Slovakia - A view from our expert author
Slovakia seems like an ideal holiday destination.
Why don't people notice Slovakia more? It's a constant source of mystery. For a start, there's some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe, the magnificent Tatras, the gorgeous Fatras, mountain lakes, clean reservoirs, seemingly endless rivers, national parks and nature reserves. If it had a sea coast, you might venture to call it paradise.
Then there's the history: more Gothic churches than you can shake a stick at, fantastic medieval towns like Bardejov, Kremnica, Levoča and the shimmering jewel Banská Štiavnica. There are places where the waitresses appear in full folk costume even though it's not a Berni Inn. Clambour around the castles, chateaux, palaces, manor houses and ruins and get a glimpse of Slovakia's complicated history in stunning settings.
Don't forget the drink: Slovakia produces some of the best beer in the world, yet not many people know that the wine is also highly drinkable. There are lethal spirits made from fresh fruit and hearty peasant dishes that really warm the cockles after a long mountain hike.