SLOVAKIA IS LOCATED IN CENTRAL EUROPE. It borders Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, and Hungry. Bratislava (the capital city) is small, but has a thriving cafe scene in the warren-like, pedestrian-only old town. Extending across most of the northern half of the country, the Carpathian Mountains are home to the high peaks of the Fatra-Tatra Area and outstanding hiking. Slovakia’s small size is probably its biggest attraction and the diversity of the countryside makes exploring the nation a good introduction to Central European culture. And don’t leave without enjoying a dram of Slivovitz (plum brandy) — nazdravie!

1. Morning mist creeping over the Tatras Mountains on the border between Slovakia and Poland.

2. Winter purple haze over a white mountain crop in Kovop.

3. Storm approaching over a barley field.

4. Magical shot of the Tatras mountain range.

5. Winter wonderland in Small Carpathian Mountains.

6. Mist drapped Calvary chapel, Banska Stiavnica.

7. Fall colors in Strbske Pleso.

8. The Milky Way hugging Martinské Hole.

9. Night climbing in the Carpathian Mountains.

10. On top of the world on Veľký Rozsutec.

11. Reflecting back a moment at Bonjnice castle.

12. Enjoying the view from West Tatras from peak Placlive.

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