10-day / 9-night walking tour
Budapest – Szentendre
The change of scenery from big city to the small town of Szentendre (12 miles from Budapest) is a pleasant start for the best of the hiking routes between Budapest and Cracow. The town of Szentendre is easy to reach by van on highway 11, by subway train (HÉV), by coach (VOLÁN), and by boat on the Danube (MAHART). Szentendre with its unique atmosphere has two dozen museums, seven churches, 13 galleries, and countless coffee shops and little pubs. The nearby Open Air Museum offers visitors a look at traditional Hungarian village architecture.
Overnight in Szentendre
Szentendre – Visegrad (16 km / 10 miles)
Morning transfer by van to Visegrad. The foot trail features wonderful views of the Danube Bend and hills around Visegrad, where in a relatively small area you can admire both history and nature. Visit of the dominant feature of the countryside, the Renaissance-style King Matthias Palace. Then walk in remoted forests of Pilis Hills. Late afternoon transfer by van to Esztergom, traditional seat of the Hungarian bishops, with its enormous basilica.
Overnight in Esztergom.
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Esztergom – Kamenica nad Hronom – Banska Stiavnica (15 km / 9 miles)
After Esztergom we transfer to the trailhead in the village of Kamenica nad Hronom, where the Kovacovske Hills nature trail starts. The route leads through a National Nature Reserve offering panoramic views of the majestic Danube River from the Slovak side. This part of the trail is one of the easier hikes in both difficulty and length. In the late afternoon transfer to Banska Stiavnica. Guided tour of town, protected by UNESCO for its history, atmosphere, and location
Overnight in Banská Stiavnica
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Prencov – Banska Stiavnica (18 km / 11 miles)
Morning transport by van to the village of Prencov where the route starts that takes you to Sitno, the highest peak in the Stiavnicke Highlands, with observation tower at the top. The nearby castle relict is named after the mountain. The path leads on through one-time mining country, with an interesting system of lakes and collection canals, to Banska Stiavnica.
Overnight in Banska Stiavnica
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Banska Stiavnica – Ruzomberok – Vlkolinec (16 km / 10 miles)
Transfer by car to the town of Ruzomberok, the ideal starting point for the ranges of the Low Tatras, High Fatra, and Chocsky Hills.
The hiking route leaves Ruzomberok toward the High Fatra by way of Sidorovo peak, from which there is a most exquisite view of the village of Vlkolinec, one of the main points of interest on the Amber Trail, a historical reserve containing the most undisturbed and complete collection of traditional architecture in Slovakia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Comfortable walk to Ruzomberok. .
Overnight in Ruzomberok.
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Ruzomberok – Salatin – Liptovsky Mikulas (17 km / 11 miles)This day is set aside for a hike to the Low Tatras, the most difficult segment of our trip, which starts in the village Liptovska Lužna (10 miles from the center of Ruzomberok) and goes to the top of Salatin Hill, a national nature park of extraordinary botanic and zoological value. The relatively easy beginning of the route turns into a steep climb to the top, where there is a really fine view of the whole area around Liptov. The trail, which ends in Ludrova, is one of the prettiest foot trails in the Low Tatras. Late afternoon transfer from Ruzomberok to Liptovsky Mikulas.
Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas.
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Prosiecka and Kvacanska Valley (17 km / 11 miles)
Liptovsky Mikulas is famous as the place where Juraj Janosik, the “Slovak Robin Hood”, was hung on a hook to die in 1713. The program starts with transportation to the village of Prosiek in the Chocsky Hills, the starting point for excursions into one of Slovakia’s most beautiful valleys. Together with the Kvacanska Valley it is one of the most interesting circuits, featuring a remarkably wild natural environment with caves, waterfalls, and a unique, restored wooden mill in the hamlet of Oblazy. In places the only way to go up is by ladder. After finishing the walking route you are taken by car back to Liptovsky Mikulas.
Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas
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Demanovska Valley (14 km / 9 miles)
Morning transfer by car to the Certovica Pass where your hike along the main ridge of Low Tatras begins. It is real flagship of hiking in Slovakia with permanent panoramatic views of spectacular landscape. Enjoy atmosphere of two mountain huts on the ridge or go to the highest peak of the Low Tatras, Dumbier Mountain (2043m). Your hike ends at the top of Chopok Mountain, where you use a lift to the Demanovska Valley and then transfer by van back to Liptovsky Mikulas.
Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas
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Liptovsky Mikulas – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Krakow (4,5 km / 3 miles)
Morning transfer by car to to the village of Lanckorona in Poland with authentic town centre. Hike from here to today’s highlight Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and the Stations of the Cross consisting of 32 chapels and chaplets, ending in the monumental Bernadine monastery.
Late afternoon transfer to Krakow. Overnight in Krakow
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In Krakow, you’ll need more than one day: Wawel Castle, the Old Market Square, the Kazimierz Jewish quarter, or the town walls and Royal Way could easily take a day each. But then to really soak up the atmosphere of this living city you must get into cafes or pubs, theaters or clubs, and that takes more than a day, too…