This holiday season… visit Slovakia!

Come Christmas and the holiday season and most of us make plans to spend time with the family. Going on a holiday is a necessity especially considering the stress and strain we experience all through the year!

One of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world is the city of London. At Christmas time it is one of the best cities to holiday in and there are some great shopping deals and discounts on offer, which make it all the more attractive. Of course if you are planning a holiday in London you will need to make arrangements for your accommodation well in advance.

As London is a popular choice among tourists in the holiday season, finding a suitable hotel at short notice can pose a problem. Finding a centrally located hotel like the Grand Royale London hotel would definitely be an advantage, as it will offer you easy access to all parts of the city. Some of the more popular areas among tourists to London are Paddington along with hotels near Bayswater being another popular choice. You can book you hotel room online and if you book well in advance you could probably strike a good deal which will help you save on hotel costs. Most of the hotels near Bayswater offer seasonal discounts and promotional offers which make them a preferred choice especially among budget travelers.

If on the other hand you are planning a trip to Europe, then perhaps there is no better place to visit in Central Europe than Slovakia. Some of the reasons why Slovakia is such an attractive destination for tourists are:

The Capital Bratislava

Probably one of the most beautiful capitals in the whole of Europe is Bratislava which is the capital city of Slovakia. The city has a wide variety of attractions for tourists and visitors to enjoy a wonderful holiday. One of the most popular sites is the impressive and imposing Bratislava Castle that dates back to the first century which offers a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. Then there is the Old Town, which is well known for its remarkable Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, besides the Mirbach Palace, St. Michael’s Tower and numerous various other landmarks and attractions. Like London the city offers numerous green spaces with forests nearby that are great to hike in and spend a relaxing day. There are also two fantastic museums the Slovak National Museum and National Gallery which offer a glimpse into the fascinating history of this beautiful country.

Another city that is popular in Slovakia is the historic BanskaBystrica, Kosice, which is well known for its magnificent St. Elizabeth Cathedral. Other key cities areLevoca, Nitra and Trencin, which are well known for their medieval architecture.

The Tatras

Another of Slovakia’s popular attractions is The VysokeTatry or High Tatras mountains. The mountain range is spread out between Slovakia and Poland, with the best slopes and highest peaks lying in Slovakia, which makes it a popular recreation area. It has many great trails for hiking and cycling during the summer months. During the winter there are great slopes to ski like the StrbskePleso, StarySmokovec and TatranskaLomnica.  The most beautiful peak that offers scenic views all around is the Krivan and there are numerous waterfalls and lakes in the vicinity.

Caves

For those who love subterranean adventures there are several caves to be found in Slovakia with five of them being considered as World Heritage Sites.There is the first electrically illuminated cave theDobsinska Ice Cave that has some of the most intriguing ice structures which are natural formations. Then there is the largest aragonite cave in the world the Ochtinska Cave that has oval formations that glitter in what is known as the Milky Way Hall. Another interesting cave is the Domica Cave that features a House of Indian Pagodas and the Gombasecka Cave that is renowned for its speleotherapy. The Jasovska Cave has proved to be rich in archaeological finds and The Demanova Cave is well known for its various stalactite formations and is also the most visited cave. Another cave that is very interesting and popular with tourists is the Vazecka Cave.

Medieval Architecture

Slovakia is well known for its natural wonders and is also equally renowned for its many magnificent medieval castles.

Without a doubt the most famous of its castles is the World Heritage Spis Castle that is known to be out of the largest castles in Central Europe and has served as a location for numerous movies that needs a medieval or fantasy setting. Other impressive castles in the area areTrencin, Nitra, Lupca, CervenyKamen, Orava and Bojniceand a few even offer accommodation like theHradok Castle.

There is the unique wooden structure which is the Lutheran Church in SvatyKriz and you will also come across rustic houses in Podbiel. In Slovakia you will find numerous wooden churches scattered in various provinces, with the most churches being located in Svidnik. St. Jacob’sChurch in Levocais known to have the largest wooden altar in the world.

Handicraft

If you want unique souvenirs from your trip, you will find many when you visit Slovakia, which reflect its rich and beautiful culture. You could go in for the crpak (an ornamented wooden cup), or the kraslice (decorated eggs) or even the fujara (a long, woodwind instrument). The town of Modra is well known for its ceramic creations which make for great souvenirs.

Slovakia is a beautiful country and one of the best locations in Central Europe to have a lovely holiday.

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