Slovakia is a young country formed by the breakup of Czechoslovakia. It is small in size but big on attractions. Hiking here can take you through wilderness areas filled with dense forests, craggy mountains, ravines and dramatic, abandoned fortresses. Breathtaking waterfalls plummet down the sides of gorges and imposing mountains invite exploration. Book a hotel in Bratislava; the old town’s winding streets will have you enjoyably lost in no time and the medieval towns of the east boast romantic castle after romantic castle.
Bratislava - The capital city of Slovakia has a beautifully restored centre that is surrounded by historic Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture that includes churches, grand houses, ornate palaces and grand hotels. Wander the cobblestone streets or just sit by the fountains to take in the lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Western Slovakia - The Danube and other rivers have formed scenic valleys throughout the west of the country that offer romantic walks, tranquil picnic spots and relaxing hotels.
Central Slovakia - Abandoned medieval mines make the centre of the country a fascinating area to explore in historic towns such as Banská Bystrica and Banská Štiavnica, but its main attractions are the many National Parks. At High Tatras, the biggest National Park in Slovakia, there are wonderful hikes and it is a centre for winter sports. You can explore the caves at the UNESCO-listed Slovak Karst and walk through the landscape of waterfalls, ravines and canyons at Slovenský Raj.
Eastern Slovakia - the majestic mountains and fairytale castles dominate the east. Košice is a great historic city but, in terms of prettiness alone, Trenčín trumps it with its castle and river views. A number of spa towns, including Bardejov, are the places to soak any aching muscles from all that hiking. Wherever you book your hotel, you’re sure to love Eastern Slovakia.
The fairy tale castles and fortifications that can be found all over Slovakia add to its natural beauty by adding a sense of magic. Make a trip to UNESCO-listed Spiš Castle, which is one of the biggest in Europe, and also include Bojnice on your itinerary for its beautifully preserved interiors. The old towns of Slovakia are incredibly atmospheric and the best examples can be found in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica.
Winter sports enthusiasts should head for High Tatras and hikers are spoilt for choice with the ravines, rivers, limestone cliffs and mountains that the country boasts. For a spot of relaxing the famous spa towns of Piešťany, Rajecké Teplice and Bardejov are hard to beat but for a more cosmopolitan chill out the restaurants and cafes of Bratislava’s historic centre could not be more convivial.