Hiking in the wilderness of the Great Fatra


Martin Talač


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.

Zelena dolina
At the beginning of the day I was walking through the Green valley. Don´t worry, cars are not allowed to drive on this road.
velka fatra
While ascending, I was constantly walking through the forest. In this place I had a chance to spot the surroundings.
Finally I came out of the forest and the ascend was not so steep anymore.
The Ploská hill is right in front

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.

Sheepfold. But there were no sheep.
A shelter for hikers. There was the wood prepared and I saw also some food left for somebody else. If you for example burn some wood, it´s your responsibility to replenish what you´ve used.
After the short break and walking further to the top, I finally found the flock of sheep
I think, they have quite nice “workplace” 🙂


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.

The meadows were full of blooming flowers.
Another sheep farm
It´s 21st century, but this is a shelter of a shepherd. I guess there is no electricity, heating or water supply. Would you be brave enough to live like this?


Let me know, if you would like to explore this area. 🙂

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