Overview for The High Tatras Complete
Explore the highest part of the mighty Carpathians, located in Poland and Slovakia, with our High Tatras Complete self guided walking holiday. At the High Tatras’ foot lie several historical regions, among them the colourful Podhale and Spisz. There are numerous valleys, glacial lakes, and plenty of Alpine mountain peaks, ten of which are above 2,600 meters high. The walk to Lomnicky Peak provides a breath-taking view of the Tatra mountains and Slovakia.
This self guided walking holiday in Poland and Slovakia runs through villages and towns located in picturesque valleys. During this walking tour, you will get the opportunity to visit two national parks and three UNESCO world heritage sites, including the great Kraków. The High Tatras are the only mountain range in Europe which has four main predators still living in its area, namely bear, eagle, wolf and lynx.
Accommodation is in 3 and 4-star hotels. You will spend the last two nights in a 3-star hotel near Strbske pleso lake, one of the most picturesque lakes in the High Tatras.
Optional: “In Style” upgrade: if you prefer to stay on last two nights in the luxury 4-star Hotel Solisko on the lake shore, you can choose this option when completing the online booking form.
- The Tatra Mountains
- Dunajec Gorge
- Old town of Krakow – former Polish capital
- Lomnicky Peak
- Strbske Pleso Lake
- Wieliczka Salt Mine (optional)
- Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum (optional)
Itinerary for The High Tatras CompleteGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival to Krakow
Arrival and accommodation in a hotel in Krakow. Depending on arrival time, you will have a chance for individual sightseeing of the Old Town, Market Square, and the Jewish Quarter.
- Accommodation: Hotel Kazimierz
Day 2: Zakopane
After breakfast, a private car transfer will take you to Zakopane, a lively resort located in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. In 2 hours you will reach the hotel situated close to the Tatra National Park entrance. After leaving your luggage in the hotel, you can take a moderate walk along one of the Tatra valleys. There are several options to choose from, all of which are described in the extended materials you’ll be provided upon booking.
- Walking for the day: 16 km, 4-5 hours ↑670m (alternative shorter or longer walks possible)
- Accommodation: Hotel Willa Pod Skocznią
Day 3: Swinica Peak
A full day of hiking in the Tatra Mountains. Among suggested routes are the peaks of Kopa Kondracka (2,005 m), Czerwone Wierchy (2,096 m) and Swinica (2,301 m).
- Walking for the day: 23 km, 7-8 hours ↑1,300m (alternative shorter walks possible)
- Accommodation: Hotel Willa Pod Skocznią
Day 4: Pieniny Mountains
After breakfast, a car will be waiting to take you to the Slovakian side of the Pieniny national park. This day’s hike follows a rolling landscape and passes several interesting limestone formations. You will descend to the valley of Dunajec. Accommodation is on the Polish side of the river near the entrance to the Dunajec Gorge.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 6 hours ↑300m
- Accommodation: Hotel ‘Nad Przelomem’
Day 5: Dunajec Gorge
Start of the walk through the Dunajec Gorge. UNESCO lists this narrow limestone valley as World Natural Heritage Site. This day’s route follows the so-called ”Pieniny Way” to the spa town of Szczawnica. The route can be optionally done by wooden rafts operated by local Highlanders.
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 6 hours ↑650m (alternative shorter walk possible)
- Accommodation: Hotel Batory
Day 6: Velka Svistovka Peak
Car transfer to Tatranska Lomnica in Slovakia (70 km / 1.5 hours). It is a mountain hiking resort best known for the cable car to Lomnicky stit (peak) and the highest and steepest piste starting at an elevation of 2,190 m. Check-in and have a refreshment.
Your walking today starts by taking the cable car to Skalnate pleso. It is situated in Skalnata dolina (Rocky Valley) under southern slopes of the Lomnicky stit (peak). On rocky terrain, you will follow the trail to Velka Svistovka peak (2,037 m). There you will reach the highest point of the trail, and after that, you will descend on the rocky path. Reach the Hut by Zelene pleso lake. In the hut, you can have a rest and enjoy lunch. After resting, you will continue through a forested rocky path to Biela Voda’s bus stop.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 4-5 hours ↑400m
- Accommodation: Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica
Day 7: Cold Creek Waterfalls
Cable car to Skalnate pleso lake (1,755 m). Walk until you reach a mountain hut called Zamka. After a break in Zamka hut (1,460 m), you will continue to Hrebienok passing by The Cold Creek Waterfalls. Walk to Hrebienok, a ski centre located above Stary Smokovec village, on the southern slope of the Slavkovsky Peak. Taking a cog railway, you will reach Stary Smokovec village where you will spend next two overnights in a 4-star hotel.
- Walking for the day: 7 km, 2-3 hours ↑150m (3 hours extra walk possible)
- Accommodation: Grand Hotel Starý Smokovec
Additional option: This day is short and not very demanding. If you feel good and the weather is fine, you can take a 4 km route from Zamka hut to Teryho hut (2,015 m). For this extra walk, you will need additional 3 hours.
Day 8: Zbojnicky Crest
Cog railway to Hrebienok (1,275 m). Following marked routes, you will reach Zbojnicka hut (1,960 m). The hut is situated in the upper part of the Velka Studena Dolina (the Great Cold Valley), below the Zbojnicky crest. The name “Zbojnicka” means “robber”, which is a part of the owner’s family history when poachers used the hut. The way back is via the same route. On Hrebienok by cog railway back to the hotel.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 5 hours ↑800m
- Accommodation: Grand Hotel Starý Smokovec
Day 9: Sliezsky Dom
Following a marked trail, you will reach Sliezsky Dom hotel (1,670 m) where you will spend one night. The hotel is situated in Velicka Valley and is the primary starting point for climbing the Gerlachovsky stit (2,655 m), which is the highest peak of the High Tatras and Slovakia.
- Walking for the day: 8 km, 3 hours ↑800m (see additional options below)
- Accommodation: Sliezsky Dom hotel
Additional option: you can shorten up the route to Sliezsky Dom by taking a cog railway to Hrebienok. From there it is about 6 km to Sliezsky Dom (2 hrs, 560 m elevation gain) and you can save energy for hiking Vychodna Vysoka peak and back. The peak (2,428 m) offers a perfect view, situated in the line of the main ridge of the Tatras mountains. Three valleys surround the summit: the Velicka Valley, the Velka Studena Dolina (the Great Cold Valley) and the Bielovodska Dolina (The White-Waters valley) above the area called the Frozen Basin of the Svistova Valley.
Day 10: The Glacial Lakes
Following the red-marked route, you will reach a beautiful glacial lake called Popradske pleso (1,520 m). Once you reach the lake, you can have a rest in another mountain hotel – Popradske Pleso or at Majlathova hut. Both have restaurants. The place is a starting point for hiking to Rysy peak and Koprovsky peak. Continue walking, and you will reach the goal of this day – Strbske Pleso lake (1,352 m). Last two nights are at a hand-picked 3-star hotel in the village.
- Walking for the day: 16 km, 6 hours ↑700m (see additional options below)
- Accommodation: Hotel Fis
Optional: “In Style” upgrade: if you prefer to stay on last two nights at the luxury 4-star Hotel Solisko on the lake shore, you can choose this option when completing the online booking form.
Day 11: Skok Waterfalls
Your last hiking day in the High Tatras is quite demanding in length (15 km) and elevation gain (950 m). On the positive side, you will see the 30 m high waterfall Skok in Mlynicka valley which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the High Tatras. From Waterfall Skok, you will continue to Bystra Lavka (2,314 m) and from there walk to Pod Furkotou, where you will join the route leading back to Strbske pleso lake.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 6-7 hours ↑950m
- Accommodation: Hotel Fis
Day 12: Departure or Onward Travel
Return home or individual stay extension.
Hotels for The High Tatras CompleteGo to top of page
You will be staying in charming 3 and 4-star hotels. The accommodation was chosen to be close to national parks and trails. The 4-star hotels have been servicing guests for over 100 years. The 3-star Sliezsky Dom hotel is the highest situated hotel in Slovakia. All hotels provide comfortable accommodation in well designed double/twin en-suite rooms. There are wellness centres in most places. Hotel Grand Praha has an outdoor pool with thermal water.
Optional: “In Style” upgrade: if you prefer to stay on last two nights at the luxury 4-star Hotel Solisko on the lake shore, rather than 3-star Hotel Fis in the village, you can choose this option when completing the online booking form.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is always included. On most days there are mountain huts/chalets along the trail which offer simple, hot food and drinks. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in the hotel or from several restaurants in towns and villages where the accommodation is located. Most restaurants offer local specialities as well as international cuisine.
Travel for The High Tatras CompleteGo to top of page
Recommended arrival airport: Krakow
Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport is located 11 km west of Kraków.
Recommended departure airport: Poprad Tatry
Alternative departure airports: Bratislava or Krakow
You can check Bratislava or Krakow airports too, with more frequent flights from different UK airports operated mostly by Ryanair.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Travelling by train to Krakow (not included) is the fastest way to get to/from the airport to city centre where the first and last day hotel is located (the journey to the city centre takes about 17 minutes). The new Krakow Airport train station is located near the passenger terminal, at the rear of the multi-storey car park. Trains operate 7 days a week. You can also book a private transfer with us at an extra cost.
Transfers to Poprad Tatry from the last hotel are included. Pick up time from the hotel on departure day will be specified on the spot. You will be provided with the contact info of the driver. Airport transfers to Bratislava and Krakow can be arranged at an additional cost.
Baggage transfer is included on all walking days, and your bags will be transferred by the driver to your next hotel. 25 kg luggage weight limit per person.
Car transfers on walking days in Poland are included. Cable cars and cog railway on walking days in Slovakia are included as per itinerary. You will get a GoPass card which serves as a ticket for all rides included according to the itinerary. Local transports by bus in Slovakia are excluded.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Poland is available here
- Up-to-date travel advice on Slovakia is available here.
Trip Info for The High Tatras CompleteGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
This tour 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 walking distance is 12 km with average daily elevation gain exceeding 500 m (read more about difficulty grades).
On some days there is a choice of two walks, shorter or longer.
The route follows unpaved walking trails, most of which are well marked and sign posted. On many trails the terrain is rocky and can become slippery if raining.
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip as available from June 15th until mid-October. The itinerary contains routes which are closed to the public during winter and spring due to protection of nature. Weather is best in August – September. As July and August are the busiest months, it is preferable that you book as early as possible. In June and October you may encounter some snow in the higher parts of Tatra mountains.
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.
The Carpathian mountains lie in the temperate zone of Central Europe. They are an important barrier to the movements of air masses. The average temperatures vary from 14 degrees in May to 20 in August. Highest precipitation occurs in June. On average rainfall occurs on 180 days a year. 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.
What to Bring
On walking days your main luggage is transported to the next accommodation. For your daily essentials, you should bring a comfortable rucksack. Bringing good hiking shoes and waterproof jacket is essential. In June and October, light gloves can also be useful.
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 (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 (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies).
Included for The High Tatras CompleteGo to top of page
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road note; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
- Accommodation with breakfast for 11 nights
- Car and cable car / cog railway transfers as stated in the itinerary
- Luggage transport between places of accommodation
- Airport transfer on last day to Poprad Tatry Airport
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost
Options and Extras
- Half-board option instead of standard B&B accommodation
- Private airport transfers on last day to airports other than Poprad
- Optional: “In Style” upgrade – if you prefer to stay on last 2 nights at the luxury 4-star Hotel Solisko on the lake shore, rather than 3-star Hotel Fis in the village, you can choose this option when completing the online booking form.
- Connecting land transfer to first accommodation from airport
- Lunches and dinners
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
- One extra night in Krakow before or after the holiday
- Guided tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow with return transport (combine with an extra night in Krakow)
- Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum near Krakow with return transport (combine with an extra night in Krakow)
- One-night mountain extension after Day 9 with an additional overnight in Sliezsky Dom with climbing to Gerlach peak assisted by a UIAGM-licenced mountain guide