Twenty-five years ago, the Velvet Revolution ended more than 40 years of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, which subsequently divided peacefully four years later to form Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Today, these two central European countries offer travelers a combination of extraordinary history, modern sophistication and natural paradise.
Since Slovakia and the Czech Republic are slightly more off-the-beaten path compared to some of their European neighbors, you can get a great value for your travel dollar. Work with your travel professional to uncover deals and create a custom itinerary, but here are a few of our favorite sites:
Prague – The grandeur of Prague is undeniable. A thousand years ago, Prague was founded on the banks of the beautiful Vltava River. The city is comprised of one architectural wonder after another, including arched bridges, medieval cathedrals, gold-tipped spires and ancient castles. The famed Charles Bridge, which separates the historic Old Town from the “Lesser Quarter” that is home to Prague Castle, is adorned with 30 statues. The cobblestone streets belie the metropolitan elegance of Prague’s top-rated restaurants, concerts and theaters. Or, you can always relax in one of the city’s many brew pubs!
Czech Countryside – Experience the lush, legendary and breathtaking landscapes of Bohemia, Moravia and Bavaria by visiting any of the countless vineyards, villages, chateaux and gardens. Unravel history in the towns of Cesky Krumlov and Kutna Hora, where you can see marvelously preserved Gothic and Renaissance art and architecture.
Bratislava – The capital of Slovakia sits on the shores of the stunningly blue Danube River, less than an hour away from Vienna, Austria. At the heart of Bratislava is historic Old Town, with charming narrow lanes leading to an open square from the Middle Ages. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and stop at one of Bratislava’s many beer bars to enjoy a taste of the country’s favorite beverage. Overlooking Bratislava are the ruins of Devin Castle, built in the 13th century to protect the western frontier of the Hungarian Kingdom.
A number of sightseeing opportunities lie within a two-to-three hour drive from Bratislava, including manor houses, monasteries and wineries. The High Tatras Mountains also provide great opportunities for hiking, rafting and cycling.
Slovak Paradise National Park – In northeast Slovakia, trek through the trails of the Slovak Paradise National Park to see its myriad landscapes: mountain meadows, canyons, gorges, ravines, plateaus, karst and waterfalls. Dare to visit the mesmerizing icefalls and stalagmites of nearby Bosinska Ice Cave, one of the largest of its kind in Europe. After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a dip in one of Slovakia’s many hot spring spas, known for their curative abilities..
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