advertisement

Slovakia has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm to very hot, and have reliably good weather. Winter is ski season in the resorts of the Malá Fatra, and the Low and High Tatras. Ski season starts in late December and runs through March. Spring and fall are generally ideal. The months of May, September, and October bring warm sunny days and crisp cool nights. By the end of October, hotels and many sights start shutting down for the winter.

Holidays -- Offices, banks, museums, and many stores are closed on the following holidays, though some stores and restaurants remain open: January 1 (New Year's Day, Day of the Establishment of the Slovak Republic), January 6 (Epiphany), Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday (Mar/Apr), May 1 (Labor Day), May 8 (Victory over Fascism Day), July 5 (St. Cyril and Methodius Day), August 29 (Slovak National Uprising Day), September 1 (Constitution Day), September 15 (Day of Our Lady of Sorrows), November 1 (All Saints' Day), November 17 (Day of the Fight for Democracy), December 24 (Christmas Eve), and December 25 and 26 (Christmas).

Major Festivals in Slovakia -- The major festivals in Slovakia usually celebrate either religious rites or the country's folk origins. Among the biggest religious celebrations is the annual Maria pilgrimage in Levoca the first weekend in July. Unless you're a pilgrim, or eager to see a pilgrimage in full force, try to avoid Levoca on that weekend; otherwise you'll find yourself elbow to elbow with 100,000 other people looking for hotel rooms and tables at restaurants. Nearly every village holds a folk festival of some sort or another during the summer months (too many to list here), but the granddaddy of them all is the Východná festival in early July in the town of Východná, not far from Liptovský Mikulás. The Pohoda Music Festival (www.pohodafestival.sk) in mid-July in Trencín is the highlight of the outdoor rock music season, drawing many of the best alternative and independent bands from around Europe and United States.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.