Slovakia: 10 tips for the most beautiful mountains and national parks in Slovakia

kam na hory na slovensku

Are you going to the nature? Check out our 10 tips for the most beautiful mountains and national parks in Slovakia. You will enjoy hiking and skiing here.

10 tips for the mountains and national parks in Slovakia

Slovakia is a paradise for those who love mountains. In summer and winter you will find something to do here.

Hiking trails in Slovakia are among the most beautiful. Full of beautiful views and breathtaking nature. The choice is for those who are looking for easy hiking trails and also for those who prefer challenging day hikes and ridge hikes.

In winter, you can ski or cross-country ski (or go hiking) and enjoy a white winter fairy tale with distant views.

1. High Tatras

The Tatra Mountains are the highest mountains of the Carpathian arch stretching from Moravia, through Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia. They are also the only alpine mountains in the Carpathians. The Tatra Mountains are the first choice for most people when thinking about where to go to the mountains in Slovakia.

Popradské pleso, High Tatras
Popradské pleso, High Tatras

The Tatra region is part of the Tatra National Park, the oldest and largest national park in Slovakia. It is divided into the more touristic Eastern Tatras and the much quieter Western Tatras.

Eastern Tatras

The Tatras offer everything. From easy trails suitable for strollers or with children (for example Zelené pleso) through moderately demanding hikes (Koprovský or Rysy peaks) to guided hikes (the highest mountain in Slovakia – Gerlachovský peak).

We can recommend the following routes in the Eastern Tatras:

  • Štrbské pleso – Popradské pleso – Velke Hincovo pleso – Koprovský štít (moderate route)
  • Štrbské pleso – Popradské pleso – Rysy (moderate route)
  • Tři studničky – Kriváň – Štrbské pleso (moderately demanding route)
  • Štrbské pleso – waterfall Skok (easy route)
Štrbské pleso, High Tatras
Štrbské pleso, High Tatras

The main tourist and ski resorts in the eastern part of the Tatras are Štrbské pleso, Smokovec, Tatranská Lomnica and Ždiar.

More information: you can find everything about the High Tatras including the description of individual routes in our guide to the High Tatras.

Western Tatras

And then we have the Western Tatras. Approximately 400 metres lower than its eastern sister. What they weren’t gifted in height, they chase with their beautiful ridge routes. The heart of the Western Tatras and also the most visited are the Roháče Mountains.

Roháčská plesa
Roháčská plesa

What treks can we recommend in the Western Tatras?

  • signpost Horáreň pod Bielou skalou – Biela skala – Sivý vrch (moderate route)
  • signpost Hrdovo – Velké Bystré pleso – Bystrá (moderate route)
  • signpost Pod Spálenou – Ťatliakova chata – signpost Smutná dolina – Roháčská plesa – Roháčský waterfall (easy route)
  • Zverovka hut – burnt out Ťatliak’s hut – Zábrať saddle – Rákoň – Volovec (moderate route)

The main ski resorts in the western part of the Tatras are Brezovica, Zuberec, Oravice, Spálená dolina, Podbanské, Žiar.

Tatranská magistrála

High Tatras are high mountains. Keep in mind that you can’t get everywhere all year round. A number of routes are closed from November to June – in 2024 the closure applies from 1st November to 31th May.

Tatranská magistrála is open all year round and although it does not lead over the peaks, you can enjoy the beautiful views to the fullest. Even with children you can do it in 4-5 days with overnight stays in mountain huts.

Or choose a part of it – for example, from Popradské pleso through Batizovské pleso to Sliezský dom.

Hotels High Tatras 😴

ubytování vysoké tatry
Pension Jesensky – great value for money

Cosy guesthouse in a medium price range

apartmány vysoké tatry
Apartments Hrebienok Resort – great for families

Modern apartments

Popradské pleso High Tatras

2. Protected area Horná Orava

The Horná Orava Protected Landscape Area is located in the north of Slovakia. It extends over the Orava Magura and Orava Beskydy mountains, which extend into Poland.

Horná Orava is known for its unspoilt landscape, peat bogs, clear rivers and picturesque hills where sheep graze contentedly. A popular place for relaxation is the Orava Dam, where the waves are often like the sea. With the panorama of the Tatras, it’s perfect.

Horná Orava is the rainiest and coldest region of Slovakia. At the same time, you will enjoy the peace and quiet, because with few exceptions, the trails here are empty.

Babia hora, Protected Landscape Area Upper Orava, where to go to the mountains in Slovakia
Babia hora, Protected Landscape Area Upper Orava

Things to do in the protected area of Horná Orava

The most popular hike is the ascent of Babia hora (1 725 m), located on the border with Poland (see photo above). The views from here are magnificent to the north side of the Tatras and to Poland. The route starts at the tourist cottage Slaná voda, where there is a free parking lot.

From here you will follow the yellow trail – you will have an easy climb at the beginning, then you will start to climb more steeply to the top. You can take the ridge back over Mala Babia hora on the red trail and from there continue back to Slana Voda. Allow about 3-3.5 hours for the ascent. There are no refreshment options along the way.

Pilsko is the second highest peak of the Orava Beskydy with a height of 1,557 metres. And once again you will enjoy fantastic views from here. There are several marked trails leading to the top – I recommend choosing the route from the Hliny saddle right on the border with Poland, where there is a free parking lot.

From there you will follow the ridge trail, where you will ascend gently to the top of Pilsko in about 2-2.5 hours. On the way back you can make a small detour via the Hala Miziowa mountain hut for a bite to eat and more beautiful views.

Explore the great value stay packages in Orava.

Pilsko, CHKO Orava, where to go to the mountains in Slovakia
Pilsko, Orava Protected Landscape Area

Looking for something easy? The biggest attraction in the Orava region is the statue of Jesus Rio de Klin, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Orava Dam and the Tatra Mountains. The nearest car park is less than a kilometre below the statue, from where you just walk up the hill.

Further south in the Oravská Magura mountain range you can follow the ridge route around the Minčol and Kubínská hoľa peaks. From the village of Oravský Podzámok or the Príslop saddle, where the cycling highway also leads.

The main ski resorts of the Horná Orava Protected Landscape Area are Oravská Lesná and Kubínská hoľa.

statue of Jesus Rio de Klin, Slovakia
statue of Jesus Rio de Klin, Slovakia

3. Chočské vrchy – the best mountains in Slovakia

Chočské vrchy are a small but imposing limestone mountain range located between the Mala Fatra and Tatra mountains. It is bordered to the north by the Orava region.

Although the Chočské vrchy mountains are not large, they are definitely worth a visit. This is evidenced by the fact that in the past they were considered for inclusion in the national parks (which was eventually abandoned due to the size of the Choč Hills). While wandering around the area you will enjoy karst formations, deep breakthrough valleys and thermal springs.

Velký Choč, Chočské vrchy
Velký Choč, Chočské vrchy

Things to do in Chočské vrchy

When visiting the Choč Hills you cannot miss the climb to Velký Choč (1 611 m), the highest peak in the area (see photo above). The views from here are fantastic – you can see the mountains in all directions from the Low Tatras, the Tatras to Malá Fatra.

You can reach the top from several villages in the area – Lúčky, Valaská Dubová or Vyšný Kubín. The shortest route leads from the village of Valaská Dubová (count about 2.5 hours for the ascent and an elevation gain of almost 1000 metres). There are no refreshments along the way.

Kvačianska valley, Chočské vrchy
Kvačianska valley, Chočské vrchy

Another beautiful route is the circular route through the Prosiecka and Kvačianska valleys, through canyons sandwiched between limestone mountains. Both can be beautifully walked in one day hike, which even children can manage. There are some ladders along the way, and there are some unsafe sections, but otherwise the path is easily passable. You can park in Prosiek or Kvačany, where there are paid parking lots.

Lúčanský waterfall, Chočské vrchy
Lúčanský waterfall, Chočské vrchy

Lúčanský waterfall is the largest travertine waterfall in Slovakia with its 13 m. You can find it directly in the village of Lúčky. For swimming you can go to the thermal swimming pool in Kalameny, where you can warm up thanks to the temperature of 33 degrees Celsius all year round. Admission is free, parking is paid.

Mineral springs and thermals are typical for the Choč Hills. You can go for example to the spa Lúčky or Bešeňová.

4. Low Tatras

When you say mountains in Slovakia, most people think of High Tatras. If you love hiking, however, you will definitely find something for yourself in the Low Tatras.

The Low Tatras offer beautiful ridge routes with fantastic views. You will enjoy the sight of green carpets, karst formations and ice caves.

mountains in slovakia / Low Tatras

Hiking in the Low Tatras

A good starting point for hiking is the Demänovská valley. From there you can go to Chopok and then Ďumbier (2 043 m), which is the highest peak of the Low Tatras. You can shorten your journey to Chopok by cable car. With small children, you can go to the other side of the Chopok peak, towards Dereše, where an easy mountain path leads.

Chopok, Low Tatras / where to go in Slovakia
Chopok, Low Tatras

Do not miss a visit to the Demänovská Cave of Freedom, a karst cave located in the Demänovská Valley.

With your children, you can visit a scaled-down version of the town of Donovalkovo or the fairy-tale village of Habakuky. The main ski resorts of the Low Tatras are Donovaly, Demänovská dolina (Jasná, Chopok), Mýto pod Ďumbierom, Závažná Poruba, Telgárt.

Read more: See more hiking routes in the Low Tatras.

Low Tatras / where to go in Slovakia

Accommodation Low Tatras 😴

nízké tatry ubytování
Modern apartments Liptovsky Mikulas

Garden, restaurant, private beach

apartmány nízké tatry
Cheap apartments Demänovská dolina

Cozy accommodation, breakfast, great location

5. Little Fatra

The Mala Fatra mountain range is a place full of beautiful views, rock formations, gorges and gorges, where you can enjoy both easy routes suitable for children and great mountain hikes. Malá Fatra can be found in the northwest of Slovakia near Žilina.

Don’t miss the climb to Velký Rozsutec (1 610 m), which is according to many the most beautiful peak in Slovakia (and there is huge competition).

where to go to the mountains in Slovakia / mountains in Slovakia / Mala Fatra
Velky Rozsutec, Mala Fatra

Trips and hiking in the surroundings of Malá Fatra

One of the best hikes in the area of Malá Fatra is definitely Jánošíkové diery. It is a system of gorges that flow through the Hlboky Brook. It consists of three parts – Dolné díry, Nové díry and Horné díry. Along the way, you will be treated to a beautiful spectacle of waterfalls and the opportunity to view the gorges from ladders and footbridges.

Janosik's holes where to go to the mountains in Slovakia

If you love the views, don’t miss the climb to one of the peaks. From the village of Štefanová you will climb to Velký Rozsutec (moderate route).

If you are looking for something less demanding, take the cable car from the Vrátná chalet (you can also walk) and then head from Snilovský sedlo along the red marked tourist trail – to the top of Kriváň or to the other side to the top of Chleb.

The main ski resorts of Malá Fatra are Vrátna, Martin, Rájecká Lesná, Valčianská dolina.

More information: Here is a travel guide for Mala Fatra.

Velky Rozsutec / things to do in Mala Fatra in Slovakia
Velky Rozsutec, Mala Fatra
The Little Fatra Ridge
The Little Fatra Ridge

Accommodation in Mala Fatra 😴

ubytování malá fatra
Hotel Holes

Popular 3* hotel right by Janosik’s holes

apartmány malá fatra
Apartments Janosik in Terchova

Modern rooms and suites + breakfast and games room

6. Great Fatra

Velká Fatra is a mountain range and largely a national park dominated by deep forests, caves, rock overhangs and a ridge route full of pastures and beautiful views. Apart from the most popular tourist spots, you often don’t see a single living thing here.

Great Fatra / where to go in Slovakia
Malino Brdo, Velká Fatra
Malino Brdo, Velká Fatra

Trips and hiking in the surroundings of Veľká Fatra

  • Ascent to the highest peak of Veľká Fatra Ostredok (1 596 m) from Vyšná Revúca along the green trail through the Suchá dolina to the top of Krížna and then to the peaks of Frčkov and Ostredok.
  • Ascent to the top of Čierny kameň along the Čierny kameň nature trail from the village of Liptovská Revúce.
  • Ascent to the top of Zvolen from the Donovaly centre and continuation along the western ridge in the direction of Motyčianská hola or the northern ridge in the direction of Končitá

The main ski resorts of Veľká Fatra are Ružomberok, Jasenská dolina, Turecká – Krížna.

7. Strážovské vrchy

Strážovské vrchy are just a short distance from the Czech border. You can recognize them by their dense beech forests, sharp limestone cliffs and dominantly rising individual peaks without long ridge routes. What’s more, they offer great views of the peaks of eastern Moravia.

Strážovské vrchy Slovakia
Strážovské vrchy / where to go to the mountains in Slovakia
Strážovské vrchy / where to go to the mountains in Slovakia

Hiking in the Strážov Hills

  • Ascent to the limestone peak Vápeč from the village Horná Poruba
  • Ascent to the highest peak Strážov (1 213 m), which can be reached by the red trail from the villages Čičmany or Zliechov
  • The village of Čičmany with painted wooden houses
Čičmany / where to go to the mountains in Slovakia
Čičmany, Strážov Hills

Thermal and mineral springs are typical for the Strážov Hills region. For this reason, you will also find the famous spa Trenčianske Teplice.

8. Murano Plain

Muránská planina with the highest peak Fábova hoľa (1 439 m) is not one of the highest mountains in Slovakia, but it is certainly one of the least visited. The national park is located south of the Low Tatras.

Muránská planina Slovakia

It is a plateau separated from the surrounding area by massive limestone cliffs. The Murano Plateau is characterized by deep forests, breathtaking views, caves and karst formations. An ideal place for easy walks through beautiful nature.

Muráň Castle / where to go to the mountains in Slovakia

Hiking in Muránská planina

  • Veľká Lúka is a mountain meadow located near the village of Muránska Huta. In addition to the beautiful nature, you can also see semi-wild free grazing horses.
  • From Veľká Lúka, continue along the red Rudná magistrála, which will lead you to a viewpoint from where you will have the Muránské Plateau in the palm of your hand together with the opposite Murán Castle.
  • From Veľká Lúka or from the village of Muráň there is a nature trail leading to the ruins of Muráň Castle. Here you can refresh yourself and above all enjoy the beautiful views.
  • A little bit behind the village of Murán (direction Červena skala) there is a meadow full of wild gophers on the left side.
  • From the Zbojská mountain saddle it is only a short walk to the wooden lookout tower Zbojská.
  • Another beautiful area is the Hronec valley and the Malý Stožec and Velký Stožec NPRs, which are accessible from the north from Závadka nad Hronom and can be managed even with a pram.

Pohronská Polhora is the main ski resort of the Muránské planina.

9. Čergov

Čergov is a mountain range where you can take in the clean air, enjoy the untouched nature and enjoy the views without people. You will find it in the north of Slovakia, just beyond the Tatra Mountains.

Hiking in the surroundings of the Čergov Mountains

  • Ascent to the highest peak Minčol via Priehyby saddle – Dvoriská peak – Ždiare saddle
  • Circular route Kyjov village – Kyjovské bradielko – Minčol – Sokolia skala – Kyjov
  • Ascent to Lysá hora and to the religious place Altar of the Stone
  • Ridge route from Čergov saddle – Veľká Javorina – Priehyby saddle
  • The ruins of Kamenický hrad after the yellow trail from Kamenica

The only ski resort is Drienica – Lysá.

10. Poloniny National Park

A place where you can see the Milky Way with your own eyes. In the very east of Slovakia lies the Poloniny National Park, which is part of the UNESCO-listed Eastern Carpathians Biosphere Reserve.

poloniny national park

Its sign is the Poloniny, or wild mountain meadows on the ridges surrounding the largest beech and fir forests in Europe. Another feature are wooden churches built without a single nail (churches).

Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Uličská Krivá

Wander through deep, quiet forests where you’ll encounter more wolves and bears than people. And bison, because Polonina National Park is the last area where you will come across wild bison.

Hiking in the Poloniny National Park

  • Ascent to the top of Riaba skala via mountain meadows in the saddle Ďurkovec from the village Ruiny
  • Ascent to the highest peak and the easternmost point of Kremenec, where the borders of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine meet. Route from the village Nová Sedlica along the red trail
  • The pilgrimage site Tři studničky on the yellow trail from the village of Ruiny

The mountains and national parks in Slovakia – map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of where to go to the mountains in Slovakia. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places mentioned in the guide to the Slovak mountains. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

These were our 10 tips for the mountains and national parks in Slovakia. What are yours? Share your tips in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Slovakia

HIGH TATRAS: See the complete guide to the High Tatras (transport, accommodation, easy and day hikes, things to do).

LOW TATRAS: Here are the best things to do in the Low Tatras.

MALÁ FATRA: We share tips for the most beautiful places in Malá Fatra in a separate article.

SLOVAKIA: We have also prepared a detailed article with tips on things to do in Slovakia.

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