Are Slovakia's national parks crowded?

See for yourself. A website with another traffic light system has been launched to help tourists.

A stone run near Šomoška Castle in the south of central Slovakia.A stone run near Šomoška Castle in the south of central Slovakia. (Source: Branislav Caban/TASR)

As if one traffic light system – for international travel – was not enough, Slovakia has launched another one – for nature lovers.

The latter, called Turistický semafor (a traffic light system for tourism), aims to make a trip to Slovak national parks and protected natural areas a more pleasant experience while preserving nature at the same time.

Tatras travel guide: A fresh take on the stunning soul of Slovakia. Tatras travel guide: A fresh take on the stunning soul of Slovakia. (Source: Spectacular Slovakia)

“The Turistický semafor will display increased traffic, on the basis of which a visitor will be able to choose less busy places,” the Environment Ministry said about the recently launched website with a map.

Three traffic light hikers

The new traffic light system should motivate people to explore other areas that are often overlooked.

The ministry, nevertheless, admits its primary goal is to protect the environment against the rising number of tourists. Compared to last year, the ministry said, visits to Slovak nature increased by 2.5 million.

Although the website and the map are in Slovak only, it is easy to get a handle on them. Three traffic light hikers tell visitors on the website which areas are busy or uncrowded:

  • red: Plenty of tourists. People are recommended to choose a different area.
  • orange: A higher number of tourists. Keep that in mind or choose a different area.
  • green: A minimum number of tourists. Enjoy your trip.

The website is updated at 10:00 on a daily basis.

When visiting the places with a 3-5 level of protection, the ministry stressed, tourists must walk on marked hiking trails only. Also, they should walk in groups and speak aloud to reduce the risk of encountering a wild animal.

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