The High and Low Tatras and neighbouring parks are certainly places where visitors can tick off a few adrenaline-fueled and culturally quirky bucket-list items. Primarily, Slovakia’s national parks help to protect, sustain and improve the unique ecosystems of the country’s pristine nature, but also feature some unexpectedly exciting activities.

1. Adrenaline for all: Bike Park Bachledka (Low Tatras)

Consisting of five downhill biking tracks of varying difficulty, from the family inclusive “Pumptrack” through to the “Root Sphere” trail with steeper descents, navigating tree routes across the meadow and forest terrain. The fastest and most challenging tracks are “DH American Dream” and “DH Roller Coaster Trail” with more demanding sections and obstacles designed mainly for experienced riders. Spreading out from the bike park is 130km of trails which are suitable for all types of rider. See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? There are 1,150km of bike routes in the region

2. Rafting the wild River Bela and Dunajec River (Low Tatras) 

Under the peak of Mt Krivan, feel the exhilaration of river rapids of Bela River, bring action and nature together for the more experienced rafter, as this stretch of angry torrents can be quite intense. Alternatively, rafting through canyons created by the Dunajec River, on traditional wood rafts in view of the Pieniny Mountains’ three crown peaks, can mean families can experience the thrill of the waterway. See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? At the Pieniny Chata/Hut, you can have a “Goral Picnic”, which means lunch with traditional folk and Goral music in authentic costumes

3. TrickLandia, Stary Smokovec (High Tatras) 

Trick-art and optical illusions are used to take you on a journey of discovery through Slovakia, like no other. Within the complexe’s footprint (covering ​​500sqm and 24 attractions) you will find themes of Slovak folk and fairy tales, plus genuine heritage towns and castles of Slovakia – for example, Vlkolinec, Dunajec, Bojnice Castle and others – using augmented reality, antigravity rooms and even a  beautiful mirror maze. See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? In the mirror kingdom there are mirrors with an area of more than 200sqm

4. Hurricane Factory, Tatralandia (Liptov) 

There is no need to jump from a plane with a parachute, to feel the unique feeling of skydiving; the factory’s wind tunnel uses wind power hurtling in at 270km/h to support someone’s dreams of flying and free falling within a glass flight chamber measuring 14m in height and 4.3m wide. See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? This was the first the first aerodynamic tunnel constructed for this purpose in Slovakia

5. Dog sledding (High Tatras)

Imagine the thrill of being pulled by huskies on a dog sledge in the breathtaking scenery of the High Tatras. Under the guidance of a real “musher”, this is an experience and skill that will long live in the memory. There are several locations this activity takes place in the winter months, such as Strbske Pleso Ski Resort. See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? Visitors can also build and sleep in an igloo to complete the feel of an Arctic explorer

6. Wake up at Lomnicky Stit (High Tatras)

Silence, serenity and mountain panoramas under a starlit night. The opportunity to sleep overnight at Lomnicky Stit, the second highest peak at 2,634m, is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience as there’s only two rooms available for hire. Maybe there is the possibility to observe the solar system in the presence of scientists who can interpret the galaxy, too. It’s simply wow! See enjoytatras.com

Did you know? There is an Astronomical Observatory on Lomnicky Stit, built between 1957-1963, which has open days led by scientific experts 

RAMY JAMES SALAMEH