Welcome to the Upper Orava
The Upper Orava is the northest part of Slovakia. You can get here from the international road E 77 from Oravsky Podzamok, from Tvrdosin I.78 around Oravska Priehrada, through three border crossings: Novot – Ujsoly, Bobrov – Winiarczikowka, Oravska Polhora – Korbielów, or through the tourist crossings: III/88-10 Oravská Polhora – Zawoja Czatowa, III/93 Gluchačky, III/109 Piľsko. At the moment Horna Orava does not have any rail link with the outside world.
Arriving at the Upper Orava, embraced from the north by Oravske Beskydy Mountains and from the south by Oravska Magura, you can find yourself in the area that is famous mainly for Orava Reservoir. Above Oravske Beskydy Mountains is perched the queen of Beskydy, literally Old Wives' or Witches' Mountain – Babia Hora (1725 metres above sea level), together with Mala Babia Hora Mountains and Pilsko Mountain (1557 metres above sea level). In the Horna Orava valley lie 24 villages and small district town Namestovo. These villages have belonged to Orava Castle since their birth (half of the 16th century) and they were based on the Walachian authority, in order to protect the borderland and merchants. The merchants, who were ferrying goods from Poland to Hungary, were in dense forest often attacked by brigands. In the period of reformation and counter-reformation in the 17th century, the religious fights took place here and in consequence the population decreased to 1/3.
Since 1711 have all villages got back to Catholic faith and all churches have been Roman Catholic. Upper Orava is the gallery of landmarks and historic sights – in every village is a church and also there are numbers of chapels and crosses. Nearly in every village you can find skilful people who can make objects of folk art (corn husk, woodcut, woolprocessing, colouring, weaving, pottery, glass painting, smithery, etc.). From originally the most extensive areas, that were destroyed owing to great soil improvement (amelioration), can today be found only islets. From this point of view the locality ´´Veselovské hájky´´ is extraordinarily precious due to the occurrence of numerous protected species of plants (the Gentian family, edelweiss, a lady’s slipper orchid, a slipperwort, a sundew, a globeflower, a beroe and others). Very valuable are also peat bogs on the alluviums of rivers Riečka, Potok, and Rakovec. From the point of view of natural aesthetic values there is a need to mention the Veselovianky valley with picturesque natural scenery. Exceptionally naturally valuable are regrettably vanishing haylofts, which enhance the aesthetic sense of this area. Very nice, naturally worthwile walk is the road from Kozubka through Nizna Poperacka up to Benadov, and then the road from Riecka through Brestovka to Namestovo and to Klin, or up to Oravske Vesele and Rabca. An example of sensitive relation of people to natural values are reclaimed areas with the groups of trees, which have maintained after the soil improvement. They can be found across the hillside at the entrance to the Riecka valley, where are situated our recreation facilities of chalet Žofka and chalet Žofajka, in incredibly beutiful surroundings, where you are being warmly invited.