Slovakian Alps: the High Tatras in Style
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Overview

A self-guided walking holiday in Slovakia, The High Tatras are the highest Slovak mountain range and this trip offers some of the most scenic walks in the area. There are about 35 valleys, 110 glacial lakes called pleso, and many mountain peaks, of which 10 are above 2,600 meters high. The itinerary offers some truly breathtaking views of the Tatra peaks and ridge. Our routes offer different length and levels which alternate easier days with moderate ones. Along with its Polish part, the High Tatras in Slovakia have been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993. On route you may well see a chamois or two, the symbol of the High Tatras, these creatures have lived here in virtual in isolation since the glacial age.

Accommodation is provided in luxury 4 star hotels, two of which were built at the beginning of the 20th century and have unique architectural features. The third hotel situated at an altitude of 1,670 m is the highest in the whole of Slovakia. The last two nights are spent at the beautiful Strbske Pleso lake, one of the most famous in the High Tatras.

Highlights:

  • Velka Svistovka peak
  • Glacial lakes
  • Waterfalls
  • Mountain huts with unique atmosphere
  • Cable cars and cog railway
  • Mountain hotels

Itinerary

Day 1 – POPRAD

Arrive in Poprad airport. Meeting with our representative at the airport. Car transfer to Tatranska Lomnica village. Poprad is considered to be the main entrance gate to the High Tatras. Here there are many historical sights including the famous medieval town of Spisska Sobota. The closeby modern and eco-friendly tourist resort Aquacity Poprad is a big attraction. Tatranska Lomnica is a mountain hiking resort best known for the cable car to Lomnicky stit (peak) and for the highest and steepest piste starting at an elevation of 2,190 m. Accommodation in a hand-picked 4* hotel. https://goo.gl/maps/jRtWJGfBjMz

Day 2 - Skalnate Pleso-Velka Svistovka-Hut by Zlene pleso lake-Biela Voda

Cable car to Skalnate pleso (1755m) which is the starting point of your first hiking day. It is situated in Skalnata dolina (Rocky Valley) under the southern slopes of the Lomnicky stit (peak). Across rocky terrain you will follow a red marked 2.7km long route to Velka Svistovka peak (2037m). This walk normally takes around 1.30 hrs. At this stage you reach the highest point of the tour and from now you will descend down the (rocky) path. In one part there are chains to help you balance, but this does not require much in the way of technical ability at all. To reach the hut by Zelene pleso lake (1550) it takes another 1.30 hrs. In the hut you can have a rest and buy a lunch. The lakes name is derived from its typical green color. After a your food and refreshments you will continue via a 7.8 km long rocky forest path to Biela Voda bus stop (915). The journey back to Tatranska Lomnica by bus takes about 5 minutes. Overnight is in the same hotel.

Day 3 - Skalnate pleso lake-Zamka hut-Hrebienok

Cable car to Skalnate pleso lake (1755m). Following a 3 km long route you will reach another mountain hut called Zamka (1 hrs). After a rest in Zamka hut (1460m) you will continue to Hrebienok, passing by The Cold Creek Waterfalls (1 hrs), where the most popular waterfalls can be seen from the upper end. Obrovsky vodopad (Huge Waterfall), Maly and Velky vodopad (Small and Great Waterfall) and Dlhy vodopad (Long Waterfall.) This beautiful area has been popular with visitors of Stary Smokovec since the 2nd half of the 19th century. Taking a ride on a cog railway you will reach Stary Smokovec village where you spend next 2 overnights in 4* hand-picked hotel.

https://goo.gl/maps/XApj7yXFcup

Additional option: This day is short and not very demanding. If you feel you want a little more strenuous day and the weather is fine you can take a 4km route from Zamka hut to Teryho hut (2015). For this tour you need additional 3 hours.

Day 4 - Hrebienok-Zbojnicka hut-Hrebienok

Cog railway to Hrebienok (1275m). Following marked routes you reach Zbojnicka hut (1960m). The hut is situated in the upper part of the Velka Studena Dolina (the Great Cold Valley), below the Zbojnicky crest. The way back is via the same route: Hrebienok by cog railway back to the hotel.

Day 5 - Stary Smokovec-Sliezsky Dom hotel

Following a marked 6.5 km long route you reach Sliezsky Dom hotel (1670m) where you spend one night. The hotel is situated in Velicka Valley and it is the main starting point for climbing to the Gerlachovsky stit (2655m) which is the highest peak in the whole of Slovakia! The history of the hotel began in 1871, when it became the first stone building to be erected. However, it was destroyed by an avalanche only three years later.

Additional option: you can shorten up the route to Sliezsky Dom by taking a cog railway to Hrebienok from where it is about 6 km to Sliezsky Dom (2 hrs, 560 m elevation) and save energy for hiking to Vychodna Vysoka peak and back. The peak (2428m)   offers a truly spectacular view and is situated in the line of the main ridge of the Tatras mountains. Three valleys sourround the peak: the Velicka Valley, the Velka Studena dolina (the Great Cold Valley) and the Bielovodska dolina, (The Whitewaters valley) above the area called the Frozen Basin of the Svistova Valley.

https://goo.gl/maps/JdjLACG4Dz22

Day 6 - Sliezsky Dom-Batizovske pleso lake-Popradake pleso-Strbske pleso (lakes)

Quite a long day of walking. Following 10.7km red marked route you will reach another beautiful glacial lake called Popradske pleso (1520m). This route takes an average of 3.40 hrs. Once you reach the lake you can have a rest in another mountain hotel, Popradske Pleso or Majlathova hut. Both have restaurant facilities. This area is the starting point for hiking to Rysy peak and Koprovsky peak. After some rest follows a 5 km marked route after which you reach your destination at Strbske pleso (1352m). Last 2 nights are spent at this beautiful lake in a 4* hand-picked hotel.

https://goo.gl/maps/qcsQavm361L2

Day 7 - Strbske Pleso lake-Waterfalls Skok-Bystre saddle-Furkotska valley-Strbske pleso

Your last day in the High Tatras is a quite demanding 15 km hike (elevation (970 m). At the end you will find it well worth the effort when you encounter the 30 m high waterfall Skok (1740m) in Mlynicka valley, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the High Tatras. The 5.3 km long route, by which you reach the waterfall in 1.40 hrs, is an easy one and suitable for even novice walkers. From Waterfall Skok you continue via 3.1 km long marked route to Bystra Lavka (2314) and from there another 5.1 km route until Pod Furkotou (1450) where you join the route leading 2.4 km back to Strbske pleso lake.

Day 8 – After breakfast check out and depart for the airport

Hotels

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodation is provided in three 4* hotels. Two of them provide services to guests for over 100 years. The 3* hotel is highest situated hotel in Slovakia. All hotels provide comfortable accommodation in well designed double/twin en suite rooms. Wellness centres are among basic facilities in all hotels. Hotel Grand Praha also offers a refreshing outdoor pool with natural thermal water.

 120 izba-deluxe-01

Sample hotels:

http://ghpraha.sk/en/ 

http://grandhotel.sk/en/

http://hotelsolisko.sk/en/

MEALS

Breakfast is included. Each hotel has its own restaurant where you can taste international or Slovak meals including 'Salash'. Each hiking day passes by several mountain huts with restaurant facilities where you can buy water and a meal for lunch. We recommend the lentil soup or goulash soup. A popular and famous spirit called Horec or Tatra Tea is also served here, this is a traditional spirit for the High Tatras and made of herbs, but be careful it is very strong!

Travel Info


AIRPORTS AND AIRLINES

Arrival airport: Poprad Tatry

Departure airport: Poprad Tatry

Flights from UK (London Luton) are on Monday, Wednesday , Friday and Sunday every week with departure time: 08:35AM. The flight number is W6 7692 and flights are operated by Wizzair. Departures for London are on the same days as arrivals with departure time at 12:35.

Before booking with us please check airport or airline web sites for up-to-date schedules and availability. You can check Bratislava or Krakow airports too for more frequent flights. Flights with Wizzair can now also be booked through us to include ATOL protection.

Flights

Recommended airport

Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday Poprad Tatry (http://www.airport-poprad.sk/?lang=en).

Flights from London to Poprad Tatry are available 4 times per week with Wizz Air.

Transfers to/from Airports:

Transfers from Poprad Tatry airport to the hotel and back are included. The driver will meet you at the arrival hall holding up a board with your full name. Pick up time from the hotel is arranged by us for your journey home with the transfer driver. Airport transfers from Bratislava and Krakow are possible to be arranged for an additional cost.

Private transfers

No additional transfers are needed except for airport transfers if you use a different from the recommended airport and very short local bus transfer on Day 2. You will receive a bus schedule on your arrival day.

Cable cars and cog railway are included. You will receive a GoPass card which serves as a ticket for all rides purchased according to the itinerary.

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS
Baggage transfer is included and will be arranged by your current hotel to your next hotel. After check out you simply leave your baggage at the hotel recpetion and start hiking. When you arrive to your next hotel the baggage will be ready at hotel reception. Baggage limit 25 kg per bag.

SLOVAKIA: COUNTRY INFO

Timezone: GMT + 1

Language: Slovak. In hotels and huts staff speak English. Younger folk are used to foreign travelers and they speak English too.

Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two pin round plugs

Phone code: +421

Currency: EUR; Excepted costs:

  • soup: 2€
  • soft drinks: 1-2€
  • coffe: 1-2€
  • main dish: 6-15€
  • 3 courses menu: 12-20€

Up-to-date travel advice on Slovakia is available here.

Detailed up-to-date travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Useful Info

DIFFICULTY GRADE: MODERATE

FITNESS LEVEL
Terrain is mostly rocky. Hiking is not appropriate for beginners and casual hikers but for fit hikers that are used to hike in high altitudes and walk longer distances. Average waking distance is 11.5 km while total elevation gain exceeds 3 090 m and average daily elevation gain is 515 m (read more about difficulty grades).

ROUTE NAVIGATION

Most of the hiking trail is made up of rocky terrain. It is forbidden to leave marked hiking trail. It is strongly suggested to follow only marked trails. Never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. All trails are very well marked. You will be provided with detailed route notes and also a visual photo guide and maps. Our representative meets you on arrival day to discuss the itinerary. Our 24/7 local assistance phone number will be supplied along with a mobile phone with dedicated numbers.

WHEN TO GO

This tour can be organized between June 15 and October 31. Itinerary contains routes which are closed to pubic during winter and spring, this being is due to protection of nature. Best months for hiking in the High Tatras are September and October.

WEATHER

Climate is mostly of mountain and alpine character, cold and moist influenced by high altitudes. Snow cover in valleys and peaks persists from 180 to 250 days of a year. Windy weather is typical and during summer afternoon storms are usual. Average year temperature in 1000 m above see level is 5°C , in July it is 15 °C. Last years hot and dry weather waves affected mountains. In such weather hiking is very demanding.

WHAT TO BRING

We recommend that you travel as light as possible - airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your daily essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact us or a reputable outdoor retailer.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wetwipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Prices

This trip is available from June until October.

The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season - so please indicate desired starting date when booking.

You will not be asked to make any payments to us before your trip availability has been explicitly confirmed.

PRICE: GBP 580 per person

(large group discounts applicable for parties of 4 or more)

INCLUDED

  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including:
    • gps-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes
    • detailed maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
    • visual day-by-day photo guide
    • daily distances and approximate walking times
    • daily vertical profiles and elevation gains
    • transfer information (airports, bus stations)
    • travel connection schedules for public transport (or private transfers can be pre booked)
    • hotel locations and contact data
    • destination information and background guide to destination’s history, culture and cuisine
  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4 star hotels or family run guesthouses as listed in itinerary
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel of 1 bag of up to 25 kg per person
  • All internal ground transfers as listed in itinerary
  • 24/7 assistance by phone

Options

  • Single room supplement: add 20% to standard trip price. Where solo travellers or individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable. (for further details of costs applicable to solo travellers see section below);
  • You can rent from us a Garmin handheld GPS with preloaded tracks for all walks: GBP 20 for 7 days.

Solo Traveller supplement

This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared a 20% supplement is payable on the standard trip cost (including the single room supplement above) and also on any private transfers required which are not included in the trip price.

SELF GUIDED+

  • On request, we can provide a private guide (£40 per day for a group of up to 6 persons)

EXCLUDED

  • Flights;
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.;
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

OTHER TRIP-RELATED COSTS

  • Optional transfer from Bratislava airport to the hotel 135€ one way per 3 seats vehicle
  • Optional transfer from Krakow airport to the hotel 60€ one way per 3 seats vehicle

Booking and Payment details

  1. When you book (deposit payment):
    No payment is needed when you book initially. Within 48 hours (72 hours on weekends and bank holidays) we will send you a confirmation email with deposit payment instructions (you can pay online by credit card, debit card or by bank transfer). Deposit is 20% of the trip price including options.
  2. Balance payment:
    Four weeks before the trip, the full balance will be due for payment (we will send you a reminder email with payment instructions at least 7 days prior to this).
  3. Receiving Information pack and trip notes:
    Upon confirmation of your balance payment you will receive the information pack and detailed trip notes (no later than 3 weeks before your trip).
    A member of the Natural Adventure Team will always be available to answer any questions you may have right up to the time of your trip. During the trip you will also be able to call a member of our team any time (24/7).

For detailed information on payment and booking please see below links:


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