of hours and we made our destination city Spišské Podhradie. Above this city are the ruins of one of the largest castle complexes in Europe.
When we first saw the Spiš Castle in Slovakia we immediately knew that the road trip was worth it.
If you can’t stand over commercialization then you will love this destination. Yes, the area is protected and there are some vendors and places to grab a drink and some food. However, the cheesy carnival atmosphere hasn’t arrived yet. Perfect for us as we love those still authentic places to travel to.
We hiked up to the castle ruins, a 20 minute hike with vast views from the castle hill. Once we got a little closer we really noticed how immense these structures really were. It was a really hot day in June…30 Celsius and the hike took some energy out of us. But we were amazed that we were only two of a few people hiking up to the castle.
We loved the fields of flowers and tall grasses next to the immense castle walls. You could practically feel the history. We’ve been always intrigued by history and castle ruins have something that awake our curiosity.
The castle hill has been occupied in one form or another since the 5th century B.C. but the Spis Castle was built in the 12th century on top of other previous castle remains. Jan Zapolsky who later became the king of Hugary was born in this castle. He was later defeated by Ferdinand Habsburg for the Hungarian throne and the family lost their Spis Castle posessions.
In 1780 a huge fire swept thru the castle and the castle was never rebuilt. Over the centuries the castle was slowly vandalized and left in the state we saw it. We can’t even imagine how gorgeous it had to be in the 18th century.
We were really glad that we took the road less traveled to Slovakia and were rewarded with the spectacular historical destination. You can find very nice cabin style rooms for rent below $10 per person per night. The country is filled with hikers, bikers, and scenery that will satisfy any outdoor lover.