Malá Fatra


Limestone mountain Velky Rozsutec ( 1,610 m)

The Small Fatra (Slovak Malá Fatra ) is a 55 km long mountain range in the north-western part of Slovakia, southeast of the city of Žilina in the course of the Carpathian arc.

The main ridge runs from southwest to northeast and is in the middle of the mountains of the Waag ( Vah ) broken. At this point, the river and the mountain slopes form called a 12- kilometer bottleneck Strecnianska tiesňava ( German bottleneck of Strečno ). In the Middle Ages through the bottleneck leading trade routes were guarded by castles and Stary Hrad Strečno. The bottleneck separates the Small Fatra into two parts:

  • The Krivánska Fatra in the north ( to the highest mountain Velky Krivan, 1,709 m, named)
  • The Lucanska Fatra in the South ( after the highest mountain VeLka Lúka, 1,476 m, named)

The Small Fatra is limited

  • To the north by mountains Kysucká Highlands,
  • To the east by the Orava river and the valley Turčianska kotlina ( Turzbecken )
  • To the south by mountains Strážovské hills in the mountain pass Fačkovské saddleback and
  • To the west from the valley of Žilinská kotlina ( Žilina Basin).


The geological composition of the rock is quite diverse. The Lucanska Fatra and the southern main ridge of the Krivánska Fatra consist largely of granite. Accordingly, the surface is less broken. The northern main ridge of the Krivánska Fatra and its northern and eastern side combs contain large proportions of limestone, dolomite, quartzite and sandstone. Here, the rock types often change in a small space. The limestone has favored the emergence of numerous karst features, however, are not as spectacular as in other regions of the country and to the public (eg Kryštálová Cave ).

Flora and Fauna

The Small Fatra - apart from the higher areas and pastures - densely forested. It is dominated by beech and other deciduous trees. Monocultures of spruce, however, are comparatively rare to find. Grow at higher altitudes widespread mountain pine. The main ridge is mostly grass covered. The changing in many places in a small space rocks bring a varied vegetation with a large number - more rarely - Types forth.

The diversity of vegetation also favors a rather large diversity of species in the animal kingdom, particularly in butterflies and beetles. In addition to the more common types of game - deer, wild boar and deer - are to be found in the mountains and brown bears, lynx, marten and otter. Ornithologischerseits next raptors ( wasps and buzzard, sparrow hawk, hawk ) different species of owls are worth mentioning.


The mountain itself is inhabited by only a small extent. With Štefanová there inside the Mala Fatra only one locality in the traditional sense. In contrast, the immediate area is fairly densely populated. The inhabitants of the region are almost exclusively Slovaks. Interesting is the settlement of Wallachian shepherds families - especially in the north of the Lesser Fatra - during the 15th and 16th century. However, these were assimilated within a few generations of the Slovak majority. The relative seclusion, especially in the northern mountainous part favored the survival of some elements of popular culture ( costumes, dances ), but with significantly declining trend. On the other hand, there are many places still many living testimonies of Slovak folk architecture ( eg wood shingled houses).


The most important industry is tourism in the mountains (see below). Of greater importance are the forestry and grazing. Agriculture is possible because of the strong ground structure with many slopes only to a limited extent. The larger towns on the edge of the mountain currently benefit from the economic recovery in Slovakia. So the KIA Group near Žilina built near the village of Mojš a large car factory, which started production in April 2007.


The Small Fatra is one of the most important tourist regions of Slovakia. The Krivánska Fatra plays a greater role. The main tourist center is the Vrátna Valley (Slovak Vrátna ). A number of the surrounding valley, this summit is rocky. Among them, the rugged limestone mountain Velky Rozsutec emerges ( 1,610 m); he is one of the richest botanical localities of Slovakia. From Vrátna Valley is off by a commissioned in 2006, cable car, the highest peak of the range - the Velky Krivan - relatively easy to reach. In the limestone areas emerged wild rocky gorges and bottlenecks; so is located at Šútovo a 38 meter high waterfall. Other important tourist places in this part of the Lesser Fatra are Terchová, the birthplace of Juraj Jánošík, and Zázrivá.

Slightly less well known is the Lucanska Fatra. The central part of this region - the Martinské hole near the town of Martin - most often, visiting; here is the - next to the Vrátna Valley - second major ski area in the Mala Fatra. From the peak of the highest mountain - the VeLka Lúka - is possible a further look into the Turzbecken.

Tourist significant are the various spas that have settled in the small Fatra because of the good air and the various mineral springs.


The Small Fatra is traffic-technically quite well developed. The bottleneck Strecnianska tiesňava the railway line Žilina - Košice runs (formerly Košice- Berger path ); in Vrútky the path forks to the south over Martin from Zvolen. Finally, at the northwestern edge of the mountains leads a small regional link from Zilina to Rajec. In all larger towns on the edge of the mountain buses. Some mountain settlements in the north of Krivánska Fatra are accessible only on unsealed tracks or even on footpaths.


In the mountains of the National Park Mala Fatra was established in 1988; its size is 226.3 km ². He is exclusively in the area of ​​Krivánska Fatra. A number of areas within and outside the national park have been placed under special protection:

  • Národné Prírodné rezervácie (NPR, National Nature Reserves )
  • Prírodné rezervácie (PR, nature reserves )
  • Prírodné pamiatky (PP, natural monuments )
  • Chránené areály (CHA, Protected Areas )

Significant elevations

  • Velky Krivan, 1,709 m
  • Chleb, 1,647 m
  • Velky Rozsutec, 1,610 m
  • Stoh, 1,608 m
  • VeLka Lúka 1,476 m
  • Suchy, 1,468 m
  • Minčol, 1,364 m
  • Kľak, 1,352 m
  • Maly Rozsutec, 1,343 m

Some villages in the mountains and the surrounding area

  • Žilina ( Žilina )
  • Martin
  • Rajec
  • Kraľovany
  • Varín
  • Strečno
  • Terchová
  • Párnica

See also: Fatra, Velka Fatra