Mirrored by a Polish national park on the other side of the border, Slovakia's Pieniny National Park is memorable for its mix of living history and forest-capped limestone peaks. At 37 sq km, it's the smallest of Slovakia's national parks and the pace of life provides a snapshot of the country's agrarian past. Summer is prime time for rafting, walking and cycling trails, all popular with families; in much smaller numbers, locals arrive in winter for cross-country ski trails.
Since the mid-19th century, tourists have come to Pieniny to board a pltě, flat-bottomed wooden raft, and be ferried along the Dunajec River (mid-April to October). Centuries-old folklore and easy-going local attitudes make for a carefree atmosphere: after all, it's hard not to smile when a mustachioed boatman in full Goral (highlander) costume regales you with tales of Cyprian, the region's legendary 'flying monk'.