Trekking in the High Tatras, Slovakia
The High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry in Slovak, Tatry Wysokie in Polish) are a mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains, located in northern Slovakia and southern Poland. The mountain range is a protected area in both countries (Tatra National Park of Slovakia & Tatra National Park of Poland) and a designated transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve.
We spent 4 days trekking in the High Tatras on the Slovakian side, starting in Tatranská Kotlina village and ending in Strbske pleso lake. With our arrival and departure days in Poprad, our entire trip was 6-days.
Our self-guided High Tatras hut-to-hut hiking trip was organized and compensated by TravelSlovakia.Sk. We have nothing but the highest praise for this Slovakian tour operator. Their communication is swift, precise, and thorough. Every part of our experience was seamless: the booking process, email communication throughout, pre-trek meet-up (with a guide), and the actual trek.
High Tatras Hut to Hut Hiking Route
This 4-day trek strings together some of the most popular hiking destinations in the High Tatras, including Zelene Pleso (Green Lake), Zamkovského chata (mountain hut), Popradské pleso (lake), and Rysy (peak).
- Arrival Day: Arrive in Poprad, Slovakia.
- Stage 1: (Poprad) – Tatranská Kotlina – Chata pri Zelenom plese | 11.4 km, 4:30 hours
- Stage 2: Chata pri Zelenom plese – Zamkovského chata | 8.4 km, 3:30 hours
- Stage 3: Zamkovského chata – Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese | 18.9 km, 7 hours
- Stage 4: Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese – Strbske pleso – (Train to Poprad) | 15.6 km, 6 hours
- Departure Day: Depart Poprad, Slovakia
When can you hike in the High Tatras Mountains?
Trails are open from mid-June until the end of October. We recommend trekking in the High Tatras in late June, September, or early October. We hiked in the Tatra mountains in mid-August and the trails were overcrowded. Our experience would have been far more enjoyable had we hiked at the beginning, or end of the hiking season.
How difficult is this 4-Day High Tatras Trek?
Moderate. Most of the trek follows the red Tatranska magistrála trail, a clearly marked tourist hiking trail, frequented by tons of families with small children.
Though this isn’t a “high-alpine” hike and there aren’t strenuous ascents/descents, it’s not a walk in the park. Much of the route crosses boulder slopes, where slabs of rock have been purposefully positioned to create a mostly-level hiking trail. Though the trail cuts nicely across these granite slopes, it can get increasingly taxing, because you have to maintain focus throughout. It’s not like walking on a dirt path.
Specifically, there are only two “difficult” sections along the route:
On stage 2, as you ascend to Veľká Svišťovka, you’ll hike up a gully, which is secured with chains (20 meters). This steep, but short, section was a bit slippery and you have to use your upper body strength to foist yourself up.
On stage 4, you’ll hike to Rysy, a peak on the Slovakian-Polish border. The ascent isn’t overly difficult, but the final stretch to the summit requires a bit of scrambling.