Introduction to Slovakia

Slovakia is the short-break capital of Central Europe hemmed in by limelight-loving neighbours. Austria, Hungary and Poland don’t pack the punchy national parks of the Paradise region, the rough and tumble beauty of the Tatra Mountains, or the caverns and waterfalls of Sucha Bela. Outdoorsy types unite as hikers, spelunkers and adventure trailers will delight in the endless marked paths, caves and mountain peaks of Slovakia.

History doesn’t belong in museums; ruined villages and castles pepper the Slovakian countryside. The Spis Citadel alone will have you dragging your jaw on the grass as the halls, walls and hamlets of this sprawling masterpiece wow your eye sockets with screensaver views. From Roman stone to Carpathian wood, swap Gothic spires for church towers - 9 of them, to be exact. The columns are wooden, the stairs are wooden, the roofs are wooden – not metal, no iron, nor copper nails. The ultimate greenie’s Shangri-La with a spiritual bite.

Cafe hoppers will bound around the Slovakian capital of Bratislava with more zing than a first-day freshman as the hearty local meals take hold of your waistline and the nightlife oozes onto the streets. Trade a big night for a bigger day and hit the slopes of Jasna, carving it up on colour-coded ski circuits.

After you’ve melted away another serve of dumplings on the half pipe, recline, relax and enjoy nutrient-rich thermal springs. You’ll make friends in strange places; although strange will become normal pretty fast. Put down your misconceptions and explore Slovakia with a plum brandy in hand and a camera in the other. 

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