What is the terrain and geography like in Slovakia?
Slovakia, located in the very heart of Europe, has an area of 18,859 square miles (48,845 square kilometers). The terrain includes the high Carpathian Mountains (The Tatras) in the north, the low Carpathian mountains in the center, the foothills to the west, and the Danube River Basin in the south. Slovakia is mostly mountainous; approximately 80% of the territory is 750 meters or more above sea level. The highest point is Gerlachovský Peak, 2,655 meters above sea level.
Slovakia is a land of beautiful, wide valleys, which were created by the Váh, Nitra, and Hron Rivers. Most of the land is drained by the Danube, the largest river in Slovakia, which empties into the Black Sea, and its tributaries (Morava, Váh, Hron and others). The Dunajec River drains a smaller part of Slovakia; it is a tributary of the Visla, which empties into the Baltic Sea. The longest river in Slovakia is the Váh, which is 242 miles (390 kilometers).
In the eastern part of the country lie the woodlands of the Carpathian Mountains. The breadbasket of Slovakia, the Podunajska Plain, lies further south along the Danube River. In the woodland regions oak, birch and spruce grow abundantly up to the tree line. Mountain pine and alpine vegetation grow above the tree line. Because the country lies on the crossroads of several different plant systems, unique flora abound. The entire territory of Slovakia is rich in fauna and most animal species live in the mountainous woodland regions.
Geography - note:
landlocked; most of the country is rugged and mountainous; the Tatra Mountains in the north are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys
The climate in Slovakia is a mixture of continental and ocean climates and has four distinct seasons. The mountain regions affect the weather much more than the geographical location of the country. The warmest and driest regions are the southern Slovak plains and the Eastern Slovak lowlands where the average temperature is 10 degrees C and average annual precipitation is approximately 500 mm. In the High Tatras the average temperature is 3 degrees C and annual precipitation is 2,000 mm. The coldest month is January; the warmest is July. During winter the temperatures in the mountain valleys are substantially lower than on the mountain peaks, and temperature inversions are quite common. Bratislava is moderately dry with average temperatures ranging from –1 degree C to –4 degrees C in January and from 19.5 degrees C to 20.5 degrees C in July. The maximum daily temperature in July is approximately 32 degrees C. Annual rainfall varies from 61 to 101 cm. Bratislava ranks among the warmest places in Slovakia.
During the winters in Bratislava the sun rises at 7:30 and sets about 16:00. The skies are often overcast, and snow and ice storms occur. During the summer, sunrise is before 5:00 and sunset is about 21:00.