Slovakia has a number of small ski resorts, but the best-developed are near Poprad in the High Tatras and in Jasna, which is less than an hour’s drive from the airport. Here we share some tips on how to make the most of your spontaneous trip to the mountains.
The Tatras are often, and rightly, referred to as ‘miniature Alps’. In an area of only 341 square kilometres (260 square kilometres on the Slovak side of the border with Poland), they offer everything the Alps do, except for glaciers. The High Tatras deliver 24 kilometres of well-groomed ski slopes of all difficulty levels and guarantee snow until mid-May. The pistes are perfect for beginners and more advanced skiers alike. Twenty modern cable cars and ski lifts take you high up into the clouds at the resorts of Tatranská Lomnica, Štrbské Pleso, and Starý Smokovec.
The region is also a paradise for those who love to cross-country ski. The Štrbské Pleso area offers 26.5 kilometres of trails with various levels of difficulty, so they’re ideal for beginners as well as experts. Štrbské Pleso hosted the 19th Winter Universiade and organises various professional and amateur competitions. Competitions also take place at Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and in the foothills. And, with scenic forests all around, what more could you possibly need for some peaceful and re-energising time off?
Ice skating has a long tradition in Slovakia and is still among the most popular sports in the country. Almost every town has a hockey arena, where you can try out the ice. But ice skating outdoors is much better. If the weather agrees, the picturesque rivers and lakes here turn into smooth mirrors of ice. A few years ago the social media lit up with a spectacular video of a Slovakian hiker and his friends walking on the crystal-clear ice after hiking up the High Tatras mountain range.
Peace and silence, crisp and clear mountain air, endless sunshine, snow crunching under your boots... In a place like this, with its beautiful scenery, hiking in winter is full of magic. About 20 kilometres of marked tourist trails in the alpine zone let tourists enjoy their winter holidays in the Tatras to the fullest – from simple short walks in the beautiful woods, to longer hikes through the snow. After a hike like that, it’s time to delve into Slovakian soup culture and enjoy a bowl of goulash or kapustnica (cabbage soup).
Wellness & spas
Slovakia boasts more than 1300 mineral water sources, many of them thermal, with temperatures above 20°C. These mineral and thermal sources led to the establishment of many world-renowned health and recreational spa centres. The High Tatras has amazing retreats in the countryside that combine relaxing therapies with picturesque landscapes. Hotels in the area cater to guests who wish to stay for a longer time and take advantage of complete treatments, but day visitors are also welcome to enjoy the baths, drink the waters, and relax in the lovely surroundings. So, relax, energise, and pamper yourself!
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