Seasons

High season for hikers and cyclists is July and August when all services are open, including cave tours. Spring (April to June) and autumn (September and October) are also excellent times of year to get active in the park, but note that it can be ghostly quiet, especially on weekdays. Bike hire continues during these months but providers may need more of a heads-up.

From November to April, the park remains open with far fewer visitors. Ski season is from late December to mid-March.

Hiking

There are 300km of walking trails across the national park. Before hiking, pick up VKÚ's 1:25,000 Slovenský Raj hiking map (No 4) or 1:50,000 regional map (No 124). Hikes involving via ferrata ladders are open from mid-June through October. In July and August, trails can get busy to the point of queues.

There's a handy overview of trails, sorted by length and difficulty, on www.slovenskyraj.eu/turistika/planovac-tras-turisticke-chodniky. One of the best-loved ascents is from Podlesok through Suchá Belá Gorge to Kláštorisko Chata, the site of a medieval monastery. Begin early and allow between two and four hours for this often-steep (and often crowded) trail, along which you'll be sprayed by waterfalls as you cling to metal ladders.

Mountain Biking

Cycling is an excellent way to discover the quiet villages and meadowlands of the park, which is criss-crossed by more than 110km of trails. Call Cyklo Tour Spiš to arrange bike rental and browse routes on www.slovenskyraj.eu/cykloturistika.

Winter Sports

Ice-climbing season is from December to mid-March, when travellers with nerves of steel can grapple up Suchá Belá and Sokolia Dolina gorges. Meanwhile, foreign tourists are few at small ski resorts like Gugel, which has 5km of pistes and 11km of maintained cross-country trails, and its smaller sister, Vernár.

Canoeing & Kayaking

May to October is kayaking and canoeing season on the Hornád River. There's a fee of €10 per person, and you'll need to bring your own vessel (one- or two-seaters only), jacket and helmet. With advance notice, canoes and the necessary safety equipment can be rented through Cube Adventure (www.cubeadventure.sk); pickup in Čingov. Register with the park at least a day ahead by emailing splavprielomuhornadu@gmail.com. On the day, the river height measured in Hrabušice at 8am must be between 70cm and 110cm.