Introduction

The area of the Snina region is located in the north-eastern corner of Slovakia, in the eastern part of the Prešov district. It borders with Poland in the north, with Ukraine in the east, with Sobrance country in the south and with Humenne in the west.

The Snina region is rich in natural beauties

The Protected Landscape Area of the Východné Karpaty/East Carpathians is one of the most popular natural beauties in the region. In 1993 it became part of the Man and the Biosphere program instituted by UNESCO. The Protected Landscape Area of the Východné Karpaty covers an area of 40601 ha. Together with the existing biospheric reservations in the nearby areas of Poland and Ukraine it creates an international biospheric reservation called Východné Karpaty with an area of 165 000 ha.

In 1997 the Slovak government renamed the Protected Landscape Area of the Východné Karpaty as The Poloniny National Park (an area of 29 805 ha out of which 10 973 ha is a protected area. It is a national park situated in the easternmost part of Slovakia. The most untouched areas are designated as national wilderness areas: these are Stužica, Rožok, Riaba skala, Pľaša, Hávešová, Stinská and Pod Ruským; the wilderness areas of Bahno, Borsučiny, Bzana, Gazdoráň, Hlboké, Hrúnok, Ruské, Slatina pod Stinskou, Stružnická dolina, Šípkova, Udava, Uličská ostrá and one historic landmark Ulička.

In the southern part of the Snina region there is the Protected Landscape Area of Vihorlat. The Vihorlat mountain range is one of the products of volcanic activity. Together with the Snina stone/Sninský kameň (1005 m above sea level) they are the most visited tourist attractions that dominate Horný Zemplín. There are a lot of wilderness areas here. The biggest is in the Humenske hills/Humenske vrchy and they form the southern part of the district. They are characterized by thermophilic communities existing on limestone and dolomite - National Wilderness Area Humenská, Humenne falcon/Humenský Sokol. Here you can also find some inaccessible caves.

The whole area of the Snina region is interlaced with a plentiful network of tourist foot trails, educational pathways and cycleways. The opening of the seasonal border crossing in Osadné and Ruské Sedlo offers many routes for visitors.

Snina region is not rich only in natural beauties but also in culture and history

The wooden churches from the 18th century are among the most visited historical sights. They represent the peak of the folk and architectural work. They are a manifestation of craftsmen's proficiency, their artistic feeling and their sense of mutual harmony with the environment. The common factor of these churches is their originality and a high level of technical and artistic design. Among the most visited wooden churches are Uličské Krivé, Topoľa, Ruský Potok, Hrabová Roztoka, Kalná Roztoka and Šmigovec.

The Snina region is also rich in military and Jewish cemeteries from World War I and World War II as well as in cultural and social events. In the course of the years the number of various festivals, celebrations and tourist attractions have increased.

In Snina one can find the Gallery of Andrej Smolák/Galéria Andrej Smolák. The gallery organizes exhibitions of Slovak artists (M. Benka, Ľ. Fulla, M. A. Bazovský, P. J. Kern, C. Majerník...) and presents Slovak and foreign artists. Since 1993 it has organized international fine art festivals and in 2002 it began creating a sculpture gallery.
One of the interesting attractions in Snina region is the Astronomic observatory on the Kolonické gap/Kolonické sedlo. The observatory is equipped with a telescope with a one-metre speculum. It is called The Vihorlat national telescope/Vihorlatský národný teleskop. Presently it is the biggest astronomical telescope in Slovakia. The telescope has a unique optical system and it was installed in 2002 in cooperation with the Odeské observatory. The usage of the telescope is mainly in the area of stellar astronomy by participating in national and international observational programs. The Astronomy observatory in Kolonické sedlo/Kolonické gap is a collaborator with the Vihorlat observatory in Humenné.

The Snina region welcomes local as well as foreign visitors all year round. Its remoteness in the eastern part of the Slovak Republic has some disadvantages such as limited economical and regional development, but there are also some advantages such as untouched natural surroundings and cultural attractions.