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Great Fatra

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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 situated approximately among the towns of Ružomberok, Harmanec, Turčianske Teplice and Martin.

Krížna massif

Understand[edit]

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

History[edit]

Landscape[edit]

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.

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

Map of Great Fatra

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

Fees/Permits[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

The following peaks/viewpoints belong into the range:

  • 2 Malinné (1209 m). A peak in the Malinô Brdo ski center
  • 3 Smrekovica (1530 m). A peak nearby Smrekovica ski area. Not accessible by regular walk paths.
  • 4 Rakytov (1567 m).
  • 5 Ostredok (1596 m). The highest peak of the range.
  • 6 Krížna (1574 m). The best view of the southern mountains - Kremnické vrchy, Poľana, Vtáčnik
  • 7 Tlstá (1208 m). View of Turiec basin

Do[edit]

  • 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 Lubochňanská dolina (Start from Lubochňa town). Longest valley of the mountain range - 25km. Ends at the feet of mountains Ploská and Čierny kameň.
  • ski centers:
    • 2 Malinô Brdo (Cablecar bottom station in Ružomberok).
    • 3 Smrekovica (From Ružomberok, turn into Podsuchá and go up the valley.). a secluded and small one, only 400m
    • 4 Donovaly. Technically 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 hiking.sk or mapy.cz can be used to find possible hike paths.

One of the possible hikes measures 82 km and has 5400m of total elevation difference - so it may be somewhat 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).

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

At the ski centers, there is plethora of accomodation 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.

Camping[edit]

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. No bear-caused fatalities happened in the recent years though.

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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