Slovakia claims the esteemed title of the most mountainous country in central Europe. Situated in Europe’s heart, there are beautiful landscapes, magnificent castles, towns and the friendly locals to welcome you. Visitors are still low, compared to the well-trodden European countries, so you can truly enjoy the warm welcome, great food and friendship offered without constricting crowds.
Lush green valleys and towering peaks make this Slovakia one of Europes most picturesque countries.
Bratislava, the capital is a beautiful old town with modern cafes, nightclubs and bars where tankards are clanked in many toasts. Venture out from here and discover walking trails into the High Tatras with its forests and peaks reaching over 2000 metres. Lakes frozen in winter provide a mirror image to the surrounding spectacular landscapes.
It is a country with incredible diversity, and while land-locked, it has Liptov, Spiš and Orava as a few examples of regions well worth exploring. Climb the ramparts of Spis Castle, the largest fortified castle in Central Europe or take a hike through the waterfalls at Slovenský raj. Sections along this walk require chains and ladders, so it is not for the faint-hearted.
Wine lovers, visit Modra in the foothills of the Little Carpathian mountain range. Cellars open their doors to sample their wares and the Modara Wine Cellars Day has become the most significant sampling of the varieties produced. One of the most famous wines from this region is Frankovka modrá, a red wine similar to pinot noir.
Banska Stiavnica is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed beautiful-medieval town, and its streets boast architectural gems, quaint coffee shops and art galleries. Or for something different you can soak in a scorching hot cave bath at Spa Sklené Teplice. Take a traditional raft ride down Dunajec River, which forms the border with Poland or explore an underground cave such as Domica, one of the largest in Slovak Karst National Park. Along with stalagmites and massive domes, it is home to the underground Styx River and resident 1,500 bats.
Skiers are not left disappointed with incredible alpine runs and once all those calories are burnt-off enjoy homemade Slovak dumplings and a local beer at the end of the day. Slovakia remains a hidden gem of Central Europe.
The best time to visit Slovakia is between May and late October. Summer is peak season. Wildflowers start to bloom in the High Tatras from June. Climbing Gerlachovský Štít, the highest peak in the Carpathians, and partying at Pohoda Festival and World Roma Festival is best in July, while winter is best for skiing and winter sports. Christmas festivities provide atmosphere and fun
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