Who wouldn’t love national parks? Especially the ones in your home country? I recently visited a Mala Fatra National Park in Slovakia. I was there for only 4 days, but I have to say I was impressed.
National park Mala Fatra is very well know, and this area is very touristy. This means that the local hotels, and restaurants are very well informed. Our accommodation called Country Saloon Bela offer us a tour guide for free. We used it the whole time, because the suggestion in this little golden book were amazing. They have it in more languages, and in English as well.
If you simply ask a local person where to turn, they are more than happy to help you. I’m not sure about their English level, but they will try their best.
Hiking in Mala Fatra National Park
Hiking is definitely one of my very favourite activities. This time we hiked part of the National park called “Jánošíkové diery” Mr. Jánošík is a Slovakian superhero born in 1688. He was so special for us because he stole from the rich people, and then gave it to the poor. He became famous by doing this for only one year and a half. He did have a help from his brother Jano. Unfortunately they both died when Jánošík was only 25 years old. But hey, now he has a big, shiny statue on the hill of Terchova village. I definitely recommend to have a look at this village.
We also wanted to see the highest mountain of the National Park “Veľký Kriváň”, so we went to a part called “Vrátna” where we took a cable car up on the hill to Snilovské sedlo. You can see the highest mountain from there. It looks like you can hike it within 15 minutes. But do not fool yourself. It took us almost an hour to get to the top! Although it was also maybe because we were singing a concert of Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons on our way up.
The view was brilliant. From there we decided one mountain a day is not enough, and we went to another called “Chleb” The hike to this mountain was spectacular. We were in a cloud almost the whole time, and didn’t see more than two metres in front of us. It was almost mystical. When the cloud left us, we suddenly saw the nicest view of them all. It was surprising, and really breathtaking.
You do not have to just hike in this area. We went on this holiday with my parents. They can’t hike anymore so they went to visit castles. One of which is called “Oravsky castle” where you can do a small or big round of the castle, and find out many information about history of Slovakian royalty.
We also went to a village called “Stara Bystrica” where you can see the Slovakian one and only astronomical clock. It very pretty, and you can even visit a small gallery in the information centre where you’ll find out again more from history of this region.
On our way home, we took an hour detour to see one of the UNESCO heritage villages. In this village you can see only a small wooden houses with no fences, and no fear of their neighbors. People actually still lives in some of the houses, but keep it “original”. It is only a short stop, but it is worth to see.