It is the queen of valleys in the Low Tatras and it has been attracting visitors from all over the world for many decades. Demänovská Valley has much more to offer than its fellow valleys. Its beauty ranges from the top of Chopok to its underground caves, the valley unscathed by windstorms or floods. A skiing paradise in winter and an ideal place for all nature lovers in summer.
Everyone thinking about a holiday in Liptov naturally includes its pride – Demänovská Valley. Entering the valley seems like entering a fairy-tale world. Tall trees on both sides of the road hide secrets that both young and adult people want to discover.
Story of a Wild River
The artery of the valley is Demänovka, a normal stream at first sight, but only for those who do not look at it closely. Visitors can take an educational path called the Water Story, with access near the campsite or near Demänovská Ice Cave. The four-kilometre fairy-tale path is suitable for families with children who can enjoy a playground between caves. „There are several educational boards along the path so tourists can learn about the river and local fauna and flora.
There are benches to rest and a couple of interesting spots to take pictures,” summarised Katarína Šarafínová, PR Manager of OOCR Region Liptov. There is so much natural beauty that people do not know whether to look down at their feet or at the scenery. It is worthwhile to slow down and enjoy rather than hurry. Bridges and crossings with beautiful views and interesting stories are also a place to stop and enjoy. The Water Story opened last year, but the mayor of Demänovská Dolina, Ľubomíra Klepáčová, says that the attractions are abundant. “Visitors can see fern, moss, magnificent rock cliffs and the Demänovka river,” she points at the calm river. “It is very peaceful in some places, but do not get caught. It flows very rapidly in other places and it is pretty wild,” warns the mayor. Learning about various hidden gems of the valley is also very entertaining.
Both shores of Demänovka have been decorated with stone towers by land-art fans. Those more skilful can contribute and not only admire nature, but also make it more beautiful.
Land of the Dragon
Besides natural wonders, there are many legends about the river. No wonder that people from Demänovská Valley have long believed that caves were inhabited by dragons who drank this water. That is another activity for children who can help the patron of the valley, Demián the Dragon, find lost eggs. They look like big rocks so the poor dragon still has not found them.
More traces of the mythical dragon and its offspring emerge just a little higher in Jasná. Meanwhile, eggs turned into little dragons, which entertain and educate in the Dragon Park. They were inspired by one of Liptov’s legends that a dragon had lived in Demänovská Cave of Freedom, which is now an attraction for tourists from all over the world. “Demián guards the entire valley so do not be afraid, on the contrary,” says Sylvia Artzová, Marketing Director of TMR for Slovakia. “We have created a fun game in the Low Tatras.
We wanted to draw children from TVs and PCs to the nature, where they can have fun with their parents. On both sides of Chopok, there are information boards with mysteries to solve and secrets to reveal with Demián the Dragon,” she explains the game. However, it is not a park as such, but an open space that provides many opportunities for having fun in the nature without fences and limitations. Small and big explorers are not rewarded just by moments spent in the beautiful mountains, but also by a ride with modern cableways and a photo with a huge three-headed iron beast. The popular Demián guards the whole valley from the terrace of the Rotunda restaurant, 2004 meters above sea level. No worries, it does not take princesses or little children to its den. On the contrary, the dragon makes sure that every visitor to the Low Tatras returns home safely.
Fun at the Lake
If you did not have enough water, games and exercise, you should definitely see Vrbické pleso. Although dragons did not drink from or
hide in the lake, it is a tourist attraction for the whole family. The largest natural lake in the Low Tatras has glacial origin, and it has been a national natural monument for more than four decades. Its shores can now be reached by a barrier-free bridge that leads to the Mikulášská
Well, children will probably not be impressed by this information, but more and more of them come to the lake every year. The main reason is a unique playground made of acacia wood in the shape of a bird with many climbing frames of various difficulties. Natural materials and safety features make it unique in Liptov, and it fits in the environment. However, there is much more to admire at this moraine lake. While children play, adults can enjoy themselves too. “The area near the lake is ideal for short walks and observation of rich forest fauna and flora.
The dense vegetation becomes special at the end of summer, when blueberries and cranberries appear on dark-green bushes,“ says director of OOCR Region Liptov, Darina Bartková. Wandering the woods and enjoying this popular fruit is special indeed. Demänovská Valley obviously offers delicacies of all kinds, not just pleasure for the tongue. People who want to spend their day in the mountains can easily choose from the valley’s offer, and still find unknown places during the next visit. Isn’t it beautiful?
The article was published in the summer edition of the Tatra magazine HERE
Other interesting articles can be found in the summer edition of Tatry magazine HERE