Escape into a world of culture. Roam the halls of ancient castles and emerge yourself in the breathtaking landscape that is the beauty of Slovakia. This central European country is a combination of natural beauty and expert craftsmanship. Join us as we uncover the hidden travel gems embedded in this unique landscape.
Nestled among rolling hills of Slovakia is the picturesque town of Banská Štiavnica. As one of Europe’s mining centers, this city once stood as central Europe’s ‘El Dorado.’ The wealth drew in the finest architects who designed lavish homes carved into the landscape. Because of this, many of these structures have entrances to underground chambers.
The towns’ copper peaks are visible from a distance, standing in the center of a dormant volcano. Listen to the sound of a string quartet or relax and enjoy films in one of the town’s many festivals. Also, just outside of the town, old mining remnants have transformed into beautiful trails, bike paths, and skating areas.
Journey back in time to the village of Vlkolínec. This historical Slovakia treasure features traditional folk architecture, monuments and a stunning rural landscape. Travel back in time as you peer into historically preserved wooden homes, and look into the secluded past of the people who lived there. Today, twenty residents maintain a traditional lifestyle. They bring vibrancy to the village’s customs. Cultural and social events are held throughout the year, allowing visitors to participate in this traditional experience.
Stand in awe at the sight of Master Paul’s altar located in the sacral building of the Basilica Minor of St. Jacob. Or peer through the stained glass window that illuminates the ornately carved wooden masterpiece. The structure’s peaks reach astonishing heights as the tallest of its kind in the world. Every year, thousands travel to Levoča for a pilgrimage, climbing the steep terrain of Mariánska hora (Maria Hill) to reach the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.
The stone exterior of the Spiš Castle wraps around the top of a hill standing at over 634 meters above sea level. The castle was once a thriving defense structure for Spiš region and was never successfully conquered. Join in one of the many cultural events including falconry and medieval fighting practices, popular among tourists. The unique vantage point also gives a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape and sculptures the home to Spiš Castle.
Nestled just a few hundred meters below Spiš Castle is the small town of Spišské Podhradie. Once a cultural center for trade, this city features baroque and renaissance architecture with its unique houses featuring traditional arched doors. The pilgrimage chapel sits on top of a hill overlooking the town. A trip to the top reveals a view of the Spiš castle in the distance and a breathtaking view of the land below. Or, relive a fairy tale in Belair Mansion, a classic residence with a romantic touch and a waterfall.
With its lovely Gothic architecture, wooden churches and famous spa, Bardejov has been awarded the Gold Medal European prize by Unesco. The Gothic Basilica Minor of St. Egidius is known for its eleven altars as a display of some of the finest European woodcarving. Relax in the Bardejov Spa, which entertained many notable historical figures including Marie Louise of Austria and Empress Elizabeth, wife of Franz Joseph I.
Lose yourself in the natural beauty and stunning craftsmanship of Slovakia’s wooden churches. The layout of the intricate design and noteworthy figures makes it hard to believe they are constructed entirely of wood.
Explore nature’s artistry as you travel through the chambers of Slovakia’s caves. Peer into aragonite crystals and delicate coral up to 138, 000 years old at Ochtinská Aragonite Cave. This rare natural exhibition is one of only three available for viewing in the world. Sail down the interior of the Dominica with its expansive caverns. Or cool down in Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa, a rare ice cave that contains more than 110, 000 cubic meters of ice.
Escape the city and venture into the peaceful world of the Carpathian beech wild woods. Wander the woods under a canopy of green. Or, walk through a beech forest in one of the many National parks including Stužica and Havešová. Immerse in the tranquility that has protected rare plants and endangered species. Catch glimpses of the gray wolf or Eurasian Lynx in their natural habitat or join the trail with the expert tour guide. Breathe in the clean Slovakia air and relax into the natural environment.
The Sounds of Slovakia
Dance to the lively sound of the bagpipes. Traditionally used by shepherds, their airy sounds was the signal for dancing in the middle age. Travel to Terchová where string ensembles play traditional melodies. Terchová is a unique town known for its wealth of musical talent remaining rooted in its cultural heritage, and reputation for a heavenly sound. Plus, there are many festivals throughout the year where travelers can enjoy the sounds of Slovakia folk music including the National Fujara Festival.
Hi, I’m Kirstin! As a self-proclaimed travel addict and adventurer, I have slowly begun collecting memories from all over the globe. My most recent trips have had me snorkeling in Cuba and parasailing off the coast of Florida. At home, I relax by playing piano and jamming with friends.
Latest posts by Kirstin Van de Ven (see all)