Hiking The High Tatras Mountains, Slovakia

The High Tatra National Park in Slovakia is the largest in the nation. The expansive area has hikes for all abilities and the views are breathtaking. Despite being a relatively small region, it packs a punch: valleys, waterfalls, and endless snow-capped peaks. Peak season runs throughout spring and summer, however I went for my High Tatras hiking adventure in Autumn and thankfully the weather was still perfect.

 

The High Tatras range extends throughout Poland and Slovakia, and if that isn’t enough for you then there is also the Low Tatras range -plenty of choice! The High Tatras is my personal favourite because it contains a multitude of walks and iconic viewpoints. This park also contains Slovakia’s highest peak, Gerlachovsky Peak (2655m), as well as its most famous peak Lomnicky.

 

Throughout Slovakia and the High Tatras there are heaps of hiking opportunities and once you arrive in Slovakia you’ll hear of many more from the locals. I will run through some of the most popular hikes in the High Tatras and provide some practical tips as a base to help plan your own trip to this spectacular region.

WHERE TO STAY FOR HIGH TATRAS HIKING

As outlined in my Guide To Zdiar, I would recommend staying in the small town of Ždiar to base yourself for High Tatras hiking. It is a quaint place to stay and has buses which connect well to most of the hikes. It is really close to the Slovakian High Tatras so you do not have to spend much time getting to the start of trails. If you would prefer to stay somewhere larger, then Poprad would be the ideal place to check out accommodation and isn’t too distant. Accommodation in this region is affordable, with guest houses priced around €10-15 a night and dorm beds in good hostels costing €15.

GETTING TO THE HIGH TATRAS

Getting to the High Tatras in general is not terribly difficult but can require a bit of co-ordination and patience. Different bus lines will go to the different starting points for the hikes but this can be sorted out once you figure out where you’re staying. All the bus trips cost between €1-3 so it is very affordable. The buses come at varying frequencies and are rarely full, so just find the nearest bus stop and wait for one to arrive.

 

Ždiar itself can be reached from Krakow via train to Zakopane and two buses, from Budapest via a train to Poprad and then a bus, or from Bratislava via train to Poprad and bus. From Poprad or Lysa Polana it is simply a short bus trip away. All the details can be found in the Guide To Ždiar.

 

Alternatively, if you have hired a car then the drive from Krakow to Ždiar is around 2 hours and from Budapest is around 4.5 hours.

 

MOST POPULAR HIGH TATRAS HIKES

No matter which walk you choose to embark on, you will have a beautiful and peaceful time in the mountain range. The scenery is jaw-dropping, and the trails are not nearly as touristed as other parts of Europe. The High Tatras still remains a hidden gem in Eastern Europe and you should spend a number of days here to get the full, immersive experience.

 

Duration: between 6 and 8 hours

Highlights: Strbske Pleso, waterfall Skok and lake, Strbsky Peak, Furkotska valley, Wahlenberg lake, Solisko chalet

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: mid-June to end of October

 

Duration: between 6 and 7 hours

Highlights: Strbske Pleso, Big Hincovo Lake (largest and deepest lake in the High Tatras), Koprovsky Peak, Symbolic Cemetry of Tatras

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: early July to end of October

 

Duration: between 6 and 8 hours

Highlights: Strbske Pleso, Furkotska Valley, Jaske Pleso, great views from top of Krivan Peak

Difficulty: difficult

Open to hike: early July to end of October

Duration: between 6 and 7 hours

Highlights: Popradske Pleso, ascend the Pod Ostrvou pass, Batizovske Pleso, Velicke Pleso lake

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: all year round

 

Duration: between 6 and 8 hours

Highlights: Studena creek waterfall, Mala studena valley, Tery chalet, Priecne sedlo pass

Difficulty: difficult

Open to hike: early July to end of October

Duration: between 7 and 8 hours

Highlights: Velicke lake, Velicky waterfall, Polsky hreben ridge, Zamrznute pleso (Frozen Lake), Prielom pass

Difficulty: difficult

Open to hike: early July to end of October

Duration: between 5 and 7 hours

Highlights: easiest peak in Tatra ranges, Five springs, Slavkovska view point

Difficulty: moderate/difficult

Open to hike: all year

 

Duration: between 8 and 9 hours

Highlights: beautiful in autumn, Cold creek, Prielom pass, Frozen Lake, Litvorova kotlina Valley

Difficulty: moderate/difficult

Open to hike: early July to end OctobeR

Duration: between 6 and 8 hours

Highlights: Salviovy spring, Green Lake, Velka Svistovka pass, Rocky lake

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: all year

Duration: between 4 and 6 hours

Highlights: Studeny creek waterfalls, Kamzik meadow, Reinerova chalet, Giant waterfall

Difficulty: easy

Open to hike: all year

Duration: between 6 and 8 hours

Highlights:Green lake, White lake, Kopske sedlo, Zadne Medodoly Valley, Javorova Valley

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: all year

Duration: between 5 and 6 hours

Highlights: Rocky doors and Bujaci mountain ridge, Valley of the 7 Springs, Big White Lake

Difficulty: moderate

Open to hike: all year

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Lucy Owens Travel Textbook

WELCOME ABOARD!

My name’s Lucy and I’m the jetsetting student doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.

 

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