Zemplínska Šírava, called Zemplínska Sĺňava in the past, is a water reservoir in Eastern Slovakia in the basin of the river Bodrog under the Vihorlatské Vrchy mountains. It is the second largest hydro dam in Slovakia (after the Liptovská Mara lake). It is a popular tourist destination with seven leisure centres.
Šírava serves recreational purposes, sailing, flood protection, irrigation of the Východoslovenská nížina lowland, and water supply for industry. It is also an important area of summer tourism in the Zemplín tourist region in Eastern Slovakia. Seven holiday resorts are located on its shores.
Šírava has very favourable climatic conditions for swimming, water sports, fishing, mountain biking and hiking in the surrounding mountains of the Vihorlatské Vrchy mountains. Holiday makers seek Šírava due to jet water skiing, yachts, or water bikes.
The average duration of sunshine on the lake amounts to 2,200 hours per year, which includes the area among the warmest ones in Slovakia. In each of these centres, accommodation and catering services of different levels are available, from three-star hotels to camping sites and rehabilitation recovery establishments.
Recreation centres: 1. Biela Hora, also known under the name of Prímestská, in the west bank near the city of Michalovce 2. Hôrka, also known as Slnečný Lúč (sunshine ray), south of the village of Vinné 3. Medvedia Hora (the Bear Mountain), near the village of Kaluža 4. Kaluža, by the village of Kaluža 5. Kamenec, by the village of Kaluža 6. Klokočov, by the village of Klokočov 7. Paľkov, between Klokočov and Kusín
Swimming pools: Kaluža, Klokočov, Sĺňava
Access: Zemplínska Šírava lies to the East of the city of Michalovce, with which it is connected by the asphalt four-lane road. The SAD coach operator provides multiple commuting connections to this recreation zone from both of the coach stations in Michalovce. One of them is right next to the train station, the second one is located about 3 km East - from the City Centre (by the Zemplín Museum). Some of the links arrive here directly from Košice (Košice, Remetské Hámre). From the opposite side, the starting place is the city of Sobrance.
Thermal Park Šírava
The Thermal Park Šírava has a well situated location. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the view of the second largest water dam in Slovakia, Zemplínska Šírava, and also the Vihorlatské Vrchy mountain ridge.
The water world consists of three main indoor pools: the wave-form swimming pool, relaxing swimming pool, and whirpool. For children under 5 years of age, the children's pool is available.
In the outdoor complex, visitors may enjoy the pride of the Thermal Park Šírava, the thermal sitting pool with geothermal water. In its vicinity, there are two outdoor swimming pools, the lounging one and the swimming pool.
The Thermal Park Šírava also offers a variety of attractions, such as a long slide, a short slide, a wild river or a rocking bay. On the first floor you will find the Wellness Centre on an area of 800 m2, where there is a steam sauna and a dry sauna, a bio sauna, an infrared sauna, and a Finnish sauna. In each of them, sauna ceremonies are run. The Wellness also includes a large plunge pool and a whirlpool bath. Visitors may enjoy a massage or just relax in the form of a walk along the dry or wet Kneipp pavement. There are two relaxation areas with sun loungers, the first one is located on the first floor of the pool hall and the second relaxation zone with a view of the Zemplínska Šírava lake is situated in the Wellness Centre.
During the summer months, visitors may make their stay more interesting by enjoying animation programmes. Directly at the pool hall, a rich offer of meals and drinks is also available to visitors.
During Mondays to Thursdays you may visit the Water World at 13:00 hrs to 21:00 hrs and during Fridays, weekends and public holidays it is open between 09:00 hrs. to 21:00 hrs.
The Wellness Centre is opened always 2 hours later, that is, during Mondays to Thursdays at 15:00 hrs and during Fridays, weekends and holidays at 11:00 hrs. Wellness services are available every day to 20:30 hrs.
Parking for visitors of the Thermal Park Šírava is free of charge.
The Thermal Park Šírava is situated not far from the coach station with the designation "Zemplínska Šírava, Medvedia Hora".
In cooperation with the nearby hotels, the Thermal Park Šírava offers the visitors relaxing packages, which also include overnight stays.
Vinné castle (Viniansky hrad)
The Castle of Vinné is a ruin of an originally Gothic castle of the 13th century. It is located near the village of Vinné in the district of Michalovce.
The castle was built on the volcanic raft at the southern spurs of the Vihorlatské vrchy mountain range at an altitude of 325.3 m a.s.l. and was declared a cultural monument in the year 1963.
The Castle and its refurbished parts, as well as a number of important discoveries in recent years made by archaeologists, attract tourists especially during the summer holidays. The castle is easily accessible from the Vinianske Jazero lake and from the holiday resorts of Zemplínska Šírava, such as Hôrka, Medvedia Hora, and Kamenec, which are full of seasonal tourists and from which marked hiking trails lead to the Castle.
Vinianske jazero Lake
It is located approximately 2 km northeast of the village of Vinné. The water area extends on 8 hectares and produces a popular tourist site with a number of lodges and swimming, sailing, hiking, and ice skating opportunities in the winter. It is accessible from the village of Vinné, which bypasses the whole lake and the hiking trails. Visitors are offered catering and accommodation services. In its vicinity, there is the starting point for a hiking route, marked by the yellow tourist mark to the popular Castle of Vinné.
The city is located in the heart of the Zemplín region and is the administrative seat of the district and the centre of the region of South-Eastern Slovakia. It is a gateway to the recreational area. The banks of the river Laborec became the seat of the first inhabitants of the area some 7,000 years ago. The strategic position of the city formed the basis for the development of traditional crafts, trade and later of the apparel manufacturing, civil construction, ceramics, machinery, electric technology, and catering industry.
Today's modern Michalovce is home to almost 40 thousand inhabitants. It became a centre of education, trade and tourism of Zemplín. In addition to secondary schools of over 40-year long history, there are four established branches of higher education establishments: a branch of the Enterprise Economy Faculty of Košice, a branch of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Mass Media Communication of Trnava, and the St. Elizabeth College of Health Care and Social Work of Bratislava.
Regular cultural and social ventures are a pleasant enhancement of the days spent in Michalovce for visitors and locals alike. Spring, summer, and winter sales markets are enhanced by a series of accompanying events. Carnival celebrations, Zemplín festivals of songs and dances, the Podvihorlatský Marathon, the Spring Award of the City in show jumping, and a variety of smaller and larger events throughout the year confirms that the city pulsates a busy pace. New, refurbished central pedestrian zone with an eye-catching landmark - the singing fountain - is the natural centre of the modern heart of the Zemplín region. The hiking routes of the picturesque Vihorlatské Vrchy mountain range, which are part of the preserved area, are also attractive.
You may conveniently park your car in the parking lot at the Mall and go direction NW across the river Laborec along the Vinianska Cesta road. You will go the first 3.5 km along a wide four-lane road. Then turn right to Biela Hora (the White Mountain).
By a large billboard at the very beginning of the area of Biela Hora, there is a map of the whole of the surrounding area and the biking routes around. You may schedule a short detour to the Vinianske Jazero lake in the cadastre of Vinné. Continue on the way to the left on the Y road. After 1 km you will join the main road along which you will continue to the village of Vinné.
Go 3 km along the main road until turning right to the Zemplínska Šírava lake. Here's a chance to stop over at one of the inns and restaurants and have a snack in the pleasant surroundings of the Zemplínska Šírava lake.
Continue along the flanking paths to Zemplínska Šírava. It offers natural bath and the Thermalpark Šírava, which is worth a visit.
The church in Klokočove is a pilgrimage site in a nice area by the water. It is worth having a stop-over, take a delightful view and read more about this site.
You'll be taken through the village of Kusín to the village of Jovsa, where at the T junction, opposite the Post Office, you may turn right to the village of Zavada.
Just behind the village of Jovsa, turn right to the dam. You will enjoy this beautiful stretch with the views of the whole Zemplínska Šírava lake and the surrounding forests. At the end of the dam, you may turn right down. The long straight road will take you up to the grocery store in the village of Lúčky.
When you come to the village of Lúčky from the dam, turn right on the main road. Through the village of Zálužie, you will go to back to Michalovce. Go over the bridge over the Laborec river. Behind the bridge keep right and continue along this road to the crossroads. Turn right here. This path will lead you to the starting point of your route.