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Slovakia on bicycle - High Tatras Here We Come!


Moderate difficulty - 53 km - asphalt, gravel, dirt roads, forest roads - uphill and downhill MTB




Ride stats

  • Distance: 53 km
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Pedaling time: 4 - 5 hours
  • Altitude gain: +/- 850 m
  • Altitude level: 750 - 1240 m
  • Maximum speed: 50 km/h
  • Average speed: 10.8 km/h

GPS Map / track: GPS Track



Where is this?





Let's start!


On our third day we headed more to the East  at the footsteps of the High Tatra mountains and decided to park our car just before the road that leads to Strbske Pleso. From here we went on bike on road 537 (goes right under the mountains) until Podbanské where we did a left on a asphalt side-road and followed it all the way to road 18 that got us eventually back to our car.



Even though it isn't advised to leave the most difficult ascension / portion of the track for last that is exactly what we did because we wanted to enjoy the mountain part of the road and the downhill track through the forest during the morning hours. By the way the forest descent is parallel with the one from our last run that started in Podbanské.

You can leave your car in the small parking place here, free of charge, but there are plenty other spots in the area. From here the road takes you downhill all the way to Podbanské, the asphalt is in good condition and the traffic intensity is low (probably in the full season there will be a lot more cars but that is one more reason I suggest going during Spring). Just enjoy the ride!

The view is somewhat dull as you don't have too much of an opening, the green footsteps of the mountains on the right and trees on the left, but the highlight of the section is that it is downhill and you can experience pretty high speeds on your bike.


From the main road we will do a left on an excellent dirt side road that descents through the forest and leaves behind any signs of cars.



At some point you will reach a beautiful viewpoint opening up in the direction of Krivan Peak, one of the mountains that the Slovaks hold in high regard. Here you can find a wooden pavilion and a small spring just up the hill.


Since we can't stay here forever we continue onward through the valley's silence, right after we finish our lunch.



Just before reaching the main road we found another surprise, a small road (1 lane and a half) with fresh asphalt, smooth turns, free of any traffic and most importantly going downhill. While we were riding a pair of deer decided to gallop along with us for some time.

At the end of the road I swear I wanted to make an U turn, to climb the hill back up simply to ride it down again... and again... and again! Alex, being more rational, decided that we should continue on so we'll not to get "stuck" in a never ending loop.



From here we returned to the busy life and entered the main road, number 18, that mostly goes side by side of the highway. The road is good and it is wide enough to accommodate both bikes and cars without problem.





We stopped in our way to visit Dobra Vychodna in the village of  Vychodna, a small traditional place with wooden houses and gates where the annual Slovak Folkloric Festival is taking place (among other events). After a short break and a few pictures we carried on.




This part of the track is mostly on flat ground and pretty easy but we are starting to prepare ourselves for the uphill struggle we will face just after Tatranska Strba. But since we are in Tatranska Strba we decided to take a lunch and coffee break hoping that the diner at the camping where we stayed last year would be open... unfortunately with no success.



The last part of the circuit was demanding for us but we did not give in and managed to reach the car on our own two wheels and not legs. We already loaded the bikes in the car when we thought of going to Štrbské Pleso (lake). So we drove the last few turns up the mountain and had a short walk around the lake. While people at the main hotel-restaurant were busy planning a wedding I was thinking of getting silly on the kid's playground.





All in all it was a great day and all I can do is to warmly recommend this circuit to all of you. Let's see what tomorrow will bring!



Where do I sleep?


You can choose from a vide variety of accommodation options as the area is mainly touristic by nature. Based on preference you can either opt in for staying at a camping or between four walls. Taking in consideration we arrived before the opening of the touristic season and the overnight temperatures were low we decided to sleep at a guesthouse.

We found a nice and cheap accommodation in Liptovsky Trnovec that had a great host - Gazdovsky dvor "U Tlaciarov". The house has five rooms with private bathroom, a fully equipped common kitchen, a common living room with a fireplace, a long table, pool table, chairs, sofa, etc. The WIFI is for free and you can park the cars in the front yard. In the back you have a big yard with chairs, tables, sunbeds, a small pond with fish and flowers everywhere. We had a good time and only spent 100 € for the 5 nights we stayed there.

If you prefer campings there is one closeby in the same village - Mara Camping (we stayed here one year before). It is a really nice place, clean and it offers a lot of fun options: beach, access to the lake, volleyball field, skyjet, stand up paddle board, kayak, boat tours and many more. The price is decent at about 15.5 € per night for two persons, tent and car. They have small huts for rent and the camping complex is huge, with two restaurants, many bars and a kids area.

What do I eat?


As this is a touristic region finding someplace to eat is relatively easy. You will find a few diners in all villages along the route so where you plan to stop is a matter of choice.

 

Suggestions, recommendations and things to know


  • Best time: Spring / Autumn
  • Landscape: Hills - forests
  • Safety: One third of the circuit is on the road at the mountain's foothills - the asphalt is OK and the cars have moderate speeds, another third is on gravel/dirt roads and the last third is on a main road where even though vehicles have high speeds the road is wide enough for everybody.
  • Road / lane status: There are no bicycle lanes. Overall it is pretty safe - you are either on roads with low traffic or on roads wide enough to accommodate both cars and cyclists. In some places the roads are deserted and where they are not the Slovaks are responsible drivers.
  • Circuit via points: Strbske Pleso - Podbanske - Hybe - Vychodna - Vazec - Tatranska Strba - Strbske Pleso.
  • Points of interest: Strbske Pleso - lake, the place where the Slovak Folkloric Festival is beeing hosted in Vychodna village .

Other close destinations?


Check these other close-by destinations:

Hope you found the information helpful and accurate, but remember, if you have any questions drop them in a comment below!










Slovakia on bicycle - High Tatras Here We Come! Reviewed by Karina Isar on 12:14 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. Nice and very helpful information i have got from your post. Even your whole blog is full of interesting information which is the great sign of a great blogger. easy bike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Leah,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! We are glad that you enjoyed the article and you found it interesting! Feel free to browse around and also let us know if you have questions or need more info.

      All the best,
      Karina and Alex

      Delete

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