Visiting Slovakia by car has many advantages. One of them is the opportunity to easily reach almost any destination within hours. We were interested in visiting at least one of the many beautiful castles that can be found in this great country. Last time we went to see Spis castle. This time, after seeing Janosikove diery, Orava castle was just along the way and so we made a decision to pay a visit and go on a Orava castle Slovakia guided tour.
About the castle
The castle was built in the 13th century, when this was still the Kingdom of Hungary. Originally it was built in Romanesque and Gothic style, later reconstructed as a Renaissance and Neo-Gothic structure. The castle as we can see it today was maintained by Thurzo family, who owned the castle from the 16th century.
Today this castle is a perfect example of how beautiful medieval castles can be. It has been used as a film set for several movies, the most famous movie filmed here is Nosferatu (1922) – a film about Dracula.
How to get there
Driving to Orava is not difficult, after the hiking trip in Janosikove diery and a tasty lunch, we drove for around 40 minutes and finally reached the parking lot. Parking near the castle costs 5€ for the day. You may find souvenirs, coffee and snacks as well as toilets right next to the parking space. Castle can be seen from almost anywhere, as it is located on a high hill. In fact, it makes you wonder if you are ever going to climb all the stair to get to it.
Visiting the Orava castle Slovakia guided tour
In order to get inside the castle, you need to purchase a guided tour. We were lucky enough to be in a group of only 4 visitors that evening (last entry was at 17:00). Our guide, very informed and fun girl, took us through the castle and explained in great detail all the major facts and cool stories. The history is fascinating and the castle in general is quite well preserved, considering it burned down in the 19th century.
Our tour started at the gates and at the front yard, followed by knight premises and sleeping quarters. Finally, we reached the living space of the kings and queens. Sadly, most of the furniture and other items are not original. The duration of the tour was almost 1,5 hours.
Is Orava castle worth visiting?
I would say yes! If you are staying in the region and have a few hours to spare (e.g. your Janosikove Diery hike is only taking half a day, rather than full day), you should definitely come and check it out. The guide will explain you everything you need to know and this makes the visit so much better, than seeing it on your own. There is a lot of history in these walls! The tour goes by very quickly and you can take great photos from the upper parts of the castle.