Exploring Slovakia, Donovaly, Banskobystrický kraj

Donovaly – Exploring Slovakia

Are you looking for somewhere to spend a day outdoors while enjoying the nature? There are several places to do so in Slovakia, but one area stands out – the Tatras. The mountain range in central Slovakia is famous for its hiking trails as well as winter sports such as skiing. In the western part of what makes out the two national parks – Greater Fatra and Low Tatras – you find the small village of Donovaly. Situated in a valley it offers everything from ski slopes to mountain hiking.

A Short History of Donovaly

The village dates back to the 17th century when a settlement emerged in the area. The main reason for the settlement was the production of charcoal. This was also the reason for the establishment of the village Donovaly in the 18th century.

During the Second World War Slovakia was allied with Nazi Germany. During this period there was a strong anti-German resistance movement that resulted in the Slovak National Uprising. The center of the uprising was the town of Banská Bystrica, not far from Donovaly. The rebel army was defeated by the Germans in October of 1944 and the group changed tactics to guerilla warfare. During the time of guerilla warfare, Donovaly became an important center of the resistance.

Nowadays the village is a prominent center of winter and summer sports.

5 Things to Do In Donovaly

There are mainly outdoor activities to recommend when visiting Donovaly. It is known for its winter sports, but there is, of course, a lot of things o do also in summer. Here we list five of the most popular activities in Donovaly,

Alpine Skiing

There are two areas for alpine skiing in Donovaly. There are lifts both at Záhradište (1055 m) and at Nová Hol’a (1361 m) offering several possible slopes back down to the valley.

Cross-country skiing

There are cross-country skiing tracks going between Donovaly and Šachtička, a length of 14,1 kilometers. Alongside the main track, there are also a few detours to enjoy.


In case you visit in the summer, you might want to check out the hiking. There are several hiking trails in the area, stretching both of the national parks Greater Fatra and Low Tatras.

More information >>


Slovakia is a great country for cycling and this area is no exception. There is a total of 42 bike trails in the area stretching a distance of 375 kilometers.

More information >>

Enjoy the View from Nová Hol’a

If you do not have much time when visiting, why not take the cable car up to one of the peaks to enjoy the view? The top is 1361 meters above sea level.

More information >>

Going to Donovaly?

  • Car: The road E77 connects the village with Ružomberok in the north and with Banská Bystrica in the south. Banská Bystrica is a mere 30 minutes away. From these towns, there are further connections with the rest of Slovakia.
  • Bus: There are several tour companies arranging trips to Donovaly, but there are also daily bus routes connecting the village with several places around Slovakia.

The driving distance to Donovaly from 3 major Slovak cities, according to Google Maps:

Bratislava– 234 kilometers (2 h 18 min)
Žilina – 91 kilometers (1 h 23 min)
Košice – 216 kilometers (2 h 26 min)

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Soumya Nambiar

    Even though I have heard of Bratislava, it is the first time I am hearing about Donovaly. I really don’t know what is the difference between Alpine sking and cross country skiing. Would definitely keep this place in mind when I am in Slovakia.

  2. Swati & Sam

    The place looks stunning. I will have to add this place to the list of must visit places. Love to ski, so I think I would love the place. The Pine forests and snow capped mountains look stunning.

  3. Wonderful landscapes. Love that shot with the cable cars. Skiing is something I have never done and not sure if I can do it even. But this would be a good place to fail. he he

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.