You don’t simply visit Slovenský Raj National Park. It’s more accurate to say that you clamber, scramble and get thoroughly drenched in this dynamic landscape of caves, canyons and waterfalls. Hikers in ‘Slovak Paradise’ climb ladders over gushing cascades, trek to ruined monasteries and shiver within an ice cave – and that’s just on day one.
The park is hugged by the Low Tatras and the Slovak Ore Mountains, with deep gorges sliced by the Hornád River. The nearest major town is Spišská Nová Ves, 23km southeast of Poprad. Closer to the action are the park’s three major trailhead villages, each with food and accommodation options: most popular is Podlesok, outside Hrabušice (a 16km drive southeast of Poprad); pretty and low-key Čingov is 5km west of Spišská Nová Ves; and lakeside Dedinky fringes the park’s southern edge.