Mountains. Pure and simple. In one word this is what sets apart Slovakia. While its former Czechoslovakia neighbours may be more commonly visited, if you are a nature lover and cycling enthusiast then Slovakia is the country for you. In between the hilly rides, there are glacier lakes and an abundance of wildlife just waiting to be discovered.
Of course, it is always worth paying a visit to Slovakia’s capital Bratislava to soak up this fantastic 18th century pedestrian-only city. Culture lovers will delight in a visit to Bratislava Castle that offers sweeping views, while there is also a wonderful cafe and bar scene to enjoy. Furthermore, Bratislava is situated on the glorious Danube River - Europe’s second largest river and a prime location for an epic ride that can lead you through vineyards, castles and wonderful cities.
However, it is mountains that really put Slovakia on the map. So your first real question is: how steep? Casual bike lovers should not be deterred as just outside Bratislava the low lying Little Carpathian Mountains have a mild terrain that makes for great cycling.
If you crave those insane backdrops and astounding ascents then cycling the Tatra Mountains is a must. There are a number of excellent cycle routes to take in the Tatras of varying difficulty. But visits en route to the historical towns of Kremnica and Banska Bystrica are a must. The first is home to the world’s oldest operating mint, while the latter astounds with its natural beauty, surrounded by the High Tatras. Higher up the mountains, you will encounter a number of stunning villages where ancient traditional crafts are still practiced.
If you prefer a more romantic and less challenging route then it is worth embracing a cycle tour through Western and Central Slovakia. Here you can admire the sheer beauty of Trnava - a spot referred to as Slovak Rome for its amazing churches - while also stopping off for a much-needed soak in the famous spa town of Piestany. This brilliant route leads you to the fascinating medieval town of Banska Stiavnica that has been beautifully preserved.
Every twist and turn on a bike in Slovakia brings with it something new and makes for a compelling adventure that you will never forget.
Best Seasons:April - October
Popular Locations:Bratislava, High Tatras, Danube River, Banska Stiavnica