All About Rivers in Slovakia (Danube, Vah & More)


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This article focuses on Slovakia’s many rivers, you can read about the longest and largest as well as one of the most famous rivers Danube and Vah. 

Slovakia has around 180 rivers, as its location in Central Europe makes it one of the main paths these rivers take while flowing to the sea. Major rivers include the Danube, Vah, Morava, Orava and many more. The longest river being Vah at 403 kilometers (within Slovakia). 

Continue reading to learn about the facts and more detailed descriptions regarding Slovakia’s rivers. Including a few rivers, you might’ve never even heard of!

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Rivers in Slovakia
Rivers in Slovakia

Rivers in Slovakia

Slovakia, being situated in Central Europe, is a major pathway for flowing rivers, as it has over 180 of them on its land. These range from small ones, only spanning a few tens of kilometers to the largest river Vah, at a whopping 403 kilometers. 

It might come as a surprise that the longest river is not the largest one. That title belongs to river Danube, specifically its part near the town of Komárno.

As the country is filled with many rivers, there are many opportunities for water sports, or recreation as well as fishing. Not all of them are big enough for ships though, so I would advise you to look up a spot before you begin your journey.

Slovakia’s rivers offer anything from kayaking to recreation along their shore. Almost all of them are in some way a protected area, running through forests and there are tons of landmarks and other cultural things to see and do.

What is the Longest River in Slovakia?

Despite Danube being the largest river in Slovakia, its longest river is Vah. Spanning an incredible 403 kilometers. It begins in the Tatras, flowing westward until the city of Žilina, where its flow changes course and the river flows southward until it reaches, and flows into, the Danube River.

The river itself is a tourist hotspot, as you can enjoy many water sports on its long length. The entire coast of the river has a special name: Povazie.

It is made out of two separate rivers, the Black and White Vah. Black Vah starts in Kralova Hola while the White Vah starts its flow under the peak Kriváň in High Tatras. Vah is the left and largest tributary for the Danube River.

Incredibly enough, there are 22 hydroelectric stations and dams set on the river. These were built due to many floods the river created. The huge complex of stations creates enough power for half of the regions the river flows through. 

Does the Danube Flow Through Slovakia?

Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia (SNP Bridge with Famous Restaurant)
Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia (SNP Bridge with Famous Restaurant)

The Danube River starts in Germany and flows into the Black Sea. It runs through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia. It flows through Slovakia, but only for around 172 kilometers before entering Hungary. 

It is one of the most well-known rivers for its location in the capital city Bratislava, and it is one of a few rivers used for ships in Slovakia. 

As Danube directly flows through Bratislava, you’ll find a lot of bridges going over the river. These include SNP bridge, Old bridge, Lanfranconi bridge and many more.

If you want a good look at the river and Bratislava, you should definitely try out the restaurant on top of the SNP bridge. It has not only great meals but also amazing views.

Besides all this, Danube is the largest river in the country, spanning 80 meters in diameter. Almost all major rivers flow into it, which makes it use 96% of the country’s total land water.

TIP: Check out my list of recommended products about Slovakia. They are perfect as gifts or you will use them during your visit to Slovakia (Amazon links)

What are the Major Rivers in Slovakia?

Major rivers include Danube, Morava, Vah, Hron, Poprad. These are all important for either transportation or agricultural and also ecological reasons. Overall, each river is important to its part of the country, and one can argue that there are way more important and major rivers for individual communities.

As mentioned before, Danube itself has a huge importance to the country due to its size and location. Being a main river for ship travel in Slovakia, located directly in the capital city, boosting the economy of the region. 

Morava on the other hand, flows along the Czech and Austrian border for a total of 119 kilometers. The overall length of the river is 329 kilometers, until it flows into the Danube. It offers an opportunity for water sports, and one of the most frequented parts is Brodské – Devín. 

Vah, also mentioned earlier in the article, is ideal for water sports as well. It is the longest river in Slovakia at 403 kilometers. It flows around the western part of Slovakia, until it reaches and flows into the Danube. 

Another major river is Hron. Being one of the largest rivers, it is used for many activities. Although, it is not possible to use a personal or cargo boat on it. 

However, you can still use kayaks. With this comes one of the most known things about the river, rafting. Usually done in late summer months due to water levels reaching an ideal point.  

Tisa is the longest Danube tributary and the second wateriest river in Slovakia. Despite this, it only flows for a mere 5 kilometers. Being directly connected to the Danube, it is a frequent place for water sports as well.

Poprad holds the country’s record for the total height the river flows through. As it starts in High Tatras and moves into lower areas, the height difference reaches 1567 meters below its starting point. 

TIP: Drinking tap water can be a bit risky in a lot of countries. But when it comes to Slovakia, the quality of Slovak water is extremely high. Find out more about Slovak tap water in the article below:

Can You Drink Tap Water in Slovakia? Stay Hydrated (Safety)

Interesting Facts About Slovakia Rivers

Interesting Facts About Slovakia Rivers
Interesting Facts About Slovakia Rivers

Due to the country having a high number of rivers, there are many special and interesting facts you can find about a huge number of them. Included here are a few of the major rivers from the article, but also some that were not mentioned before.

The river Ipeľ creates the longest border between Slovakia and any other state. It flows on the border with Hungary for 140 kilometers. Belá is the cleanest river, but at the same time the most dangerous for rafting.

Danube, mentioned previously in the article, is not only the largest river, but a whopping 96% of all land water of Slovakia flows into it. If you’re looking for the largest waterfall in Slovakia, it Is Kmetov waterfall. Created by the river Nefcerka in High Tatras. Its total height is 80 meters.

Danube with the help of Vah and Little Danube created the largest river island in all of Europe called Zitny ostrov (Rye Island). It’s size is 1,886 km2 (728 sq miles). 

For any fans of kayaking, you should definitely look for Hron. As that is the most used kayaking spot in the entire country. Not only this, but the river itself is home to a very rare species of fish called Hlavatka Podunajska.

Bodrog, a river in eastern Slovakia, is the lowest place in the country at 94 meters above sea level. Besides this, it also holds a record for the largest catfish catch which had a weight of 128 kilograms. 

Vah on the other hand, being the longest river, has a total of 22 hydroelectric power plants built amongst its shore.

Not all facts are on the bright side though, for example Nitra has a title of the most polluted river. This has slowly been improving over the years, but it is still a long way from fixing.

TIP: Are you interested in knowing more cool or weird facts about Slovakia? Check out the article below:

Slovakia by Locals: 21 Interesting, Weird & Unusual Facts

Conclusion

Slovakia being in Central Europe, is home to more than 180 rivers. Most of these are not that huge, although the major rivers can reach impressive size.

The largest river in the country is Danube, flowing through most of southern Slovakia as well as the capital city Bratislava. It is a high-traffic zone due to the capability of ship transport on the river. 

Despite being the largest, Danube is not the longest. That title belongs to the river Vah at 403 kilometers. Stretching from the central part of Slovakia, going west and then south until it reaches and goes into the Danube.

Major rivers in Slovakia are kind of hard to list, as with so many rivers, a lot of them are major for their specific regions. Most known major rivers include the Danube, Vah, Hron, Tisa, Poprad and Morava.

Almost every river in the country has some history attached, thus all of them have their personal facts. As a few examples, the river Ipeľ is the longest natural border between Slovakia and Hungary at 140 kilometers.

If you want to know which river holds the title of the Cleanest Slovak River, it is Belá. Ironically it is the most dangerous river to kayak on. If, however, you want the most polluted river, it would definitely be the river Nitra.

Vah, being the longest, also has a lot of hydroelectric plants built on it, as well as dams.

Hron is the most kayaked river in the country and it’s also home to a rare fish species named Hlavatka Podunajska.

Majority of rivers flow through protected areas, which means if you decide to kayak on them or just have a trip along them, you’ll see a lot of beautiful Slovak nature.

Overall, Slovakia’s rivers are well kept and full of opportunities to make your trip into the country more exciting. If you’re into water sports, definitely look up Vah or Hron, as these offer countless opportunities for such activities.

TIP: Slovakia is full of beautiful rivers. You can also find a lot of beautiful lakes in Slovakia. Check them out in the article below:

13 Best and Most Beautiful Lakes in Slovakia You Must Visit

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Jano

The Slovakian guy who loves his little big home country.

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