Escape for the Weekend

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The Old Town Hall, St. Martin Cathedral, Mirbach Palace and the Royal Castle in Bratislava; the ancient town of Bojnice; the "leaning tower" of Banska Bystrica; the National Nature Reserve Demänovská; flooded tunnels near Mount Dubnik;

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Slovakia, or the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Its closest neighbors are Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine. The country is famous for many natural attractions, including clean air, breathtaking ice caves, healing mineral springs, as well as the stunning Carpathian Mountains and the world-famous Danube valley. All of this, combined with the unique cultural and historical monuments and original architecture, make Slovakia one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Europe. The climate of the state is temperate continental.

The Slovak capital, Bratislava, has charmed by its exquisite architecture and rich history more than one generation of tourists. Here you can see the majestic building of the Old Town Hall, the magnificent Roland Fountain, the mystical St. Martin Cathedral, as well as many other places such as the Redoubt, the Primate’s Palace, Mirbach Palace and the Bratislava Royal Castle, whose original architecture cries out to be photographed. Connoisseurs of cultural and historical heritage can visit numerous museums – the Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of non-European cultures, as well as the City Museum and the Museum of Wine.

In the ancient town of Bojnice founded in the 12th century you can see its famous old castle. An original 30-meter high "leaning tower" can be seen in the town of Banska Bystrica; in Levoca you can admire the beautiful Cathedral of St. Jacob and the gothic church located on Marian Mount; and in Spisske Podhradie there are Europe’s largest remains of a Romanesque fortress. Nature enthusiasts should not miss the chance to visit the grand National Park Slovak Paradise, and the mysterious caves in the National Nature Reserve Demänovská.

The national currency is the Euro.

International airports in Slovakia

• M. R. Štefánik Airport (BTS), Bratislava
• Kosice International Airport (KSC), Kosice
• Poprad-Tatry Airport (TAT), Poprad

Diving in Slovakia

Diving in a landlocked country is undoubtedly rather specific and may not catch fancy of everyone. First of all, it is about low water temperature in lakes, where Slovak diving takes place. Moreover, the lakes cannot boast of such a perfect underwater visibility as the tropical sea. However, such features do not deter connoisseurs diving, and their intrepidity is rewarded with complete emotional satisfaction from diving in Slovakia.

The most popular dive areas of the country are situated in Bratislava region, in particular, in Senetsky Lakes and Lake Gulashka. In autumn and spring, when underwater visibility gets significantly better, Zlaté Piesky (Golden Sands Lake) also becomes popular among divers. Thrill seekers can visit Lake Shtvrtotska Pila near Hrabusice, whose ice water is crystal clear. Popular dive sites also include Lake Tornal’a, better known as the "Sea Eye"; Šútovský quarry; Lake Male Kosariska near the town of Dunajska Luzna; reservoir Jakubovany at the foot of the Chergovsky mountains; the dam Ruzin, with its rough cliffs; Dedinky, Domasa, and lakes Richňavské jazero and Vindšachtské jazero, which are situated near the city of Banska Stiavnitsa.

In Slovakia, you can also explore many underwater karst cave systems, for example, flooded tunnels of an opal mine near Mount Dubnik, but such dives suit only experienced divers with a status not lower than "master".