The Prielom Hornádu is one of the most famous tourist attractions together with the Tomášovský výhľad and the Suchá Bela Gorge and it is certainly a great merit that the Slovak Paradise is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Slovakia.
This canyon-like gorge is almost 12 kilometres long and represents a stretch of the upper reaches of the Hornád River from the mouth of the Veľká Biela Voda, through the Čingov tourist centre to the village of Smižany.
The Hornád River has formed a canyon-like valley here, which separates the so-called peripheral zone from the central part of the Slovak Paradise National Park. The valley surrounding the Hornád is in some places a narrow chasm, the banks of which can reach up to 150 metres high.
For parking you can use the paid parking lots in Podlesko or Čingovo. For more detailed information, see parking lots and parking fees.
Crossing the gorge
Various wooden benches are placed along the route where visitors can stop and rest. There are also several drinking fountains, which are a welcome source of refreshment for hikers.
From the viewpoints, you will have the opportunity to visit Tomášovský výhľad, Ihrík and Sovia Skala, where you will be able to enjoy panoramic views and picturesque scenery. From this gorge, you can also go to the Kláštorská gorge, which will lead you to another well-known location - Kláštorisko, which has its unmistakable charm, but also an extensive history.
You also have to pay a visitor's fee when entering the gorge.
Hornád river rafting
In the summer tourist season it is possible to cross this gorge under favourable conditions and sufficient water by means of boats (single or double boats - kayak, canoe, inflatable boats, paddleboard), as rafting is also a very popular activity for many tourists. For more information please visit this page.
In the context of hiking across the Prielom Hornádu, we can notice a significant increase in the popularity of this activity, especially in the winter season, when many tourists perceive the surrounding nature with a completely different enthusiasm. Walking through this gorge, you will find yourself in awe of the immense power that the nature around the Prielom Hornádu exudes. You will also be struck by the fascinating play of light that penetrates through the bluish layers of precipitated ice, which in places reach truly breathtaking proportions.
The Prielom Hornádu is open to visitors all year round. In the winter season, when the ice thickness is safe enough, it is possible to walk, cross-country ski or skate on the frozen river. During this period, this natural path turns into an ice trail, opening up new possibilities for wonderful winter experiences.
There is also a nature educational trail in the Prielom Hornádu with a natural history, conservation and historical focus. The trail is open all year round and is accessible from Čingov or Podlesok. It is 22 km long and takes 7 hours to cross. The trail has 16 stops with 20 panels pointing out many natural attractions. The trail route can be divided into two separate circular routes - Hrdlo Hornádu > Trstený potok and back or Čingov > Trstený potok and back.
For a very long time, the Prielom Hornádu was not at all passable in its entirety, until 1974, when the construction of the trail was completed thanks to members of the Mountain Rescue Service. This created access to one of the most stunning and attractive hiking trails the Slovak Paradise has to offer.
Since 1964, the Prielom Hornádu has been officially declared a National Nature Reserve with an area of 290 hectares. This reserve is located in the cadastral territories of the municipalities of Letanovce, Hrabušice and Spišské Tomášovce in the district of Spišská Nová Ves in the Košice Region. The area is of high landscape and aesthetic value, with distinctive and impressive rock formations, as well as diverse flora and fauna, which provide an interesting insight into the natural wealth of the region.