Nestled in the heart of Europe, Slovakia is a small and proud country that has managed to preserve its own language and culture despite its history being intertwined with its neighbours. Situated in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains on the banks of the Danube, Bratislava is the largest city in Slovakia. The charming old town is the historic centre of the city and home to the elegant Mirbach Palace and St Martin’s Cathedral. Dating back to the 14th century, the cathedral is one of Bratislava’s most famous landmark attractions, and has hosted the coronation ceremonies of Hungarian kings and queens. Avalon passengers will also get to see Bratislava’s relatively new pride and joy, the sophisticated Apollo Bridge that crosses the Danube. With picturesque mountain landscapes, warm, bright summers and a multitude of attractions, Slovakia is a Balkan gem.