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Liptovská Mara, a reservoir situated in northern Slovakia, is one of the biggest attractions of the Liptov region. It is situated on the Váh River near the city of Liptovský Mikuláš. The dam was built between 1965–1975 and is named after one of the nine villages that were inundated as a part of the process of construction. As a result, over 4000 inhabitants had to move from their homes. Liptovská Mara was built with the main purpose of protecting the cities in close proximity to the Váh River from the floods that were quite frequent in this area. Nowadays, the Liptovská Mara Dam also produces electricity through the four turbines that are part of the dams' walls.[13] The only recreation center in the proximity of Liptovská Mara Dam is located near Liptovský Trnovec village. The shore is surrounded by the beach, campground, a few food tents, and a children's playground. Liptovský Mikuláš, as the main city of the Liptov Region, offers various historical or natural attractions and is also renowned as a town of guilds and culture. The city prides itself not only in the richness of nature but also in cultural sights, such as forest-park Háj-Nicovô. There is a Second World War memorial that is located in this forest-park. The memorial is dedicated to the soldiers who fought for the Liptovský Mikuláš city for the 62 long days. The Háj-Nicovô locality, which is listed as a protected area, is also sought after for its views of the surrounding mountains, the level of the Liptovská Mara reservoir, and the city of Liptovský Mikuláš.[10]

What Žilina is known for

Liptovská Mara, otherwise also known as the Liptov Sea, is (considering its volume) the largest water reservoir in Slovakia. The reason for its wide touristic popularity is due to the possibility to swim in the crystal clear water while being able to enjoy the view of the Tatra mountains. Liptovská Mara and the area around it offer many various attractions. Activities directly connected to water include swimming, surfing, sailing, windsurfing, boating, water cycling, water skiing, fishing, or parasailing. However, widely popular are also activities resulting from the pure mountain nature in which Liptovská Mara is located, such as cycling, hiking, or sightseeing.[12]

In the small proximity to Liptovská Mara Dam is located one of the most popular aqua parks among tourists. For example Aquapark Tatralandia, which is the biggest aquapark in the Slovakia and one of the biggest in central Europe. The thermal water is coming from a mineral spring from the depth of 2500 m and bears the temperature of 61°C. The aquapark consists of nine thermal pools, six of them are open all year-round, and two of them are covered. The water temperature is around 38 °C. Another example can be Thermalpark Bešeňová, which is located near Bešeňová Dam.[2]

Another interesting touristic destination is the Museum of Liptov Village in Pribylina. As a result of the construction of Liptovská Mara Dam, nine villages had to be inundated. Important cultural and historical monuments from these villages have been rescued and relocated. They are now on display in the Museum of Liptov Village.[3]

Regarding the hiking trails, among the most popular is the trail through the Karst Valleys of Kvačianska and Prosiecká. They presumably belong among the most beautiful in the Liptov region, especially due to their expansive terrain and the number of natural phenomena such as straits, waterfalls, and stone walls that can be passed only by using ladders. The Prosiecká valley begins in the Svorada mountain meadows and ends near the mountain village of Prosiek.[4]


Liptovská Mara Dam is situated on the river Váh, which is the longest river in Slovakia. The reservoir is surrounded by the highest mountains in Slovakia: the High Tatras, West Tatras, and Chočské vrchy from the north, Low Tatras from the south, and Greater Fatra from the west.[11] 

Climate in this area is cold and alpine. The warmest of months are July and August, with the maximum temperature of 24°C. The coldest are December, January and February with the minimum temperature of -8°C. The maximum daily precipitation reaches values above 100 mm and occurs usually in the summer. The highest hourly total precipitation is in the summer months between 2 pm and 8 pm, the lowest in the morning.[5]

Vast mixed forests and high altitudes ranging between 485-1530 m above sea level are the reason for the prevailing alpine animals in the population. Liptov territory is inhabited by a number of endangered and protected species and large beasts such as bears, wolves, and lynxes. Most of these species have already gone extinct in the countries to the west from Slovakia.[6]

Except for the forests with a number of endangered species, various caves belong among the significant geographical sights of the territory. In close proximity to the dam Mara can be found a considerable number of caves. Such example is Demänovská Ľadová Jaskyňa, which is one of the oldest caves in Europe. Worth mentioning is also Demänovská Jaskyňa Slobody alebo Liskovská Jaskyňa.[7]


The first settlements near the area of Liptovská Mara Reservoir can be dated back to Neolithic age around 6000 years ago. During Iron Age, Celts inhabited this area and to this day their tribal village can be seen and visited near Liptovský Mikuláš, in the archeological site Havránok. Havránok is one of the most important archeological monuments in Slovakia, with relics from the Iron (300-100 BC) and the Roman Age. Highly recommended is light hiking trail that starts near Liptovská Mara trail and leads through the whole archeological site.[8] 

Another important milestone was the arrival of Slavic people in the circa 6th century BC. The first evidence of Liptov is from 1,231 AD when Liptov and most part of the Slovakia was part of the Hungarian Kingdom. Liptov was then permanent county of the Hungarian Kingdom. The Kingdom of Hungary later transformed into Austria-Hungary. After World War I, Austria-Hungary fell apart and became a new state - Czechoslovakia was created, in which Liptov was included as one of the integral regions. Only after World War II, Slovakia came into being and the Liptov region became a part of present-day Slovakia.  [8]