Zamagurie Region

Zamagurie

Zamagurie

The beauty of this isolated region, which is cut off from other parts of Slovakia by the Magura Mountains, surprises all who visit. The Dunajec River flows through the region's central valley and forms the border between Poland and Slovakia. The Gorals, who speak a distinctive Slovak-Polish dialect, live on both sides of the river. Once, rafters floated wood down the river and all the way to the Baltic Sea. After each such difficult journey, they attached one small seashell to their hats as a symbol of a completed voyage. Today the rafters wear hats with seashells made of plastic, and transport only tourists along the Dunajec River. The 9-kilometre river voyage across the Pieniny National Park takes about two hours and is one of the main attractions of this region. Rafts from Poland and Slovakia float down the river – and sometimes rafters from both countries link their vessels together so as to chat in their common Goral dialect. There is a protected monastery compound - Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery) on the riverbank, where the monk Cyprian resided in the 18th century. Cyprian is famous for having cultivated medicinal herbs and maintained a monastery pharmacy. He also experimented with flying machines and attempted to take to the air from the nearby Tri Koruny (Three Crowns) Hill. The open-air museum in nearby Stara Lubovna, where traditional houses from the Zamagurie region are preserved, is worth a visit too.