Ideally located ruin of “the mysterious castle in the Carpathian Mountains” was made famous particullary because of its last resident, chatelaine Elizabeth Bathory.
Today the picturesque ruin offers a nice panoramic view, great for photographing and a nice walk (from Čachtice along the yellow-marked hiking path or from Višňové along yellow or green).
Most people think of Cachtice (pronounced CHAHK-tee-tseh) in connection with its Dracula-like 16th-century countess. Her gruesome story of slaughtering servants one by one is part legend but in part substantiated by historical documents. This castle once formed part of the Hungarian kingdom’s anti-Turk defenses in the late middle ages. In 1708, it was seized and torched by anti-royalist rebels, left to decay into the ruins we find today.
The castle is located not far from the western Slovak town of Nove Mesto nad Vahom (with good car and train connections to most of Slovakia). By train, change to a local connection to the village of Visnove, then hike up a very steep trail to the ruin. If you’re traveling by car, an alternative approach is a more gradual walk of 3 km from the town of Cachtice.
Visit the Cachtice Museum with a historical section devoted to the castle and mediaeval townlet.