Presov Travel Guide, Slovakia
Presov Autonomous region, Slovakia
The Presov autonomous region is a unique place as it perfectly combines history with nature and a lot of tourist attractions. If you have not visited Slovakia before and plan to visit it, Presov region is a must-see spot.
Presov autonomous region is situated in the northern part of East Slovakia, above Kosice, where it shares a border with Poland and it stretches eastward as far as the Ukrainian border. The region’s administrative centre is Presov, the third largest city in Slovakia is a town overwhelmed with historical monuments.
How you get there
If you fly to Kosice or Poprad, you can get in the Presov region area by bus or by car, from Kosice to Presov on the motorway. If you prefer the train, Presov is a well know rail crossing for many international lines.
There are some ancient buildings, such as the 14th century old Gothic Church of St. Nicholas, the Greek Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist or the Rakoczi‘s palace, which are landmarks of the civilizations that inhabited this wonderful area.
Not only Presov but all the towns in the Presov autonomous region have made history as the several valuable monuments show. The Early Gothic Church of St. Egidius in Poprad is the home many precious paintings dating from the 13th century. In the town of Kezmarok, which is over 700 years old, you are dazzled by the town castle with its massive fortifications a building which today hosts the town history museum. Also, the ancient town of Bardejov, with its triple-nave basilica and its 23 bastions, of which eleven are still standing today, is a real 'Mecca' for all history lovers.
History is not everything in the Presov region. Nature-lovers are at home here. Tatra National Park, the largest of Slovakia’s national parks lies in Presov region. It contains magnificent mountains, half of its territory being covered with coniferous trees, untouchable countryside a wealth of flora, clean air and glacier lakes.The Tatra Mountains, with its highest summit (Gerlachovsky 2654m) and its deep caves such as Beliaska jaskina, fresh water rivers paradise like waterfalls are a must-visit place in the summertime for the lovers of nature. The greatest tourist attraction here is a trip down a 9-km stretch of the Dunajec canyon between Cerveny Klastor and Lesnica on traditional Goral wooden rafts. After the trip you can listen to Goral music and enjoy Goral goulash. But not only in the summer is this area attractive. There are many winter resorts in the Tatra mountains with fast slopes and nice cross-country tracks so the ski and snowmobile lovers can enjoy their hobbies to the full. The largest resorts are Strbske Pleso (the location of the 1980 World championships of Nordic skiing), Smokovce and Tatranska Lomnica. Ski mountaineers can make tours in the Ttra National Park along 15 masked trails of varying difficulty.
The region has an abundance of mineral and thermal springs, near which health resorts were established in past centuries.The oldest in Slovakia is the spa Bardejovske Kupele, which was even visited by the Russian tsar Alexander I. and by the Empress Consort Elisabeth (Sisi) of Habsburg. In addition to spa treatment it also offers relaxation and rehabilitation stays, weekends supplemented by spa treatment. Another important attraction is the Aquacity Poprad, a water park built below the High Tatras. The indoor and outdoor pools are filled with thermal water rich in minerals, cooled at temp of 28-38 C. Tobbogan slides, water mushrooms, pearl bubble baths and a wonderful ‘snow cave’ provide the visitors with all they need to relax and enjoy themselves. Last but not least, the region has a number of hunting reserves where fishermen and amateur hunters can try their luck around Poprad and on the river Ondava.
The gastronomic specialities in the region include bryndza - a soft sheep’s cheese - and Spis frankfurters. The famous local alcoholic drink is ‘spisska borovicka’, a brandy made with juniper berries and, of course, Saris pills beer.
As the accommodation is concerned, hotel rated vary from 30 euro per single room (3 stars) to 80 euros (4 stars) but if you are not pretentious you may find many pensions at a much cheaper price. Enjoy history, nature and have fun in the Presov area, Slovakia!
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