Liptov is an area of over 2000 km2. Economic and cultural centers of Liptov are Ružomberok, Liptovský Mikuláš and Liptovský Hrádok. Almost 50% of the total area consists of forests with many hot mineral springs, mainly in the villages Bešeňová, Likavka, Kvačany, Žiar, Pribylina, Závažná Poruba, Liptovský Ján and elsewhere. This region is also known for its spa treatments.
Liptov is rich in cultural heritage and is very characteristic for its folk architecture and folklore (Vlkolínec, Východná, Liptovské Sliače, Liptovská Osada, Liptovská Lúžna and others). It is surrounded by the largest mountains in Slovakia: High Tatras, West Tatras and Chočské Hills in the north, the Low Tatras in the south, Great Fatra in the west and Poprad Valley in the east. The longest Slovak river – Váh flows through Liptov on 65 km and also creates a dam called Liptovská Mara.
In addition to skiing and hiking, the region also offers less traditional sports such as paragliding, rafting, horseback riding, speleo service, scenic flights, mountain climbing, cycling, hunting or fishing. In the winter season, sought winter sports centers are Demänovská dolina, Chopok, Maliné, Bocká dolina, Jánska dolina. Also, Liptov has the 3 nicest visitor-friendly caves in Slovakia.
Liptov is one of the most beautiful parts of Slovakia. Nowadays, Liptov is divided into 3 parts:
- Lower Liptov – from Kraľovany to Liptovská Teplá
- Middle Liptov – from Liptovská Teplá to Liptovský Hrádok (most densely populated)
- Upper Liptov – the territory from Liptovský Hrádok to Štrba
The highest point of the region is Kriváň (2,495 m above the sea level) in the High Tatras and the lowest point is in Stankovský village (430 m above the sea level).
Liptov belongs to internal central Carpathian Basin. The geological structure of the region is influenced by the occurrence of crystal rocks, Mesozoic, Palaeogene and Quaternary. The bottom land of Liptov is created by fluvial-alluvial sediments and fluvial terrace sediments indiscriminate, proluvial sediments indiscriminate and eluvia – deluvia sediments. The bottom land of Revúca and the northern slopes of Choč are created by hillside-platform sediments polygenic origin (loamy, loamy-clay).
Low Tatras are stretching on the south of the Liptov region. On the territory of Lower Liptov, Low Tatras have the highest point on the top of the Veľké Chochule (Great Chochule, 1,753 m above the sea level) in the massive of Prašivá, which is also the highest peak in the district of Ružomberok.
Greater Fatra completes the southwest territory of the Liptov region. The highest peak of the mountain is Ostredok (1,592 m above the sea level). Other well known peaks as Šíp pri Stankovanoch (Arrow Stankovany, 1,169 m above the sea level), Cebrat pri Ružomberku (1,060 m above the sea level) are soaring here. Choč Mountains form the joint between West Tatras and Greater Fatra. Choč Mountains are dominated by massive Choča with the highest peak Veľký Choč (Great Choč, 1,611 m above the sea level).
The highest peak of the region – Kriváň (2,495 m above the sea level), is in the High Tatra mountains.
The climate of the Liptov basin is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Asian mainland, and even by the Mediterranean Sea. Airstreams from the west reduce the heat fluctuation. In summer they bring cool and rainfall, in winter mitigation of the frost.
The average annual temperature is 5–6 °C, the measurement results showed the slow warming of the entire basin. Toward the mountains the average annual temperature decreases up to 0°C (in January: from -3 to -6°C in the valley, from -7 to -11°C on vertices).
The average temperature in July ranges from 14 to 16°C. The warmest part is the ambient by the river Váh, which belongs to a moderately warm climate and the coolest part is at the top of the mountains. Number of summer days is 30. The warmest month is July and the coolest is January. The snow-cover in Liptov basin takes 130 days on average, 160 days at the top of mountains.
Fauna & Flora
Flora of the Liptov region depends on the height zoning and trophic-hydrological conditions of the habitat. In Liptov basin there are marsh communities protected habitats. Rare, protected and endangered species occur here, as swamp klukva, butterwort beans, Drosera rotundifolia, sedge grayish, Bogbean, globeflower European, creeping willow and others. In the category of hydrophile species Siberian iris, forest všivec, gladiolus plain and Maurice saw occur. Tree vegetation in the valley of rivers and streams are created by foothill and mountain floodplain forests, where grey alder and sticky alder prevails. Flora of Low Tatras is affected by the vertical zoning and stand of 6th and 7th altitudinal zone. There are also beech, fir and dwarf pine zone, pine grove dominates. To the rare plants belong alpine marulka, Slovak pulsatilla, Carpathian Baldin. In the alpine zone are communities of calcicole ostrevka, evergreen sedge. Slovak vesper is endemic. In the highest parts alpine species occur as Alpine Ranunculus.
Fauna in Low Tatras is represented by invertebrates ( bugs, insects, crustaceans, mollusks), amphibians (salamander, marmot), reptiles (common viper, lizard), birds ( black cock, capercaille plain, wall-creeper), mammals ( shrew, vola, bats, mountain rat, chamois, bear, wolf, marten, burbot, deer).
Fauna in High Tatras is represented by invertebrates ( insects, beetles, mollusks), amphibiants ( newts, salamander), birds ( red grouse, black cock, warblers), mammals ( bear, bats, lynx, pine marten, chamois, dormouse Grouse, deer).
Choč Mountains provide good conditions for a wide range of Zoocoenoses. There are species that are bounded to forest and rocky communities. The most widespread is deer, roe, bear, grouse plain, wood pigeon, eagle owl, blackbird, wall-creeper, rabbit, viper and others.
Cultural life in previous decades was based mainly on local tradition, but was also influenced by priests and religion. The development of cultural and social life began mainly in the third period of the 19th century. The first amateur theater was played in 1968 in the house of P.Makovický. Major cultural associations were: Catholic and Civil Gabfest.
The preservation of tradition to give a Morena, her stake or drowning is kept by the Folk Group Liptov in Ružomberok. The group was founded in 1946, could be said as a folk group of Slovak pulp and paper mills (SCP) in Ružomberok. The staff of Liptovské Sliače were acting with their national songs and round-dances in various celebration.
Liptov music is a kind of peasant and gypsy string trio even quintett. It consists of first and second violin, viola and violin contra bass or cello. The continuity and compactness of the sound is given by the polyphonic play of the first and the second violinist. Rhythm is light and playful.
Liptov Museum in Ružomberok was founded as an institution of the Liptovská museum society in 1912. The museum is located in a building, which was constructed by the city by the project of V.Donner. Available to the public is the exposure of nature, archeology, etnograpohy and paper in Slovakia and the exposure of the life of Andrej Hlinka. All exhibitions are located in the main building of the museum.
Museum of Liptov Village in Pribilina is an extended exhibition of Liptovské Museum in Ružomberok. It was opened to the public in 1991. These buildings are from the flooded area by the water works Liptovská Mara and from some villages of Upper and Lower Liptov. The life of the residents of the village close to the dwelling of cotter from Liptovska Sielnica and Černova, housing middle peasants and artisans are represented by tailor houses from Likavka, forging house from Liptovská Kokava and Kolar House from Liptovská Sielnica. Living of richer layers is documented by Mayor House from Liptovský Trnovec, yeoman house from Paludza and mansion from Parížkovce. Interesting is also the object of school from Valašská Dubová. The dominant of the area is the Gothic church of Our Lady from Liptovská Mara. In the Museum of Liptov Village are occasionally organized cultural events. There is a possibility of horse riding.
Museum of Janko Kráľ in Liptovský Mikuláš was founded in 1995 and is housed in the former County House ( known as Seligovský house) since 1961. Part of the collections were received from the delimitation of the then Museum of the Slovak Karst and from materials transfer about the poet Janko Kráľ from the Slovak Matica in Martin. The museum in its collection activities is focused on documenting historical and literary traditions of Liptov and history of Liptovský Mikuláš. Since 1992, the museum is specialized as a municipal museum. Museum mainly collects documents about the history of the town and personalities of the cultural, social and political life. The first permanent exhibition was opened in 1970 in Seligovský house.
Partizánska Ľupča (originally German Ľupča) has the oldest town privileges from the Liptov municipalities, which has received the gold-mining, silver-mining, copper-mining and fishing right in 1263. At that time it was one of the largest cities of Liptov. A Roman Catholic Church of St. Matúš from the end of the 13th century, a Gothic Catholic Church of Our Lady, were preserved here.
Especially in the summer months it is great to combine hiking with stays at the water reservoirs and swimming pools. In addition to many hot mineral springs that are located in Liptov, there are many well known spas available mostly because of the quantity of rivers and streams that are stemming here.
There are remains of glacier activity in the form of several mountain lakes. The most famous are Vrbické pleso, Račkové plesá and Jamnické plesá. Most visited is the resort Trnovec at Liptovská Mara and resorts Bešeňová and Liptovský Ján.
For the lovers of white water or calm river rafting, the best are rivers Váh, Belá and Orava. Those are suitable for families, groups and even for individuals, but always with the escort of an instructor.
Aquapark Tatralandia Liptovský Mikuláš lies in the heart of the beautiful scenery of mountains, at the northern shore of the dam Liptovská Mara, with a view to the West, High (Kriváň) and the Low Tatras. Because the source of thermal water is flowing from more than 2500 m depth with a temperature of 60.7 ° C, Tatralandia can be opened the whole year. Currently, Aquapark Tatralandia offers 27 slides. Each visitor can try the massage session, water beds, water mushrooms, gargoyle, water streams, water swings, play water volleyball and basketball, and have fun with aqua aerobic. All of the 11 swimming pools – 2 Caribbean, 8 annual and 3 covered, are filled with thermal mineral water at temperature below 38 ° C.
Thermal park Bešeňová
Thermal park Bešeňová was built on the basis of hot springs’ water that emanate from the depths of 1987 m at a temperature of 60.5 ° C. The water is curing the respiratory system, urological problems and has a positive cosmetic effect. Positive effects on the psyche are apparent almost immediately, thanks to the lithium element. Mineral water contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, potassium, and many sulfates, bicarbonates, free carbon dioxide and other minerals.
In summer, the most important holiday resort. There are thousands of recreational tourists, which have the possibilities of swimming, surfing, sailing, windsurfing school, boating, water cycling, miniature golf, fishing, sailing ship. Trnovec has a beach with camp, 140 tents, cafeteria, kitchen, housing cells, sporting goods, mini, shipping port, a yacht harbor, boat rental, water rescue service, training center, diving and beach grass. From spring to autumn major sporting events are held here with international participation.
Liptovský Ján is located in the Low Tatras on the northern side in Jánska dolina. On the travertine uphill, there is an area with thermal and mineral springs. From the village tourists have very good opportunities to hike in Jánsky Kras valleys or on the surrounding hills. In winter there are opportunities for skiing. The village provides approximately 2500 beds in hotels, pensions, and private recreational facilities.
Located between Orava and Liptov under the Chočské Vrchy. Today they are well-known Slovak spa center. They are good mainly for gynecological diseases, such as primary and secondary sterility, infertility, uterine development disorders, gynecological conditions after operations, complications after interruption and more. The decisive factor in the comprehensive spa treatment is a thermal mineral water spa spring Valentine temperature 32 degrees of Celsius. Good results are achieved, in particular, with a combination of peaceful and friendly environment and healing effects of mineral springs. Spa provides cultural and sport activities for visitors: performances of popular personalities, folklore ensembles, trips, opportunity to play mini-golf, or watching movies in cinema.
The beauty of the underground world of caves attracts thousands of domestic and foreign visitors every year. There are three available caves in the Liptov region. Liptov is extraordinary rich in beauty of underground caves and is often called as Liptov Karst.
On the north side of Low Tatras, in the Demänovská Valley, is located Demänovský Karst, which is dominated by Demänovský cave system, about 35 km long. Two of them are available to the public. In addition, a large number of inaccessible caves in the Liptovský Karst are also gaps and other karst formations. The deepest Slovak cave is Starý hrad (Old Castle, 432 m deep). In close vicinity to the Demänovská Valley there is a karst in Jánska Valley.
Demänovská Cave of Liberty
The most visited cave in Slovakia, Demänovská jaskyňa slobody (Demänovská Cave of Liberty), is located in the Demänovská dolina on the north side of Low Tatras National Park, in the National Nature Reserve Demänovská Valley, 12 km south from Liptovský Mikuláš. There are about 150 to 175000 visitors per year.
Demänovská Cave of Liberty is a stalactive cave which is a part of a national monument Demänovské caves, the longest cave system in Slovakia. The total length of underground space is 24km and there are 9 caves, of which only two are available to the public, the Demänovská Ice Cave and the Cave of Liberty. The entire cave system was created by an active flow of the river Demänovka.
The Cave of Liberty was discovered on the 3rd of August 1921 by a Moravian teacher Alois Kráľ. The cave achieved its current form in 1933. There are two lines in it, the traditional with the length of 1,800 m and the exclusive, which is about 300 m longer. The tour route has 976 steps. The cave temperature is constant – round 7°C and the humidity is 92-98%. The age of the cave itself is estimated at about one million year. The entrance is located at an altitude of 870 m. Inside the cave gets an artificial entrance and its first steps get into the Deep Dome, the most attractive phenomenon Eternal Rain. This non-drying waterfall has arisen by the leakage of the atmospheric precipitations through a tectonic drift.
Demänovská Ice Cave
Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa (Demänovská Ice Cave) is located on the right side of the National Nature Reserve Demänovská Valley, Low Tatras National Park. It is one of the oldest caves in Europe, discovered in 1299. The first written mention is from the year 1719.
The cave’s length is 1,750 m, but the accessible length for public is 650 m only. Ice filling (floor ice, ice columns, stalactites and stalagmites) occurs in the lower parts of the cave. Eight species of bats were found in the cave.
Važecká jaskyňa (Važecká cave) is located in Važecký kras on the western outskirts of the village Važec between Poprad and Liptovský Mikuláš. The entrance into the cave is situated 8 m above the valley of the Biely Váh (river White Váh), at an altitude of 784 m. It was discovered in 1922 and is made tourist-friendly since 1934. Horizontal passageways were formed by the former waters of Biely Váh. The cave was declared as a national natural monument.
Dripstone décor is rich in pure white stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone pools. Small delicate decorations and bizarre shapes of stalactites remind of fairy tales. A significant part of the cave is filled in with fine alluvial sediments. The air temperature is from 6.5 to 7.1 °C, relative humidity is 94-96%.
Bones of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) were found there and are exposed in the corridor Konstanz. From the cave intervebrates is remarkable the discovery of Eukoenenia spelaea – the northernmost occurrence of this palpigrades, what placed the cave to a biospeleological SCI.
Liptov Castle also called Liptovský Old Castle, Grand Castle Liptovský or Sielnicky Castle gave the name of the entire region and owes its name to the original owner Ľubota – Ľubtov (Ľubota’s) Castle, then changed to Liptov. Preserved foundations of the castle are situated in the extreme position at the hill called Castle in Choč mountains at an altitude 1,000 m above the sea level and are available to the public (free entrance). The first written mention is from the year 1262. It was originally a royal castle and had to protect borders of the country. The ruins of the castle can be seen if following the marked trail from the village Kalameny.
Ruins of a Gothic Castle in Liptovský Hrádok with attached Renaissance castle stand on a small nipple in the middle of the plane field from which it was originally divided by a moat. It is located north of Liptovský Hrádok. Originally, there was a lowland castle with a water moat, which is now maintained in the form of a lake. The castle was founded in 1312 around the old guard tower in a major path Považská. The administration of forestry enterprises, steel and iron industry and the forestry office was focused here. The castle burnt down in 1803 and only manor house was restored. Upper castle was in 1930 partly retrieved against dissolution. Nowadays, the castle is used for recreational purposes and there is a possibility to accommodate for tourists.
Castle Likavka is the largest castle in Liptov. The ruins of the castle are on the tip of the Front Choč at an altitude of 657 m . The castle was built in 1315, when Liptov belonged to the grand Zvolen county, which was managed by the Pusty Castle in Zvolen. It was guarding the passage through the river Vah near Ružomberok and an important path from Považie to Orava and to Poland. An archeological research and preservation work takes place here since 1980. To the castle leads a trail from Ružomberok.
Liptov offers a wide choice hiking possibilities through its advantageous location and many natural beauties. Visitors can choose from a wide range of different challenging hiking trails.
The marked trails make it easier to navigate in the nature. The most important long-haul routes are marked with red. Blue, green and yellow mark the trails of local importance. All of marked hiking trails are based on towns, villages and tourist resorts.
Tourist maps can be purchased at information centers. Unique experiences are the dominant viewpoints of Liptov: Ďumbier, Bystrá, Veľký Choč, Baranec, Jakubiná, Salatín or Poludnica. You can go hiking on beautiful ridges of Low Tatras or Great Fatra. For Tourists, very attractive are transitions through Prosiecka, Kvačianska and Demänovská dolina.
Resort Jasná in Low Tatras is included in the highest category of tourism centers of international importance. It is located in the beautiful mountain area in the northern and southern slopes of Chopok in the Low Tatras National Park.
SKI PARK Ružomberok
SKI PARK Ružomberok is one of the most-known ski centers in Slovakia, with high standards of service, programs and customer care. It is located in the beautiful Great Fatra mountains at an altitude of 545 to 1209 m.
PARK SNOW Donovaly
Donovaly is a mountain resort village (850 m) on the west of Low Tatras located in a wide valley on the main road from Banská Bystrica to Ružomberok. It lies in the protection zone of NAPANT (Low Tatras National Park) and is an important center for summer and winter recreation. There are excellent ski conditions with great tracks for slalom, downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding and increasingly attractive for services of the highest standards. Park Snow Donovaly has possibilities of rental – skis, snowboards, ski-services, as well as ski and snowboard schools for beginners.
SKI PARK Kubínska Hoľa
One of the most popular ski resorts in Slovakia which is located near Dolný Kubín. Perfect ski slopes in the beautiful countryside of Oravská Magura, with beautiful views on the lower and upper Orava, Low and Western Tatras and Chočské vrchy or Malá Fatra are a great guarantee for an unforgettable ski experience.
PARK SNOW Vysoké Tatry
Park Snow High Tatras got 5 gold stars in overall quality. Štrbské Pleso, which is part of the ski center Park Snow High Tatras has been proclaimed as one of the best ski-resorts in Slovakia. 5 gold stars can by proudly taken away from the prestigious competition. Starý Smokovec Snow Park gained valuable proof of the quality of their lines in Šrbské Pleso, it ranks among the tourist centers of European importance.