The village of Zuberec is small (pop. approx. 1,700) although more and more touristy as my friends, who were there a few times, noticed. But Zuberec was not crowded, rather empty when I was there. I think that the high season is in winter there when people go there for skiing (usually December - February).
Highlights of Zuberec:
- fresh air, lanscapes and relaxing, lazy atmosphere (+ Slovak beer),
- wooden architecture,
- skiing in winter,
- hiking trails around,
- nearby Museum Oravskej Dediny (Museum of Orava village in Brestova) - open-air museum of 19th Slovak village, one of the most beautiful museums of rural architecture in Europe in my friends' opinion. I... didn't visit yet (shame on me),
- nearby thermal swimming pools in Oravica.
Zuberec is located 760 m (2493 ft) above sea level in a valley between mountain ranges of:
- Skorusinske Vrhy to the west (summit Skorusina 1314 m = 4311 ft)
- western part of Tatra mountains - the highest mountains both in Slovakia and in Poland - to the east (summit Salatin 2050 m = 6726 ft).
The most amazing views were just eastwards towards majestic ridge of Rohace with partly covered by snow Osobita summit (1697 m = 5568).
We met this goat walking around Zuberec after drinking a few beers. The goat seemed to be very interested about us and satisfied about our visit, more: he even liked fragrance of Zlaty Bazant beer, I suppose. Hmm... one of us wanted... to milk a goat. Luckily he didn't try it. I was not sure whether the goat had accepted it.
We say in Poland "raz kozie smierc" which means literally: once she-goat dies or so that is : sink or swim!
Btw there were quite a lot she-goats bred by locals for milk and then home-made cheese. The goat cheese, I tasted was a little sour - not my favourite but sheep cheese called "syrove korbaciki" was delicious.
Walking around Zuberec I found thick cement wall with this - made of ceramic tiles - monumental mosaic which dipicted a woman in folklore costume. I am sure, it was made before 1990 that is before communism collapse, in Soviet communist Czechoslovakia.
Such monumental mosaics (and sculptures, statues etc.) were typical kind of art of that time - they usually showed workers, so called "heroes" that was often communist regime criminals and... men/women in folklore costumes. Thousands Czechoslovakian statues and monuments of communist "heroes" (Lenin for example) disapperaed in 90', almost only these politically neutral (not many) survived.
I especially liked amazing roofs of local wooden houses. Look at wooden shingles - thin and flat tiles fixed in rows to make the roof covering. I noticed that their design is different in various areas of Slovakia.
Most of houses both old and new ones had pitched or more steep gable roofs in Zuberec.
Why? Although they looked much better than flat roofs they must be more expensive.
Just my theory on it: Zuberec is located in mountainous area so there are heavy snow falls there at least from time to time in wintertime. Flat roofs would not endure tons of snows. People would be obliged to remove snow from their houses flat roofs which means - believe me - a lot of hard work.
I noticed that many houses in Zuberec and generally in Slovakia countryside are fenced by wooden, unpainted or painted in dark colors, fences, at least in front. A lot of the fences look very old or maybe are a little neglected. Additionally they usually don't cut grass in their frontyards or do it say once a year.
Wooden materials are less and less used to build houses (expensive) but natives still used to build at least wooden fences.
Most of wooden houses were destroyed by fire or nature (winds, snow) in Zubercec in the past. Wooden construction materials are more and more expensive nowadays, so most of the houses are built of brick or brick-like materials nowaydays.
Hmm... their designs are far from beautiful in my opinion. They are similar, somewhat too massive and simply look ugly. Luckily there are amazing mountainous landscapes around which make Zuberec quite nice place to visit and to live.
There are a few old, original, wooden houses/cottages located along main "street" of a village one by one. They are inhabited, fenced by wooden fenced and closed to the public. But I could admire them from the outside.
Typical, old wooden houses were built of wooden, thick logs fixed in different teqniques - usually by using either a kind of grass (oldest ones) or special cords (newest). Older ones had only 1 or two small windows on front and one of side walls not to waste too much heat, I think. As wood is more and more expensive and most of wooden houses were destroyed by fire or nature (winds, snow) in Zubercec the most of the houses are built of brick or brick-like materials nowaydays.