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White Orava

White Orava is the northernmost part of Slovak Republic. From Poland it is divided by Oravské Beskydy massif (Babia hora 1723 m) and from the south by Oravská Magura mountains (Magurka 1112 m). The river White Orava springs here and it empties into Oravská Priehrada (Orava Reservoir).

Large area of White Orava belongs to the protected landscape region.This protection is aimed to the original forest composites (that cover 40% of the area) and to the rare plant and animal systems. There are very valuable national landmarks in this area such as Slanica‘s Island of Arts situated on the waters of the Orava Reservoir. You can find here a church with the exposition of the traditional Slovak paintings and plastic arts. There is Birds‘ Island situated nearby, which is the ornithological reservation. There are some original pine forest protected landscapes at Babia hora (Babia hill) and Pilsko hill and peat bog reservations can be found all over the area.

Biela Orava ponúka svojim návštevníkom nádhernú prírodu s čistým vzduchom, osviežujúci pobyt pri vodných plochách s rybolovom a vodnými športami, poľovačky na jeleňa a medveďa, zber lesných plodín, pešiu turistiku rôznej náročnosti a cykloturistické výlety v okolí. Biela Orava si zachovala mnohé tradičné starodávne zvyky, spevy, hudbu, tance, kroje, aj tradičnú remeselnícku výrobu, spolu so známou horalskou pohostinnosťou.

White Orava offers to its visitors a beautiful countryside with fresh air, refreshing stay by the water with the possibilities of fishing and water sports, deer and bear huntings, visitors can go picking berries, hiking, climbing or cycling round twenty-three villages and Námestovo, which is the district town of the county and it is situated on the shore of Orava Reservoir. This water reservoir has become the region's dominant attraction because it is very popular holiday and sport center.

During winter season, this region is visited by those who are interested in skiing. There are ski resorts all over the region, from Oravská Lesná village, which is the coldest area in Slovakia, to Oravská Polhora village with its healing springs at Slaná Voda and the borderline with Poland.

White Orava with its more than fifty-three thousand inhabitants has kept many of its old-time traditions, songs, dances, beautiful music, folk costumes, and crafts. They are connected with typical hospitality of highlanders.

In the past, White Orava region gave to Slovak nation famous personalities such as Anton Bernolák, a codifier of the Slovak language; Andrej Kavuljak, the forest engineer and the Orava region chronicler; Ignác Grebáč – Orlov, the poet; Milo Urban, the writer and Ján Vojtaššák, the Bishop. Furthermore, Pavol Országh – Hviezdoslav, the most famous Slovak poet, lived and wrote here. The lyric-epic poem “Gamekeeper's Wife”, which is his famous work, was written here.

Five superlatives of White Orava:
• The northernmost village in Slovakia – Oravska Polhora
• The largest village of White Orava – Zakamenne (4568 inhabitants)
• The smallest village – Tapesovo (566 inhabitants)
• The highest peak – Babia hora (Babia hill, 1723 m)
• The lowest point – The Orava Reservoir’s water surface (601 m a.s.l.)

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