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Slovakian Alps: High Tatras 153

Slovakian Alps: High Tatras

Overview

Our Slovakian Alps: High Tatras self guided walking holiday lets you explore Slovakia’s highest mountain range, which is also the first Slovak national park. There are about 35 valleys, 110 glacial lakes called pleso, and many mountain peaks, ten of which are above 2,600m high. The cable car trip to Lomnicky Peak provides a breath-taking view of the Tatra mountains and Slovakia. Along with its Polish part, the High Tatras constitute a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993.

On your route, you may encounter chamois, the symbol of the High Tatras. It is one of the most precious species, as it developed in isolation since the glacial age which is why it differs from its relatives living in the Alps or Apennines. 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.

  • High Tatras
  • Lomnicky Peak
  • Poprad
  • Strbske Pleso Lake

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Poprad/Tatranská Lomnica

Arrive at Poprad airport and meet with our representative at the airport. Poprad is considered to be the primary entrance gate to the High Tatras. Our rep will transfer to your hotel in Tatranská Lomnica. On the way, you will enjoy a short sightseeing tour in the town centre of Poprad and explore the unique historical sights of medieval Spisska Sobota, which is the historic part of Poprad. Tatranska Lomnica is one of the mountain hiking centres of the High Tatras. It is located in the shadow of Lomnicky Peak, which can be easily reached by cable car.

Day 2: Velka Svistovka Peak | 13 km

The trail to Velka Svistovka Peak is considered to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the High Tatras. Today’s walk starts by taking the cable car to Skalnate pleso. It is situated in Skalnata dolina (Rocky valley) under the 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 afterwards you will descend on a rocky path. Reach the  mountain hut of Zelene pleso – just the right place for a lunch stop to admire the surrounding majestic peaks. Continue through a forested rocky path to Kezmarska Biela Voda’s bus stop to take the bus back to Tatranska Lomnica.

Day 3: Cold Creek Waterfalls | 6.5 km

Take the cable car to Skalnate pleso (1,755 m)and enjoy the panoramic views. Following a red marked trail, you will reach a mountain hut called Zamka (1,460 m). After having a tea and s snack or lunch there, you will continue to Hrebienok passing by the splendid Cold Creek Waterfalls. You will reach Hrebienok, a popular starting point for hiking trips, located on the southern slope of the Slavkovsky Peak. Taking the cog railway, you will get to Stary Smokovec where you will spend the next two overnights.

  • Walking for the day: 6.5 km, 2-3 hours ↑75m ↓555m (3 hours extra walk possible)
  • Accommodation: Villa Siesta or similar (optional upgrade: Grand Hotel Starý Smokovec)
  • Additional walk: 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) and then back. For this extra walk, you will need additional 3 hours.

Day 4: Zbojnicky Crest | 13 km

You will start the day with taking the 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. After enjoying the views over the majestic peaks and a lunch break, take the way back via the same route. From Hrebienok take the cog railway back to the hotel.

Day 5: Sliezsky Dom | 7 km

Starting from Hrebienok, follow a red marked trail and you will reach Sliezsky Dom hotel (1,670 m), the highest located hotel in the High Tatras, where you will spend one night. The hotel is situated in Velicka Valley and is the primary starting point for climbing to the Gerlachovsky peak (2,655 m), which is the highest peak of the High Tatras.

  • Walking for the day: 7 km, 3 hours ↑700m ↓25m (see additional options below)
  • Accommodation: Sliezsky Dom hotel
  • Additional/alternative 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, ↑560m) and you can save energy for hiking to Vychodna Vysoka peak and back (2-3 hours, 8 km, ↑760m ↓760m). 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.

Optional Extra Day: Guided Climb of Mt Gerlach (2,655 m) | 7-8 hrs

Meet your English-speaking local guide and climb Gerlachovský štít, the highest peak in the High Tatras in Slovakia and in the whole 1,500 km long Carpathian mountain chain.

Day 6: The Glacial Lakes | 16 km

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 offer restaurant services. Popradske pleso is a starting point for hiking to Rysy peak and Koprovsky peak. Continue to reach the goal of this day – Strbske Pleso (1,352 m). Just the perfect place to stay for your last two nights, Strbske pleso (tarn) counts is the highest settlement of the High Tatras (1,350 m).

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 6 hours ↑700m ↓1045m
  • Accommodation: Vila Polar or similar (optional upgrade: Hotel Solisko on the lake shore)

Day 7: Skok Waterfall | 16.5 km

Your last hiking day in the High Tatras is quite demanding in length (15 km) and elevation gain (950 m), but you will be rewarded with fantastic natural scenery. You will see the 25 m high waterfall Skok in Mlynicka valley, which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the High Tatras and from the saddle Bystra Lavka (2,300 m) you will have a great view over the easternmost peak of the High Tatras – Krivan. Taking a forest path through Mlynicka valley, you arrive at the majestic Waterfall Skok, afterwards, passing by several mountain lakes, you continue to Bystra Lavka saddle (2,314 m). Take the way to mountain hut under Solisko peak, from where you will have a wonderful view over the valley of Strbske pleso and then continue back to your hotel.

  • Walking for the day: 16.5 km, 6-7 hours ↑1080m ↓1080m
  • Accommodation: Vila Polar or similar (optional upgrade: Hotel Solisko on the lake shore)

Day 8: Departure

Return home or individual stay extension. Complimentary transfer to Poprad Airport is included.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in private en-suite rooms in a mix of comfortable country inns and 3-star hotels. One overnight in 4-star Sliezsky dom.

Click to view default hotels

Click to view upgraded hotels

Optional “In Style” upgrade: Seven nights in superior 4-star hotels. Two of the hotels were built at the beginning of the 20th century and have unique architectural features. Although they have been modernised to the highest standards, you can still admire their Golden Age beauty and atmosphere. The last two nights are spent in a luxury 4 or 5-star hotel on the shore of Strbske Pleso lake (lake view rooms subject to availability). All hotels provide superior accommodation in well designed double/twin en-suite rooms. There are wellness centres in all hotels. Hotel Grand Praha has an outdoor pool with thermal water.

Meals

Breakfast is included. Each hotel has its own restaurant where you can taste international or Slovak meals or you can also try Slovak cuisine in local restaurants called Salash or Koliba. Each hiking day passes by several mountain huts with restaurant facilities where you can get water and lunch. We recommend you to try the lentil or goulash soup. You should also try traditional local spirits called Horec or Tatra Tea. These are the typical spirits for the High Tatras and are made of herbs. Be careful – they are quite strong!

Difficulty & terrain

Moderate level suitable for fit hikers. On some days it is possible to modify the itinerary for less experienced hikers. Part of the walks are on stone paths; the terrain is mostly rocky and can become slippery in rain or fog! This tour is not appropriate for beginners and casual walkers but for experienced hikers who are used to walk in high altitudes and do longer distances. Average walking distance is 11.5 km with total elevation gain exceeding 3,000 m, and average daily elevation gain is 515 m (read more about difficulty grades).

We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never 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.

When to go

The tour can be organised between the middle of June and the end of October. The itinerary contains routes which are closed to the public during winter and spring due to protection of nature. Best months for hiking in the High Tatras are September and 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.

Climate is mostly of a 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 sea level is 5°C, in July is 15 °C.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Poprad Tatry.

You can check Bratislava or Krakow airports too, with more frequent flights from different UK airports operated mostly by Ryanair.

  • Complimentary transfers from/to Poprad Tatry airport are included. The driver will wait for you at the arrival hall holding up a board with your name. 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 from Bratislava and Krakow can be arranged at an additional cost.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Breakfast on all mornings
  • 2 x transfers from/to airport Poprad – hotel
  • 1 x cable car to Sklanate Pleso on 2nd day
  • 1 x cable car up to Sklanate Pleso on 3th day
  • 1 x cog railway – funicular from Hrebienok down to Stary Smokovec on Day 3
  • 1 x cog railway – funicular from Stary Smokovec to Hrebienok and return Stary Smokovec on Day 4
  • 1 x cog railway – funicular from Stary Smokovec to Hrebienok
  • All luggage transfers when changing hotels
  • Pre-departure holiday information pack
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers other than Poprad
  • Lunches, dinner, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Train ride Rapperswil – Einsiedeln (approx CHF 37.-)
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers to/from airports other than Poprad
  • Accommodation upgrade
  • One extra night in hotel Sliezsky Dom and climbing of Gerlach peak (2,655 m) with a licensed mountain guide
  • Extra nights in Strbske Pleso after the holiday

Gallery

Reviews

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