As I landed in Slovakia last February with the help of Daytrip, not only did we stop by the wondrous Orava Castle but we also stopped by a picturesque settlement in the country that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993: Vlkolinec!
Some fun facts about this village…
- Vlkolinec is one of the 7 Slovak villages with folk architecture that have been granted a UNESCO status. The name somewhat means: “Wolf’s Place” but among all the other Slovak villages, Vlkolinec is the only inhabited one that is untouched by modern development.
- Time “stands still” here given how they still preserve their crafts, houses, lifestyles, and traditions. So in other words, Vlkolinec is a medieval wooden settlement that remains to be untouched and intact as it depicts traditional features of a village in central Europe — and clearly, UNESCO highly revered that.
- It is located in the town of Ružomberok (northern Slovakia) and it is a perfect example of the countryside architecture in this region.
- Currently, Vlkolinec consists of 55 log houses of which 19 residents live in 6 of them (a typical log house would have 2 or 3 rooms). The rest of the structures are mostly vacation houses by citizens from all over Slovakia.
- You will see here several preserved buildings from the 18th century: the Virgin Mary’s Visitation Church, a wooden belfry, a rustic well, the Padre Horsky Gallery (has historical photographs), and the ‘Peasant House’ (which exhibits original living).
- I visited here during winter but it’s great to visit during summer too! If you do, come over by the end of July to witness “Sunday in Vlkolinec” — a cultural event where cultural performances are done.
Vlkolinec in Winter
Vlkolinec Travel Guide
» How to get to Vlkolinec?
By car. Vlkolinec can actually be only reached by car. The village is small and though you can’t drive ‘through’ it, you can easily walk around due to its size. (Parking is situated at the entrance of the village). If you need a car, do it as I did: hire a car and a local guide with Daytrip! Come read the article below to find out how it works.
» READ: On the Road: Discover Europe’s Hidden Gems with Daytrip!
By bus. There are several buses that can lead you to Ruzemberok (where Vlkolinec is in). Check out Rome2Rio for more detailed information on this.
» Any fees for entering Vlkolinec?
Parking. 1 EUR for 1 hour.
Tourist Guides. (For local guides) 5 EUR for 1 hour / (For professional guides in certain languages: made to order) 10 EUR for 1 hour.
On Exhibitions. 2 EUR for adults and 1 EUR for children and disabled persons.
Opening times and hours for offices and shops. See this page.
» Helpful Slovak phrases
- Hello: Dobrý deň. (DOH-bree deñ)
- Thank you: Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm)
- Yes: Áno (AAH-noh) or Hej (HAY) [informal]
- No: Nie (NYEE_eh)
- Goodbye: Do videnia (doh VEE-deh-nyah)
- Excuse me / I’m sorry: Prepáčte (PREH-paach-tyeh)
- Is there someone here who speaks English?: Hovorí (tu) niekto po anglicky?(HOH-voh-ree (too) nyiehk-toh poh AHN-glits-kih?)
- Help!: Pomoc! (POH-mohts!)
- Cheers!: Na zdravie! (Naz-drah-vee-ay!)
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When you’re in Slovakia or somewhere nearby, I definitely recommend making a stopover into this wonderful settlement. It’s small but it packs a lot of charm and history!
Besides, it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason — a reason that’s good enough to make you take the time to explore Vlkolinec.
Great photos! All that snow, I’m thinking Fargo with gingerbread houses! :)
Haha, that’s actually fitting :D Thanks Jayzee
Thank you for visiting my homeland and writing such beautiful blog spot about it. I was born and live in Slovakia until my 18. Now I live in Prague. It is the most beautiful city in Europe I thing. I am happy and live my dream. After some years of self-education I got my current job about year ago. It is really dreamjob for a lot of people. I am game asset creator. (3D modeling etc.)
But now for what I am writing. After about half a year of 9-5 live it sucks. It doesn’t matter if I live in Prague and have job I always want. I do not feel free. My girlfriend and I have plan to leave everything. We like to travel the world as you are. I do not know exactly how but our desire is strong and I believe we will prove it.
I found your blog yesterday :). But now you are one of my greatest inspirations to make my life even better as it is now.
Thank you. Maybe we will meet somewhere in our wonderful world.
Have a nice day
It’s such an honor to hear this from someone who comes from Slovakia — thank you! I hope I gave justice to your beautiful country ;) Anyhow, I’m happy that you shared with me your story. I believe that you guys already have the drive, and you just need to plan things out. I hope my other posts can help guide you to the right direction. All the best to the two of you! Keep in touch. :)
Looks like a really nice place. I would really like to go back to aslovakia for a visit soon :)
Oh you definitely should! I bet you will love it as I have. :D
Love these photos! The lighting and composition is great – I could easily lose myself in that landscape for hours with a camera…providing my toes don’t go numb!
I’m glad you took the time to travel to Vlkolinec- sometimes the smaller places off the beaten track give the most rewarding discoveries – thanks for sharing!
Haha true! Well as long as you wear warm and comfy, you’ll be fine ;) And yeah,I’m really glad that I got to see this place. Hope you could too sometime in the future!
Such great photographs, seems amazing Vlkolinec. Its name is bit difficult yet it is unforgettable.
True that, Angelica! I bet you’ll fall in love with this little town too.