Slovakia National Parks
Slovakia is largely covered with forests (around 40% of its territory) which contain a wide biodiversity and abundant wildlife. There are 9 national parks in Slovakia:
Tatra National Park (Region Prešov, District Poprad. GPS: N49°9’8” E20°4’52”) The highest mountain is Gerlachovský štít (2,655 m), but the symbol of the country is the mountain Kriváň. The only cave open to public in the TANAP is the Belianska jaskyňa. Among the best localities to choose for access to the TANAP is the town of Poprad and the tourist resorts of Starý Smokovec, Tatranská Lomnica and Štrbské pleso (the highest situated tourist resort). The mountain ranges of Západné Tatry – Roháče are best accessible from the tourist centre of Zuberec.
Low Tatras National Park, (Banská Bystrica Region, Brezno District,GPS: N48°55’30” E19°36’11’) is the largest Slovak National Park. It lies in Central Slovakia and its greatest attractions include numerous karstic phenomena and caves. The starting points for the visits to the Nízke Tatry Mountains are first of all the valley of Demänovská dolina in the north with its tourist centres of Jasná and Mýto pod Ďumbierom and Tále in the south or the mountain saddles of Donovaly and Čertovica.
Veľká Fatra National Park, (Zilina Region, Martin District,GPS: N48°56’21” E19°5’11”). The best starting points for hiking in the National Park are the towns of Martin, Ružomberok, Turčianske Teplice, the ski resorts of Donovaly, Malinné and the folk architecture reserve of Vlkolínec, included in the UNESCO cultural heritage.
Slovak Karst National Park, (Košice Region, Rožňava District, GPS: N48°35’50” E20°34’39”) is the largest karstic area in the middle Europe (440 square kilometres). The most interesting places are the Zádielska tiesňava gorge and Domica cave. The starting point for trips to the Slovenský kras is Rožňava.
Poloniny National Park, (Prešov Region, Snina District, GPS: N48°57’50” E22°25’7”). The name of the Park derives from the Slovak term for special and unique alpine meadows – poloniny – which spread here above the upper timberline. The main starting point for the trips to the National Park is the easternmost situated village of Slovakia, Nová Sedlica.
Malá Fatra National Park, (Žilina Region, Žilina District, GPS: N49°11’58” E19°1’11”). The waterfall Šútovský vodopád, Horné Diery and Dolné Diery and the tops like Malý Rozsutec, Veľký Rozsutec or Veľký Fatranský Kriváň are the most popular destinations for tourists. The ideal starting points for trips in the Park are the localities of Terchová, Vrátna and Štefanová.
Muránska planina National Park, (Banska Bystrica Region, Revúca District, GPS: N48°46’20” E20°1’17”). On the top of the peak, we find the fabled ruins of the Castle of Muráň. The points that offer the access for hiking are the villages of Tisovec, Muráň and Červená Skala. Attractive places for hiking also include Závadka nad Hronom and Zbojská.
Slovak Paradise National Park, (Košice Region, Spišská Nová Ves District, GPS: N48°56’25” E20°27’42”), one of the biggest ice caves in Europe and an attractive landscape of karstic plateaux, gorges, waterfalls and caves. The best points offering access to the Park are Spišská Nová Ves and the tourist centres of Čingov and Podlesok in the north and Dedinky in the south.
Pieniny National Park (Prešov Region, Stará Ľubovňa District, GPS: N49°23’14” E20°30’22”). It is recommended to climb the tallest top of the Pieniny mountains Tri koruny, lying on the Polish side of the Park. The beauty of these three sharp rocks can be also admired rafting down the river. The compound of limestone rocks, the Haligovské skaly, attracts many tourists with its numerous caves. The main access points to the Park are Červený Kláštor, Spišská Stará Ves or the town of Stará Ľubovňa