Slovakia

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Overview

Visitors are only just realising the beauty Slovakia has to offer with its nine national parks, beautiful mountainous landscapes, unique safari oppotunities to see lynx, wolf and bear as well as its medieval architecture and fascinating history. This landlocked country has the highest number of castles and chateaux per capita in the world, ranging from complete ruins to habitable, functional homes. There are also many Baroque and Gothic cities to explore, including the capital, Bratislava.

For outdoor lovers, Slovakia offers plenty of hiking and biking trails in the summer months and skiing opitions in the winter months. As this country is relatively small, it's easy to do a lot of sightseeing in a short timeframe, making this a great tourist destination. It's landscape is mostly mountainous , it's home to the tallest part of the Carpathian Mountain Range, the High Tatras, and much of the country is designated as national parks. 

The Tatra National Park, situated in north central Slovakia, is the most loved and best-known national park, featuring towering peaks. This park is perfect for skiing and mountain climbing, and is easily accessible from anywhere in the country. In these parts, expect to see Tatra chamois and the Tatra marmot, as well as red deer, roe deer and foxes. There are also numerous types of grouse to be spotted, as well as the Golden Eagle. At the right time of year (spring and autumn), you may even be lucky enough to see a brown bear as it makes its way down the mountain in search of berries and grass.

Slovak Paradise National Park is home to dense forests, tumbling waterfalls and sheer cliffs and gorges. The park features 300km of marked trails and is a true hiker and walker’s paradise.  Many of the passages of the hiking trails can only be passed through by climbing ladders, which lend a unique, exciting aspect to this region. The most well-known attraction in this national park is the Dobšinská Ice Cave, a fascinating formation made purely out of ice. This cave is among the most richly decorated natural caves in the world. As the area is covered mainly in thick forests, it has become home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the brown bear, the wolf and the lynx.

The Pieniny National Park encompasses a small mountain range that stretches along the border of Poland. It features the picturesque Dunajec river, which offers gentle, leisurely rafting trips. This winding river is surrounded by numerous breath-taking limestone slopes, and is home to rich vegetation. Around every corner of this river expect to be amazed by yet another incredible view. This park is rich in a wide variety of rare species of plants and animals, including 766 species of butterflies alone. Expect to bump into a lynx on the forest pathways or spot an otter hunting in the waters of the Dunajec river.

 

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Quick Facts - Slovakia

Travel Seasons

  • Mar - Jun - Spring, a great time to visit. Cooler weather ranging between 9°C and 17°C, just be wary of the temperature fluctuations.
  • Jun - Aug - Summer, generally warm, temperatures can reach 40°C. There can be showers or thunderstorms caused by the summer monsoon called Medardova kvapka. The hiking trails are open, cultural festivals are going on around the country.
  • Sep - Oct - Autumn, fewer crowds and milder weather for walking. This is the wettest and windiest time of year. Temperatues drop from an average of 14°C in September to 3 C in November. An Indian Summer occurs in late September and early October.
  • Dec–Feb - Winter, temperatures drop down to -10°C, with snow falling in December and January. It's the ski season with skiers heading to Poprad and High Tatras.


General Information

  • Currency - Euro
  • Languages - Slovak, Czech, English, Hungarian, German
  • Size - 49,035 km2
  • Population - 5,435,343 (2016 estimate)


Health and Safety

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more.



  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Slovakia: hepatitis A. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.


Tourist Information

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Wonderful wilderness areas, nine national parks
  • It's small size makes it easy to travel around 
  • Great birding
  • Fascinating history
  • Fantastic hiking during the warmer months

Cons

  • Not the best known safari desination
  • Few large land mammals
  • Accommodation in national parks is limited

Travel Info

Arriving in Slovakia

  • Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Agreement. European travellers can enter by car, train, bicycle or on foot
  • The main way to get to Slovakia for most travellers is by air into M.R. Stefanik Airport, Bratislava, which is very well connected 

Getting Around

  • Slovakia is a small European country that is easy to navigate around. There are 700 kms of highways where you are required to pay the toll
  • Travelling by car is one of the best options as it gives you the freedom to explore off the beaten track. If you take your time you will discover beautiful countryside and charming villages. The best routes are in mountainous central and northern Slovakia

Visas

 

 

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