Hiking times: Modra – Štúrova lavička ¾ h. – Pod Peprovcom ½ h. – Veľká homoľa 1 ¼ h. – Traja jazdci ¼ h. – Nad hvezdárňou ½ h. – Zámčisko ½ h. – Harmónia ½ h. – Modra ¾ h.
Total: 5 h.
Total climb: 549 m
Map: Small Carpathians – Bratislava, scale of 1:50,000 (sheet 127), VKÚ, a. s., Harmanec.
Difficulty: This moderately-difficult half-day hike features a larger elevation changes and difficult navigation, in particular at forest road crossings. Descents are long but relatively easy. Less experienced hikers should exercise caution in particular when traversing the Traja jazdci rock formation.
Basic route: This hike can be dedicated to the memory of Ľudovít Štúr who spent the last years of his life in the area. The trail begins at the cemetery at the lower edge of the city of Modra (160 m), where this major Slovak author, linguist, poet and codifier of written Slovak language is buried. The start of the hike follows the Ľudovít Štúr trail marked with the blue hiking blazes (2428). From the cemetery take Dolna ulica to the city centre (178 m) and turn onto the first street to the left after the sculpture of Ľudovít Štúr (Moyzesova ulica). For a short distance the trail follows both the blue blazes and the green hiking blazes (5104). Again, turn to the left at the bastion section of the city battlements turn to the right onto Kukučínova ulica. Across from the school the trail reaches the cinema and then only the blue blazes continue along Kalinčiakova ulica to the end of the city. This street transitions into a field road that heads off into the vineyards. Cross the brook and then along the stone steps that follow the same brook and up to a forest trail that leads to the memorial known as the Štúrova lavička (Štúr bench) (230 m). This is a symbolic bench made from stone at a place that Ľudovít Štúr often spent his free time when he was active in Modra. The field road continues along into a small forested valley at the eastern slope of Veľká homoľa. Ascend the trail along the brook and then turn to the right at the closest crossing. Once again cross the brook, ascending steeply up to the right until reaching the Pod Peprovcom crossing (355 m) after a sweeping left-handed curve. Here the trail crosses a green-blazed trail and continues along the blue-blazed route. The trail ascends steeply and then in a more moderate manner around Malá homoľa peak (638 m), while the silhouette of the tower on Veľká homoľa provides a good reference point for navigation. The trail nearly copies the contour line in the final stage of the ascent from the Pod Veľkou homoľou crossing (670 m). From the crossing to the meadow at the summit it is only a few metres along the red-blazed (0703), green-blazed (5102) and blue-blazed trail. At the summit of Veľká homoľa (709 m, Variant I) climb the 115 steps to the top of the observation tower stretching to a height of 729 m. Return down from the summit along the red blazes that lead in a westerly direction to the noteworthy Traja jazdci rock formation (687 m). The ascent up the quartzite bluff is only recommended for the most experienced hikers and only in the best weather conditions. The next section of the hike returns to the summit of Veľká homoľa and continues on the red-blazed trail down through the forest to the Nad hvezdárňou crossing (580 m, Variant II). Here the red-blazed trail crosses with a yellow-blazed trail (8106). Turn onto the yellow-blazed trail to the right and take the forest trail through spot elevation of 554 m while crossing a number of other forest trails. Lower down the yellow-blazed trail is joined to the left by a blue-blazed trail (2407) from Zochova chata. Take the combined trail to the archaeological site at Zámčisko (468 m). Visible evidence of defensive embankments and dugouts are likely evidence that a fortified hill fort was located here, most probably around 700 B.C. From the rock bluff take in the views of Modra, Pezinok and a large section of the Danube hill country. Lower on the trail joins a paved road that leads into the valley of the Žliabky Brook. The trail continues following the blue blazes along a twisting brook that is forded over stone crossings on numerous occasions. The trail head is located on a panel-type road that leads to another paved road. Continue around the Harmónia-Badogy directional marker (280 m) to the middle of the Harmónia recreational hamlet (265 m) and the former warden's house and the tourist information centre. Harmónia offers a wide range of refreshment options after which the trail continues to descend through the vineyards along a field road marked with red blazes (0703). Near the former Fialov mlyn, the trail meets up with a busy road that heads back into the centre of Modra (178 m). If time remains after the hike, take a visit to the Ľudovít Štúr museum on Dolná Ulica or sit and enjoy a glass of Modra's fine wines from one of the local wine taverns.
Variant I: The red-blazed trail from Veľká homoľa to Modra is another option and is also the Dr. J. Ľ. Holuby Trail. This trail descends from the Traja jazdci rock formation to the Pod Širokým warden's house. From there the trail continues along yellow blazes and then green blazes from the Pod Srnčím vrchom crossing back to the centre of Modra (total: 4 ½ h.).
Variant II: From Nad hvezdárňou the trail can be extended in search of refreshments by following the red-blazed trail to Zochova chata. This hike ends at Zochova chata (total: 3 ¼ h.) or at the SAD bus stop in Harmónia (total: 4 ¼ h.).