Bratislava, Slovakia Tatras Mountains

Ultimate Slovakia

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Slovakia is a beautiful, less visited gem than Austria and the Czech Republic. A small country that can be combined (ideally on one of our self-drive itineraries) with both of these countries. Bratislava, the Tatra Mountains and fairy-tale castles that are UNESCO world heritage sites make it worth dedicating a week to Slovakia’s cultural and natural beauties.

For custom luxury travel and tours to Slovakia, please contact one of our travel experts.

Day 1
Arrival | Arrival

Midday arrival into Bratislava, where you will be met by your private car, driver and guide for your transfer to the deluxe hotel in the center of the city and in the heart of the historic district.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Exeter Services:
 Transfer
Hotel: Kempinski River Park

Day 2
Bratislava | Bratislava

This morning, your guide will meet you for a tour of Bratislava. First you will enjoy a walk along the banks of the Danube where you will see the famous Old and New Bridges as well as fragments of the old city walls. You may step briefly inside St. Martin’s Cathedral, the site of the coronation of the Austrian emperors.

You will continue past the Presidential Palace and the Squares of Peace and Freedom, until you reach the Bratislava castle, with its fantastic views over the city. Later this morning you may continue on foot through the Old Town district and the former palace of the Archbishop of Esztergom – renowned for its beautiful tapestries.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon, your guide will take you on a backstage tour of the National Theater. Opera has a long tradition in Slovakia as Italian and Austrian opera companies used to come to perform in Bratislava, the “suburb” of the Imperial Capitals of Budapest and Vienna. The beautiful Neo-Classical building was designed in 1885-86 by two Austrian architects, Hermann Helner and Ferdinand Fellner who built theaters in many other European cities. Today, the theater has its own opera, drama and ballet ensembles and belongs to the top opera venues in Europe.

Exeter Services:
Full-Day Guide 
Hotel: Kempinski River Park

 

Day 3
Bratislava – Little Carpathian Mountains | Bratislava – Little Carpathian Mountains

This morning your guide and driver will meet you in the lobby for a full day trip outside of the city. If weather permits you will first embark on a cruise and sail upstream to the ruins of the Devin Castle, sitting imposingly on a cliff over the confluence of the Danube and the river Morava.

Your trip will continue by car through the valleys of the Little Carpathians dotted with picturesque little villages. You will visit two villages, Pezinok and Modra, that have a long tradition of wine making and ceramic production. You will be invited to an old vintner’s house to learn about the history of local viticulture and Modra Majolika manufacture where you will observe how the hand made ceramic is made. You will have a chance to create your own piece on the potter’s wheel.

If time allows, you may wish to continue to see the impressive Cerveny Kamen castle whose history goes back to the 13th century when a gothic fortress was built here. From the 16th century Cerveny Kamen belonged to one of the wealthiest families in the region, the Palffys, who extended the existing renaissance castle and built an impressive baroque chateau. You may tour the interior of the Castle, the living quarters with historic furniture and the original castle pharmacy.

In the evening, return to Bratislava.

Exeter Services:Car, Driver & Guide
Hotel:
Kempinski River Park

Day 4
Bratislava – Piestany – Trnava | Bratislava – Piestany – Trnava

Today, your guide and driver will take you to explore the West of Slovakia. First you will travel 90km to the spa town of Piestany, famous for its treatment of rheumatic conditions with sulfuric mud. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere as you walk down the beautiful Colonnade Bridge leading to the spa island.

If you are interested, you may visit the Museum of Balneology where you can learn about the history of the traditional healing methods from Piestany that were first recorded in the 15th century.

On the way back to Bratislava this afternoon, you will stop for a tour of Trnava, the oldest town of Slovakia. This town is often called the “Rome of Slovakia” due to the number of religious sites.

You should not miss the University Church of St. John the Baptist, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Synagogue built in Byzantine-Moorish style that now houses a small Museum of Jewish Culture.

A visit to the Museum of West Slovakia will give you an insight into the history of this region. The museum includes a wonderful collection of historical books, weapons from the Turkish war, examples of historical furniture and many interesting archeological items.

Evening return to Bratislava.

Exeter Services:Car, Driver & Guide
Hotel:
Kempinski River Park

Day 5
Bratislava – High Tatra Mountains | Bratislava – High Tatra Mountains

Today, meet your guide and driver for your journey to the north of the country, the High Tatra Mountains. First you will travel via Nitra to Banska Bystrica. Thanks to the mining of gold, silver and copper, the town became the economic and cultural center of West Slovakia. As you walk through the historic center you will see impressive burgher houses, churches and the town hall.

In the evening, arrival into Strbske Pleso and check-in to your hotel.

Exeter Services:Car, Driver & Guide
Hotel:
Kempinski High Tatra (Strbske Pleso)

Day 6
Tatra Mountains | Tatra Mountains

The National Park of High Tatra is a beautiful preserve that makes for a perfect destination for active travelers. Many of the tourist resorts are inter-connected by light rail and the mountains offer a wide array of hiking paths of various levels of difficulty.

Today enjoy a hiking tour on your own.

Exeter Services: No services
Hotel:
Kempinski High Tatra (Strbske Pleso)

Day 7
High Tatra - Košice | High Tatra - Košice

Today, check out of your hotel and meet your driver to continue your trip. Today you will drive to Kosice, the biggest town of Eastern Slovakia.

On the way to Kosice, you may visit the medieval Spiš settlements that are part of the UNESCO world heritage. First you will stop in Kežmarok where you can see a beautifully preserved wooden protestant church that boasts an impressive altar.

Continue to Levoča that used to be the capital of this region. Here you may visit the beautiful gothic Town Hall and stroll around the charming square with beautiful Renaissance and Baroque houses. You may also enter the unique St. James Church to admire its impressive 18-piece altar.

Last stop before your arrival to Košice will be the Spiš Castle, an impressive fortified complex that dates back to the 11th century.

Evening arrival into Košice and check in at your hotel in the center.

Exeter Services:Car, Driver & Guide
Hotel:
Hotel Bristol

Day 8
Košice | Košice

Today, meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel for a tour of Košice. This lively and yet laid back town is Slovakia’s second largest town. With a university, theater and philharmonic orchestra it offers plenty of cultural experiences.

Enjoy a stroll through the beautifully reconstructed historic center where you can see the impressive baroque Plague Column and the Gothic St. Elizabeth’s Church dominating the Main Square. If you are interested, your guide will also show you Kosice’s Orthodox Synagogue.

After your walk through the center, your guide will take you out of the city to visit the Slovak Karst. The highlights of this beautiful Natural Preserve are its more than 4,000 caves. The most impressive ones, listed as UNESCO natural heritage, feature amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations. Enjoy a tour of one of the caves and dress warmly as in the summer the temperature inside is much lower than outside.

If time allows, you may wish to stop at one of the Chateaux in the area. The Betliar Manor is small but features a beautiful library. Another wonderful castle is Krasna Horka with interesting interiors and furnishings.

Evening return to Košice.

Exeter Services:Car, Driver & Guide
Hotel:
Hotel Bristol

 

Day 9
Košice – Onwards | Košice – Onwards

Today check out of your hotel and meet your driver for a transfer to:

Airport (Sky Europe: Kosice-Bratislava, Kosice - Prague)

Train Station (6 hours to Bratislava on the train)

Bratislava (5-6 hours nonstop by car)

Budapest (3-4 hours nonstop by car – can be done via Eger)

Exeter Services: Transfer Only

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