Slovakia is one of Europe’s most picturesque destinations. Often overlooked by tourists, this magnificent little country offers abundance of high mountains, picturesque valleys, majestic castles and tiny villages rooted in folk tradition.
Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj), situated in the eastern part of the country, is one of the nine national parks in Slovakia. This natural reserve offers about 300 km of hiking trails, equipped with wooden or metal ladders, chains and bridges. It features thick forests, karstic plateaux, ravines, gorges and underground caves.
Enjoy refreshing walks through the narrow canyons, with the help of wooden bridges, high ladders and iron chains. In Sokolia Dolina Gorge you can climb up the high waterfalls. The tallest of the falls is nearly 75 meters (250 feet) high. Other highlights of the park include the trails of Suchá Belá, Prielom Hornádu and Kyseľ.
Photo: kohy, Shutterstock
Where to stay:
In Poprad we encourage you to stay at 3* Boutique Hotel Fortuna with excellent reviews and breakfast included. This 3-star hotel is situated in the historic Spišska Sobota quarter of Poprad, at the foothills of the High Tatras mountains. It offers free Wi-Fi and free parking. All of the large rooms have an en-suite bathroom and a satellite TV. Boutique Hotel Fortuna’s restaurant serves international cuisine and features a garden terrace. The Poprad-Tatry Airport is 10 km away from the Fortuna Hotel, and the D1 motorway can be reached within 2 minutes.
In Bratislava we recommend you to book 4* Hotel Baronka with very good reviews and breakfast included. Its indoor pool is accessible free of charge. Free WiFi access is provided as well. The M.R.Štefánik Airport Bratislava and the D1 Motorway can be reached within 10 minutes by car. A secured parking lot is available on site. Standard and business rooms in Hotel Barónka are air-conditioned and feature an LCD satellite TV. Regional and international cuisine is served in the restaurant. Buffet breakfast is available. Massages and a sauna offer relaxation after a day of sightseeing or doing business.
What to do:
Cruise on traditional flatboat on Dunajec from Cerveny klastor in Pieniny mountains.
Experience real and authentic Slovak folk traditions. Admire the wooden architecture, visit a sheep farm and talk to shepherds.
In the first weekend in July you can take part in Vychodna Folk Festival, the oldest and greatest folklore music and dance festival in Slovakia. You can join the dance and craft workshops, dance parties and games
Taste local cuisine based on sheep-breeding traditions, excellent local wines, amazing beer and homemade beverages like blueberry liqueur (typical for the Tatra Mountains region).
Tour around Bratislava. Walk through pathways of the Old Town or explore the Bratislava Palace, one of the main symbols of the capital. In December you can visit the Christmas Market, located at the Main Square.
To experience the best modern Slovak art, visit the Danubiana Meulensteen, located about 20 kilometres outside of Bratislava.
Slovakia offers many opportunities for hiking, walking, trekking and Nordic walking – from demanding alpine tour in the Tatra Mountains to a simple walk in the beautiful valleys and forests.
Climbing enthusiasts will find vast opportunities for bouldering in various parts of Slovakia. Rock-climbing spots for experienced climbers include Sulov Rocks and Zadielska Valley.
If you want to enjoy the breathtaking views over Slovakia’s mountainous terrain, you should take a cable car to Lomnicky Peak, the second highest peak in the High Tatras.
Wild nature of the mountains, valleys and forests make Slovakia perfect for cycling. One of the favourite cycle routes lead around the Liptovska Mara reservoir, a popular recreation centre.
In the winter season Poprad can offer an unforgettable skiing holiday. Enjoy the beautiful panorama of the High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry) with around 112 ski lifts and more than 100 km of slopes included in this area. The ski resorts reach up to 2196 m. Despite the heights, the skiing in Tatranská Lomnica and Štrbské Pleso resorts is suitable for beginners and families. Excellent snow conditions, great slalom runs, downhill runs and cross-country skiing are available here.
More experienced skiers can head to the Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry), home to Slovakia’s biggest and best ski resort, Jasná Chopok. With around 30 pistes, Jasná is smaller than many Alpine resorts, but has long runs and decent off-piste potential. As well as having a good mix of beginner and intermediate slopes, it also has some great freeride terrain. The lifts are modern, with heated seats and bubble covers.
Relax in thermal SPA after skiing in mountains. Enjoy an abundance of waterparks, like Besenova, Oravice, Vrbov, Piešťany and Aquacity in Poprad. Tatralandia in Liptovsky Mikulas, linked on the free bus from Jasná, offers a wealth of pools, rapid slides, saunas and spa rooms.
Check out the technical sights of Banská Štiavnica. The historic mining town, due to its magnificent city centre, was inscribed to the UNESCO heritage list. Climb to the 18th-century Baroque calvary site above the city.
Take a wine tasting tour in the foothills of the Little Carpathians, a fertile land perfect for producing wine. In the Red-Stone Castle (Cerveny kamen) you can explore the largest wine cellar in Central Europe.
A railway tour on an old-fashioned steam train is an unforgettable experience. The engine park in Black Hron Railway (Čiernohronská lesná železnica) consists of four steam locomotives.
Step back in time in Bardejov, a small but exceptionally well-preserved example of a fortified medieval town, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Explore the UNESCO-protected city of Levoča in the east of Slovakia. It’s home to one of the finest Old Towns in the country, with a historic walled city core, scenic narrow streets and plenty of architectural delights.
With the biggest concentration of the historical monuments in the country, Košice is one of Slovakia’s absolute highlights. In the second biggest city in Slovakia, you should pay a visit to the picturesque historic centre and admire St. Elisabeth Cathedral – the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe and the biggest church in Slovakia. Admire the grandeur of the Neo-Baroque State Theatre.
Check out the Slovakian lakes, dams and reservoirs, perfect for summer activities in a beautiful natural setting. Lay on the beach in Čunovo or Kunov or go swimming in Liptovska Mara (the Liptov Sea), Oravska priehrada (Orava Dam), Nitrianske Rudno, Duchonka, Zemplinska Sirava, Ruzin, Bukovec, Domasa, Zelena Voda (Green Water) or Slnecne jazera (Sunny Lakes).
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