For many, the coming winter months fire up hope for abundant snow, which means excellent skiing conditions in Slovak resorts.
There is a lot to choose from in the north of Slovakia, from smaller, locally important ski resorts to those that are also known abroad. Many go to Liptov for a winter vacation or a weekend away from home, which is attractive for tourists not only in the summer but also in the colder months.
Where the Slovak ski star races
Jasná in the Low Tatras, which is the home ski resort of Slovak ski star Petra Vlhová, offers more than 50 kilometres of pistes and 23 lifts and cable cars on the north and south sides of Chopok. Complete beginners, parents with small children, but also experienced professionals or adrenaline enthusiasts who are looking for black slopes and freerides will have a great time. During the winter, Jasná is connected by free ski buses with almost all of the Liptov region. In addition to Liptovský Mikuláš, the “capital” of the region, the buses operate from the spa towns of Lúčky, Bešeňová,and Liptovský Ján. Thus, tourists can easily travel to Jasná from various parts of the region.
After Petra Vlhová won the big crystal globe, the most prestigious award for downhill skiers, a ski slope was named after her. According to Tatra Mountain Resort spokesperson Marián Galajda, it combines the best of Jasná.
"The piste named after Petra Vlhová represents a combination of two pistes on which World Cup races were held," Galajda explained, adding that it is therefore a track tested by the best female racers from around the world. "Success on this track helped Petra to gain new energy and lead the whole season to the most beautiful end - the overall victory in the World Cup and winning the big crystal globe. The symbolic number one in the resort thus belongs to our number one."
Preparations for the winter season are already in full swing in Liptov. Skiers can expect the biggest novelty in Jasná.
"The most important innovation will definitely be the new cable car that will connect the Biela Púť slope to Priehyba slope," said Galajda, adding that it is a huge investment that will eliminate complications and queues when using the Lienka lift to Priehyba.
He added that skiing in all its forms is a priority in Jasná - downhill skiing, freeriding, the popular evening ski alpine hike or cross-country skiing on the newly built circuits near the Zadná voda snowmaking reservoirs.
Visitors will find all the necessary infrastructure here for it all: service centres and rental shops for skis, snowboards and accessories, or children's schools and skiing instructors. The resort also offers a fresh track, which allows you to enjoy riding on the slopes even before the official start of daily operations of the resort.
During and after skiing, enjoying time in Apreski bars or an evening ride on a snowmobile are sought-after activities. Two people can ride on one snowmobile for 30 minutes of fun.
How does Chopok peak taste?
The most visited mountain peak in the Low Tatras, Chopok, which can be easily reached by cable car, also offers interesting experiences in the area of gastronomy and accommodation. The panoramic restaurant Rotunda is located at the top, and one floor below you can spend the night in the highest hotel in Central Europe.
If you want to diversify your stay in Liptov with something unusual, during the summer and winter season you can choose to attend the Chopok Chutí (Chopok tastes) gastro event. It's an experience that begins with a cable car ride to Chopok to a height of more than 2,000 metres above sea level.
"The late-evening views can get guests in the right mood already during the cable car ride up, and that's just the beginning of the spectacular gastronomic theatre that unfolds right in front of the guests' eyes," said Galajda.
At the top, an experiential 6-course dinner prepared by the chef awaits you, combined with wine tasting and performances by musical guests, Galajda explained, adding that guests have the opportunity to experience a magical evening with good food in an exceptional place.
"Chopok in the evening has a magical charm, and therefore we are not surprised that during this event we have already experienced proposals for marriage - of course with a positive response."
Surfing in Liptov
After skiing or hiking, it feels good to relax your muscles in thermal water. In Liptov, there are several options where you can do this. In addition to the Lúčky spa or the thermal springs in Liptovský Ján, the popular water parks Bešeňová and Tatralandia are only 16 minutes away from each other by car.
Nine year-round pools and 18 summer pools await visitors in the Bešeňová water park. Seven of them have thermal water, which is typically a brown colour in outdoor areas. In Tatralandia, there are 13 swimming pools accessible during the summer, and nine of them are open year-round. You will also find pools with sea water or wild waves that serve as a surfing simulator.
"The possibility to try out the feelings of surfers and get familiar with this sport, so to speak, without having to travel to the other side of the world for waves, is a big attraction for both young and old," enthused Galajda.
Thanks to full control over the technology and experienced instructors, even children as young as four can get on a surfboard.
Michaela Záhorská and her family alternately visit both water parks whenever they go to Liptov.
"We enjoy swimming in the summer as much as in the winter," said Záhorská. "While more attractions are open outside in summer, swimming in hot water has a completely different atmosphere in the winter."
According to her, children enjoy the water slides and the pool with artificial waves the most, while adults also like to visit the whirlpools and the sauna world, where sauna rituals and other events are often held.
Visitors also appreciate the salty sea water, tropical palm trees and pleasant temperatures similar to the Caribbean.
The article has been brought to you thanks to a partnership with the Žilina Tourism Region - www.zilinskyturistickykraj.sk.
Implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.