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If you want to jump away for a daytrip to another country why to don’t take a boat trip to Vienna? There are several companies and ways of transport how to get there but we recommend you to take Twin City Liner - find all details, schedules and special offers.
Small Carpathian Wine Route
Those who have the chance to travel around Bratislava never regret making a trip to the small cities and villages under the hills of the Small Carpathians. You can encounter their beautiful scenery with vineyards and small towns at their foot similar to a string of pearls. Although small in size as the industrial development of the today’s capital Bratislava moved these towns to a margin of public life they are great in their silent beauty with traditions, architecture and folklore based on production of wine.
Life in that region equals wine above all. Wine made local people to cut the woods on the slopes of Small Carpathians, to plant vine, to develop trades and crafts for making and storing wine but also to drinking it in a noble manner. Wine brought well being to the Small Carpathian towns of Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur and helped them to be granted the status of privileged royal towns in the beginning of the 17th century.
Slovak wines are not known beyond the borders of the country. Slovakia produce 0.3 % of European wines and Slovaks are able to consume all wine they make. However, small amounts are exported, even to Japan. Some fifteen-twenty years ago Slovak wines were not very famous. Produced industrially in large amounts it were mainly sweet wines mixed of various sorts with high addition of beet sugar. Such wines were popular then and some remain even now, e.g. Nitrianske knieža (Knight of Nitra) or Kláštorné červené (Red from Monastery), which are served in some restaurants or pubs with low respect to wine. But it can hardly happen in facilities marked with small white boards reading Malokarpatská vínna cesta - Small Carpathian Wine Route. Wine served here is usually a quality dry sort wine grown in region of Small Carpathians, mainly Welschriesling, Riesling, Veltlin, Lemberger or St. Laurent. The best way to taste wine is to visit cellars of private vintners who started their business after the fall of Communism.
The largest cellars in Small Carpathians are to be found in village Častá. Those in the one of the most impressive Slovak castle Červený Kameň (known in past also as Bibersburg) are empty and one can only admire it and guess how much copper ore was stored here in the turn of Middle and New Ages when Fugger family owned the castle and manors around. The name Fugger is also connected with the wine cellar having the largest sitting capacity in the region. An old Fugger manor house is being reconstructed and the stone cellar is really impressive.For history lovers there is a chain of castles, ruins and historical reconstructions of old settlements from Bratislava to Smolenice (Devín, Bratislava castle, Biely Kameň in Svätý Jur, Červený Kameň, Molpír and Smolenice chateau) as well as museums in Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur. Svätý Jur itself is the best preserved town on the Small Carpathian Wine Route. Its centre was listed as Municipal Historical Memorial Preserve List in 1990.
Special autumn tips:
Famous goose feasts - In autumn, you can taste a special drink of grapes just at the beginning of fermentation called burčiak (burchyyak), known as Sturm in German-speaking countries, but not only this. Geese must fear for their lives as there is a village Slovenský Grob known for its famous goose feasts. Geese baked in a special local manner are served with thin potato pancakes called lokša (loksha), burčiak (storm) but also local quality wines. A popular phrase is that goose is served in any house in the village; nevertheless it is better to order the goose in advance in a recommended facility.
Day of Open Cellars’ Doors - A unique event in Slovakia is held in the mid November – Day of Open Cellars’ Doors - when dozens of wine cellars throughout along the entire route stretching for 40 km in the region from Bratislava to Trnava are accessible for public on Friday and Saturday afternoon. For 800 Slovak crowns a visitor receives a map, a glass, a badge entitling to entry to the cellars and a voucher for bonus and can start the trip.
Unlike most places in Slovakia, life in Piestany does not pivot on the town square or high street, although this is also attractive and well kept. Most services of interest to visitors, including several good restaurants, cluster in and around the larger hotels and health spas. These make up the largest and oldest industry of the 30,000 residents, although in recent years foreign investors have come to develop other industries as well.
Piestany attracts many who seek health-oriented spa treatment, especially those who seek high value for the cost. Guests from Eastern Europe and Arab countries have been coming for many years, but increasingly western Europeans also appreciate Piestany. This is because Piestany offers so many old-fashioned cures which Europeans have found effective for generations, at truly affordable prices.
The town itself is quiet, well-maintained, and for a city of its size has a fair variety of shopping and culture.
A museum on Piestany's ancient and modern history features several sites open to the public, including 9th century castle ruins, the history of local spa treatments, and small exhibits on folk and sacred art.
How to Get There
Most trains on the main line north from Bratislava (about an hour away) stop at Piestany’s train station, from where it is a pleasant walk or short taxi ride to the spas and hotels. It is also each to reach Piestany by car via the main E75 highway. There are many bus connections from other points.
Piestany tourist information
Independent tourist guide for Piestany and its spa hotels.
You can find details of Devin Castle in TOP 10 Sights section.
How to get there
Municipal busses in Bratislava: Bus No. 29, from the city - Novy Most bus station - 30 minutes, Bus no. 28 from Devinska Nova Ves (an outer part of the Bratislava) - 15 minutes.
Hiking & cykling
For instance from the Dubravka part of the Bratislava to Devin - approximately 2 hours.
You can make you walking route a little longer by visiting the Sandberg area close to the Devinska Nova Ves. Total 4.5 hours. The sand field of Sandberg is known as a paleontological locality. Both hiking routes offer a great view on the confluence of the Danube and the Morava rivers and on the Devin Castle. Cycling along Danube river - 8 km from the Karlova Ves, or along Morava, from Devinska Nova Ves (4.5 km). There is a special cycling route.
During summer season there is a panorama sightseeing boat trip from the Bratislava City to the Devin Castle. Tourists can take a two-way trip or a one-way trip and the ship anchors at Devin, close to the castle. There is a seasonal river link from the Austrian Hainburg to the Devin.
Cerveny Kamen Castle (Redstone Castle)The National Cultural Monument
There are only two non-ruins castles around Bratislava. The first one is the Bratislava castle that was rebuilt in the last century and the second one is the national cultural monument Cerveny Kamen Castle. Cerveny Kamen is situated in the picturesque surroundings of the Small Carpathians Mountains (Male Karpaty) and through its advantageous position and unique collections is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia. Its distance to Bratislava is 28 kilometres only.
There is a museum at the castle, which makes available records of the development of the residences of the aristocracy from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. A part of the museum is exhibition of historical arms.
Cellars of the Cerveny Kamen Castle, remnants of the Fugger family era, represent with their extensiveness, ingenious architectonic design and connection of individual halls a work of immense value, unrivalled in Slovakia. Guided tours last approximately 1.5 hours.
Within the castle complex, you can visit the ASTUR Falconry, open daily except Monday from 1.4. to 31.10. between 10.00am and 5.00pm. Exhibition of birds of prey can be seen at 11.15am, 2.15pm and 4.15pm.
A further attraction is horse and ponny riding, and carriage trips around the historical park.
How to get there
From Bratislava via the route No. 202 it is only 28 kilometres to the castle. Cities, and villages on this route are part of the Small Carpathian Wine Route: Svaty Jur, Pezinok, Modra. After Modra the castle is visible on your left. 6,5 kilometre after Modra turn on the left to Pila village. The castle dominates over the village. There is a paid parking just in front of the castle.