23 June 2018

Poľana – mať stará ohromných stínov

Poľana is an inactive stratovolcano in Slovakia not discovered by tourists. I’ve never been there, so I’ve decided to do a multi-day hike there with Ivan and Roman.


We got off the bus in Strelníky right at sunset. With our headlamps on, we hiked the steep slope to the shelter Partizán nad Mincou.

Hiking towards the shelter

The shelter was empty, so we had a very luxurious stay. At 4AM, we were woken up by a dormouse climbing the walls above us. We managed to scare it off and went back to sleep.


In the beginning of our hike we had good views of the surrounding areas. Then we entered the forest and didn’t have views, but the forest was beautiful on its own.

Poľana forest

We ate lunch at the top of Strunga, with excellent views of the whole caldera. When Ivan read Andrej Sládkovič’s poem Detvan, I had goosebumps.

Poľana caldera seen from Strunga

The title of this post is the second line of the poem: Poľana – old mother of great shadows. Once the goosebumps went away, we all concluded that the poem is basically about sex, just like 90% of literature.

In the late afternoon we finally met the first hikers around the highest peak of the mountain range – Poľana at 1458 m. We slept at útuľňa Javorinka, a recently renovated shelter with awesome views.

Útuľňa Javorinka



I woke everyone up at 4:30 AM to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy. However, the Sun rose at the 55-degree bearing over Kráľova hoľa 55 kilometers away. That was an impressive coincidence.

Sunrise over Kráľová hoľa
We went to bed again for 2 more hours and then descended to Hriňová.

Old shepherd's shelter

Small farms of Hriňová, Slovak Tuscany

We ran out of water and tried to get it from the 3 different water sources, but we either couldn’t find them or they were dry. Luckily, we were saved by the helpful people in Zánemecká. From here on, we continued on the bus or train.

The end

After this trip, I only had one question in my head: Why haven't I been to Poľana sooner? It’s not too busy, has a lot of well-preserved nature and awesome tourist shelters.

Small selection of my photos is on Flickr and a bigger album on Google Photos.