Holidays to fairy-tale Slovakia

Slovakia’s situated at the heart of Central Europe. Its snowcapped Tatra Mountain peaks and castle-studded countryside present a romantic vision of times gone by. The winter skiing through pine forested slopes is simply superb whereas hot summer days around Slnečné Jazerá (Sunny Lakes) are easily accessible from the capital, Bratislava.

Hikers on holiday in Slovakia will find themselves in seventh heaven. Glacial lakes and flower-filled meadows align almost every trail, and there’s no better fuel than cheese dumplings and a glass of slivovitz (fruit brandy) to keep spirits sky high.

Once you’ve enjoyed that exceptionally clean alpine air, spa towns – such as Piestany – provide the perfect place to soak any aching limbs in mineral-enriched spring waters. You’re on holiday after all, if you can’t enjoy a good wallow after a glorious day spent outdoors, when can you?

Escape into the Tatra Mountains on holiday in Slovakia and you’ll find yourself in amongst the country’s natural highlights, in every sense. This is where tours really take off with pungent pine forests and flower-filled meadows providing the perfect places to unpack a picnic and enjoy the alpine views. Explore in summer and you’ll find mountain towns, such as Tatranská Lomnica, offering all manner of sustaining Slovak cuisine as well as cable cars up to the top of Lomnicky Stit (2,634m).

Slovakia is home to some of Europe’s finest spa towns with Piestany, in the west of the country, up there with the best of them. This is where folk come from far and wide to make the most of the mineral enriched waters stemming from the foothills of the Povazsky Inovec Mountains. It’s a really peaceful place to stay with walks along the Vah River providing just the right level of exertion for anyone looking for an excuse to have a good old soak in one of the hot springs or thermal mud pools.

Slovakia’s compact capital sits astride the river Danube surrounded by the sun-kissed slopes of the Little Carpathians. It’s an ideal setting for city breaks or for a day’s excursion as part of a central European cruise. No matter what brings you to Bratislava, the cobbled Old Town is an ideal location to head to for people watching from an alfresco café. After you’ve dusted off the crumbs from your Bratislavsky rozok (poppyseed pastry) take a walk up to the castle on the hill to soak up the views.

The flight time from the UK to Slovakia is just over two hours.

You don’t currently need a visa if you’re staying in Slovakia for less than 90 days. Please visit GOV.UK for more advice about entry requirements to Slovakia or, alternatively, visit CIBT visas for more information.

Slovakia’s climate is typical of Central Europe. Summers are usually warm and dry whereas winters can be quite cold with plenty of snow to be found the further you venture into the Carpathian Mountains. The best time to go is usually either side of July and August for fewer crowds and agreeable temperatures.

Slovakia is two hours ahead of GMT.

Slovak is the official language of Slovakia however, as it’s a landlocked country, neighbouring languages, such as Hungarian, Austrian, Polish and Russian, are also used in relevant regions. English is commonly understood by the younger generation of Slovaks as well as those working in the tourism industry.

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