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A compact country perfect for nature lovers

Strbske pleso
Strbske pleso

The Slovak Republic may be territorially compact but if offers travellers a continents worth of possibilities from year-round outdoor pursuits in seven national parks to relaxing in ancient spa towns or wandering romantic streetscapes among fairy tale rooflines that mirror the alpine countryside.

 

 

The run down on Slovakia 

slovakia high tatras
High Tatras 

The Slovak Republic may be territorially compact but if offers travellers a continents worth of possibilities from year-round outdoor pursuits in seven national parks to relaxing in ancient spa towns or wandering romantic streetscapes among fairy tale rooflines that mirror the alpine countryside.

In the north three mighty sweeps of mountains cover two thirds of the country shielding the meadows and lowlands from the Czech and Polish borders. The Tatra Mountains are wedged between the Carpathian and Ore ranges squeezing Gerlach Peak Slovakia's highest mountain to a towering zenith of 2655m.

The country's glacial lakes or tarns are referred to as the mountain's "Blue eyes." There are about 100 lakes in the High Tatras alone; the largest, tarn Ve>ké Hincovo Pleso, covers 20 ha to a depth of 53 m. Waterfalls are another drawcard the tallest being Kmeeov Vodopád (80m) in the Nefcerka Valley.

In summer there are a host of opportunities for fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming, the best watersport areas are at Liptovská Mara, Orava, Sl'nava and Zemplínska Sírava, while the rafting hotspot is on the Dunajec River in the Pieniny national park.

A variety of golf courses can be found around the country, including Bernolakovo, near Bratislava; Ko¡sice, Tale, near Brezno-Law in the Tatras and Velka Lomnica in the High Tatras.

There are 1,200km of marked cross-country hiking/walking trails, many through the mountain regions. The Small Carpathians with their UNESCO protected 16th and 18th century wooden churches are a popular destination for walkers and sightseers.

Slovakia's ski centres are set over 30 mountain regions, the best of which are the Tatra Mountains. Other popular mountain areas include the deep canyons of the Slovensky raj range, the Malá Fatra range and the neighbouring Vrátna Dolina valley.

kremnica
Kremnica

The capital SR Bratislava spans the Danube running it's back along the Austrian border, the river connects with two other capital cities, Vienna and Budapest. Europe's longest cycling route, the Danube Cycle Trail, stretches from Passau in Germany along the Danube, through Vienna, Bratislava and on to the spa town Stúrovo. From here cyclists can take a ferry across the Danube into Hungary.

When the physical body wanes there are 23 spa towns offering curative springs, thermal spas, climatic health resorts and natural mineral waters. Highlights include the 13th century centre of Sliac and the UNESCO protected fortified town Bardejov, plus Trencianské Teplice, established in 1488 and Dudince. The spas like the opulent Thermia Palace Hotel in the world-renown thermal health resort of Piestany, specialize in treatments for rheumatic complaints and cardiovascular disorders.

The UNESCO listed town of Banská Štiavnica a medieval mining centre grew into a town replete with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares, castles and an urban centre that blends into the surrounding landscape.

Slovakia teams with evidence of early human life. Stone tools carbon dated to 270,000 BC, the Early Paleolithic Era, were found near Nov Mesto nad Vhom and the "Ganovce Man" a Neanderthal skull found in the village of Ganovce, dates back to 200,000 B.C. The six kilometre long Domnica cave is one of the biggest Neolithic deposits in Europe and was inhabited continuously for more than 800 years.

An inscription marking the northern most point of the Roman Empire dated 179 A.D can still be seen engraved in stone at Trencin Castle.

 

 

Train network in Slovakia 

slovakia train
Trains in Slovakia

The Railways of the Slovak Republic (ZSR) operate the rail network. Several daily express trains travel between Bratislava and other main cities and resorts.

The most convenient rail route to the Slovak Republic is via Prague or Vienna. The Slovak Republic's rail network provides direct trains to Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Hamburg, Krakow, Kyiv, Lviv, Moscow, St Petersburg, Vilnius and Warsaw.

 

 

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