The Muránska planina National Park
This park is a karst mountainous plateau in the western part of the mountain range Slovenské Rudohorie on the border between central and eastern Slovakia. The national park covers an area of 20,318 ha with a buffer zone of 21,698 ha. It penetrates into three districts, Brezno, Revúca and Rimavská Sobota with the core of this karst area formed by a limestone-dolomite plateau with numerous karst formations. The highest summit is Fabová hoľa (1439 m) and the lowest point, the valley of the Muránky stream (400 m above sea level). The total length of the karst area from Červená skala to the western outcrops beyond Tisovec is 25 km. In this area more than 150 noteworthy caves (inaccessible to the public) have been discovered, more than 50 swallow holes and karst springs, as well as a number of karst phenomena such as lapiés, karst holes, swallets, canyons, rocky towers, large rock formations and the like. The most extensive cave system is Bobačka (a 2221 m long spring cave with siphons, underground lakes and stalactite-stalagmite decoration). Muránska planina is also an area of vast forests dominated by beech and beech-fir forests, with pine and spruce also growing on rockier ground. More than 90 plant species grow here, a region which is also the habitat of bears, wolves, lynx, wildcats, otters, golden eagles, lesser spotted eagles, saker falcons, eagle-owls and buntings. In the caves are several species of bat. One point of interest in the Muránska planina is the breeding of the Slovak Mountain horse, a crossbreed of the Hucul and Nordic horse. The area is crossed by a cog railway connecting the region of Pohronie with that of Gemer (Brezno – Tisovec – Hnúšťa). Remains of the castle, Muránsky hrad, divided into 27 parts, bear witness to the long history of the region. Another architectural jewel is the chateau at Predná Hora. There are many farming settlements scattered around the region providing good foundations for the development of agro-tourism (notably in the vicinity of the villages of Pohronská Polhora, Tisovec, Zlatno and Muránska Zdychava).
Muránska planina is an area primarily suitable for hiking with its 300 km of marked trails. Good starting points for hikes (so-called ‘gates’ into the national park) are the villages situated along its boundary – mainly Muráň, Tisovec, Pohronská Polhora-Michalová, Červená Skala and Závadka nad Hronom. The park also offers good conditions for ski-trekking and mountain biking, climbing and paragliding.