- West Slovakia
Today the fourth largest city in the country, Nitra was where in the late 7th century, small Slavic tribes banded together to settle the region. By the early 9th century the area became the greater Nitra Principality, encompassing most of present-day western Slovakia. Trencin castle became a key stronghold in the line of defence against 16th and 17th century Turkish invasions.
East of Trencin and a short drive (15 minutes) west from Bojnice is the small village of Uhrovec, the site of a single house where two of Slovakia's most significant historical figures, Alexander Dubcek and Ludovit Stur, were both born.
Bojnice zamok, known to be Slovakia’s most stunning castle, is admired by Slovaks and foreigners alike. Activities throughout the year include Spa Musical Summer, a series of classical concerts held in the Hunadyho Hall, while in winter, "Christmas at the Castle" is a month-long (December 6 - January 6) festival with re-enactments of the birth of baby Jesus and live music performances.
Piestany spas have long attracted visitors to their hot thermal springs and sulphurous mud with its natural healing remedies.
Just an hour outside Bratislava by car, Smolenice is a very pleasant day trip to a peaceful little village and one of the most picturesque castles in Slovakia.
Places of interest: Trencin, Uhrovec, Lednica, Beckov , Cachtice, Bojnice, Piestany, Martina Moravcova, Nitra , Smolenice, Gymes, Komarno , Topolcianky , Brhlovce, Trnava.
HOW TO GET THERE
M.R. Stefanik Airport in Bratislava is located 9 kilometres northeast of the city centre. Discount flights are readily available with Ryanair.com from London Luton, Stansted, Liverpool and a variety of European airports.
Frequent train connections along the Bratislava-Kosice route. The fast trains towards Zilina take 35 minutes from Bratislava to Trnava and run several times a day.
Frequent buses between Bratislava and Nitra take 1 hour and 30 minutes as there are no direct train connections.