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Great Fatra (Veľká Fatra - Slovak pronunciation: [ˈʋeʎkaː ˈfatra]; also Greater Fatra) is a mountain range in the Western Carpathians in Central Slovakia. It is among the towns of Ružomberok, Harmanec, Turčianske Teplice and Martin.

Krížna massif


Most valuable parts of the range are included in the Veľká Fatra National Park.



The Veľká Fatra lie to the southwest of the better known Malá Fatra mountains and are less developed, as well as, contrary to the name, being lower.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Nearly 90% of the area is covered by forests – beech and beech-fir forests, in some places replaced by spruce plantations and relics of pines. The area of Harmanec is the richest yew-tree site in Europe. The original natural upper borderline of forests was lowered during the Wallachian colonization. There are many extensive upland pastures, where cattle is raised in the summer.


Get in[edit]

Map of Great Fatra

Buses and trains go to the surrounding big cities. The ski centers and attractions are usually accessible by public buses too.

Fees and permits[edit]

Get around[edit]


The following peaks/viewpoints belong into the range:

  • 2 Malinné (1209 m). A peak in the Malinô Brdo ski center Ski Park Ružomberok (Q11835953) on Wikidata sk:Malinné_(lyžiarske_stredisko) on Wikipedia
  • 3 Smrekovica (1530 m). A peak nearby Smrekovica ski area. Not accessible by regular walk paths. Smrekovica (Q9338777) on Wikidata
  • 4 Rakytov (1567 m). Rakytov (Q960759) on Wikidata sk:Rakytov_(vrch) on Wikipedia
  • 5 Ostredok (1596 m). The highest peak of the range. Ostredok (Q2587548) on Wikidata sk:Ostredok_(vrch_vo_Veľkej_Fatre) on Wikipedia
  • 6 Krížna (1574 m). The best view of the southern mountains - Kremnické vrchy, Poľana, Vtáčnik Krížna (Q11750086) on Wikidata sk:Krížna_(vrch_vo_Veľkej_Fatre) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Majer's rock (Majerova skala). A cliff near Krížna mountain with good overview over the Donovaly valley. Majerova skala (Q20860742) on Wikidata sk:Majerova_skala on Wikipedia
  • 8 Tlstá (1208 m). View of Turiec basin Tlstá (Q7810755) on Wikidata Tlstá on Wikipedia


  • One day hiking is possible in many places of the range, esp. popular are the ones at the ski centers. Some of the hikes can be relatively long and exhausting.
    • 1 Ľubochnianska valley (Ľubochnianska dolina) (Start from Lubochňa town). Longest valley of Slovakia - 25 km. Ends at the feet of mountains Ploská and Čierny kameň. Ľubochnianska dolina (Q3507016) on Wikidata sk:Ľubochnianska_dolina on Wikipedia
    • 2 Blatnica Valley. A densly forrested karst valley. In places, lime and dolomite rocks are visible, however the best known part of the valley is the rock window at its lower part. Blatnica Valley (Q4177980) on Wikidata Blatnica_Valley on Wikipedia
    • 3 Gader Valley. A long valley with the ruins on Blatnica castle. Gader Valley (Q4178048) on Wikidata Gader_Valley on Wikipedia
    • 4 Necpal Valley. Necpalská dolina (Q11790430) on Wikidata sk:Necpalská_dolina on Wikipedia
    • 5 Jasenská Valley.
  • Ski centers:
    • 6 Malinô Brdo (Cablecar bottom station in Ružomberok).
    • 7 Smrekovica (From Ružomberok, turn into Podsuchá and go up the valley.). A secluded and small one, only 400 m.
    • 8 Donovaly. Not in Veľká Fatra, but right at its edge.

Multi-day hiking[edit]

Many 2- or 3-day walks through the whole range are possible, Hike planners like or can be used to find possible hike paths.

One of the possible hikes measures 82 km and has 5400 m of total elevation difference - so it may be exhausting. Start is in usually in Ružomberok (Malinô Brdo ski center), the end can be either Harmanec (nearby Banská Bystrica - see here, use google translator if needed) or Ľubochňa (see here).






At the ski centers, there is plethora of accommodation available.

Best bet is sleeping in alpine huts or one of the sheep-guards housings. A (non-exhausting) list of available locations:

  • 1 Hotel Smrekovica.
  • 2 Chata pod Borišovom.
  • 3 Kýšky.
  • 4 Suchý vrch.
  • 5 Kráľova studňa.


For the multi-day hiking, it is possible to sleep in designated places in tents - but because of the high bear presence (compared to other parts of Slovakia), it may be a bit risky. As of 2016, no bear-caused fatalities had happened in the previous few years though.


Stay safe[edit]

Animals like brown bear, grey wolf and Eurasian lynx live here. Although they usually are more afraid of humans than the other way around, it's always good to be prepared for the chance of meeting them.

Go next[edit]

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