Slovakia is one of those countries that has always flown a bit below my radar. I’d heard of it, of course–but mostly because I kept going through it on my way to somewhere else (and also because anyone in my life over the age of 40 would insist on saying I lived in Czechoslovakia during my time in Prague, and I always had to remind them that Slovakia is its own country).
Last spring, I even went to Slovakia itself rather than just stopping through–E and I went to Bratislava last spring only because a friend had train tickets he could no longer use, and Bratislava is a doable weekend/day trip from Budapest. Also, we heard it’s cheap, and often that is one of E’s only requirements when visiting somewhere.
I usually require a little bit more–and I ended up being really charmed by the little city with its ridiculously quaint old town. After we left, though, I kind of forgot about Slovakia again, in a general sense (and never even wrote about our trip).
This autumn, some friends of ours suggested we rent a car with them and drive up to Poprad, an area of Slovakia near the High Tatras mountains. They’d been in the High Tatras in Poland the preceding fall, and had been blown away by the fall colors.
Well, no one is more obsessed with autumnal foliage than me (#basic) and we jumped at the chance.
Although the drive ended up being about four hours–maybe a bit long for a weekend trip, which didn’t include any driving to the actual mountains–Slovakia just blew me away. I now sing praises of this country I merely used as an in-between stop or visited as an afterthought for far too long.
The town of Poprad itself is not as picturesque as I’ve become spoiled with in central/eastern Europe (I’m looking at you, Budapest/Prague/Bratislava/etc) but the surrounding scenery more than makes up for it.
And once you get into the mountains nearby, you’ll be able to find all the cute little mountain villages and stunning vistas your little heart could ever desire.
Nearby Poprad lies the ruins of Spiš Castle, and the little town of Levoča.
We only stopped at these briefly, as the mountains were our true objective.
WATCH FOR YETIS
couldn’t I remember my sunglasses just this ONE TIME
this is Ash, she’s way cooler than me but shhh, don’t tell her
After snagging some killer mountain views in the High Tatras, we drove back to Budapest through a part of Low Tatras National Park. This turned out to have some of the most stunning colors of the trip–my mouth dropped open a few times in awe, and I took ten billion photos in panic and excitement.
baby cow crossing!
Between Slovakia, Slovenia, and even Budapest, I was absolutely spoiled last autumn.
Is it weird that I can’t stop talking about fall, even when spring is just around the corner?
I guess you know where my heart truly lies.
p.s. I’ve included a map, because Slovakia is pretty big–all the places we went that I would recommend for your own Slovak road trip!
What places are your in-between places?
Linking up with Wanderlust Wednesday.