Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe and Bratislava is its capital.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and break up of the Eastern Block polities, Slovakia became one of two sovereign states to emerge from the former Czechoslovakia.
Since independence, Slovakia has established itself as a parliamentary republic, and entered the European Union. Furthermore, this former Warsaw Pact member (as part of Czechoslovakia) has joined N.A.T.O.
Travellers to Slovakia can experience its fascinating culture, visit its beautiful towns and cities, and witness its magnificent natural scenery, from its river valleys to its mountain ranges, much of which is contained within 9 national parks.
There are 76 rivers in Slovakia, the longest of which is the Vah which has been dammed to create the Liptovska Mara and Slnava reservoirs.
Slovakia's mountain ranges, part of the extensive Carpathian Mountains, include the Tatra Mountains and the Low Tatras Mountains (with the Vah valley between them) up north, the Slovak Karst Mountains down south, and the Vihorlat Mountains to the east.
These mountains are home to tarns, or glacial lakes, which are excellent locations for a boating or fishing holiday. The mountains are also home to hundreds of caves, some of which are open to the public.
The Slovak Karsk Mountains are the site of five caves listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites: Dobsinka Ice Cave, Gombasek Cave, Jasovska Cave, Ochtinska Aragonite Cave, and Domica Cave, the largest of the five caves.
Velke Hincovo pleso is the largest of the tarns in the Tatra Mountains by width and depth, whereas Strbske pleso is perhaps the most popular. Belianska Cave is the largest cave in the Tatra Mountains.
Vrbicke Pleso resides in The Low Tatras Mountains and is the sole tarn in this mountain range. Notable caves in the Low Tatras include Bystrianska Cave, Demanovska Ice Cave and Demanovska Cave of Liberty.
The Vihorlat Mountains, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, are home to the Morske oko lake which is popular amongst anglers for its exquisite trout fishing.
Taking a road-trip across Slovakia enables a traveller to see the country's towns and cities, linked as they are by roads, whether to stay or to pass through.
Hire a car at Bratislava Airport and proceed along the D1 motorway that connects the capital with Trnava, Trencin, Puchov, Zilina, Martin, Poprad, Presov, Kosice and Michalovce, and soak in the wonderful scenery along the way.