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4-Day High Tatras Trek in 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.

This mountain range is a protected area in both countries (Tatra National Park of Slovakia and Tatra National Park of Poland) and a designated transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve.

We trekked four days 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 | 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

High Tatras, Slovakia

High Tatras Hiking Map

TREK STAGES

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Where to Stay


High Tatras Trek Difficulty

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.

High Tatras Mountains, Slovakia

Tips for Hiking in the High Tatras Mountains


Trail Colors

Trails have colors (red, green, yellow, blue), not numbers.

Trail colors do not signify trail difficulty.


Food

There are many places to eat, including mountain huts, hotels, and cableway stations in the High Tatrs.


Rules for Visiting Tatra National Park in Slovakia

It is forbidden to camp or bivouac anywhere in Tatra National Park.

It is forbidden to light fires or to make campfires in Tatra National Park.

It is forbidden to swim and/or bathe in lakes in Tatra National Park. 

Only walk along designated, marked hiking trails. 

Only hike in the daytime, between an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.

Trails are closed from November 1st until June 15th.

Do not pick, disturb, or touch flora and fauna in Tatra National Park

Do not litter. Pack out all your rubbish. That includes TISSUES!!!!! 

Do not create light, and noise pollution (loud music, loud noise). 

Learn More: Rules for Visiting Tatra National Park

Zamkovského chata High Tatras Mountain Hut, Slovakia

High Tatras Mountain Huts

We were so impressed by the efficiency and overall management of the mountain huts. Everyone we met was gracious, helpful, flexible, and kind.

We’re used to the rigidity of mountain huts in the Alps, so it was extremely refreshing to experience the Slovakian hut culture. Whether it was checking in at 12:30 pm (early), storing our backpack for the day, or eating before the official breakfast time, our needs were accommodated readily.

We left Slovakia with the overwhelming feeling “wow, everything was so easy and smooth.”


Things to Know

Slovakian mountain huts are generally cash only.

Slovakian mountain huts are generally self-service. You’ll order at the counter and pick up your food.

The service is swift and uncomplicated.

English is widely spoken. We had no problems communicating.

The food is generally excellent.

Huts provide bedding in rooms. If you’re staying in the dormitory, you’ll need a sleeping bag.


What to Eat in a High Tatras Mountain Hut

Traditional Slovakian Soups & Stews

Kapustová polievka – cabbage soup

Šošovicová polievka – lentil soup

Cesnaková polievka – garlic soup

Hrachová polievka – pea soup

Segedínsky guláš s knedľou – pork goulash with dumplings

Maďarský guláš – beef goulash


Traditional Slovakian Dumplings

Bryndzové pirohy – traditional crescent-shaped Slovakian dumpling. The dumpling is filled with a potato and sheep cheese (bryndza) filling and usually topped with bacon.

Halušky s bryndzou – tiny potato dumplings with sheep cheese.


Traditional Slovakian Savory Dishes

Varená klobása – Sausage

Bravčová krkovička s kyslou kapustou – Pork neck with sauerkraut


Traditional Slovakian Sweets and Desserts

Buchty na pare – sweet steamed buns, or sweet dumplings.

Ovocné gule – fruit balls with berries


What to Drink in a High Tatras Mountain Hut

Unfortunately, a lot of beverages are sold in single-use plastic bottles. If possible, try to abstain from buying bottled drinks.

Locals seemed to mostly drink beer or Kofola in the huts. Kofola is a carbonated soft drink, which was developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s when Coca-Cola and Pepsi were not readily available. It tastes like what you’d imagine communist coke to taste like. But, everyone loves it. So, you have to try it at least once.

We particularly liked the TATRAS IPA and the non-alcoholic Birell Pomelo & Grapefruit Radler.

Zabie Lakes, Rysy Hike, High Tatras, Slovakia

TravelSlovakia.SK Self-Guided Hike

Our Self-Guided Hiking Experience with TravelSlovakia.SK

Our experience with TravelSlovakia.SK was outstanding. We especially valued their communication and organization. Everything about our trip was seamless. There were zero hiccups.

We enjoyed meeting up with their TravelSlovakia.Sk representative the day before the trek. The guide came to our accommodation in Poprad, at the time we requested, and walked us through the itinerary. He also gave us trail maps and answered all our questions.

What’s Included:

  • Accommodation for 5 nights with half board (breakfast and dinner): 2 nights in a Poprad guesthouse, 3 nights in mountain huts.
  • Meeting with a TravelSlovakia.sk representative on arrival day.
  • Mountain rescue insurance for 4 days
  • Hiking Map, which you’ll receive on the arrival day.
  • Important phone contacts (emergency numbers)
  • Transit Timetable for stage 1 (getting to the trailhead) and stage 4 (returning to Poprad)

What’s Not Included:

  • Lunch
  • Transport to/from hotel in Poprad on arrival/departure day
  • Public transport

Arrival Day in Poprad, Slovakia

Poprad, Slovakia, is considered the gateway to the High Tatras. The easiest way to get to Poprad is by train. From Bratislava, it’s a 4:30 hour train ride to Poprad-Tatry.

We stayed in Penzion Atrium, a guesthouse and restaurant located in the historical square of Spišská Sobota. It’s a 23-minute walk from the train station to the guesthouse. However, if you’re traveling with luggage, you can also take a taxi.

We loved the location. From our room, we could see the pastel-colored renaissance houses lining the town square, the Church of St. Juraj, and the Tatra mountains in the distance.

Another highlight of our stay at Penzion Atrium was eating dinner in their garden restaurant.

Book your stay at Penzion Atrium.

Look for accommodation in Poprad.

Chata pri Zelenom plese, High Tatras Trek, Slovakia

High Tatras Trek Stage 1: Tatranská Kotlina – Chata pri Zelenom plese


Stage 1 Trail Stats

Distance | 11.4 km

Time Needed | 4:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 915 meters

Elevation Loss | 120 meters

Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 768 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1625 meters

Route | Tatranská Kotlina (trailhead) – Chata Plesnivec (hut) – Biele pleso (white lake) –  Zelené pleso (green lake) – Chata pri Zelenom plese (green lake hut)

Lunch Option | Chata Plesnivec

Highlights | Walking between the limestone White Tatras (Belianske Tatras) and the granite High Tatras and staying the night at Zelene Pleso.


How to Get to Tatranská Kotlina Trailhead

Take a SAD Poprad Bus to Tatranská Kotlina.

From Penzion Atrium, walk 23 minutes to the Poprad train station (where you arrived yesterday) and continue walking to the nearby bus station.

Travel Slovakia.SK emailed us the bus departure times a few days before our trip.

Transit Time | 46 minutes


Stay in Chata pri Zelenom plese

Payment | Cash only

Showers | Free. There are three showers.

Drinking Water | Tap water is safe to drink

Electronic Charging Stations | Dining Room

Food | Good

Half Board or à la carte | Half Board only.

Dinner: This hut prepares a 2-course dinner menu (soup + main dish). Unless you communicated any dietary restrictions (upon making your reservation), you’ll eat what everyone else eats. Starting at 7 pm, you can pick up your food at the counter. Everyone serves themselves.

Breakfast: There’s a large breakfast buffet, available from 6:30 am to 8 am. The breakfast includes yogurt and muesli, sliced fruit, sliced meat and cheese, frankfurters (sausage), sliced vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers), hard-boiled eggs, and tea. Coffee is not included. If you want coffee, order at the self-service window. You can order an espresso, Turkish coffee, or Nescafé.

Rooms | Dormitory and shared rooms with four beds

Veľká Svišťovka, High Tatras Slovakia Hiking Guide

High Tatras Trek Stage 2: Chata pri Zelenom plese – Zamkovského chata


Stage 2 Trail Stats

Distance | 8.4 km

Time Needed | 3:10 hours

Elevation Gain | 531 meters

Elevation Loss | 604 meters

Difficulty | Moderate. There’s one difficult section, where you have to climb up a gully, secured with chains.

Minimum Elevation | 1459 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1999 meters

Route | Chata pri Zelenom plese (hut) – Veľká Svišťovka (peak) – Skalnate pleso (lake) – Zamkovského chata (mountain hut)

Lunch Option | We ate at Zamkovského chata at the end of the short stage.

Highlight | The ascent to Veľká Svišťovka and the food at Zamkovského chata.


Stay in Zamkovského chata

When we arrived, we were astounded by the number of people at the hut. Despite being so busy, the staff kindly checked us in early (around 12:30 pm) and made us feel welcome and comfortable.

Payment | Cash only

Showers | Free. There’s one shower.

Drinking Water | Tap water is safe to drink

Electronic Charging Stations | Limited, but you can charge your devices in the dining room.

Food | Excellent

Half Board or à la carte | For dinner, you can choose any soup and any entrée. The portions are very generous.

Rooms | Dormitory, and private rooms

Batizovské pleso, High Tatras Hiking Itinerary, Slovakia

High Tatras Trek Stage 3: Zamkovského chata – Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese


Stage 3 Trail Stats

Distance | 18.9 km

Time Needed | 7 hours

Elevation Gain | 908 meters

Elevation Loss | 858 meters

Difficulty | Moderate, but very long, and therefore taxing.

Minimum Elevation | 1270 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2044 meters

Route | Zamkovského chata (mountain hut) – Hrebienok (funicular/cable car station) – Horsky Hotel Sliezsky Dom – Batizovské pleso (lake) – Sedlo pod Ostrvou (saddle) – Popradské pleso (lake) – Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese (mountain hut)

Lunch Option | Hrebienok, or Horsky Hotel Sliezsky Dom

Highlights | Batizovské pleso lake and descending from the Sedlo pod Ostrvou saddle to the Popradské pleso lake.

Though there are no grueling ascents and descents, this stage felt long and monotonous. You’re essentially following a balcony path around the mountains, without the benefit of seeing the mountains. 

If we could do it again, we’d modify this stage, and opt for a more alpine route. When we reached out to TravelSlovakia.Sk after our trek, they suggested an alternative route via Zbojnicka hut and Prielom saddle, for experienced hikers. That would make this stage 24 km (10-11 hours). However, you could break up the stage, by overnighting at Zbojnicka hut.

If you’re an experienced alpine hiker, we recommend discussing this option with TravelSlovakia.Sk.


Stay in Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese

Payment | Cash only

Showers | Yes

Drinking Water |

Electronic Charging Stations |

Food | Excellent

Half Board or à la carte | Dinner includes a soup and entree of your choice from their menu. Breakfast: In addition to the breakfast buffet, you can also choose an egg dish from their menu. Coffee is included.

Rooms | There are three private rooms (1x double/twin, 2x 4-bedded) and one tourist dorm for 5 people. Each room has its own bathroom.

Book your Stay in Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese.

Rysy summit hike, High Tatras, Slovakia

High Tatras Trek Stage 4: Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese – Rysy – Strbske pleso


Stage 4 Trail Stats

Distance | 15.6 km

Time Needed | 6 hours

Elevation Gain | 1102 meters

Elevation Loss | 1299 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult. The final ascent to Rysy requires a bit of scrambling.

Minimum Elevation | 1322 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2499 meters

Route | Majláthova chata na Popradskom Plese (mountain hut) – Zabie lakes – Chata pod Rysmi (Hut under Rysy peak) – Rysy (peak) – Popradské pleso (lake) – Strbske pleso (lake)

Lunch Option | Chata pod Rysmi, or Majláthova chata

Highlights | Zabie Lakes, Rysy summit (Polish-Slovakian border)


How to Get to Poprad

You can take a bus, or a train from Štrbské Pleso to Poprad. We opted for the train because it’s a more comfortable option (more space).

When you head to the Štrbské Pleso train station, purchase your ticket at the ticket counter, before heading to the platform.

Train Transit Time | 1:15 hours


Stay in Poprad

After the trek, we returned to Penzion Atrium for a final night.

Book your Stay at Penzion Atrium.

Look for accommodation in Poprad.



More Hut to Hut Hiking Trails

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Italy:

Europe:


High Tatras, 4-Day Hut to Hut Hike, Slovakia

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati