- Central Slovakia
The Slovak language was first codified here in 1848 in Martin. Home to three of its four major mountain ranges ( Mala Fatra, Velka Fatra and Low Tatras), virtually all cities, towns and villages are connected by an elaborate network of trails through highland pastures thick with grazing sheep, and up towering mountains offering some of the best views in the country.
At the very heart of Slovakia's mountain ranges, the old medieval German mining town of Banska Bystrica is home to the country’s grandest SNP Square and the mushroom-shaped SNP Museum, Slovakia's premier military museum with dedications to the country's unsuccessful uprising against the Nazis during the summer of 1944.
Amongst the surrounding hills are several charming towns and villages. The majestic Orava castle and a friendly, folksy tourism industry welcome visitors to the far northern reaches of the country in the Orava region.
During the summer, thousands of visitors hike Orava’s myriad mountain trails, while biking, canoeing, and swimming and sunning on Orava Dam Lake are also popular. In winter, larger ski centres can be found in Zverovka and Kubinska Hola.
Places of interest: Zilina, Orava, Cicmany , Strecno , Mala Fatra , Velka Fatra , Ruzomberok, Low Tatras, Vlkolinec, Spania dolina, Banska Bystrica, Banska Stiavnica, Zvolen, Lucenec, Kremnica.
HOW TO GET THERE
M.R. Stefanik Airport in Bratislava is located 9 kilometres northeast of the city centre. Discount flights are readily available with Ryanair.com to from London Luton, Stansted, Liverpool and a variety of European airports.
Routes from Bratislava to: Banská Bystrica (2 daily; 4hr-4hr 30min); Poprad-Tatry (6 daily; 4hr-5hr 30min); Presov (1 daily; 7hr); Kosice (6 daily; 5hr-6hr 15min)