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Slovakia is a country that is frequently overlooked and often misunderstood. Historically, it was known as Upper Hungary and all the Hungarian royalty were crowned in Bratislava, the current Slovak capital. Slovakia spent most of the 20th Century as half of Czechoslovakia, part of the Communist Bloc. Since gaining independence in 1993, it has been frequently overlooked in favor of neighboring Hungary and the Czech Republic as a popular travel destination.

These days, visitors are discovering Slovakia for the Central European gem that it truly is. A world class ski destination in the beautiful High Tatras Mountains (which also make for great hiking and trekking in the summer). It has a quirky capital in Bratislava that captures visitor’s imaginations with unusual sculptures. And the central and eastern parts of the country are dotted with important UNESCO World Heritage Sites and cultural sites. Slovakia may well be our favorite country in the world right now. Here are some of our favorites.

Traditional Village Life in Vlkolinec, Slovakia

A statue welcomes visitors to the rural village of Vlkolinec, Slovakia.

Visiting a country, it is often hard to get a picture for the history of the people. We’re not talking about the nobility, historical events or even war – we’re talking about understanding the history of the people and how their lives evolved and changed. Villages like Vlkolinec, Slovakia can provide insights into the people

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The Slovakia Wooden Churches of the Carpathian Mountains

The Church of All Saints in Tvrdosin - one of the Slovakia Wooden Churches.

On the north slope of the Carpathian Mountains, a unique architectural and artistic tradition was born: ornate wooden churches. The Slovakia Wooden Churches date from a period when most Christian churches were being built from stone, these buildings are truly unique and reflect a mix of theological and architectural traditions.

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Being a Miner For a Day at the Slovak Mining Museum

An ore cart and tracks at the Slovak Mining Museum in Banska Stiavnica.

While the town of Banská Štiavnica is a remarkable specimen of medieval small-town life in central Slovakia, it is unlikely the town would be much more than a few small huts if it weren’t for its unique geology. Banska Stiavnica sits atop The Theresa Vein – one of the world’s most lucrative silver deposits in

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