While winter time in Slovak cities seems to be all about frenetic shopping for the upcoming Christmas, the true spirit of calm, snowy and romantic winter time can still be found in rural parts of the country. Pack your bags and spoil yourself with the romantic getaway in one of these lovely villages. Its an experience you won´t regret.
Winter and mountains! It´s pretty hard to beat this combination – especially if you like to ski. Beautiful Slovak village Ždiar will, however, make you want to forget about the sports for a while. Stand still, breath the fresh air and enjoy its uniqueness and beauty. Ždiar si located straight under eastern part of the highest Slovak mountain range Vysoké Tatry and if you´re lucky enough, you can admire it directly from the window of your hut.
You don´t need no time machine to experience true, historic face of rural Slovakia. Head to the village called Čičmany – it´s a living, open-air museum of traditional Slovak architecture and folklore. You will be amazed by the neat rows of cute wooden houses, their bold ornamental decorations and indescribably romantic atmosphere it has, when the snow starts silently falling from the evening skies…
Terchová is birthplace of the legendary Slovak outlaw Jánošík, who was known for “stealing from the rich and giving out to the poor”. However, you don´t have to worry about the crime around there anymore. In fact, Terchová is one of the most developed touristic destinations in Slovakia, while it still maintains its traditional charm and quaint image. Also, don´t forget to check out its magnificent wooden Bethlehem – it´s a world class attraction!
Have you discovered a true hippie inside of you? You should experience a little Slovak “Christiania” called Zaježová. This small village in central Slovakia was turned into the fully self-sufficient hideaway for those, who reject the commercially driven, unhealthy and fast-paced life style of the modern age. Local community is engaging in organic agriculture, traditional crafts and simple yet purposeful family lives. There´s no church, no pub, groceries store runs without any supervision based on the mutual trust. While it might be a little bit “too much” for most of us to move in here for good, why not giving it a shot for a short winter break?
4. Svätý Kríž
Svätý Kríž means “Saint Cross” in Slovak and religion truly plays major part in life of this picturesque village. Although it´s home only to eight hundred inhabitants, it is internationally recognized place thanks to its rare and beautiful wooden church. This church is, actually, one of the biggest wooden buildings in the whole Middle Europe! If you´re looking for a perfect place for a festive contemplation, look no further…
6. Spišské podhradie
Spišské Podhradie is blessed with one of the most beautiful views in the whole Slovakia, as it lies directly under the biggest and, arguably, most romantic Slovak castle – Spišský hrad. This beautiful castle is, actually, among the largest castle complexes in Central Europe and it is included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites. Although it is, understandably, overshadowed by the castle, the village (or rather a small town) itself is worth its own admiration. Its history dates back to the early 13th century and romantic walks in its curved streets are highly recommended – especially in the lovely winter time…
Another trip into the distant past awaits for you in the stunning village of Vlkolínec. This beautifully preserved historic village consists of all-wooden huts and chalets, representing typical Slovak mountain architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. There were many attempts to modernize (and thus destroy) this tranquil place, fortunately it´s protected by the statute of UNESCO today and it should stay as it is for many more generations to come. Aside from its beautiful architecture, Vlkolínec is also a hot-spot for all the folklore-lovers. If you happen to be here during the Christmas holidays, you might even witness some gorgeous demonstrations of old Slovak festive traditions.
Come and get lost in the snow! Region of Kysuce has enough of this fluffy white winter cover for everyone. This hilly location in the North of Slovakia consists of many tiny hamlets that can get easily cut off from the rest of the world in the winter. Grab your favorite books, some fine wine and prepare to unwind from all the stress of your everyday life. Just don´t forget to bring a shovel – it might get handy!