Hiking times: Marianka – Borinka ¾ h.– Pajštún ¾ h. – Pod Kozliskom ½ h. – Dračí hrádok 1 h. – Pod Dračím hrádkom ¼ h. – Svätý vrch ½ h. – Klčovanice 1 h. – Marianka ½ h.
Total: 5 ¼ h.
Total climb: 317 m
Difficulty: This trail is moderately difficult (with two difficult climbs to Pajštún and Svätý vrch) and is a nearly full-day hike along well-marked trails and roads. The crossings and forks require increased attention with regards to proper navigation.
Basic route: This hike starts and ends in the pilgrimage town of Marianka (220 m). Set out on the red-blazed trail (0702) from the SAD bus stop above the open space in front of the monastery site. The trail first heads off to the east and then turns onto the first side road to the left. The trail soon leads to a field road that follows the contour line along a flat hill between Rovnica and Svätý vrch. Klčovanice (338 m) crossing is located on the hill and the red-blazed trail crosses a yellow-blazed trail here. The trail drops across from Chata pod vrchom (refreshments available) into the town of Borinka (235 m, Variant I). The trail crosses through the centre of the town. Turn onto a side street from the open area in front of the church and local shops to the north. The trail continues after the road ends to a deep ravine. It continues to move higher and higher and a beautiful view down onto Borinka and the surrounding areas can be found from the meadow on the left-hand side. The road continues to a well from which it follows a steep incline through tall beech trees until it reaches the castle bluff. Enter the castle grounds of Pajštún (486 m) dating from the 13th century through its southern gate. From the 14th century the castle served as the seat for the Pajštún estate and was finally destroyed in 1810 by Napoleon's forces. Only the remains of crumbling walls remain on the limestone bluff. The castle ruins offer superb views of the Small Carpathians and the southern part of the Záhorie lowlands. In good weather even the foothills of the Austrian Alps are visible. The same gate is used to exit the castle grounds and the trail passes beneath a rock wall that is used as a training area for rock climbers and then down to the eastern base of the castle bluff. Here the trail joins a forest road that slightly rises through the forest to the rounded peak of Kozlisko (537 m). The trail continues from its highest point along the forest road to the east. At the Pod Kozliskom crossing (510 m) the trail turns to the right and follows the yellow-blazed trail (8140) that drops slightly through a cut in the forest previously used by an overhead cable way used to transport limestone to the cement plant in Stupava. The trail drops more steeply to a small pass from which it is possible to turn off the trail to the remains of a guard tower dating to the Middle Ages named Dračí hrádok (370 m). The steep descent ends at a paved road that leads from Borinka to Košarisko. Turning to the left on the road leads to the Pod Dračím hrádkom crossing (270 m) located at a sharp bend in the valley of the Stupavský Brook. Here the trail turns to the right following a blue-blazed hiking trail (2403). Cross the bridge over to the other side of the brook and follow the steep switchbacks up the forest trail toSvätý vrch crossing (405 m) located on a flat and forested hill west of Bystrické. The trail turns to the right onto a yellow-blazed trail (8103). The forest road follows along below a flat hill (445 m), which is bypassed to the south. Wooden signs mark the way to the nearby Chata pod vrchom. The trail drops steeply through the terrain. The broad forest road flattens out near a cross with an attractive shelter which is a short walk from the Klčovanice crossing (345 m) mentioned at the start of the trail. The end of the trail is the descent into Marianka (220 m).
Variant I: The hike can be shortened by choosing Borinka as the start and end points (total: 4 ½ h.). The Borinka loop can be shortened even more by turning to the right on the paved road at the Pod Dračím hrádkom crossing, which leads to the centre of Borinka after a comfortable ½ h. walk (total: 3 h.).