National Park Slovak Karst
The Slovak Karst National Park is located in the southwestern part of eastern Slovakia. It is the largest and most typical karst area in Central Europe. It is known for its plateaus separated by deep valleys, rich underground and surface karst phenomena and varied fauna.
The territory of the Slovak Karst was the first in Slovakia on 1 March 1977 to be included in the international network of biosphere reserves within the UNESCO – Man and the Biosphere program.
The caves of the Slovak Karst and the adjacent Aggtelek Karst in Hungary are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Various karst phenomena have arisen in the Slovak Karst, such as caves, abysses, lakes, canyons, cracks, sinkholes, dives and spas. The most famous caves are Domica, Gombasecká, Jasovská, Krásnohorská and Ochtinská Aragonite Caves. Many others are not yet available (Ardovská, Silická lednica, Drienovská, Brzotínska and others).
Ochtinska aragonite cave
The Ochtin Aragonite Cave is one of the three Aragonite Caves in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also interesting are the vertical caves and abysses (Small Iceberg, Bottomless Abyss, Furrow, Silická Lednice, Belfry, Zombor, Wild Divide).
The highest peaks of this park are Mates’ Rock (925 m) and Jelení vrch (947 m), the lowest point at the foot of the Plešivská Plain (217 m).
Attractions of the Slovak Karst
• the longest and deepest cave is the cave system of the Rocky Stream
• The lowest-lying classic ice cave up to 50 ° north latitude of temperate climate zone is Silická lednica (503 m above sea level). The first sketch of the cave was published in London as a work by Matej Bel describing the cave.
• the oldest nature reserve was declared in 1925 with an area of 200 ha under the name Jasovska Cave.
• the smallest nature reserve is Pod Fabiankou with an area of 1.22 ha and the largest reserve is Brzotínske skaly with an area of 433.78 ha.
On the territory of the Slovak Karst National Park there are 10 national nature reserves, 6 nature reserves and 17 national nature monuments (mainly caves).
It is known for its plateaus separated by deep valleys, rich underground and surface karst phenomena and varied fauna.
The varied natural conditions of the Slovak Karst influence the development and distribution of animals. The mix of mountain, forest-steppe and steppe species can be observed.
Some of the species are endemic (the endemites of the Slovak Karst are Pseudocarpus and Rumenica turnianska).
The beautiful environment of the Slovak Karst can be used by tourists all year round. The region has a rich network of marked hiking trails, ranging from unpretentious several-hour to multi-day crossings. Another option is cycling, for less demanding are available routes on asphalt roads, for more demanding mountain routes. In winter you can discover the surrounding beauty of cross-country skiing.
Due to the high level of nature protection (mainly protected animals), climbing activities in the National Park are limited in time from 1.8. to 31.1. in some locations. The main center of mountaineering in this park is Zádielska tiesňava NNR