Slovakia is a beautiful small country situated right in geographical heart of Europe. Its neighboring countries are Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. Slovakia is about 49,000 square kilometers (19,000 sq mi) big and it has over 5 million inhabitants – mostly ethnic Slovaks. Its capital and the largest city is Bratislava. The official language here is Slovak (a member of the Slavic language family), but many people speak English. Slovakia is the part of EU and the currency is Euro.
Slovakia is mostly hilly but has beautiful lakes, wide meadows, deep woods, caves, romantic castles and so much more. To visit this country, you can fly either straight to Bratislava or to Vienna airport, then rent a car. You can stay in a hotel according to your taste, from mountain cottages to spa hotels with high quality services and delicious cuisine.
What to do in Slovakia:
1) Visit mountains – High Tatras, Low Tatras, Slovak Paradise, Carpathian mountains etc
High Tatras form a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. These mountains are of Alpine type – they form high peaks and deep lakes of glacier origin, waterfalls, it is home to some unusual animals (lynx, marmot, chemois, brown bear, wolf), you will find great ski slopes and beautiful hiking routes in Tatras. Especialy winters get very romantic in the mountains.
Hotel recommendation: Grand Hotel Kempinski, Wellness Hotel Borovica, Hotel Permon, Grand Hotel Praha, Wellness Hotel Patria.
2) Go hiking in any part of Slovakia
Hiking is a very popular activity among Slovaks. During weekends and holidays, our mountains are full of enthusiastic tourists. If you seek an adventure, spend the night in a tent or a mountain cottage. If you prefer to get pampered after you train your muscles a bit, choose a hotel with spa facilities.
Hotel recommendations: Hotel Chopok – Jasná, Hotel Tri Studničky – Demänovská dolina (Low Tatras), Hotel Partizán (Tále).
3) Explore caves
Slovakia has more than 2400 caves (!), 400 of them have been explored but only a few of them are open to public. The most famous are: Demänovská Ice Cave, Demänovská Cave of Liberty, Dobšinská Ice Cave, Belianska Cave, Ochtinská Aragonite Cave (a unique phenomenon as there are only 3 aragonite caves in the world!).
4) Get pampered in spa resorts
There are numerous spa resorts in Slovakia offering high quality services and unique cuisine. To name a few: Danubius Health Spa Resort Hotel Thermia Palace – Piešťany (Piešťany is a famous Slovakian spa town curing locomotor system), Hotel Kaskády – Sliač (central Slovakia), Hotel Permon – Hight Tatras, Hotel Tri Studničky – Demänovská Dolina (Low Tatras), Grand Hotel Kempinski – Štrbské Pleso (High Tatras), Hotel Zochova Chata (just outside Bratislava, village called Modra – famous vineyard region), Wellness Hotel Chopok – Nízke Tatry.
5) Taste our food & drinks
Slovakian national dish is Halušky – potato dumplings with bryndza (a dairy product similar to sheep cheese made only in Slovakia) and roasted bacon. Other is makové šúlance – sweet potato dumplings with poppy, sugar and melted butter. Heaven, believe me! Slovakia is also famous for producing beer and wine. Have a glass and you´ll be truly hooked!
Of course there are many more reasons: painted wooden houses in Čičmany (listed in UNESCO); folk festivals where you can see beautiful women dancing in national costumes and that is a true natural beauty which cannot be missed; enjoy one of numerous music festivals the biggest of which is Pohoda Festival in Trenčín and last but not least, Slovak people with their well known hospitality. Go to visit a random Slovak family and you will hardly move after leaving the table.
All that and so much more – that is Slovakia. A Little Big Country.