Cycling holidays? The best places and cycling routes in Slovakia

Cycling holidays? The best places and cycling routes in Slovakia

Cycling has experienced a huge boom in recent years, and it's no wonder. Few sports are as universal, allowing almost anyone to participate while also enabling you to discover previously unknown places. Set off to explore the natural beauties of Slovakia on two wheels. We'll advise you on the best places to go.

Cycling for everyone

Whether you plan to explore Slovakia on two wheels alone, with a partner, family, children, or friends, a bicycle is always a great choice. Compared to traveling by car, it offers endless freedom and fun, and compared to hiking, it allows you to move faster and more efficiently. Moreover, it improves your physical fitness and is a great and gentle form of activity even for less fit athletes.

It's up to you which type of cycling and bike you'll fall in love with—whether it's the increasingly popular road bike, the versatile trekking bike, or the unbeatable mountain bike. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist; the world of cycling offers something for everyone. Additionally, if your fitness level isn't quite there yet, you can simply choose an electric bike, and even the steepest hills won't be an obstacle for you.

How to prepare for a cycling tour?

If you're planning a multi-hour cycling trip, it's worth preparing adequately. It's similar to hiking—you never know what the weather will bring, if you might get lost in the forest, or if your adventure might take longer than expected. Ideally, your cycling gear should include:If you're planning a multi-hour cycling trip, it's worth preparing adequately. It's similar to hiking—you never know what the weather will bring, if you might get lost in the forest, or if your adventure might take longer than expected. Ideally, your cycling gear should include:

  • A safe bike suitable for the chosen route – don't forget to check the functionality of the brakes and the correct tire pressure. You can find the best bike for your little cyclist with us.
  • Puncture repair kit - a flat inner tube can catch you at the worst possible moment, and you certainly don't want to be pushing your bike the rest of the way. 
  • Portable pump – a must-have for every cyclist, worth having in your backpack in case of a flat tire.
  • Cycling helmet – the risk of a fall and injury is present everywhere, so a helmet is recommended not only for children but also for adults.
  • Lighting – in case your trip extends and you find yourself in the dark, always have a light handy and ideally reflective elements.
  • Adequate fluids – water is essential, especially on rides longer than 1 hour. Pack enough fluids or plan your route around places to refill.
  • Snacks for energy – a small snack is always helpful, especially on multi-hour outings. Pack at least an energy bar or some fruit in your backpack.
  • Appropriate clothing – you don't necessarily need cycling gear, but comfortable sportswear and ideally layers that you can shed during the activity.
  • Rain jacket – in case of unfavorable weather, it's worthwhile to have a waterproof jacket or rain poncho in your backpack.
  • Map or navigation – if you're heading onto an unfamiliar route, have navigation tools at hand, such as offline cycling maps or a paper map with the cycling route.
  • Power bank – your phone can be a lifesaver in many situations, but only if it's charged. For safety, pack a pocket-sized power bank as well.
  • Travel first aid kit – it's good to have a small first aid kit on hand for minor injuries.

Tips for places and cycling routes

Now that you know how to equip yourself properly, let's look at where you can go. There are endless suitable places and cycling routes in Slovakia. Our country is truly a paradise for all types of cycling, whether you're looking for endless plains, rolling terrain, or steep hills. However, here are a few more specific tips on popular locations suitable for less demanding cyclists.

Bratislava and its surroundings

If you live in Bratislava, there are plenty of beautiful cycling routes in your area catering to both road and mountain biking enthusiasts. Bratislava is crossed by the famous EuroVelo 13 cycling route, which spans over 10,000 kilometers and passes through 20 European countries. In Slovakia, it covers a section of about 90 kilometers and features landmarks such as Devín Castle, Sandberg, and World War II bunkers.

You can ride a road or trekking bike across the Bratislava dam and make a trip to Čunovo or even to Gabčíkovo. The two banks of the Danube are now connected by the new Lužný Bridge with a footbridge for cyclists. Cycling routes from Bratislava can easily take you all the way to Austria, where Schloss Hof, Hainburg Castle and Braunsberg Hill are well-known destinations for cyclists. 

If you prefer undulating terrain to flat roads, head to the Carpathian Mountains, where asphalt roads, forest paths and trails for adrenaline lovers await you. Popular destinations for cyclists include Železná Studnička, Biely Križ, Kačín or Kamzík. Downhill lovers will love the Cerová dráha trail, Krasňanský trail and many others. The advantage of the Bratislava location is also the high density of refreshment buffets.

devinHrad Devín

Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica is a fantastic vacation spot for cycling enthusiasts. Here, you can combine exploring the city's culture and history with discovering the natural beauty of its surroundings on two wheels. One of Štiavnica's gems is its mining reservoirs, known as tajchs, which are interconnected by a network of cycling and hiking trails. For this trip, consider getting a mountain bike or even an electric bike, especially since some routes feature steep ascents better suited for experienced cyclists.

The entire system of cycling trails in Banská Štiavnica is part of the "Bajkom k tajchom" project, where you can find detailed information about the routes. One of the easier trails is the Vodárenská spojka cycle route, leading from the center of Banská Štiavnica to the Veľká Vodárenská reservoir, ideal for a refreshing swim in the summer. Other family-friendly routes include Piargska panoráma and Štiavnická Anča.

For more experienced cyclists, longer circuits like the Veľký and Malý Hodrušský circuits (41.3 km and 18.4 km respectively) with more challenging climbs, Beliansky circuit (16.6 km), and Vyhniansky circuit (22.4 km) are great options. Downhill cycling enthusiasts can try the Flow trail Helligon, which is suitable for mountain bikers with basic skills and accessible via an ascent route or cable car from the Salamandra Resort.

vodarenskaVeľká Vodárenská

Liptovská Mara

Long-term, it has been one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for families with children. Liptovská Mara and its surroundings offer a variety of attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy. Among them, alongside water sports, is cycling. You'll find over 850 km of cycling trails of various types and difficulties in the Liptov region. Liptov also boasts the best infrastructure for electric bicycles.

A great full-day trip for more experienced cyclists is the Veľký okruh (Big Circuit) around Liptovská Mara. This 71 km route takes approximately 8 hours to complete starting from and returning to Liptovský Mikuláš. The terrain is undulating with no challenging climbs, mostly following lower-grade roads and dirt tracks.

For families with children, there's the easy Cyklokorytnička trail, spanning 23 km along an educational path. A moderate difficulty option is the trail through the submerged villages of Liptovská Mara, covering 14.1 km. For a more challenging ride, consider the educational cycling trail from Vlkolínec to Pribylina, stretching 68 km.

maraLiptovská Mara

High Tatras

We mustn't forget about the most popular tourist region—yes, we're talking about the High Tatras, which also have plenty to offer to cyclists. This area is especially rewarding for experienced cyclists who enjoy a challenge and those who appreciate stunning views. You can find inspiration for cycling routes, for example, here.

If you're looking for a shorter route with an attractive destination, you can start from Starý Smokovec to Hrebienok and enjoy a fantastic descent after about an hour's ascent. Another beautiful and not too demanding route is the climb from Tatranská Polianka to Sliezsky dom, which takes about 1.5 hours. Your reward will be breathtaking views and relaxation at the mountain hut.

Of course, you'll also find challenging trails in this area. One example is the route from Biela Voda to Chata pri Zelenom plese, suitable only for experienced cyclists with good fitness. This cycling tour takes about 2 hours, but the views are absolutely worth it. The descent is equally challenging, so be mindful of bears. :)

tatryVysoké Tatry

Slovak Paradise

If you venture further east, you'll discover another great location for cycling tours: Slovak Paradise. While most of us may know Slovak Paradise more for hiking, it also boasts many beautiful cycling trails. This area is ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts who can enjoy stunning views. There are over 110 km of cycling trails here, and you can find a list of them, for example, here.

Especially in this area, we recommend sticking to marked cycling trails at all times, as veering off could lead you into impassable terrain. If you're looking for a short route, you can cycle from the village of Hrabušice to Kláštorisko and comfortably descend back. You can also reach the popular Tomášovský výhľad viewpoint by bike.

A simple route for the whole family includes a panoramic 20 km circuit from Spišská Nová Ves through Čingov and Smižianska Maša. Another beautiful circular route takes you from Hrabušice along the blue trail through Podlesok, Suchá Belá, Stratená, and the Kopanec saddle back to Hrabušice.

These are just a few inspirations for locations where you can enjoy great moments on two wheels. Slovakia is a paradise for cyclists, so don't hesitate to explore all the possibilities it offers.


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