by Michal Sliacky
Natural resources include particularly the Slovak mountains and mountain ranges, downs and lowlands. Many of the Slovak mountains fall into the category of national parks (Original image) or protected landscape areas. Almost all of these contain protected natural attractions. All the areas mentioned are considered to be recreational areas with infrastructure and functioning services for visitors.
• the High Tatras, Prešov Region
• the Low Tatras, Banská Bystrica Region
• the Slovak Paradise, Košice Region
• Pieniny, Prešov Region
• the Low Fatras, Žilina Region
• the Great Fatras, Žilina Region
• the Slovak Karst, Košice Region
• Muráň Plain, Banská Bystrica Region
• Poloniny, Prešov Region
PROTECTED LANDSCAPE AREAS:
• Kysuce, Žilina Region
• Poľana, Banská Bystrica Region
• Strážov Hills, Žilina Region
• Štiavnica Hills, Banská Bystrica Region
• the Eastern Carpathians, Prešov Region
• the White Carpathians, Trenčín Region
• the Cerová Highlands, Banská Bystrica Region
• the Danube Floodplains, Trnava Region
• Upper Orava, Žilina Region
• the Small Carpathians, Trnava Region
• Ponitrie, Nitra Region
• Vihorlat, Košice Region
• Záhorie, Bratislava Region
• Latorica, Košice Region.
WATER SURFACES – PLACES FOR RELAXING
Slovakia may be proud of its water surfaces that also create a part of the country’s natural beauty. Slovakia’s natural recreational attractions include numerous water surfaces, which at least partially make up for its lack of oceans. Often located in national parks, natural lakes are protected by the state and offer a beautiful backdrop for mountain trekking. They are water-filled basins, concaved in the valley bottoms by glaciers. There are about hundred-plus mountain lakes in the Tatras. However, these lakes are protected and not used for recreational purposes.
THE MOST WELL-KNOWN TATRA MOUNTAIN LAKES ARE:
• Štrbské Pleso Mountain Lake, Prešov Region
• Green Mountain Lake, Prešov Region
• Poprad Mountain Lake, Prešov Region
• Rocky Mountain Lake, Prešov Region
• and Hincove Plesá Mountain Lakes, Prešov Region.
Artificially-constructed water surfaces form a substantial part of the water surfaces in Slovakia. Generally, these include dams, various reservoirs or ponds. Almost all of these are accessible with infrastructure and services, and can therefore be regarded as fully-fledged recreation areas, which belong among the most popular tourist attractions in Slovakia, sought by tourists throughout the summer period. They are an ideal place for swimming, water sports, camping and social events such as summer music festivals.
THE MOST POPULAR RECREATIONAL AREAS ARE:
• Sunny Lakes, Bratislava Region
• Liptovská Mara, Žilina Region
• Sĺňava, Trnava Region
• Veľká Domaša, Prešov Region
• Orava Water Reservoir, Žilina Region
• Zemplínska šírava, Košice Region
• Zlateé piesky – Golden Sands, Bratislava Region
• Kunov Dam, Trnava Region
• Nitrianske Rudno, Trenčín Region
• Warm Mount, Banská Bystrica Region
• Vinianske Lake, Košice Region
• Kráľová Water Reservoir, Trnava Region
• Ružín Water Reservoir, Košice Region
• Ružiná Water Reservoir, Banská Bystrica Region
• Zelená voda, Green Water, Trenčín Region.
SLOVAKIA – COUNTRY OF CAVES AND CHASMS
Amongst the visually most interesting and most valuable natural riches in Slovakia are its caves and caverns, which include many different and unusual types of karst formation. Water penetrating inside the limestone mountain ranges and plateaux has created a spectacular underground world, an intricate network of cave corridors, domes and halls adorned with multicoloured dripstone decoration of astonishing and compelling beauty. While once only Slovak cavers penetrated this world of eternal darkness, today an increasing number of caves have been opened to the public as tourist attractions. Despite this a significant amount of Slovakia’s karst underground formations still remains hidden, awaiting exploration by a narrow circle of expert speleologists.
Over 5,350 caves are known in Slovakia, including shorter overhang type of caves. Most caves are registered in Slovak Karst National Park, Low Tatras National Park, Slovak Paradise National Park and Muráň Plateau National Park. The caves are formed mainly in Mesozoic Triassic limestone, less in travertine, and sporadically also in other less soluble rocks. Over 180 caves are created from non-karst rocks (andesite, basalt. volcanoclastic, sandstone, quartzite, granite, schist and quartz).
The largest cave system, over 35 kilometres long, is at Demänovská. It consists of the Pustá jaskyňa (Barren Cave), the Demänovská jaskyňa slobody (Demänovská Cave of Liberty), the jaskyňa Vyvieranie (Vyvieranie Cave), the Demänovská jaskyňa mieru (Demänovská Cave of Peace), the Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa (Demänovská Ice Cave) and other minor caves. The deepest are Hipmanove Jaskyne (Hipmanove Caves, called Starý hrad-Old Castle and Večná robota-Eternal Labour) in Krakova hoľa in the Low Tatras, with a vertical range of 495 metres. As many as 44 caves and caverns in Slovakia have been declared national natural monuments.
THE MOST POPULAR, PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE CAVES ARE:
• Demänovská Cave of Liberty, Žilina Region
• Demänovská Ice Cave, Žilina Region
• Dobšinská Ice Cave, Košice Region
• Belianska Cave, Prešov Region
• Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, Košice Region
• Jasovská Cave, Košice Region
• Harmanec Cave, Banská Bystrica Region
• Domica Cave, Košice Region
• Gombasec Cave, Košice Region
• Krásna Hôrka Cave, Košice Region
• Važec Cave, Žilina Region
• Cave of the Dead Bats, Banská Bystrica Region
• Prévôt Cave and Museum of Prehistoric Period, Trenčín Region,
• Bystrianska Cave, Banská Bystrica Region
• Driny Cave, Trnava Region
• Bad Hole Cave, Prešov Region
• Silická Ľadnica Ice Cave, Košice Region
• Bojnická Castle Cave, Trenčín Region.