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.
Zelene pleso glacial lake, High Tatras National Park, Slovakia
High Tatras mountains panorama with Spiš castle in front of it, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
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
Skok waterfall, High Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
Lomnický štít – funicular, High Tatras National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Petr Vilgus
When in the High Tatras you should try staying in the highest situated hotel in Slovakia.
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).
Palcmanská Maša water reservoir and camping, Dedinky, Slovak Paradise National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
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.
Veľký Sokol gorge, Slovak Paradise National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
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
Hajske waterfalls, Slovak Karst National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
Zádiel gorge, Slovak Karst National Park, National Parks of Slovakia by Julius
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! 🙂
A comment ? Write there !
EMIL Le 10/01/2018 à 11h44
i would like to know if i can visit the slovakian national parks[view,waterfalls,lakes] in the last week of march?
its just a walking trip,not hiking or somethings like that.
Julius Le 11/01/2018 à 21h55
Hi Emil, not an easy question… But, yes, you can visit Slovakian national parks any time of the year, even in Spring. Many hiking trails are closed in High Tatras National Park, though, during winter and spring. But as you are not interested in any hiking, this would be not important for you, anyway. All easy walking trails are opened. 🙂
Where exactly do you plan to go? E.g. mentioned Šútovo waterfall is easily accessible (1,5 walking one way) and it is the largest waterfall in Malá Fatra National Park.
You can also get to Štrbské Pleso in High Tatras National Park and walk around the lake. One lake worth a visit that is on the very east part of the country. Morské Oko https://www.facebook.com/traveltipy/videos/1835615126729227/
Let me know more about your trip!
Csaba & Bea Le 11/02/2017 à 18h19
Impressive summary! We’ve been to 6 of these parks and can’t wait to go back and explore more of Slovakia. Your articles give great inspiration and tips, thanks 🙂
Julius Le 11/02/2017 à 22h10
So you visited more of them than me! I have to make some improvements! Thank you for a comment!
Mike Le 18/01/2016 à 15h45
Not National Park of High Tatras, but The Tatras National Park, involving all 3 areas of Tatras (High, Western, White)
nice reportage though
Julius Szabo Le 18/01/2016 à 20h27
Well, yes, that’s right, Mike, but we (Slovaks) don’t care about the official name of this national park. Officially it is TANAP (Tatranský národný park – Tatras National Park) and cover all parts of Tatras you have mentioned here. But in fact, we all prefer High Tatras National Park as we also have another national park NAPANT (Národný park Nízke Tatry – Low Tatras National Park). So we have two Tatras National Parks – one is High, another is Low. 🙂
Mike Le 18/01/2016 à 22h59
Ak by som nerozumel slovensky tak ti aj uverim 🙂
Chcel som ti len pomoct, aby si si to opravil. Inak dobra stranka, good job 😉
Julius Szabo Le 18/01/2016 à 23h10
Keď si to napísal, začal som uvažovať o tom, že to opravím, ale potom som začal googliť a uvádza to tak aj náš official tourism board platený z eurofondov. 🙂 A aj ďalšie weby… takže už ostalo len to ako to vysvetliť. 🙂 Dík za positive review! 🙂
Travelog with Jem Le 18/01/2016 à 0h47
Wow! Amazing unspoilt beauty! Love the cave especially. Nice photos too! Thank you for sharing. My travel bucketlist is getting longer.
Julius Szabo Le 18/01/2016 à 20h30
Try to move some of these places on top of your bucket list and you will not be disappointed (however do not expect first class services here, but you can expect first class nature for sure! :))