Two locals at the village krčma (pub) in Vychylovka.
Photos by James Thomson
Kysuce, the area north of Žilina towards the Czech border, has its own distinctive style of village architecture, folk dress and local customs. An excellent place to see them is the village museum - or skanzen in Vychylovka.
It was established in 1974, entirely from historic buildings (most of them wooden) which were uprooted from around the region and rebuilt on the site. They include a mill, a church and, most importantly, a krčma (pub) which is still functioning. Vychylovka is fairly high up and, like all of Žilina Region, subject to changeable weather, so you may be glad of this refuge.
Folk displays, sometimes involving singing and dancing, are occasionally put on for visitors but it is best to contact the skanzen for times and details to avoid disappointment.
Also part of the museum is a switchback forest railway, the only one in Europe, on which steam trains operate during holiday periods.
North of Vychylovka, in the Oščadnica valley, is a series of ski resorts including one accorded five stars for its facilities. They all make use of the slopes of Veľká Rača (1236 metres), on the border with Poland, the highest peak in the area.