THE VILLAGE OF VLKOLÍNEC IS A QUAINT 18TH-CENTURY TIME CAPSULE
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The village of Vlkolínec is an incredibly preserved 18th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the mountains, approximately thirty minutes to the west of the Jasna Ski Resort. Finding the village is an adventure within itself. The road to Vlkolínec snakes through a small modern town and then traverses through several forests and meadows before finally winding up the mountainside. First mentioned in 1376, Vlkolínec currently has 45 timber-framed houses and a heck of a lot of charm.
The interesting thing about Vlkolínec is that it is not just a show village maintained for tourists, but it remains a fully functioning village complete with inhabitants. At the center of this picture-postcard town is a very neat wooden bell tower that dates to 1770. As the village is located in an isolated region, Vlkolínec’s beautiful wooden log homes have remained unaltered. As such, the village of Vlkolínec was recognized by UNESCO in 1993.
OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE VILLAGE OF VLKOLÍNEC
After spending several days skiing, we were eager to have a cultural experience. After driving approximately 30 minutes from the Jasna Ski Resort, we spotted our first sign for the village of Vlkolínec UNESCO World Heritage Site on the outskirts of the Slovakian industrial village of Ruzomberok. Generally reliable overseas, Google Maps did us a disservice and directed us towards a snow covered country road into the mountains.
After reaching a dead-end, we retraced our steps and found a secondary road along the river that brought us to a small bridge. We crossed the bridge and continued through the small village of Ruzomberok. After considering throwing in the towel, we ultimately spotted another sign for Vlkolínec (there must only be two signs in Slovakia). We made our way up what appeared to be a logging road until we found a parking lot at the base of the town. We exited our SUV and explored the village on foot.
Time warping from the 21st century to the 18th century, we explored the UNESCO village of Vlkolínec on foot for a good three hours and took in every nook and cranny of this scenic village. There was a homespun petting zoo complete with roosters, goats (including one that had escaped) and pigs. There were lots of photo opportunities and we enjoyed our picnic lunch in view of the town at a nearby picnic table.
PRO TIPS FOR VISITING THE VILLAGE OF VLKOLÍNEC
PRO TIP 1 – VERY IMPORTANT. DO NOT GIVE UP! You will find village of Vlkolínec Remember, there is a reason why it has remain preserved for 200 years.
PRO TIP 2. It is FREE to roam around village of Vlkolínec, there is no entrance fee.
PRO TIP 3. Cell coverage is incredibly spotty so make sure you have good directions. Try downloading an offline map. Bring a bicycle or hike the road to the village. Also, there are few places to eat in the town, so consider packing a lunch.
PRO TIP 4. The village of Vlkolínec is a phenomenal place to bring a dog.
PRO TIP 5. There are multiple roads and paths to explore, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Although the inhabitants are used to visitors invading their scenic little town, they can get a bit annoyed with overzealous tourists peering into windows.
NEAR THIS PLACE
JASNA-CHOPOK SKI RESORT. A world caliber ski resort at an affordable price. Trails are well groomed and scenic. If you enjoy going off piste, then this is the place for you. The entire back half of the mountain is waiting for you. Home of the Women’s Downhill Skiing World Cup Championships.
BEST PLACES TO STAY
HOTEL ROTUNDA. This amazing hotel is the highest located in Central Europe at 2,005 meters (6578 feet) above the sea level and offers ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes as well as direct access to hiking trails in summer. Modern rooms with balconies and some of the best mountain views on the planet. Spacious terrace with panoramic views, free private parking. Accessible only by funicular. ADDRESS: Chopok, 031 01 Belá, Slovakia.
CHALETS JASNA COLLECTION – APARTMENTS. Modern and spacious, family-friendly apartments with ski-in/ski-out access, free WiFi and a terrace and grill. Buffet or American breakfast delivered to the door. Hot tub and sauna. ADDRESS: Jasná, 031 01 Belá, Slovakia.
CHALETS JASNA COLLECTION – ZAHRADKY. Modern and spacious homes with ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes. Private garden, free private parking, FREE Wifi, and BBQ facilities. Hot tub and sauna, buffet breakfast available each morning at the resort. ADDRESS: Demänovská Dolina 69, 031 01 Belá, Slovakia.
CHALETS JASNA COLLECTION – CENTRUM. Two-bedroom apartments just meters away from the ski lifts. Spacious living room with fireplace and breakfast served to your door. Finnish sauna and hot tub. ADDRESS: Demänovská Dolina 69, 03101 Belá, Slovakia.
HOTEL GRAND JASNA. Located in the center of the ski resort, this lodging is meters away from the slopes. A modern wellness center, outdoor hot tubs, Finnish and various saunas, and an indoor pool. ADDRESS; Demanovska Dolina 71, 032 51 Belá, Slovakia.
HOTEL POSTA. Modern one and two bedroom apartments located meters from the cable car. Demanovska Dolina 72, 032 51 Belá, Slovakia.