Vrátna Valley

Top choice area in Malá Fatra National Park

Limestone pinnacles and thick forest conspire to make Vrátna Valley one of Slovakia's most majestic areas to hike or ski. A scenic road winds south from Terchová up through craggy Tiesňavy Gorge, past picnic sites and roadside lookouts, to Vratna Výt'ah cable-car station. It hauls you to Snilovské saddle (1524m) below two peaks, Chleb (1647m) and Velký Kriváň (1709m). Both peaks are popular hikes, each taking 1½ to two hours (return).

For a long, tough trek, hike northeast from Chleb over Hromové (1636m), Poludňový grúň (1460m) and Stoh (1608m) to Medziholie saddle (1185m), which takes about 5½ hours (one way). From there you can descend on the green trail to Štefanová village where there's a bus stop, accommodation and restaurants.