The National Park of Veľká Fatra (the Great Fatra), lying in central Slovakia is typical for its continuous forest, long valleys and the largest locality of original yew tree occurrence in Europe.
I think the best thing about hiking in the Great Fatra National park is less infrastructure. I mean, it´s comfortable to have a chance to visit a mountain hut almost in every valley and have a tasty lunch there, like it´s possible in the High Tatras, but on the other hand, the less infrustruture means less tourists. And it´s probably because this area is not so well known to the outside world. The Great Fatra is completely different to the High Tatras. The hiking paths are not rocky as in the High Tatras, it is possible to do ridge hikes, the peaks are grassy with lot of flowers, there are not so many mountain huts and flocks of sheep are grazing on the hillsides. It looks like the time has stopped there. The only difference I noticed, is that shepherds use off-road cars to get to their sheepfolds.
On this day I ascended to the peak Ploská. The literal translation is “Flattened”. I fully understood its name, right after I came to the top. It looks like a football playground on the top of a mountain. What I liked the most about the hike are the huge grassy meadows and grassy ridgeline. Walking on a ridge gives you the opportunity, to look around and enjoy the views all day long, until you descend into the forest at the end of the day.
Walking there is quite strenuous. The route from the starting point to the ridge is relatively short and therefore steep. But once you get to the ridge and you continue to walk there, the walking is quite enjoyable.