Travel to Slovakia
Day 8 Gerlachov - Demänova valley - Vlkolínec - Banská Bystrica (150 Km)
(in 65 Km) Demänova valley (National Park Low Tatras) is the most popular and beautiful of the Low Tatras. He is 15 km long and is the main tourism center on the north side of the mountains. In the upper valley highlights the ski resort number one of the nation, near the village of Jasná, at 1,200 meters altitude. In the bottom of the valley there are two limestone caves that are part of the largest continuous system of caves in Slovakia: They are the Demänovská Cave of Liberty and Demänovská Ice Cave.
Demänova valley - Demänovská ice cave
The Demänovská Ice Cave was formed in Middle Triassic dark-grey Guttenstein limestones of the Krížna Nappe, along tectonic faults by the previous ponor flow of the Demänovka River, which flowed from the Demänovská Cave of Peace. The length of measured spaces is 1,975 m with vertical distance of 57 m. The cave spaces of three developmental levels consist of oval, river modelled passages with ceiling and side channels (Black Gallery, Lake Pasage, Bear´s Passage) and domes reshaped by collapses and frost weathering (Gravel Dome, Great Dome, Kmeť´s Dome, Bel´s Dome, Halaš´ Dome, Dome of Ruins). Ice fill occurs in the lower parts of the cave, mainly in the Kmeť´s Dome. There is floor ice, ice columns, stalactites and stalagmites.
Demänova valley - Demänovská ice cave
The show path is 650 m long with vertical span of 48 m. The entrance and exit are at the same elevation, only 40 m away one from the other. The stay in cave lasts about 45 min. The temperature during summer months fluctuates between +0,4°C and +3°C. The first part of the tour leads through cave spaces with flowstone decoration and the second part is in the iced spaces of the cave. The combination of flowstone and ice decoration offers a very interesting tour for visitors, where they can learn on forming cave spaces, cave decoration and conditions for glaciation and also on the influence of ice on original calcite fill.
Traditional tour of the Demänovská Cave of Liberty (Demänovská jaskyňa slobody) is 1,150 m long with vertical span of 86 m. There are 913 steps on the path. Exclusive (long) tour is 2,150 m long and the same elevation span and 1,118 steps. The length of traditional tour is 60 min, and of the exclusive tour 100 min. Average cave temperature ranges between 6,1 and 7°C. The visit of the most interesting parts of the Demänovský Cave System, opened to public since 1933. Unique flowstone forms, underground Demänovka River, karst pools and typical river modelled passages and ceiling channels. The upper levels are with rich dripstone decoration of the walls, fissures and ceilings. The stops are at the most interesting places with vocational commentary oriented to genesis and history of the cave with description of individual parts.
To complete the visit of the valley can be visited any of the trails with panoramic views of the Tatras or climb the highest mountain in the mountain range, the Chopok (2,240 meters).
(in 34 Km) Vlkolínec: Is a typical mountain village with rustic wooden houses with stucco of pastel colors (white, blue, ocher), the roof has wooden shingles. The village of Vlkolinec represents the village most complete and most representative of genuine popular buildings in central Europe. Thanks to its location on the periphery is preserved not only the historical character of the village and the surrounding nature but also the appearance of the houses and the original layout of the rooms. Vlkolínec is one of ten Slovak towns have the status of the village to conserve. Is registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 1993.
Vlkolínec - Bell wood tower built in 1770
As protected monuments are registered 73 buildings, mostly wooden huts or houses or utilitarian buildings. The buildings are: the wooden bell tower from 1770, water well in 1860, the noble material church of the ascension of the Virgin Mary, the Museum, "the peasant´s house", and constructed sheds for hay to the outskirts of town.
(in 51 Km) Banská Bystrica: We came to this town where we spent two nights.