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Cycling in Slovakia
Slovakia In A Nutshell
As you can see from the map below, I'm hardly qualified to comment on Slovakia. And from what I've read, Bratislava aside, I cycled in the most uninspiring part of the country. Have you been there?
When I Went To Slovakia
9th - 12th June 2011
Where I Went
The bit I saw was flat but, farther east, it is reputed to have some of Europe's most beautiful mountains.
Slovakia's Road Quality
No problem but, remember, I only saw those relatively close to the capital.
Slovakia's Accommodation & Costs
The hotel I stayed in outside of Bratislava was €30. The one in the capital was nearly double that.
Food and beer prices are very low. A tasty cabbage soup with smoked sausage and then pork goulash, sauerkraut and dumplings with two pints came to just over €7.
The guy on the desk at the hotel outside of Bratislava told me his only foreign language was Russian. More English was known in Bratislava as well as German, not surprising given that Austria is just around the corner.
Reasons To Go To Slovakia
Cost, Bratislava (which in the last fifteen years has morphed into an attractive city), the gorgeous mountains I didn't see.
What Others Say About Slovakia
Comments may be edited for concision. If the comment was taken from elsewhere, click the author's name for the full comment.
I rode from Prague to Krakow a couple of year ago. The ride through the Tatra Mountains is great and the roads were quiet. We mainly camped and the prices were very good especially the ice cream - 50 cents for proper ice cream! Food was what I expected from Eastern Europe, piece of meat, potatoes and if you wanted some veg it was cabbage. The Foreman's Needle, a large lump of pork on a piece of fried bread. Most camp sites have a kitchen area with sinks and electric cookers. They also have some reasonably priced small challets (sheds) varying in age and quality if you didn't want to put your tent up. Maps were not great as often it looked like you should go straight across at a junction but when you get there there was just a 'T' junction. You then had to ride up to 800m in each direction looking for the 'straight across' road. Also every other bridge seem to be under repair when we were there. We started to look for diversions and then realised you could just follow the locals straight through the middle of the building work.
Anonymous (Aug 2014)
Slovakia is a good place to cycle with quiet roads of a decent standard. The Lower Tatras are largely forested so views can be limited but the climbs are decent. The Higher Tatras are very scenic. We spotted a large wild cat on our first trip over.
Heading due east from Liptovsky Mikulas you have the broad depression between the Low Tatras to the south and the Western and High Tatras to the north. It gradually climbs over a watershed before you drop down to Poprad. However, overall it gives the impression of a plain and isn't very interesting, though the distant views of the Tatras are nevertheless reasonably spectactular.
To make the ride more interesting you may want to keep to the northern edge of it and cycle in the foothills of the Western and High Tatras through Strbske Pleso although you can't actually cycle in among those mountains as it's footpaths only. And actually once you get to that road along the foothills, you get a bit too close to the peaks to see what is going on.
Avoid Poprad unless you really need to visit a giant supermarket. They are easily found on the main routes in on the western edge of town. The town itself is mostly an industrial, communist-era dump. About 40km further east, Levoca is one of the most historic towns in Slovakia.
Your Opinions & Questions
Have you cycled in Slovakia? Tell me what you think and I'll include your comments here. Also, if you have a blog, web site or Facebook page that includes an account of your trip, send me the URL and I'll include a link below. Include your name if you want your comment to be attributed to you. Or do you have a question about Slovakia? Ask me and if I can answer it I'll add the information to the page.
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