2016 Day-by-Day

2016 Slovakia Heritage Tour
September 9 -18 , 2016

Click on the images for each day to get a glimpse of where we went & what we did…


 DAY 1:

Fri., Sept. 9:  Vienna  – Banská Štiavnica –  Banská Bystrica


banska stiavnica
The beautiful renaissance mining town of Banska Stiavica nestles in a wooded valley.

Morning drive through the rolling Danube plains stopping  for lunch in the old mining town of Banská Štiavnica. Tour the castle and the Renaissance Main Square of this hilly 15th-century town, beautifully situated in a richly-forested valley.  Settle in to our hotel, Hotel Kuria,  in the quaint city of  Banská Bystrica . Gather for an evening Welcome Dinner (included) in a 14th-century fortress restaurant to review the travel plans, and have an introductory Slovak lesson.
Bug_Banska_Stiavnica_jpgsktravelDay1 Banska_Bystrica_046-TOM0469 (Photo by Jaroslav Tomto)417??????????????????????????

DAY 2:

Sat., Sept. 10: Špania Dolina – Banská Bystrica

Step back in time in the ancient mining and craft village of Špania Dolina. Walk the village and forested lanes and visit the lace and mining museums. Afternoon will be free to explore the elegant and historical downtown of Banská Bystrica , visit the  Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, shop, or relax and enjoy a contemporary spa.
Day2 Spania Dolina Walk IMG_4599Day2 Lace making IMG_4610day2 spania dolina-SMALLIMG_6768

DAY 3:

Sun., Sept. 11:  Banská Bystrica – Orava – Zuberec – Tatry Mountains

Travel through beautiful landscapes of the Mala Fatra Mountains, stopping to visit Orava Castle.  At lunch, enjoy Oravan folk music and dance,  at a traditional Koliba,  shepherds’ restaurant.   After lunch, walk through the 19th century  Orava village in the nearby outdoor museum.  Drive through the picturesque Liptovsky  lake region. Relax and watch the sun set on the mountains from our Penzion 2004 in Stara Lesna.

Orava IMG_4708day3 orava castleIMG_7484 ruth cheese donIMG_6805-SMALL

DAY 4:

 Mon.,Sept. 12:   Tatry Mountains
Enjoy the beauty of the Tatry Mountains at your own pace. Several options for a day of out-door, scenic adventure in this dramatic small alpine range or relaxing in the resort towns.  In the evening,  take part in (or just enjoy watching) a cooking demonstration of Slovakia’s national dish,  Bryndzove Halušky.
Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

IMG_6825day3 cooking classday3 Tatry mountains (photo by Pat Snyder)IMG_6883

DAY 5:

Tues., Sept. 13 :   Pieniny Region -Bardejov 

Travel from the High Tatry Mountains to the scenic vistas of the Pieniny National Park.  Enjoy a traditional raft ride on the Dunajec river as you watch green fields, forests and mountains peacefully pass.  After lunch at the chalet restaurants on the river bank, visit  the Bardejov Open-Air Village Museum to see how our ancestors lived at the end of the 19th century when many immigrants came to the United States.  In the evening, explore the medieval guild town of Bardejov before settling into the Hotel Bellevue,with spectacular views, perched high above the city.

IMG_6963day6 Pieniny_070-LAC0179 (photo by Jan Lacika)day6 pieninyday7 Saris VillageDAY7 saris village interior (photo by Don Goulden)IMG_7006

DAY 6:

Wed. Sept. 14:   Sariš Region:   Small Village Visit – Sabinov – Prešov  

Travel through the lovely stream valleys ringed by high pasture fields and farm land of the Šariš region.  A morning visit to meet the people of a small village at the edge of the forests where people still preserve the old musical and craft ways of life. Enjoy a lively traditional dinner(included) in Sabinov with a chance to talk with young Slovaks and dance the polka and czardas if you like.  In the late afternoon,  explore Prešov with its old center square, and excellent Šariš Museum, showing traditional ways and 19th/early 20 century photos of village life when many Slovaks left for America.

In the evening, walk the beautiful central square of Košice before settling into the Hotel Doubletree by Hilton, in the heart of the city.

andy mayo 7IMG_7021day7 Sabinovday6 BardejovDAY7 bardejov facades donIMG_6988

DAY 7:

Thurs. Sept. 15 :   Košice

Morning guided walking tours of Košice’s well-preserved historic center. Afternoon free to shop and explore the thriving downtown.  Optional evening special cultural program
Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

day8 Kosiceday8 Kosice (2)IMG_7041

 DAY 8:

Fri. Sept. 16:   Spiš Castle – Spišská Kapitula-  Levoča -Return to Bratislava

Leave Košice for the rolling hills and valleys of the Spiš region. Explore the ruins of the majestic Spiš Castle one of the largest castle ruins in Europe. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula, the “Slovak Vatican,” a walled ecclesiastical village since the 12th century. Lunch in the medieval, pilgrimage town of Levoča with visits to see the large exquisitely-carved altar in St. Jacob’s Cathedral by 15th century master woodcarver  Master Pavol.  After a  day of exploration in the Spiš region,  we’ll start the trip back to Bratislava with surprise stops along the way.  We’ll arrive in Slovakia’s capital city on the Danube in time to enjoy the charm of the Old City by night and settle into the old world elegance of the Hotel Radisson Carlton, in the center of the Old City.

Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

day5 Levoca (photo by Pat Snyder)day5 Levoca_AVO_1480790 (photo by Alexander Voycek)day5 spis castle (photo by Don Goulden)IMG_6880299IMG_6872

DAY 9:

A small group guided tour of Bratislava’s old center.

Sat. Sept. 17:  Bratislava – Pezinok Wine Festival – Modra Pottery

Fall in love with Slovakia’s modest but elegant small capital  with a morning guided tour through the Old City and a stop at the city’s fortress castle for panoramic views of the city and the Danube.  In the afternoon, we travel to the Small Carpathian Mountains near Bratislava to visit the pottery where famous Modra ceramics  are made by hand.  Enjoy the music, crafts and local excitement of the Modra/Pezinok Wine Festival, before we return to the city in the evening to explore its narrow central streets and lovely plazas.  Stroll the Danube promenade and watch the ships and barges along this busy waterway.

Eday11 bratislava (photo by Peter Svehla) day9 Bratislava (photo by Pat Snyder)IMG_4970

Day 10:

Sun., Sept. 18:  Bratislava
Farewell to our Slovakia Heritage Tour travel friends!

day10 modra festival (photo by Pat Snyder)

At the close of the tour, some people will fly out of Vienna, and others will continue to travel on to Krakow, Poland, or Prague, Czech Republic with a Slovakia Heritage Extension Tour.    Please see details on the  Extension Tours page or call Judy at 978-544-5144 to discuss your personal plans.



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