Vysoke Tatry Things to Do

  • Popradske pleso
    Popradske pleso
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  • on a path to The Symbolic Cemetary
    on a path to The Symbolic Cemetary
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  • Popradske pleso
    Popradske pleso
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Most Recent Things to Do in Vysoke Tatry

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    To all victims of the Tatras

    by evaanna Updated Oct 7, 2005

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    Symbolic cemetery to victims of the Tatras

    If you take an old asphalt road from Strbske Pleso to Popradske Pleso, after about an hour you will reach the symbolic cemetery commemorating all those who died in the Tatras. The colourful decorations on the crosses somehow give the place a cheerful look, which the mostly young, and therefore inexperienced, mountaineers, might have liked.

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    To Hrebienok and on to the Studeny Potok Waterfall

    by evaanna Updated Aug 5, 2005

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    View from Hrebienok as it was a few years ago
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    To get to Hrebienok you can take a short ride by cable railway from Stary Smokovec.
    There is a cafe at the top, but the views are largely hidden by the forest, or were rather. In last year's gale so many spruce trees were uprooted or broken that the views must have changed enormously. A walk back to town is easy but you may first want to see the Studeny Potok Waterfall taking a short trail down. There are more trails leading from there, which you may want to follow, check with the map.

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    Velicke Pleso - Lake Velicke

    by evaanna Updated Aug 3, 2005

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    Velicke Pleso - Lake Velicke, the High Tatras
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    If you go up the steep trail from Tatranska Polianka to Sliezsky Dom, the hotel at the end of the Velicka Valley, this is the view that you will get as a reward for your effort. Velicke Pleso - a jewel set in the Tatra rocks is a sight not to be missed. More trails lead on from here, consult your guidebook or map.

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    Velicka Dolina or the Velicka Mountain Valley

    by evaanna Written Aug 3, 2005

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    Sliezsky Dom  in the Velicka Valley

    This trail starts in Tatranska Polianka and leads along a path dotted with rocks up to Sliezsky Dom, a hotel in the middle of the Tatras. If you are staying there, you can get permission to drive all the way up - there is a proper tarmac road, but not otherwise. The path offers some short cuts so is more practical for walkers. Both are quite steep at places. And of course you climb up there for the view, which I'll show in my next tip.

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    The village of Zdiar

    by evaanna Updated Aug 2, 2005

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    View of the Belianske Tatras in September
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    If you don't find anywhere to stay in Javorina, which is very likely, drive on towards Zdiar, which is a big village with a large number of pensions, at least three restaurants (now maybe more), two small museums, a ski lift or two and more opportunities for entertaining. There is a trail in the Belianske Tatras starting here as well. More about it in another tip. What I like most about Zdiar though is the wonderful view of the Belianske Tatras towering in the distance. If you stop in a lay-by just before the village, you can visit a small restaurant where you can eat at tables outdoors admiring the scenery. It's beautiful and quiet there unless a coachful of tourists arrives at the same time. Because one of the ski-lifts is situated there as well, it might be a little touristy in winter, too. The photo of the Belianske Tatras with a blanket of new snow was taken in September.

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    Belovodska River Valley - Dolina Bialej Wody

    by evaanna Updated Aug 2, 2005

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    Belovodska Valley, the High Tatras

    A walk along the Belovodska river valley is one of the nicest and, to a point, easiest route in the High Tatras. The trail leads along the Bela Voda with the river on your right and the mountains on your left. The river marks the border between Poland and Slovakia, its Polish name is Bialka. In the past you would encounter Slovak military patrols in the area, who could ask you to show them your passport. On the Polish side in the distance you can see tourists on their way to Morskie Oko, the famous lake in the heart of the Polish Tatras. The first leg of your walk brings you to the foresters' lodge at Bela Voda, where you can have a rest and a drink of spring water.

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    From Kopske Sedlo to Zelene Pleso

    by evaanna Written Jul 31, 2005

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    Zelene Pleso or Green Lake
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    From Kopske Sedlo you can continue your hike to Zelene Pleso or Green Lake, where there is also a big mountain shelter Chata pri Zelenom in case you need a deserved rest.
    You may choose to put up there and continue your trek , for example along the Zelene Pleso Valley (Dolina Zelenego Plesa) down to Tatranske Matliary, the next day. In the meantime, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake.

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    Mountain trails from Kopske Sedlo

    by evaanna Updated Jul 31, 2005

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    View from Kopske Sedlo

    The mountain pass of Kopske Sedlo is a place where a few trails meet. You can now either go back to Javorina, or continue your hike to Tatranska Kotlina, Kezmarske Zlaby, or Stary Smokovec. These are all long and at places steep trails, requiring good boots. My next tip will show you one of the most popular ones - to Zelene Pleso or Green Lake. To make things clear, the lake in the picture is still another lake visible from Kopske Sedlo.

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    Mountain lakes in the Kacaca or Duck Valley

    by evaanna Written Jul 31, 2005

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    Mountain lake in the Kacaca or Duck Valley

    A lovely place, which can be reached after a long walk in the Belovodska Valley. The trail becomes steeper before you come to the lakes but the view is worth the effort. The emerald mountain lakes in the heart of the high mountains, the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains are not to be missed.
    If you haven't had enough, from there you can climb Polski Grzebien (Polish Comb), but consult your guidebook beforehand.

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    The clearing under Muran - Polana pod Muran'om

    by evaanna Updated Jul 30, 2005

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    Clearing under Muran - Pol'ana pod Muran'om
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    You don't have to be an experienced mountaineer to reach this beauty spot - the walk from Javorina, only a little uphill, won't take you more than 20 - 30 minutes. And the place is lovely, the mountains towering above, the spruce forest all around, the Javorinka mountain river at your feet. Here the road forks: if you walk straight on you will eventually reach L'adowy Stit (the Ice Summit), but it is a long and arduous hike. If you cross the wooden bridge on your left, the path will take you past a forester's house and on to Kopske Sedlo, another mountain pass. A matter of a few hours as well. But first explore the clearing at the foot of Muran and take a rest on one of the benches. You can have your lunch here on the tables provided or shelter from the rain sitting on one of them. Yes, on - sitting on the bench you would still get wet. Look around and you will find some raspberries.
    The place feels safe and very private - hardly any tourists, complete silence except for the rumbling sound of the stream. But here, too, bears have been spotted. A mother bear with her young, for instance, better to be avoided. If you look up, you can see a cave in the rock - that is where chamois (kamziky) often find shelter during winter months. It is here that the National Park (TANAP) begins and you won't be allowed to walk any further if you happen to be there between November and end of June. The trails are closed to the public throughout the winter, spring and even early summer to let the wild animals breed in peace.

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    Climbing Slavkovsky Stit

    by evaanna Updated Jul 30, 2005

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    On the way to Slavkovsky Stit, the High Tatras

    This mountain trail starts from Hrebienok where you can get by cable railway from Stary Smokovec. There is a cafe at the top but the view of the Tatras is mostly hidden by the forest. To get a better view but at a far from low cost go on from there to climb Slavkovsky Stit (2452 m). It is not a trail for weaklings though so I won't pretend I've been there. The photos taken by my husband were enough to put me off. You have to negotiate steep and stony path, scrambling over boulders at places. The trail looks short on the map only. It's the southern slope of the mountain so you will be doing the climbing in the burning sun. There is no water nearby so stock up well before you set off.
    To admire the scenery on the way to Slavkovsky Stit, see my travelogue.

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    Graveyard at Javorina

    by evaanna Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    Bird figures on a tombstone in Javorina

    The church at Javorina is surrounded by a graveyard with some interesting graves in it. As you walk straight from the gate you will find the sarcophagus of the princely Prussian family of the Hohenlohes, who used to own the land and were founders of the local church. More about them in my next tip.
    Don't miss an interesting tomb with sculptures of two dead birds with their heads hanging down and another sitting nearby probably mourning for them. A very touching scene, which is the more interesting that since I saw those birds I have seen the same motif on a few tombstones in a graveyard in Scandinavia. Isn't it amazing?

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    The church at Javorina

    by evaanna Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    Timber church at Javorina, Slovakia
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    The church at Javorina is not in the village centre but a little at the back. It boasts interesting wooden architecture with a verandah and a spire with a clock, more like the churches in Germany than in the neighbouring Poland. No wonder as it was founded in the twenties I think by the Prussian Prince Kristian Kraft Hohenlohe, who owned the land there at the time. It is open only for Mass on Sunday or for funerals so we never managed to get inside.

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    The Mountain Pass of Kopske Sedlo

    by evaanna Written Jul 25, 2005

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    View from Kopske Sedlo

    When you finally reach the pass, you can admire the panorama of the High Tatras all around you. The views are stunning, that's what hikers come here for. In the picture you can see either Jahnaci or Kozi Stit, can't decide which one because they are close to each other and both over 2100 m high.
    You'll find more views from Kopske Sedlo in the travelogue.

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    On the way to the Pass of Kopske Sedlo

    by evaanna Written Jul 25, 2005

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    Mountain clearing just before Kopske Sedlo
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    As you walk on to the mountain pass of Kopske Sedlo, the rocky path becomes steeper and, as you get in and out of the wood, at one moment you come to a beautiful river gorge, with the river - or a mountain stream rather -on your right and the rocks towering above you on your left. Very picturesque but there is hardly enough space for you to squeeze through. Soon afterwards, the path reaches another glade with more benches and tables. Time for a rest before the most difficult part of your walk.

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Vysoke Tatry Things to Do

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