You do not need to be a genius to work out what draws people to the High Tatras in Slovakia. The tallest range in the Carpathian Mountains offers spectacular views you will never forget. Deep valleys, massive peaks towering above deep-blue mountain lakes, and alpine meadows that bloom in summer attract nature lovers and thrill-seekers. The High Tatras, Slovakia’s oldest national park, may not get as much attention as the Alps or the Italian Dolomites, but it should.
You can find in the Tatra Mountains rare wildlife, botanical gardens and hiking and also cycling trails suitable for people of all experience levels. Besides, the High Tatras are home to Slovakia’s highest mountains and one of the most visited caves in Slovakia. In winter, thousands of tourists arrive at Tatra Mountains’ ski resorts with the snow.
Magical autumn: the High Tatras in Slovakia offer some truly spectacular views.
Where are the High Tatras?
The High Tatras runs along the border between the south of Poland and the north of Slovakia. National Park High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) is often called the smallest alpine mountains in Europe. It is the only mountain range of the alpine system in Slovakia.
The Best Hikes in the High Tatras, Slovakia:
It is no surprise that the High Tatras are one of the popular places to visit in Slovakia. Here you can find plenty of hiking trails with incredible views and other unique attractions. Make your trip to the Tatra Mountains memorable and discover the best hikes in the High Tatras in Slovakia.
1. Strbske Pleso (Strbske Tarn), High Tatras
Beautiful Strbske Tarn
Strbske Pleso is a beating heart of the High Tatras in Slovakia, and it is easy to understand why it is so popular. Not only does it serve as the most visitor’s entry to the Tatra mountains, but it has absolutely everything to offer its visitors. Picturesque glacial lake with towering peaks in the background and plenty of hiking trails make Strbske Pleso a top tourist destination in the High Tatras. Here, you can find many hotels, traditional restaurants and also plenty of parking spaces. During the winter months, Strbske Pleso is famous for cross-country skiing and skiing. Hence, expect a lot of visitors during the winter and summer months.
As well as being one of the popular holiday spots in Slovakia, Strbske Pleso is a symbol of the High Tatras. The second-largest glacial lake on the Slovak side of the High Tatras is, without doubt, one of the busiest places in the Tatra mountains.
Once here, make sure you take time to walk around the mountain lake. The walking path, which is also suitable for kids, is barrier-free, and you can access it all year around. The well-maintained trail around Strbske Pleso offers scenic views of the lake. It takes around an hour to walk around Strbske Pleso.
Strbske Pleso is one of the most scenic places in the High Tatras in Slovakia. From here, you can set off in all directions on all sorts of hikes.
GOOD TO KNOW:
The surface of Strbske Pleso remains frozen for almost half the year. When the mountain lake freezes over during the winter months, you can use the tarn as an ice rink. Alternatively, hire one of the wooden rowboats for a relaxing afternoon during the summer months.
2. Popradske Pleso (Popradske Tarn), High Tatras Slovakia
Popradske Tarn blessed with beautiful views.
After you walk around Strbske Pleso, why not explore another nearby tarn? An easy trail from Strbske Pleso will bring you to another popular tarn in the Tatra Mountains – Popradske Pleso. This mountain lake, situated right on the Tatranska Magistrala hiking path, is undoubtedly beautiful. It is pristine, has a glacial origin and incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. Therefore, it is no surprise that Popradske Pleso is a popular hike in the High Tatras in Slovakia.
Here, you can stop at Majlathova mountain hut, where you can refresh with a cold beer or soft drink. Alternatively, try some traditional Slovak meal. After your refreshment, walk around the tarn and visit the nearby symbolic cemetery. It is a memorial devoted to people who tragically died in the High Tatras.
Regardless of the route you choose, the entire hike from Strbske Pleso to Popradske Pleso and back requires around three hours. It is easy to reach, and it is an excellent day trip for families with children. The path with an asphalt surface is suitable for bikes, prams and also wheelchairs. This blue trail path starts from the tram stop Popradske Pleso.
Alternatively, follow the red tourist sign from Strbske Pleso to Popradske Pleso from the Patria Hotel. This road may be more difficult, but it offers stunning views of the mountains.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Popradske Pleso is a starting point for many popular hikes in the Tatra Mountains, such as Rysy, Koprovsky Stit or Velke Hincovo Pleso.
3. Velke Hincovo Pleso, High Tatras, Slovakia
Velke Hincovo Tarn
Your journey does not have to stop at Popradske Pleso, though. Those looking for a slice of adventure will not find themselves bored in here. If you have it in you for another three hours of hiking, then the hike to Velke Hincovo Pleso should be on your list. This is the largest and also deepest glacial mountain lake on the Slovak side of the Tatra mountains. The lake located in Hincova Valley remains frozen for around nine months every year.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Hike from Strbske Pleso to Velke Hincovo Pleso and back is a moderate hike with spectacular views. It is a half-day high altitude hike, and you will need about 6 hours (plus stops). Hence, start early in the morning. On your way back, you will use the same route that you took to Velke Hincovo Pleso. Route length is about 16.8 km (10.4m).
4. Skok waterfall, High Tatras Slovakia
While staying in Strbske Pleso, make sure you take time to hike to the Skok waterfall. It might not be the highest waterfall in the Tatras in Slovakia, but it certainly is the most impressive waterfall of them all. A hike to a 25-metre high waterfall is easy. It is suitable for all beginner tourists and families with children. Besides, a path to the Skok waterfall is open all year round.
Walkthrough the Mlynicka Valley and the Skok waterfall is peaceful and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. Here you can also find several mountain lakes. The trail to the Skok waterfall starts from Strbske Pleso. On the way back, you will follow the same route. The hiking trail is about 10.6 km long, and it will take you about 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the route.
5. Capie Pleso (Billy Goat Tarn)
Capie Pleso located at an altitude of 2,075 m (6, 807 feet) above sea level in the High Tatras in Slovakia.
As you might expect, your hiking does not have to stop at Skok waterfall. From there, you can continue to hike to Capie Pleso, which you can find in the Mlynicka Valley. The trail from Skok Waterfall takes you through unforgettable landscapes where you can see beautiful surrounding mountains. Also, you can come up close and personal with one of the famous Tatra chamois, who lives in the Tatra Mountains in Poland and Slovakia. The hike from Skok waterfall to Capie Pleso is moderate and takes about 3 hours from Strbske Pleso.
The gorgeous alpine mountain lake Capie Pleso has got its name because of the abundance of chamois in the Mlynicka Valley.
6. Rysy, High Tatras Slovakia
The Rysy mountain sits on the border between Slovakia and Poland. Climb to the top of the mountain and peer down into two different countries at once.
It is no surprise that hiking to Rysy peak is one of the popular routes in the High Tatras in Slovakia. It offers grand views of the Tatra Mountains, and you can climb one of the highest points of High Tatras without a guide. Even though it is possible to access the Rysy from Poland, it is more common to hike from the Slovak side – it is much easier.
HIKING TO RYSY FROM STRBSKE PLESO, SLOVAKIA
The route starts at Strbske Pleso, from where you will need to go to Popradske Pleso. It is an easy uphill walk, and it takes about 90 minutes. From there, you will need to hike to Zabie plesa and then to Chata pod Rysmi -a restaurant, which sits along the hiking trail. It is an excellent place to stop for a break and have a drink before you start climbing to the summit. After your refreshment, the most challenging part of the hike will start; it will take you about an hour to reach the summit of Rysy from Chata pod Rysmi.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Despite its popularity, hiking Rysy is not for beginner hikers. You need to start early in the morning because it takes 7 -10 hrs to hike Rysy, depending on your fitness level. There are ladders and chains along the way too. Hence you need to have a strong pair of legs. Also, wear suitable footwear and thin layers to keep warm the higher up you go. Don’t forget to pack a light jacket and light gloves even if you hike in the summer months. Expect snow at higher altitudes if you go during the colder months and at the beginning of the summer. Don’t forget to pack water and lunch.
Hiking Rysy is a popular thing to do in the High Tatras in Slovakia. The peak itself is especially crowded during the summer months. Therefore, hiking Rysy in months like May or September might be better if you would like to avoid crowds. If you decide to climb to Rysy all other times of the year, the trail can be dangerous because of the snow. Also, look at the sunrise and sunset times, so you don’t get caught out in the dark.
7. Belianska Cave, High Tatras in Slovakia
Belianska Cave will steal your heart – just mind the steps on the way. © Planet Slovakia
When you are not hiking mountains, or the weather is not perfect, take a visit to the Belianska Cave. Deep beneath the hills is a limestone labyrinth of caverns and tunnels. In Tatranska Kotlina you will find the largest cave in the High Tatras that is open to the public. This beautiful cave with unusual formations is a unique attraction in the High Tatras. Here you can see stalagmites, flowstone waterfalls, numerous pools and different forms of decoration. Besides, Belianska Cave has excellent acoustics and is also famous for climatic therapy. Belianska Cave was one of the first electrified caves in Europe. Today it is one of the most visited caves in Slovakia.
GOOD TO KNOW:
The tour of Belianska Cave takes around 70 minutes. Dress up warm and prepare for 5- 6 degrees. Belianska Cave is open every day except Monday almost all year. Also, allow yourself at least 20 minutes from the car park.
8. Zelene Pleso (Green Tarn) in the High Tatras Slovakia
Green Tarn with a traditional mountain chalet (Brncalova chalet) is famous for its romantic atmosphere.
Another popular hike in the High Tatras in Slovakia is undoubtedly Green Tarn. The glacial mountain lake with pristine waters is perhaps one of the most beautiful tarns in Slovakia. During the summer months, the Zelene Pleso is notable for its striking emerald green colour. In the winter, the frozen Green Tarn is covered with snow. You can find the scenic Green Tarn in the Valley of the Green Lake in the eastern part of the High Tatras.
Green Tarn in the Valley of the Green Lake, Tatra Mountains
Getting to Green Tarn in the Tatra Mountains isn’t difficult either. Zelene Pleso is one of the easiest accessible tarns in the High Tatras, Slovakia. After two hours, a rocky path that winds uphill through the forest zone will turn into rhododendron, and you will finally spot the Tatra peaks in front of you. Walk along the stream to the traditional mountain chalet, which sits at the shores of the lake. Here you can grab a refreshing drink and admire the beauty of the Green Tarn.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Green tarn is one of the easier hikes in the High Tatras in Slovakia, also popular with families with children. It is also accessible on a bike, and during the winter months, you can also get here on cross-country skis. The return hike to Green Tarn from Tatranske Matliare takes around 4-5 hours.
The more adventurous souls can hike from Green lake to Jahnaci stit (Lamb Peak).
9. Velke Biele Pleso (Great White Tarn)
the Valley of the White Lakes
An only 40-minute hike from the Green Tarn will bring you to another picturesque mountain lake in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. The Great White Tarn might not be as famous as other lakes in Slovakia, but it certainly deserves your attention. Even though it is not one of the largest mountain lakes in the High Tatras, an easy hike to the crystal clear Great White Tarn is full of stunning views.
Gorgeous panoramic views of unspoilt nature in the Valley of the White Lakes in the High Tatras, Slovakia.
Exploring the Great White Tarn is not on many hikers’ wish list, but you will find a dramatic landscape of mountains, forest and lake here.
10. Skalnate Pleso (Rocky Tarn), High Tatras, Slovakia
Skalnate Pleso in Skalnata dolina (Rocky Valley).
No trip to the High Tatras in Slovakia would be complete without a visit to Skalnate Tarn. Skalnate Tarn is one of the most famous mountain lakes in the Tatra Mountains, especially for its easy access. Moreover, it is popular for its stunning views and many hiking trails. Skalnate Pleso is a perfect place for families with children and also not experienced hikers.
The easiest way how to reach Skalnate Pleso is by cable car from Tatranska Lomnica. Alternatively, you can hike here, but we would not recommend that. Ascent time is around 3 hours with an elevation over 800 metres.
Today, visiting Skalnate Tarn is a pilgrimage for lovers of natural beauty. During the warmer months, the dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, forest and a mountain lake attracts many tourists and adrenaline-junkie alike. In the winter, you can find near Skalnate Tarn the steepest ski slope in Slovakia.
Skalnate Pleso under the slopes of the Lomnicky Peak.
Follow the circular educational trail around the mountain lake and enjoy nature’s majesty in peace. A short scenic hike around the tarn is pleasant. Also, you will find a nearby mini-park with wooden sculptures and an astronomical observatory. If you would prefer to simply sit back and soak up some rays on a terrace, visit one of the highest located restaurants in Slovakia.
11. Lomnicke Sedlo, High Tatras Slovakia
After you explored Skalnate Tarn, make sure you take time to go to a nearby Lomnicke Sedlo. A chair lift that operates from Skalnate Pleso will bring you to Lomnicke Sedlo in about ten minutes. Once there, enjoy far-reaching views across the Tatra mountains. The walk around is easy, and you can explore the area in a relatively short time.
12. Lomnicky Stit (Lomnicky Peak), High Tatras Slovakia
The funicular from Skalnate Pleso will take you as far as 2.634 metres (8,642 feet) above sea level.
The Tatra Mountains are famous for their stunning peaks, but many are not accessible for active souls. While the High Tatras are, of course, an excellent place for mountaineers to visit, you don’t have to be a climber to enjoy spectacular views. All you have to do is to catch a funicular from Skalnate Pleso. A red cable car will take you to the second-highest peak in the Tatra Mountains – Lomnicky Peak. Once you get there, admire breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from various viewpoints.
It is no surprise that visiting Lomnicky Peak is one of the best things to do in the High Tatras in Slovakia. The ride to Lomnicky peak takes about 8 minutes.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Book a funicular to Lomnicky Peak in advance as during the summer, tickets sell out very quickly.
For the most immersive experience – spend a night at the highest located suite in Central Europe at Lomnicky Peak. Enjoy a starry night over your head. In the morning, wake up to the sun rising across the mountains. However, as you’d guess, you need to book a room well in advance as it is sought attraction in the High Tatras.
If you are up for a challenge, climb Lomnicky Peak with a professional mountain guide.
13. Botanical garden in Tatranska Lomnica
Aside from hiking and cycling trails, Tatranska Lomnica is home to botanical gardens. Botanical gardens in Tatranska Lomnica are one of the best places to visit in the High Tatras if you would like to learn more about the Tatra Mountains’ flora. Here you can admire the Tatra flora without a need to hike the mountains. Once here, walk around and see the diverse Tatra plant in various degrees of protection.
GOOD TO KNOW:
The botanical garden in Tatranska Lomnica is open seasonally. It is possible to visit it only during the summer months (mid-May – mid-Sept).
14. Treetop walk Bachledka
Treetop walk Bachledka
If you want to see the Tatra Mountains from a different perspective, make your way to the Bachledova Valley in Belianske Tatras. Here, you can wander above the ground and experience the forest from a new angle. The barrier-free treetop walk in Bachledova Valley allows you to enjoy unforgettable views of the surrounding area. Walk along the wooden path and experience unspoiled nature. Along the trail, you will find boards with information on the local nature and wildlife. A wooden path that winds its way through the forest ends with the 32-metre observation tower, which offers unique views of Belianske Tatras.
Treetop walking in Bachledka is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the High Tatras in Slovakia. It is easily accessible, and it offers the unique scenery of the Belianske Tatras.
GOOD TO KNOW:
Treetop walk Bachledka is a popular tourist attraction in the Tatra Mountains. Therefore, expect it to be busy in the summer months and on weekends. The path is open all year round, and the best time to visit Treetop walk Bachledka is in the morning. After the treetop walk, ride on the longest bobsled track in the Tatras enjoy the ride through the woods in Bachledova valley. You can find the bobsleigh track at the cable car’s exit station.
If you would like to get here comfortably or do not fancy hiking, you can use the cable car that runs from the Bachledova valley.
15. Hrebienok in the High Tatras Slovakia
Tatra Ice Dome, Hrebienok
Prefer to enjoy nature spotting without the exertion of trekking? Then take a funicular from the town of Stary Smokovec to Hrebienok. Hrebienok is one of the popular places to visit in the High Tatras in Slovakia – and for a good reason. It is easy to reach, it offers beautiful views, and it is a popular starting point for several tourist trails. From here, you can hike to the waterfalls of Studeny Potok, Bilik’s cottage, Rainer’s cottage, Zamkovsky’s cottage, Tery’s cottage, Sliezsky House. During the winter months, visit Tatra Ice Dome, which is home to beautiful ice sculptures.
GOOD TO KNOW:
If you decide to hike to Hrebienok from Stary Smokovec, it will take you about an hour.
16. Sliezsky Dom (Sliezsky House), High Tatras Slovakia
Sliezsky House is yet another stunning place that your Tatra Mountains trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting. You can find it in the beautiful surroundings of the High Tatras at the foot of Slovakia’s highest peak – Gerlachovsky stit. Those who like a challenge can climb to Gerlach Peak with a mountain guide. Alternatively, walk around Velicke Tarn, which is the largest mountain lake in Velicka Valley. If you visit during the summer, hike to the tumbling Velicky waterfall, which has a glacial origin. Afterwards, relax at Sliezsky Dom, which is the highest altitude mountain hotel in Slovakia. Recharge your batteries in elegant rooms with mountain views and enjoy a sky full of stars at night.
GOOD TO KNOW:
A hike to Sliezsky House is moderate. You can get to Sliezsky House by car during the summer months, but before doing so – contact the hotel reception if there is a free parking space.
Where to stay in the High Tatras Slovakia
No matter how many days you want to hike in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia, you need to plan where you want to stay. Right at the start of your planning, you need to decide where you want to go for your hike(s). This helps you to choose your location. There are three major resort locations in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia – Strbske Pleso, Tatranska Lomnica and Stary Smokovec. All three resort locations are gorgeous and offer many different types of accommodation.
Have you been to the Tatra Mountains? Are you planning a hiking trip to the High Tatras in Slovakia? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below. Also, if you like our post, please save it to Pinterest.
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