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best hiking trails in High Tatras Slovakia

Welcome to Slovakia and its High Tatras mountains, which have some of Europe’s most spectacular hiking trails. Many travelers choose other countries for hiking, such as Austria, Switzerland, Norway, France, or Spain. Slovakian High Tatras mountains are still pretty unexplored by international travelers. And it’s time to change it.

I’m from Slovakia, and even though I wasn’t born in the High Tatras, I always say it’s my home. I love coming back to the mountains and spending some relaxing time. We hiked all the trails with my dad; it was one of the best times of my life.

That’s why I would like to invite you on a journey through Slovakia, its beautiful forests, trails above waterfalls, rich fauna, and stunning mountain huts. Are you ready to make one of these hiking trails? Let’s see what they offer.

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List Of The Best Hiking Trails In High Tatras & Map

  1. Zamkovského Chata (Zamkovského Hut)
  2. Tatra Panoramic Trail (Skalnaté Pleso – Zamkovského Chata)
  3. Popradské Pleso (Popradské Lake)
  4. Batizovské Pleso (Batizovské Lake)
  5. Chata pri Zelenom Plese (Hut by the Green Lake)
  6. Terýho Chata (Terýho Hut)
  7. Zbojnícka Chata (Zbojnícka Hut)
  8. Rysy Chata (Rysy Hut)

My Experience With Hiking In The High Tatras

I’m a Slovakian, and High Tatras are my home, as I always say (even though I was not born there, it’s the feeling I get every time I am in these mountains). They have been part of my life since I was 8 when I first climbed one of the more challenging trails to Rysy Hut.

After, at the age of 9, my dad took me on an adventure of climbing the highest peak in the High Tatras and entire Slovakia: Gerlach Peak (Gerlachovský Štít).

Out of my experience, I’ve picked some of the best hikes in High Tatras for you. So, get some inspiration from this list. I hope you’ll fall in love with these stunning mountains as much as I have.

Important Facts For Your Hikes In High Tatras

🔅 Start early in the morning (I suggest at 8 a.m. for the more difficult and longer hikes, or at 9 a.m. for the easier hikes). You’ll have more time, and the weather might change in the mountains in the afternoon
🔅 Take a water bottle and snack with you
🔅 Wear good hiking boots
🔅 Check out the weather forecast before your hike

best hiking trails in High Tatras Slovakia my experience
My friends and I hiking in High Tatras
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9 Best Hiking Trails In The High Tatras Mountains In Slovakia

This article will give you tips on the best 9 hikes in High Tatras.

The first part will introduce you to the easy hikes. It’s easy to follow even with children. So if you’re not too much into serious hiking but want to enjoy Slovakian nature, choose one.
The second part contains more difficult trails. They’re still easy to hike but are longer and require a little bit more fitness.

None of these hikes are too difficult, where you would need special climbing equipment. The only thing you need is good hiking boots, excitement, and a good mood.

All these hiking paths in High Tatras are only open from 15th June until 1st November.

3 Starting Points For Your Hikes

Before we finally get to the list, I wanted to point out the High Tatras Mountain Range. It has 3 main starting points for the hikes:

  1. Štrbské Pleso
  2.  Starý Smokovec
  3.  Tatranská Lomnica

Each place has several hotels, great facilities, restaurants, and shops where you can buy snacks for your hikes. 

Now, let’s explore the best hiking trails. We’ll start with the easier ones.

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Easy Hikes In The High Tatras

Let’s start with some easy hiking trails. You can do them with children, or if you don’t want to walk too much and enjoy the nature of Slovakia.

1. ZAMKOVSKÉHO CHATA (ZAMKOVSKÉHO HUT)

Zamkovského Chata belongs to one of the most popular hiking trails in summer, especially among families. The starting point for this hike is Starý Smokovec. From there, you can either take a funicular to Hrebienok or walk there, which will take you about an hour.

You’ll first walk through the forests before ascending to the hut. You’ll pass a beautiful waterfall, and a fox often walks around. The hike from Hrebienok to the hut takes about an hour and a half.

After, you can chill and have a good Slovakian lunch in the hut. Don’t forget to try local brandy such as Slivovica (Slovakian plumb brandy) or Horec (gentian brandy).

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Starý Smokovec
ROUTE: Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Zamkovského Chata
HIKING TIME: 2 hours
DISTANCE: 3 km/1.8 miles
DIFFICULTY: Easy
LUNCH OPTION: Zamkovského Hut

2. POPRADSKÉ PLESO (POPRADSKÉ LAKE)

Popradské Pleso is one of the easiest and most beautiful hikes on this list. I would even say it’s a walk rather than a hike because it’s easy. It’s because there is only 1 short uphill section at the beginning. After, you’ll walk on the stone path until going slightly downhill towards the hut by the Popradské Pleso.

The hike offers beautiful scenery and is very enjoyable. You can also have lunch in the hut and chill beside the lake.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Štrbské Pleso
ROUTE: Štrbské Pleso – Popradské Pleso
HIKING TIME: 1 hour  & 15 minutes
DISTANCE: 4.8 km/3 miles
DIFFICULTY: Easy
LUNCH OPTION: Popradské Pleso

hut to hut hiking Slovakia High Tatras Popradske Pleso
High Tatras – Me at Ostrva Saddle & Popradske Pleso

👉 READ ALSO: Best Of Slovakia Itinerary: 8 Days In Slovakia

3. VODOPÁD SKOK (WATERFALL SKOK)

Vodopád Skok is another beautiful hiking trail and belongs to the easiest paths on this list. You’ll start your hike in Štrbské Pleso, from where you’ll ascend gradually towards the rocky mountains. Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the Tatra valleys below.

Unlike other hikes, there is no hut near Vodopád Skok. So I recommend you take some snacks, a baguette, or anything you can enjoy once you get there. Have a nice picnic and enjoy the atmosphere.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Štrbské Pleso
ROUTE: Štrbské Pleso – Waterfall Skok
HIKING TIME: 1 hour & 30 minutes
DISTANCE: 5 km/3.1 miles
DIFFICULTY: Easy
LUNCH OPTION: none, take snacks with you

Waterfall Skok
Waterfall Skok

4. TATRA PANORAMIC TRAIL: SKALNATÉ PLESO – ZAMKOVSKÉHO CHATA

Tatra Panoramic Trail is another popular hike, especially among families and those who don’t like steep ascending. This hike is the easiest one on the list because you’re going downhill pretty much the entire time. First, you must get to Skalnaté Pleso (Skalnaté Lake).

Your starting point is Tatranská Lomnica. You can hike up to Skalnaté Pleso, but it would be pretty long, and the trail is not very enjoyable. I recommend you take the cable car.

Afterward, you’ll join the famous Tatra Panoramic Trail that connects Skalnaté Pleso with Zamkovského Chata.

Have a nice lunch at Zamkovského Chata before you go to Hrebienok. From there, you can either take a funicular down or walk through the forest, which will take you about an hour.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Tatranská Lomnica
ROUTE: Tatranská Lomnica – Skalnaté Pleso – Zamkovského Chata – Hrebienok – Starý Smokovec
HIKING TIME: 45 minutes up to 1 hour (Skalnaté Pleso to Zamkovského Chata) and 1 hour to Hrebienok
DISTANCE: 7 km/4.3 miles
DIFFICULTY: Easy, only downhill
LUNCH OPTION: Skalnaté Pleso, Zamkovského Chata, or Hrebienok

5. BATIZOVSKÉ PLESO (BATIZOVSKÉ LAKE)

Batizovské Pleso is my personal favorite. I can’t express with words how special this place is. I ranked the hike as the easier one, considering you’ll start from Sliezsky Dom Hotel and walk 1 hour to the lake. You would do the same hike if you were to climb the highest peak here, Gerlach Peak.

If you don’t want to stay overnight at Sliezsky Dom Hotel, you’ll have to get to Vyšné Hágy, where you can start your hike. However, this trail is more challenging. There are no dangerous parts or steep ascending, but it’s pretty long. But once you get there, it’ll pay off for sure.

The best way to get to Batizovske Pleso is to sleep in the Sliezsky Dom Hotel. Enjoy its spa, and watch the stars next to the lake in the evening. It’s an incredible place. The next day, make the hike.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Tatranská Polianka or Vyšné Hágy
ROUTE: Tatranská Polianka – Sliezsky Dom – Batizovské Pleso / Vyšné Hágy – Batizovské Pleso
HIKING TIME: 1 hour & 10 minutes (from Sliezsky Dom) / 2 hours & 30 minutes (from Vyšné Hágy)
DISTANCE: 3.6 km/2.2 miles (from Sliezsky Dom) / 5.3 km/3.3 miles (from Vyšné Hágy)
DIFFICULTY: Easy
LUNCH OPTION: Sliezsky Dom

hut to hut hiking Slovakia High Tatras Batizovske Pleso
Me at Batizovske Pleso

6. CHATA PRI ZELENOM PLESE (HUT BY THE GREEN LAKE)

There are a few options to get to Green Lake and its hut. I recommend starting your hike from Biela Voda. It’ll take you 3 hours to get to the lake. After, you can enjoy the hut and its stunning Green Lake. Walk around and soak up the unique atmosphere.

Once you rest and have a good lunch at the hut, you’ll have 2 hiking trails. Either, you can hike the same trail back to Biela Voda. Or you can ascend to the Skalnaté Pleso.

If you choose the second option, there is just one steep part (Veľká Svišťovka). Once you get through, you’ll enjoy a relatively easy walk on the top of the rocky mountains. It’s one of my favorite hikes, thanks to its location and the views.

After, you’ll descend to Skalnaté Pleso, where you can have some drinks or other food in the restaurant. From there, it’s possible to take a cable car down to Tatranská Lomnica, where your hike will end.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Biela Voda
ROUTE: Biela Voda – Chata pri Zelenom Plese – Skalnaté Pleso – Tatranská Lomnica
HIKING TIME: 3 hours (from Biela Voda to Chata pri Zelenom Plese) / 2 hours & 50 minutes (from Chata pri Zelenom Plese to Skalnaté Pleso)
DISTANCE: 8.6 km/5.3 miles from Biela Voda to Skalnaté Pleso
DIFFICULTY: Medium
LUNCH OPTION: Chata Pri Zelenom Plese & Skalnaté Pleso

best hiking trails in High Tatras Slovakia Chata pri Zelenom Plese
Chata pri Zelenom Plese

👉 READ ALSO: Slovakia and Slovenia: How To Tell The Difference

More Difficult Hiking Trails In The High Tatras

Let’s check out some of the more difficult and longer hikes from our list.

If you are fit on average, you can do it even if you don’t exercise much all year. It’s possible. Bear in mind that these hikes take up the whole day.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommend you plan your day wisely. Start your hike as early as possible. I suggest starting at 8 a.m. This way, you’ll have more time to enjoy the huts or stop on the way and enjoy the hike. Also, the weather is nicer in the morning, and it might change in the afternoon. Plan accordingly.

7. TERÝHO CHATA (TERÝHO HUT)

This trail starts in Starý Smokovec. From there, you can take a funicular to Hrebienok or walk about an hour to Hrebienok.

You’ll first take the same trail hiking up to Zamkovského Chata. From there, continue ascending until you reach Terýho Hut. The hike is gradually ascending until the end when there is a steeper pathway up the hill. From Zamkovského Hut, it’ll take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Terýho Chata.

Terýho Chata is one of my favorite huts in the High Tatras. You can have lunch inside or some drinks. You have to try one of our Slovakian brandySlivovica (plumb brandy) or Horec (gentian brandy), which is very popular in this region.

Immerse yourself into the special atmosphere. Sit next to the lake or on a rock overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. Chill and have some snacks or chocolate. You deserve it.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Starý Smokovec
ROUTE: Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Zamkovského Chata – Terýho Chata
HIKING TIME: 2 hours & 45 minutes from Hrebienok to Terýho Chata
DISTANCE: 7 km/4.3 miles from Hrebienok to Terýho Chata
DIFFICULTY: Medium
LUNCH OPTION: Zamkovského Chata, Terýho Chata, Hrebienok

hut-to-hut hiking High Tatras Slovakia Teryho Chata
Me at Teryho Chata

8. ZBOJNÍCKA CHATA (ZBOJNÍCKA HUT)

This hiking trail is very similar to Terýho Chata in terms of difficulty. It’s pretty easy, with some steep ascendings from time to time.

You’ll start again in Starý Smokovec. Then you’ll have to get up to Hrebienok (either with a funicular or on foot). From there, you’ll walk a few minutes until you see the sign with Zbojnícka Chata (to the left).

After following the trail for about 3 hours, you’ll reach your destination with Zbojnícka Chata. Unlike the previous hut, here you won’t walk up to Zamkovského Chata. Instead, you’ll turn left a few minutes after Hrebienok once you see the sign with Zbojnícka Chata.

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Starý Smokovec
ROUTE: Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Zbojnícka Chata
HIKING TIME: 3 hours from Hrebienok to Zbojnícka Chata
DISTANCE: 6.4 km/4 miles from Hrebienok to Zbojnícka Chata
DIFFICULTY: Medium
LUNCH OPTION: Zbojnícka Chata & Hrebienok

best hiking trails in High Tatras Slovakia Zbojnicka Chata
Zbojnicka Chata

👉 READ ALSO: What To See In Slovakia In 3 Days

9. RYSY CHATA (RYSY HUT)

Welcome to one of the most rewarding hiking trails on this list. Rysy Mountain stands at the border with Slovakia and Poland. And just below is located the small yet charming Rysy Hut, which is your destination.

Your starting point will be Štrbské Pleso. After, you’ll first enjoy an easy and beautiful walk to Popradské Pleso. It’ll take you 1 hour to reach it. Just before Popradské Pleso, there will be a sign pointing to the left, which will be your direction. I would stop at Popradské Pleso on the way back, not at the start of your hike.

From the sign, you’ll hike about 2 hours before you reach one of the most exciting yet challenging parts of this hike. There’ll be a steep ascending with chains. But don’t worry, it is not such a drama.

Just hold on to the chains and hike up. Once you pass by the chains, you’ll walk an additional 40 minutes and reach the Rysy Hut.

If you want, you can hike up to the Rysy mountain. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to reach it from the hut.

Don’t forget to check out the special toilet with stunning mountain views. It is incredible (the best toilet I’ve ever experienced).

Quick Overview Of The Hike

STARTING POINT: Štrbské Pleso
ROUTE: Štrbské Pleso – Popradské Pleso – Rysy Chata
HIKING TIME: 3 hours & 50 minutes (from Štrbské Pleso to Rysy Chata)
DISTANCE: 9.5 km/6 miles from Štrbské Pleso to Rysy Chata
DIFFICULTY: Medium to Hard
LUNCH OPTION: Rysy Chata & Popradské Pleso

best hiking trails in High Tatras Slovakia Rysy Hut
Rysy Hut

BONUS: Hut-To-Hut Hiking High Tatras

If you like a challenge, you can also sleep in one of the mountain huts and hike from one to another. For instance, from Zbojnícka Hut, you can reach Terýho Hut by hiking the Priečne saddle and sleeping there.

If you are interested in these hiking trails, check out my article about hut-to-hut hiking Slovakia in the High Tatras. It also includes information and prices for sleeping in each hut.

Practical Tips For Visiting High Tatras

To help you plan your stay and hiking adventure, I’ve got some more tips for you. It includes information about the best time for these hikes, what to pack, quick guide for Slovakian language, and where to stay.

Best Time To Visit High Tatras

The best time to visit High Tatras is in June and September. These months are way less crowded, the weather is pleasant, and you’ll enjoy the mountains in their full beauty.

July and August are also good, but the hiking trails and accommodation are super crowded as everyone comes here for a vacation, especially many families with kids.

Note that the hiking trails in the High Tatras Mountains are only open from mid-June until the end of October.

You can visit High Tatras also in the wintertime, but it’s not so nice. The skiing resorts are expensive, and you won’t get as much value as in the Dolomites, Switzerland, France, or Austria.

Where To Stay In High Tatras Mountains

As I mentioned above, there are 3 main starting towns for each hike. So I recommend staying in one of these places and booking your hotel there. Then, you can start your hike in the morning without spending much time getting to the trails.

ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO

Štrbské Pleso has the most accommodation options and also the best hotels. It has some great wellness hotels where you can relax and enjoy nature.

Book one of these hotels for your stay:

Aplend Lake Resortbudget-friendly hotel
Wellness Hotel Borovicamid-range hotel
Grand Hotel Kempinskiluxury hotel at the lake (best option)

STARÝ SMOKOVEC

Starý Smokovec has fewer options, but still great and budget-friendly options. You can also stay in the nearby towns such as Nový Smokovec or Horný Smokovec.

I recommend the following hotels:

Aplend Koliba Kamzikbudget-friendly hotel
Pension Tatrasport Zampamid-range hotel
Grand Hotel Stary Smokovecluxury hotel

TATRANSKÁ LOMNICA

Tatranská Lomnica is slightly remote yet less busy than other towns. Here are my top hotel recommendations for your stay:

Vila Mala Martabudget-friendly hotel
Grand Hotel Prahamid-range hotel
Hotel Lomnicaluxury hotel

MOUNTAIN HUTS

You can also sleep in one of the mountain huts. Some mountain huts offer private rooms, while others only have a multibed room or an emergency room, in which you can sleep in your sleeping bag. It’s a great experience staying overnight in the mountain hut, so consider this option, too.

These are the best mountain huts I recommend booking for your stay:

Popradské Pleso Hut
Terýho Hut
Zbojnícka Hut
Chata Pri Zelenom Plese
Sliezsky Dom Hotel

What To Pack For Hiking High Tatras Mountains

You’re going to the mountains, so it’s important to bring good hiking clothes and boots. Also, don’t forget a rainy jacket in case it rains. Bring a good backpack (40L), which is the best, and snacks for your hikes.

Here is my quick packing list of the essentials for your trip:

  • Hiking clothes (T-Shirts, hiking pants or shorts)
  • Hiking socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof (light) Jacket
  • Snacks (muesli bars, chocolate, dried fruits)
  • 40L Backpack
  • Sunscream
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Maps.me – offline maps

Quick Guide Of Slovakian Language

Since all the signs in the High Tatras are written in the Slovak language, I’ve translated some of the most important words for you in English:

  • chata = hut
  • pleso = lake
  • vodopád = waterfall
  • lanovka = cable car
  • pozemná lanovka = funicular
  • Slivovica = Slovakian plumb brandy

FAQs

I’ve also answered some frequently asked questions to help you understand High Tatras and Slovakia even more. Check the answers below.

When Should I Go To High Tatras?

The best time to go to High Tatras is June and September. These months are less crowded, the nature is stunning, and you’ll enjoy the atmosphere more than during the crowded summer months. Note that hiking trails are only open from mid-June until the end of October, so plan your visit accordingly.

What Is The Highest Peak In The High Tatras?

The highest peak in Slovakia is Gerlach Peak, 2655 (8710 feet) meters above sea level. It’s located close to Sliezsky Dom Hotel and Batizovske Pleso, and you can climb it with a local guide.

What Is The Difference Between Low Tatras And High Tatras?

It’s a different mountain range. Also, High Tatras are higher, with rocky mountains, while Low Tatras have lower peaks, with more trees and grass on them.

Is Rysy Hard To Climb?

No, Rysy is fairly easy to climb. If you’re medium fit and don’t even exercise a lot, you can still climb Rysy. There are some sections during which you must hold on to chains, but it’s not scary. It’s a lot of fun.

WRAP-UP: Best Hiking Trails In High Tatras

These are the best hiking trails in the Slovakian mountains, High Tatras. They’re some of the most beautiful and underrated in Europe, so it’s worth coming and enjoying some. I also highly recommend staying in one of the mountain huts for an even better experience. Try some Slovakian food and drinks in the huts and enjoy the entire atmosphere of something new.

If you have any questions, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you or design a customized travel itinerary for your trip.

Happy Travels!

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About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

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