Horné Považie (Upper Váh region) is a region in Central Slovakia.
The D1 motorway and the main railway line connecting west and east Slovakia run along the Váh river and to all the major towns in this region.
Public transport timetables are available at cp.sk [dead link] or ubian.sk
The mainline (Bratislava)-Puchov-Žilina-(Košice) has a high frequency connection, with fast trains almost hourly, and local trains approximately every two hours. There are also a couple local services (Žilina-Rajec and Púchov-Horní Lideč, CZ).
Buses run to fill up the gaps in the train schedule or where the trains don't go. Beware that service to villages can be very limited on weekends. In general, the frequency is highest to the city in the early morning, and from the city in the afternoon, which is great for the commuter but less so for the citydweller wanting to go on a daytrip into the countryside. After 20:00 service can be very sporadic or nonexistent outside the cities.
Perhaps one of the best ways to explore this mountainous region is via one of the many hiking trails that criss-cross throughout the forest. The trails in this part of Slovakia are open year-round. An online interactive hiking map is available at mapy.hiking.sk.
- 1 Budatín Castle. A castle built as a guarding castle in the second half of the 13th century near the confluence of the Kysuca and the Váh, where tolls were collected. At the beginning of the 14th century the towers were fortified, and inside the fortress a new palace was built.
- 2 Bytča Castle. A castle in the centre of Bytca. It was built in the 13th century by the archbishop of Nitra. In 16th century, a manor house around the Gothic castle was built. Famous Italian architects Kilian of Milan and Pocabello supervised the construction works and repairs.
- 3 Považský hrad. A romantic ruin of medieval Gothic castle is making an essential silhouette on the right side of the river Váh, near Považská Bystrica, built on a cliff 497 m (1,631 ft) above sea level. Due to its location it was one of the most important castles guarding the valley of the river. Location of the castle is attractive also nowadays because it is set above important rail and road routes. At the peak of its fame it was home of around 400 people. It is famously known as an "eagles nest" of the important noble family of Podmaniczky, which controlled most of the region.
- 4 Strečno Castle. A symbol slovak feudalism, built in the 14th century. Leopold I ordered to destroy the castle in the 17th century, similarly to Považský hrad. It is part of Slovak national heritage.
- 1 Súľov rocks. A national nature reserve, where the rocky crags take the shape of towers, cones and needles.