Chočské Vrchy, the "Choc" mountains, named after their highest top
, are a 25km long stripe of woody hills, made of limestone, and dug by few gorges, from west to east:
- Teplianka Dolina
- Kalamenianka Dolina
- Sestrčska Dolina
- Prosiecka Dolina
- Kvačianska Dolina
Their geographic appartenance to the Western Tatras
divides sometimes geographers, since no notable feature separates them. We usually consider that the road 584 makes the separation, but, more significantly, the morphology is of another completely different type, made of low hills.
They are also grouped by some others together with the Veľká Fatra
, to which they connect the northern end.
But they are introduced into a distinct hiking map in the VKU slovak series.
Chočské Vrchy are a good area to hike in early spring or late autumn, when the trails of the nearby Tatras are closed (winter closure from November 1st to June 15th), or when snow covers their highest tops.
Otherwise, areas like Sivý Vrch
make a perfect goal to combine with a visit of the Chočské Vrchy.
There are many places with fine mountain architecture too: the villages of Veľké Borové, Malé Borové, Huty, the mills of Kvačianska Dolina
, the ruins of the castle Liptovský Hrad...
Many trails and small roads in this area can also be cycled.
Depending on where you come from and where you plan to base yourself in the Chočské Vrchy, you must reach Ružomberok (west), Dolný Kubín (north), or Liptovský Mikuláš (east)
Then, from Liptovský Mikuláš or Liptovský Michal (on the A1 Motorway), reach the village of Prosiek.
Those who want to base in the north side of this valley must arrive to Velké Borové, accessible from the road 584 in the direction of Zuberec, or even better, driving from Zuberec.
From Poland, cross the border at Zwardoń, Chyżne, or Rajcza/Novot.
By public transport, Prosiek, Kvačany and Velké Borové are served by bus.
Chočské Vrchy, in which this valley is located, is a national park. Hence, it is strictly forbidden to leave the marked trail.
Do not try to rockclimb cliffs made of loose limestone.
Do not wildcamp in this area, which also hosts many bears.
If you are by car, even if it is very tempting, do not try to drive frobidden tracks below the park limits, or where there is a sign showing evidently it is forbidden.
Likava castle Valaská Dubová
B&B and hostels
There are many cheap accomodations at the inhabitant in all villages surronding the Chočské Vrchy. To find such places, type in Google a place name with "Ubytovanie" ("Accomodation"), you'll get a handful of results.
More accomodations are available as you get closer to Liptovský Mikuláš, but they also get more expensive. This can be explained partly with the proximity of the thermal water resorts of Bešeňová
(which, however, I recommend you to try once, after an exhausting hike :)
On the northern side of Chočské Vrchy, accomodations might be more scarce and hard to find, but the good side of the thing is that villages there are very picturesque, with many wooden houses and nice mountain architecture. If you look for relax and loneliness, you will feel better in this area.
Camping is strictly forbidden in this parc. However there few campsites in this area:
- ATC Liptovský Trnovec
, located in Liptovský Trnovec, near Liptovský Mikuláš, on the shore of the big lake Liptovska Mara.
- In Zuberec, "ATC Oravice",
- At the entrance of the valley Račková Dolina, in Pribylina
An excellent online map of Chočské Vrchy on this site
Another map is available here :
My page about this area :