One of the best attractions in the Slovak Karst National Park is the romantic Zadielska gorge (Zádielska tiesňava). Due to its size, the gorge is even called the Slovak Grand Canyon, where you will find an educational trail with the same name.

The 3 km long valley is surrounded by 250 m high rock walls. The loop trail is comfortable and not difficult to finish. You can even go with children. Calculate 4 hours (9.2 km) for the program.

You follow the comfortable, educational trail path between the gorge walls and the charmingly roaring forest stream. Later climb the idyllic karst plateau of the Zádielska Plateau, from where there is a dazzling view of the wild rock realm of the gorge.

The valley and its entire area are protected. The protected area is about 214 hectares.

Quick Details

Zádielska gorge Details
Country Slovakia
Location Slovak Karst National Park
Address 049 42 Bôrka-Zádiel, Slovakia
Distance from Bratislava 4 hours / 360 km
Closest big city Kosice (43 km)
Season Jan-Dec, every day 0-24
Admissions EUR 0 (free)
Duration 3-4 hours
Not far from here, you will also find the Haj Waterfalls.

Where is the Zadielska Valley?

Address, parking, map, distance, access, entrance

The Zadielska gorge is located in southern Slovakia. Walking through the gorge, your journey ends on the Zadiel Plateau. The valley is located at the end of the village of Zadiel. It is only 38 km from Košice. The population density of the village is 48 people/km².

  • Distance from Bratislava: 4 hours / 360 km
  • Distance from Košice: 0.5 hours / 43 km
  • Address: Nádučný chodník Zádielska tiesňava, Zádiel 16, 044 02 Zádiel, Slovakia
Zadielska gorge map

The gorge is not far from the Hungarian Aggtelek National Park. This part of Slovakia is also one of the most popular hiking destinations among Hungarian families.

Parking

Parking is possible at the end of the village of Zádiel. Parking is free, but have cash with you in case this changes in the future. The gorge is about 300 meters from the car park.

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On the map, you find the gorge Zádielska tiesňava in Slovak.

Formation

The valley was formed by a river and is still shaped to this day. The stream, which once moved a huge mass of water, first formed deep cavities, grooves and caves. Later they have torn apart and the river continued to shape it until it took on the shape of a valley and gorge.

Zadielska gorge

Hiking trail and map

The gorge valley became protected in 1986, and the educational trail was established in 1977. Your tour leads along this 9 km long loop trail.

Zadiel gorge route Details
Type Loop trail
Length 9,2 km
Level diff. 420 m
Duration 4 hours
Starting point/endpoint Zadiel car park
Difficulty Easy
Number of sections 7 section
Highest point 670 m, Na skale
Family-friendly? Yes
Dog-friendly? Yes

The 9.2 km study trail consists of 7 sections, so you must stop seven times if you want to read the information signs. At each point, you can learn more about the area's wildlife (especially the flora), the formation of the gorge and the rock formations in the valley.

You will start our journey at the car park, on an asphalt road. From here, you will change route into the gorge.

  • Length of the gorge: 3 km
  • Return on the plateau: 6.2 km
As you move forward, the strait will narrow. Halfway down the road (roughly halfway through the gorge) is the narrowest point, only 10 meters wide.

The road in the strait and beyond on the plateau is not technical. You will go uphill in the gorge, with some slightly steep ascents.

At the end of the gorge, you reach the northern endpoint. Here the road continues to the right, still up for the time being. You will soon reach the path along the gorge that will take you to the plateau. From here you can take fabulous pictures of the gorge.

Looking down from the plateau, you will have an unparalleled experience and view of the gorge. Of course, this will only happen if you have clear weather.

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Good to know: Don’t expect good visibility when walking in the gorge in rainy weather. Almost nothing can be seen from the plateau into the gorge. In case of bad weather, the cottage may not be open either.

The endpoint of the tour is a rather intense descent. If you brought a hiking stick, you should use it here. The hiking trail ends in the village. From here, the parking lot is a few hundred meters.

Zadielska gorge, Slovakia

Zadielska Chata tourist house

Leaving the gorge, you may decide not to turn to the right. If you continue straight ahead, you will reach Zadielska tourist house. Here you can eat, drink, and use the toilet. The length of the detour back and forth is less than 1 km.

The tourist house is located in the middle of the road, not far from the end of the gorge, at the northern point of the trail.

  • Website
  • Opening hours: every day from 10:00 to 17:00 (may vary in summer)

Rock climbing

Devil's wall

Don’t be surprised if you meet rock climbers in the gorge. There is a pretty good chance of this at two points:

  • One is the wall called Sugar Bottle, which is 110 meters away
  • The other is called the Devil’s Wall

Zádiel

The village of Zádiel belongs to the Košice Region. Its name comes from the old Hungarian words "szád" (mouth) and "elő" (front). The name suggests that the village is located at the entrance to the gorge valley.