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Introducing a new series of short weekend “getaways” from the capital. All strolls and short tours planned here are suggestions of ways to enhance your weekend. In general, these will be very short and non-demanding 1-day tours. There any many things to admire not only in the capital but also in its surroundings. So if do not feel like spending a weekend in the city then come and explore with us the many cultural, natural and other attractions just beyond its borders. Some places might be new not only to tourists, but to those living in Bratislava as well. Without further ado, the first part of the “Short Bratislava Getaways!” – Dobrá Voda (Good Water) – Katarínka.



Both Dobrá Voda and Katarínka are simply places which remember ancient history. They can be admired without entrance fees, vendors persuading you to purchase cheap souvenirs and crowds of tourists. You can manage it on your own two feet, no guide needed, even if you are not in great physical shape.

Dobrá Voda (Good WKatarínkaater) is a ruin of an ancient castle hidden in the deep, dark woods which belongs to the chain of castles on the Small Carpathian mountain range. A soft howl of the gentle wind flowing through the tall windows interrupts the silence as you are taken back in time to a fantasy of past centuries. Stroll through its courtyards, bastions and make your way to the upper courtyard and bask in the majestic view of the Small Carpathians. There are multiple fire pits scattered across the grounds allowing visitors to prepare a feast during their visit or, for the brave souls, to spend the night encompassed by the castle´s night scene.

Katarínka, across the Small Carpathians, is connected to Dobrá Voda through a similar history. This formerly famous monastery complex also lays in ruins today. This, however, does not make it any less magical. If you happen to be here alone, a peaceful, almost spiritual, feeling will overcome you as you find yourself in an alternate reality in your mind. Katarínka, unlike Dobrá Voda, is placed on a lightly deforested hillside so you can fully enjoy the view and the sunshine. Adventurers can opt to stay the night to welcome the sun as it glistens over ancient history.


Hradiste-NahacIs simple and starts in the village of Hradiste pod Vrátnom accessible by bus or car. If you chose to go by car, keep in mind that the end of this tour is at the other end of the Carpathians from which you will have to return. After a quick refreshment in the pub on the main square of Hradiste, follow the blue trail through the village up a slight hill (you can find the entire route in the link below beside  icon ). The rest is easy. A couple of hills, some inclines and clicks of a camera in the deep forest (In the forestautumn here is magical) and you´re on top of Skálie, where the red trail will lead you down the long descent to the turn-off to the Dobrá Voda ruins (unless you accidently find yourself on the green trail as we did 🙂 ).

This turn-off is a continuation of the red trail which will take you up a short hill through pine woods and a craggy landscape to the mystic castle of Dobrá Voda. Enjoy the atmosphere, take some pictures, grill something, wet your tongue and then embark down to the village of Dobrá Voda following the red trail once again. Along the way you will pass enigmatic, abandoned Jewish graves on the edge of a dense pine forest and even more interesting graves in the local cemetery. If you would like to see something other than tombs and dark places, Dobrá Voda is home to the memorial house and museum of the parish of Ján Hollý (for foreigners: he is partly “responsible” The castlefor the first codification of the Slovak language). Should you find yourself thirsty for something other than tea, there is another local pub in the main square from where you can continue on your way. A combination of hills and plains will take you to Katarínka, whose contours can be seen in the distance from afar. Again, you will have time for a refreshment, to bask in the history and enjoy a moment of spiritual healing. Don´t forget to take more pictures. From herKatarínka church ruinee you will get back on the blue trail and follow the small stream to the village Naháč where you can catch a bus back to Bratislava (or other destinations).

And there you have it, a beautiful day in the deep forests of the Carpathians Mountains with a breath of history. We would love to hear about your experience if you have already undertaken this adventure (please leave us a comment below or in the form to the right). If you would like to add something, please feel free to share with us.

Thank you 🙂


Hradište pod Vrátnom  Naháč  4h 20 min  15,8 km  507m  457m  map  Katarínka  Connection finder  easy


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© Expedition Slovakia 2017



2 Responses

  1. Top 10 less known castles in Slovakia | Expedition Slovakia

    […] A Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians. Specifically the Small Carpathian mountains and situated not far from Bratislava. Getting here from the capital is not difficult. You will find yourself in a forgotten castle hidden deep in the forest. With its massive dungeons, high walls and courtyards it serves as proof that this forgotten castle was a significant fortress and for a certain period even the royal seat. protecting the mountain pass of the Small Carpathians. When you plan your trip to this castle, you can also combine it with a visit to the nearby magnificent and equally mysterious ruins of the Katarínka Monastery. […]