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Best of Slovakia Stage 1 Žilina - Malá Fatra

The first day of your trip takes you from Žilina to Malá Fatra National Park.

In Žilina, you have two options. If you wish to explore the town, follow the pedestrian street just outside the railway station to stroll around a few streets and squares of the old town.

If you prefer to start the route directly to Mala Fatra, use a temporary underpass to the northern side of the railway station due to its reconstruction.

From here, it is not far to the underpass under the road to reach the designated cycling path along the Váh river. Continue eastwards up the stream and along the hydrodam in pleasant shadow with nice views.

In Strečno, you can either visit its magnificent castle upon the rock above the river, or an elegant monument to the French partisans with cool views above the village.

If the pedestrian bridge is still in reconstruction, use the local ferry (kompa) to cross the Váh river for 1€ fee.

It is just a few kilometres from Nezbudská Lúčka to Varín on the road with minor traffic. Cycling path continues again from Varín to Terchová. Be careful on the bridges with significant descent and sharp curves. Otherwise it is a pleasant ride with very easy ascent.

After only a kilometre on road with traffic you reach Terchova, a birthplace of the legendary Slovak hero Juraj Jánošík. There is also a museum dedicated to his life.

Continue on asphalt road along the creek to your accommodation.

After check-in, if you have enough time and energy, take a walk into the Diery gorges (2.5-3 hours). You would need to cycle around 7 kilometres from your accommodation to Štefanová village. Or you can go for the hike first and then check-in at the accommodation.

37 kilometres


+ 250 metres

Elevation gain



Click for directions

Day 1: Žilina – Malá Fatra

Pubs and restaurants

Where to eat and drink along the way?

Strečno / 13 km

There are several bistros in Strečno, where you can refresh yourself with views to the castle, or even before climbing up to it.

Stráža / 20 km

Friendly small bar for cyclists with ice cream and good non-alcoholic beer.

Terchová / 32 km

There are more options to eat/drink in Terchová, Haluškáreň is one of them to try traditional Slovak gnocchi, halušky.

Bed and Breakfast

Where will you stay for the night?

Jánošikova Valaška Hills Apartments / Terchová

Stylish traditional style guest house 2 km from Terchová town centre.

Contact information

Address: Pánska Lúka 1397, Terchová

Telephone: +421 948 949 833


What to see

Interesting locations along the route

Strečno Castle / 13 km

Magnificent castle ruins above the Váh river. Worth to climb up to visit it.

Juraj Jánošík Statue / 33 km

Dominant statue of the Slovak legend and hero from Terchová. Walk up there for the views.

Hike in Malá Fatra

After arriving to your accommodation, hike 2-3 hours to see amazing gorges Diery in Malá Fatra National Park.