High Tatras are beautiful mountains for hiking in Slovakia and Poland. The High Tatras are the smallest high altitude mountain range in Europe. Nevertheless many trails are known for there difficulty. Some hikes belong to real rock climbing using steal chains, ladders and some rungs. There are many different hiking trails in the High Tatras.
We set up our own long distance trail therefore we combined different official trails. The total distance was 43 km. Daily stages require 5-7 hours of hiking depending on weather condition. Depending on your fitness and experience the hikes in the High Tatras are quite challenging because of the steep climbing parts and the altitude difference of nearly 7.000m.
Stages of our hiking tour High Tatras Mountains :
1 Tatranska Lomnica – Téryho chata (2015m)
2 Téryho chata (2015m) – Sliezsky dom (1670m)
3 Sliezsky dom – Popradske Pleso (1494m)
4 Popradske Pleso – Chata pod Rysmi (2250m)
5 Chata pod Rysm – (Popradske Pleso) – Tatranska Lomnica
Read our story!
1 Tatranska Lomnica to Téryho chata
The arrival and the tour organization in the High Tatras was initially a bit difficult. At the end of September 2018 we started from Berlin with the direct bus (DB) to Krakow. After 7 hours through the night we finally reached this beautiful old city in Poland. We settled in the hotel Wyspianski (85 EUR). A good location to get to know this city.
The next morning our bus should leave on time to Zakopane. A connecting bus took us to Lysa Polana where we crossed the border by foot over a bridge. Another bus drove us to Tatranska Lomnica. Since we arrived at 11:30 am at the starting point already , we allowed ourselves another lunch.
The first stage was from Tatranska Lomnica to Teryho Chata. We followed the cable car line up the mountain. The weather was due to this season dry. Along the trail “Magsitrale” towards the hut, the path continued as a high trail. Quickly we came to the alpine area. After 5 hours we were at 2051 m. We exceptionally have booked all huts for this tour in advance. Camping is forbidden in the national park. The cabin room of Teryho Cabin is simple but decent and clean. We paid for two people, dinner and breakfast 74 EUR. The weather forecast dindn´t look great – more snow!
2 Téryho chata to Hotel Sliezsky Dom
At about 7 am we had breakfast and at 8 am we started with glorious sunshine. The destination of the day was the Hotel Sliezsky Dom. From the Teryho Chata to the ridge Priecne Sedlo (2352 m) it was necessary to master some demanding climbs. Hence the surface was covered in ice! This tour requires appropriate clothing and a head for heights. Until then, we had no crampons or the like. Lunch with goulash soup in Zbojnicka Chata.
We continued to climb the Sedlo Prielon (2250 m). A direct brutal descent with wire-cables, steel chaines and some rungs led steeply down into the valley. This section of our trail in the High Tatras was not easy under these conditions and very demanding. Once at the bottom of the valley, the path climbed steeply up a wooden staircase to reach Polsky hreben. Another 2 hours separated us from the Hotel Sliezsky Dom. Well known in that region of the High Tatras. What a day! We enjoyed the evening in the hotel. Payment with credit card possible. The food was fantastic.
3 Sliezsky dom to Popradske Pleso
During the night it has rained a lot and in the morning there was snow. A lot of snow! After a hearty breakfast and considerations for the rest of the course we started against 11 am. The view was severely limited. Walking became a balancing act on the snow-covered and partly icy stones. We did not talk much with each other during that time because the path demanded our full attention.
A highlight was the intensive encounter with a fox who accompanied us a good deal. Probably in the hope of a little food. At 3:30 pm we reached the hotel Popradske pleso on the lake. The night in the 8 bed room was a challenge for us. Tomorrow on the 3rd of October we want to reach the peak Rysy. The highest mountain in the High Tatras.
4 Popradske Pleso to Chata pod Rysmi
Today is a bank holiday in Germany, the Day of German reunification. The night before, we agreed with another couple to rent crampons. Without crampons or the like, we would have had to stop climbing Rysy (2499 m) under these weather conditions.
Chata Pod Rysmi (2250 m) was a challenge. Deep snow, violent gusts of wind and icy surfaces forced us to take breaks again and again. So we waited later in the cozy hut for better weather. Highly motivated, we started another attempt to reach the summit in the afternoon. Because of the snowy weather we had to reverse about 150 m below the summit! There was no marking or orientation up there. So all of us returned together to Chata Pod Rysmi. There is no running water, no electricity and sleeping in a large bedroom. Coffee, tea and dinner are offered for cash. The walk to the toilet is something special, because this is located on a cliff edge and offers an unobstructed view of the mountains.
5 Chata pod Rysm to Tatranska Lomnica (via Popradske Pleso)
The alarm rang at 6 am. We wanted to check the weather forecast and make one last attempt to get to the top. Unfortunately, there was thick fog again and so we agreed that it has no purpose. It was to dangerous to cross the summit and therefore the border to Poland. That was our original plan to hike across the High Tatras. So after breakfast we started packing the backpack.
The descent was in deep fresh snow. Around 11 am and sunshine we were down at Podradsee. As with the ascent, there were sections with icy holding chains and ladders. Technically not so demanding, it was the wind and the fresh snow that made the up and down to the Rysy difficult.
Another hour from Hotel Popradsee to the train station. There was a rail replacement traffic. Then by train to Tatranska Lomnica, change to the bus to Lysa Polana. One last bus to Krakow.
- Even the mountain range is quit small the peaks and valleys are demanding. If you like to climb wild and less known mountain areas the High Tatras are a must visit for you! The beautiful alpine scenery with its rugged mountains, wonderful lakes and wildlife is a paradise for those who want to go beyond the ordinary.
- We planned four overnight stays in mountain huts. Most of the area of the High Tatras is within the Tatra National Park which is the largest and most important Natural Reserve in Slovakia. Therefore camping by all means is strictly forbitten. Keep this in your mind if you are planning such a trip, book in advance especially in main seasons and weekends. Slovakian people are known for there passion for hiking, as a result some spots can be very crowded. This is one of the reasons we hiked in October. Staying in mountain huts or those hotels was a nice experience. The rooms were clean, renovated or in good condition. Prices range from 25-50 EUR p/P.
- Because it´s a high alpine mountain range remember all the important clothing and gear you need. We´ve been surprised by the amount of snow which came down in one night.
- Transport is no problem and it´s cheap.
For more information about the High Tatras – Slovakia – Poland don´t hesitate to contact us. Feel free to watch our videos on YouTube and explore our other trails we´ve experienced for you!
Take care and go out and make it happen!