Slovakia – Tatra Mountains

 

Tatra Mountains – Right Path Adventures 

The Hight Tatra Mountains in Slovakia are the highest range in Slovakia and form the border between Slovakia and Poland. The highest peak in the Tatras is Gerlachovsky peak at 8,711 feet/2.655 meters.

There are two national parks located in the Tatra Mountains  – Tatra National Park is actually located in Poland to the north, and Tatry National Park is located in Slovakia to the south. Both parks are UNESCO protected biosphere reserves and are inhabited by many types of animals including chamois, marmots, bears and eagles. There are over 120 mountain lakes and 600 kilometers of marked walking trails that lead to both alpine chalets (called chaty) and summits.

The Slovakian people are passionate about nature and hiking and the High Tatra mountains are very popular in the summer months – June through October.  The High Tatra mountains are also a very popular and busy winter ski area drawing skiing enthusiasts from all over Europe and the world.

There are some amazing hikes and easy walks for all fitness levels and experience in the High Tatra mountains and you can take the very exciting cable car ride up to the 2,634m summit of Lomnicky Stit (Lomnicky Peak) for fantastic views in all directions.

The Tatras Mountains were voted by Lonely Planet as the #1 Best destination in Europe in the summer for 2019, which is no doubt going to put it more on the world map for lovers of mountains and nature, but it will be a few years before it gets as busy or popular as the rest of the western alps.

Nearby is the famous and unique Slovensky Raj, the Slovakian Paradise where there are spectacular gorges that you can access on trails and a unique system of ladders and cables.  Also nearby to the Tatra mountains are U.N.E.S.C.O caves which are unique in the world which you can explore with a local guide and U.N.E.S.C.O. castles and villages.  The Slovakian people are friendly and it is a very safe country to travel to.

There are always lots of special events happening in Slovakia – especially in summer – you can look into more detail at Slovakia Travel.

Best gateways to the Tatra Mountains

There are several ways to travel to the Tatra Mountains.

By plane – you have the option of flying into Budapest, Krakow, Prague and Bratislava as well as Poprad.

Poprad is the largest city near the High Tatras and has commerical air service. It is one of the larger gateways and tourist centers in this region. There are many great accomodation options and a popular thermal park called AquaCity Poprad.

Highlights of the Tatra Mountains and Slovakia

  • High Tatras National Park was the first national park in Slovakia and it was founded in 1958.
  • Lomnicky Peak is the second highest peak in the Tatra Mountains and is only accessible a series of three cable cars from the town of Tatranska Lomnica.
  • There are more than 100 alpine lakes in the High Tatras.
  • Spis Castle is an amazing 12th century castle located just 30 miles southeast of the Tatras National Park and it’s a worthy detour.
  • The beautiful and quaint mountain resort towns of Tatranska Lomnica, Tatranska Kotlina, Stary Smokovec and Strbske Pleso all have their own charm and personalities and are full of unique hotels, restaurants, bars and shops and are fun to stroll around.
  • Many of the hotels where we stay have wellness spa areas where you can relax at the end of the day on the trail.
  • The food is fabulous and you’ll dine at some unique places and be able to try the local cuisine.

Your expert guides to the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia

Award winning adventure travel guide Gary Scott, the founder and owner of Right Path Adventures has been exploring the mountains and trails of Slovakia for many years now with his Slovakian wife Katarina who of course speaks the language and has spent many years exploring and walking in the High Tatra mountains, and the low Tatra mountains where she spent many summers exploring the area with her grandparents.

Katarina has an easy going personality and an infectious laugh and people love traveling and walking with her.  She is a great asset to the Right Path Adventures team and brings a fantastic and positive energy to our trips.

With over 36 years experience as an international mountain guide Gary is very excited to start leading tours in Slovakia in 2020 along with his Slovakian wife Katarina.  Right Path Adventures currently operates incredible walking and adventure tours in Croatia, Slovenia and the Dolomites of northern Italy, and now to Slovakia.

Untouched by most of the world

The main thing that may be noticed about the High Tatra mountains and Slovakia in general is that few visitors have discovered it, so it is mainly Slovakians and people from nearby European countries that you will meet on the trails and in the mountain resort towns.  It still has that “off-the-beaten-path” feel to it, which many people are seeking in this world that seems to be shrinking more and more every year.

The next few years will be an excellent time to visit the High Tatras and to enjoy them before the rest of the world discovers how special and unique they are.

Slovakia is safe, friendly and the local people are eager to help if you need directions or recommendations on a good place to eat.  Slovakians are big family people and enjoy spending time with friends and family, usually accompanied by a great deal of delicious food.

The High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry), the tallest range in the Carpathian Mountains, occupy a near-mythic place in Slovak hearts. Instantly recognisable, the crooked summit of Mount Kriváň (2495m) has become a national symbol in literature and popular culture, with some Slovaks swearing it’s their national duty to climb it. Twenty-five peaks reach higher than 2500m and the tallest mountains – like Gerlachovský štít (2654m) – attract the most hikers, revealing Slovakia as a nation of adventurers. You won’t be alone tramping between the High Tatras’ waterfalls, alpine meadows and more than 100 ultramarine lakes. In winter, snow transforms hiking trails into ski areas, mostly small and family-friendly.

Most of this jagged range is part of the 1949 established Tatra National Park (Tanap), the country’s oldest national park.  Together with an adjoining protected area across the border in Poland, the High Tatras form a UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve inhabited by brown bears, chamois and golden eagles.

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