National Parks of Slovakia and their best places to visit
Slovakia is a small Central European country but it boasts some of the most beautiful nature in all of Europe. It is protected by 9 national parks covering 3% of the whole country. They are home to wolf, brown bear, lynx, deer, golden eagle, and other animals. I prepared the list of National Parks of Slovakia along with their most popular places to visit in pictures and map!
National Parks of Slovakia
1. National Park of High Tatras – the oldest and most popular
Since 1949 the High Tatras mountains has been protected as the first national park established in Slovakia known as National Park of High Tatras. Now it is the most popular national park in Slovakia. There are lots of hiking, skiing and climbing opportunities but even several spa resorts.
The highest peak is Gerlachovský štít (2,654 m), and some of the most beautiful places in this park include Štrbské Pleso, Zelené Pleso, Popradské Pleso, Skok waterfall, Belianska cave and Lomnický štít where you can get by funicular.
Štrbské Pleso, High Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Petr Vilgus
Popradské Pleso, High Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Jerzy Opioła
Lomnický štít – funicular, High Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Petr Vilgus
Horsky Hotel Sliezsky Dom is located right in the middle of the national park and is a good starting point to several important peaks, including the highest peak in Slovakia (Gerlachovský štít – 2654 meters above sea level).
2. Slovak Paradise National Park – gorges, waterfalls and caves
Slovak Paradise National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. 90% of its area is covered with forests and is known for amazing gorges, waterfalls and boasts also one of the biggest ice caves in the world – Dobšinská Ice Cave.
There are also lots of hiking trails and ski slopes in the area and during the hot summer you can cool down in the coldest water reservoir in Slovakia – Palcmanská Maša (in Dedinky village).
Other popular places include Tomášovský výhľad, Veľký Sokol gorge, Suchá Belá gorge or Prielom Hornádu gorge. The best starting points are Podlesok, Čingov or Dedinky. Mountains here are not so high, as the highest one Ondrejisko (Borovniak) reaches only 1272 meters above sea level.
Prielom Hornádu, Slovak Paradise National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Honza Groh
Suchá Belá gorge, Slovak Paradise National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Margoz
3. Low Tatras National Park – the largest one
Low Tatras National Park is with its area of 728 square kilometers the largest national park in Slovakia. Being a home to some of the most beautiful caves in the country (Demänovská Ice Cave and Demänovská Cave of Liberty), Low Tatras became one of the most popular mountains to visit.
Its highest peak is Ďumbier (2043 m) and together with Chopok (2024 m) they are great hiking destinations offering amazing views into the surrounding countryside. The best starting points are Demänovská dolina (Jasná), Mýto pod Ďumbierom, Tále, Donovaly or Čertovica.
Demänovská Ice Cave, Low Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Michael Camilleri
Ďumbier, Low Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Jiri Brozovsky
Jasná Ski Resort, Low Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Pudelek (Marcin Szala)
4. Slovak Karst National Park – more than 1000 caves and abysses
Slovak Karst National Park is known for being a home to more than 1000 caves and abysses. They are inscribed in the UNESCO Natural Heritage List together with the caves in Hungarian Aggtelek National Park. Here you can visit Domica cave, Jasovská cave or Gombasecká Cave.
For a pleasant walk through the gorge that is up to 10 meters wide look for Zádiel village. It is here where popular Zádielská Valley begins and take you through cold gorge with 300 meters high walls on its sides. Do not miss nice Hájske waterfalls.
Domica cave, Slovak Karst National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Jojo
5. Veľká Fatra National Park – long hiking trails
Veľká Fatra National Park is the youngest of all national parks in Slovakia. It offers long hiking trails which can be quite demanding for not experienced tourists but also wild nature and beautiful views.
Among the most beautiful valleys are Gaderská, Blatnická, Ľubochnianska, Revúcka, Harmanecká or the valley of Biely potok. Ideal starting points are towns of Martin, Ružomberok, Turčianske Teplice, ski resort Donovaly, as well as Vlkolínec village, which is UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.
Veľká Fatra National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Ksenia Smirnova
Hiking trail in Veľká Fatra National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Ksenia Smirnova
6. Malá Fatra National Park – a hiking paradise
Malá Fatra National Park is a hiking paradise that can be found in the northern part of Slovakia. Šútovo waterfall, Horné Diery, Dolné Diery, Malý Rozsutec, Veľký Rozsutec and Veľký Fatranský Kriváň are some of its most beautiful places.
Village of Terchová is not only the center of the park, it is also center of folk architecture and host famous annual folk festival. Other great starting points are Vrátna and Štefanová villages.
Malá Fatra National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Radek Bařina
Šútovo waterfall, Malá Fatra National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Martin Hlauka
7. Muránska planina National Park – virgin forests
Muránska planina National Park can be found right in the middle of Slovakia. Exceptionally preserved nature with virgin forests is well hidden in the most beautiful and most valuable valleys of the national park – Hrdzavá and Martinova valleys. Cigánka cliff is the most popular place in the national park offering great views.
Other popular places include 76 meters high rock tower Tureň situated at the mouth of Hrdzavá valley and a massive stone gate below Kľak (1408,7m) – the highest peak of Muránska planina. There are numerous hiking trails with starting points in the villages Tisovec, Muráň and Červená Skala, Zavadka nad Hronom or Zbojská saddle.
Horses in Muránska planina National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Daniel Baránek
Forests of Muránska planina National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Daniel Baránek
If you like Slovak National Parks, then you will certainly like the rest of Slovakia. Check this article about the most beautiful places in Slovakia.
8. Pieniny National Park – the smallest one
Pieniny National Park is the smallest one of all national parks in Slovakia, however this does not mean it is least valuable or least popular. If you have already seen some promotional video from Slovakia then you have certainly noticed beautiful scenery around the river of Dunajec where people dressed in folk costumes sail the river on raft.
Rafting is probably the most popular attraction in this national park, however, as the rest of parks even this one offers lots of hiking opportunities. The river forms the borders between Poland and Slovakia.
Rafting Dunajec river, Pieniny National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Piotr P
Pieniny National Park, Poland-Slovakia by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
9. Poloniny National Park – darkest area
Poloniny National Park is known for being the darkest area in Slovakia as well as the least populated part of the country. If you would like to see how dark space looked like hundreds of years ago, then visiting this park is a must.
Its highest point is near mount Kremenec (1208m) which is where Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia share their borders. Here you’ll also find UNESCO primeval beech forests.
Poloniny National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Ján Sokoly
Stužica Primeval Forest, Pieniny National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Matus halas
Typical landscape of Poloniny National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Yarl
Have you already been to any of Slovak National Parks? What was your favorite place? Let us know below in the comments! 🙂