Slovakia is a small country with great sports achievements. It is famous by its national hockey team which won the Ice Hockey World Championship few years ago. Many Slovak hockey players play in the National Hockey League’s teams in Canada and United States. Intrastate matches take place during the whole ice hockey season. Slovan Bratislava Hockey Club has won the Slovak ice hockey championship (Slovak Extraliga) in 2008.
Worldwide known Slovak national sports representatives are: Martina Moravcova – swimming, Veronika Zuzulova – skiing and Michal Martikan who won an Olympic Games gold medal in slalom canoeing. Slovakia is also represented by tennis players: Daniela Hantuchova, Dominika Cibulkova, Karol Kucera, Dominik Hrbaty, etc. Slovaks love watching football, hockey or tennis on stadiums as well as in TV.
Golf is a popular game; but it is not so common in Slovakia. However it is not so widespread yet, there can be found many golf courses thorough the country. Everybody has a possibility to attend golf classes and became a golf club member. There are several golf clubs offering you their services: Golf & Country Club Bratislava - Bernolakovo, Kosice Golf Club, Black Stork Golf Course in High Tatras, Zilina – Rajec golf course, etc.
A great golf course offering everything what a golf player may deserve is situated near Bratislava in Bernolakovo. This 18-hole course surrounded by beautiful nature belongs among the most challenging golf courses in Europe. Other 18-hole courses are: the Great Bear Golf Club situated in Tale in Low Tatras, the Black Stork Golf Course in Velka Lomnica and the golf course in Baca in Dunajska Streda district.
9-hole courses are for example Golf Course Alpinka and Spa Golf Course in Piestany. Alpinka is a great relax centre visited not only by Kosice citizens. Slovakia has suitable conditions for increasing the number of high quality golf courses.
Fishing is a very popular way of relaxing for many Slovaks. Slovakia has perfect natural conditions for its realization and developing. Slovak Fishing Union issues necessary fishing permissions that should be purchased before going fishing. Rivers and water reservoirs are ideal places where you can catch a fish. The most common fish kinds in Slovakia are: carp, catfish, pike and trout.
If you want to hunt wild boars, rabbits or pheasants you will need permission issued by a particular hunting union which member you may become. Slovakian hunters organize collective forest animal hunting. Illegal wanton hunting or fishing is considered as poaching.
If you love biking and discovering natural beauties from your bicycle, you have the opportunity choose one of the Slovak mountain bike routes. Great conditions for bicycle tourism can be found for example in Liptov, Orava, Slanske Hills, Zahorie, Turiec or Povazska Bystrica surroundings.
An impressive canyon hollowed by the Dunajec River in the National Park Pieniny is an ideal place for rafting. The river represents a natural boundary between Slovakia and Poland. It belongs among the cleanest rivers in Central Europe. Raft sailing gives you an opportunity to admire surrounding natural beauties. As the rafting on this river is safe, it is convenient for beginners and even for children. A raft leader will help you to overrun any breaking waves and fast white water torrents. When you are finished with rafting, there is a possibility to order special Slovak meals for picnic accompanied by folk music.
In case you want to raft on Dunajec River, you should come to the village Cerveny Klastor. Pieniny Sports Centre in Cerveny Klastor and Lesnica will rent you raft boats, canoes, life jackets and neoprene suits. They will also provide you with the raft leader and the picnic.
Routes are from 9 to 26 km (5.5 – 16 mi). The shortest route takes about two hours, the longest one about seven hours. The accommodation is provided by guest houses located in Lesnica and Cerveny Klastor. The transportation is provided by taxis and shuttle buses, but you can also rent a bike or just go walking.
Rafting can be done on 6 seat or 2 seat boats. Rafting starts from Červený kút at the junction of the Černy Vah River and Biely Vah River at the Kralova Lehota village, close to Liptovský Hrádok town. The end is at Uhorská Ves village. The rafting is 11 km long trip and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. River lines the beauty scenery of Liptov.
Rafting on the Váh river in this region starts at Vrútky close to Martin in Lipovec and ends at the village Strečno. The trip is 13 km long and goes along the Old Castle and Strečno Castle. The rafting trip takes abotu 1.5 hours. It is not difficult and is suitable also for families with children.
Rafting at Strečno below the castle is a tourist attraction which provides a view of the diverse wildlife around the river Vah. There are cliffs called Margita a Besna above the Vah river. The legend saysBesna through Margita to the Vah river to gain Margita's lover. The rafting is 7 km long trip. Start point of rafting trip is at Barierova and ends in the village Strečno. Rafting is possible every day during the tourist season from May to October. There is a raft running through the Vah river, which shortens the journey from the city of Martin to Terchova. For more information click here.