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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Best Rated Things to Do in Vysoke Tatry

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    Mountain meadows in Zadne Medodoly

    by evaanna Updated Jul 25, 2005

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    Mountain meadow in the High Tatras

    If you choose the path on your left at Pol'ana pod Muran'om (the Glade under Muran), you will soon find yourself in a fairyland of beautiful lush mountain meadows with a wide variety of plants taking turns to flower throughout the summer. If you look up from your rocky path past the meadows, you'll see the spruce forest dotted with some leafy trees like mountain ashes which contrast best with the green of the spruce in the autumn (see the travelogue). Still further up you can only see dwarf mountain pine wood and to top it all just the rugged rocks of the Belianske Tatras interspersed with moss-like plantlife. This kind of landscape will accompany you throughout the Zadne Medodoly mountain valley, which will eventually bring you to the mountain pass of Kopske Sedlo.

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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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    Mountain trail to L'adovy Stit

    by evaanna Updated Jan 25, 2006

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    View from Sedielko, at the foot of L'adovy Stit

    This trail is a difficult one mainly because of its length. To get from Polana pod Muran'om to the pass directly beneath L'adovy Stit (the Ice Peak) you need at least five hours one way. The summit itself can only be climbed with a local guide, but even the view from the pass, called Sedielko (2372 m a.s.l.), is magnificent on a clear day.
    As you walk to it along the valley for a long time you are accompanied by the Javorinka stream. Then the trail turns into a rocky path and starts climbing up, steeply at places, the spruce is replaced by dwarf mountain pine wood, later to give way to just moss in the higher parts. It gets cold even on a summer day, but you hardly feel it as the sun is burning your face. You are in the High Tatras! You feel free and on top of the world, but maybe also exhausted. Time to go back, another three or four hours. You can take a different route now if you wish. See my next tip.
    For more pictures of this trail see the travelogue.

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    Javorina - a little gateway to the great mountains

    by evaanna Updated Dec 30, 2005

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    View of Javorina and the High Tatras

    Javorina is a tiny village around 3 km away from the Polish - Slovakian border crossing at Lysa Polana. The road goes down quite steeply all the way to the village so don't try walking with your heavy rucksack in the opposite direction to get to Poland. Take a bus instead. The local people mostly earn their living working for the TANAP, the Tatransky National Park, there is little income from tourists there. Only a few people let out rooms to tourists - look for the notice 'Privat'. There is a small shop in the village, which, like the post office, closed at 3 pm. when we went there a few years ago. There is also a bar, no village could do without it, which used to serve hot meals, but when we were there last, concentrated on what Poles, the most frequent visitors here, needed most - all kinds of alcohols, which are cheaper in Slovakia than in Poland. But they also sell other foodstuffs, so if you are back from a long hike in the mountains, hungry and thirsty, you can count on them. It used to be closed on one day a week though. Can't remember but promise to find out if it was Saturday or Wednesday.

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    Javorova Dolina or the Javorova Mountain Valley

    by evaanna Updated Jul 23, 2005

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    Javorova Valley

    The name of the village where we always stay - Javorina - derives from the mountain stream Javorinka which flows all the way from the High Tatras along Javorova Dolina past the Slovakian village Podspady and Polish Jurgow and joins the Bialka River on the Polish side of the border.
    The Javorova Valley can be a good starting point for hikers who want to reach e.g., L'adowy Stit (the Ice Peak - 2627 m a.s.l.) and then go down to Smokovec. This trail will be described in a different tip.
    As you leave the village walking west past the forester's house, fill up a container with the water from the stream - there are special spouts - no need to buy mineral water, the water here is pure and very tasty.
    You won't see much at the beginning of your walk, the forest hides the views, but you can hear and at places see the rumbling stream on your left, with some rapids a little further. The road goes uphill but not much, real climbing starts a long way from here. On your left are also the Belianske Tatras, of which you will get a better view as soon as you reach the mountain clearing Polana Pod Muran'om described in my next tip. That's where the TANAP (Tatransky Narodny Park) begins and you may have to pay rather symbolic entrance fees if you happen to be there in the high season (July - August). In the picture our host selling the tickets on a bench there. Notice how many clothes he has with him in the event of a change of weather. He certainly knew what he was doing..

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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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    The hunting grounds of Prince Hohenlohe

    by evaanna Updated Sep 2, 2008

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    The shooting lodge of Prince Hohenlohe, Javorina
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    This is an absolute must-see if you are visiting Javorina. Standing on a hill just above the village there is a wooden manor house with hunting motifs built by Prince Kristian Kraft Hohenlohe, who became the lord of this estate in 1879 with the intention to live and hold his hunting parties there. To make them more interesting, he even imported some bisons, alpine ibexes and Caucasian deer, but they could not adapt to the new conditions so his project fell through. He sold his manor and land to the state in 1936 and since then the house, which the local people call a palace, has been used by Slovakian statesmen and other celebrities for representative and entertainment purposes. But most of the time it stands empty with just a caretaker living in it and is well-worth visiting for the wonderful views of the Tatras that it offers. We would often sit on its steps, with the wooden stag heads on the walls above us, watching the sunset. But when we arrived there this year we found a notice forbidding access to the manor. We did find a way though to see the view again without coming close to the house, where they have now installed CCTV cameras.

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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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    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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    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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    View from Prince Hohenlohe's manor house

    by evaanna Updated Sep 2, 2008

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    View onto the Tatras from Prince Hohenlohe's manor
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    You absolutely mustn't miss it. Not many places offer such great views of the High Tatras without the necessity of any exhausting hiking. Here you can come in your car if you want. The day the picture was taken was a cloudy one so you can see only the Belianske Tatras with the mountain you probably recognise by now - yes, it's Muran mentioned in my other tips. On a clear day you can see even as far as L'adovy Stit. A wonderful spot and easily accessible.

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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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    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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    From L'adovy Stit to Smokovec

    by evaanna Written Jul 23, 2005

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    Down from L'adovy Stit to Smokovec

    Having climbed L'adovy Stit, or rather Sedielko just beneath it, you may choose a different trail to go back to civilisation. Another trail leads from there to Smokovec, but you must be prepared to negotiate steep mountain slopes on the way, where some snow may lie all the year round. Still, you are only a short (if steep) way from a mountain shelter, the popular Teryho Chata where you can take a rest, have a meal or even spend the night to gather strength for tomorrow's hiking.

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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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Vysoke Tatry Things to Do

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