best hiking trails in high tatras slovakia

Best Hiking Trails in High Tatras, Slovakia: With A Local

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:23 mins read

Best Hiking Trails in High Tatras Mountains in Slovakia

Welcome to Slovakia and its High Tatras mountains, with some of the most spectacular hiking trails in Europe. Many travelers choose other countries for their hiking adventures, 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. That’s why I would like to invite you to the 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 in High Tatras? Let’s see what it’s offered.

I am a Slovakian, and High Tatras are my home, as I always say (even though I was not born there). These mountains have been part of my life from the age of 8 when I first climbed to 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 hiking trails in High Tatras for you. So get some inspiration from this list, and I hope you’ll fall in love with these stunning mountains as much as I have.

 

 

List of the Best Hiking Trails in High Tatras

  1. Zamkovského Chata (Zamkovského Hut)
  2. Vodopád Skok (Waterfall Skok)Hiking signs, High Tatras Slovakia road trip
  3. Tatra Panoramic Trail (Skalnaté Pleso – Zamkovského Chata)
  4. Popradské Pleso (Popradské Lake)
  5. Batizovské Pleso (Batizovské Lake)
  6. Chata pri Zelenom Plese (Hut by the Green Lake)
  7. Terýho Chata (Terýho Hut)
  8. Zbojnícka Chata (Zbojnícka Hut)
  9. Rysy Chata (Rysy Hut)

 

 

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

 

 

Important Facts for your Hikes in High Tatras

  • Start early in the morning (I suggest at 8am for the more difficult and longer hikes, or at 9 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 before your hike (especially if you want to do the longer hikes).
best hiking trails in high tatras mountains lovakia
Me and my friends, hiking to Terýho Chata, High Tatras, Slovakia

 

 

Top Hiking Trails in High Tatras Mountains in Slovakia: As Told By Local

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

The first part will introduce you to the easiest hiking trails. It is easy to hike them 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 hiking trails in High Tatras. They are 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 trails in High Tatras are only open from 15th June until 1st November.

All these hiking trails in High Tatras are only open from 15th June until 1st November. It is not prohibited to hike in the wintertime, but there is a lot of snow, so it’s often dangerous.
Now, let’s explore those easier hiking trails first.

NOTE: All the names of the huts are written in the Slovakian language. That’s how they are also marked on the signs in the High Tatras. The English translation is in the bracket next to it.

 

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 basically 3 main starting points for the hikes:

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

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

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

 

Easy Hiking Trails in High Tatras, 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 have an easy walk through the forests before you start ascending to the hut. You’ll pass by a beautiful waterfall, and there is often fox walking around. I am sure you can spot it as well. Once you are closer to the hut, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the valleys and higher peaks of the Tatras in front of you. You’ll reach the hut in about an hour, hour and a half. After, you can chill and have a good Slovakian lunch in the hut. Don’t forget to try local schnaps such as Slivovica (Slovakian plumb brandy) or Horec (gentian brandy).

Once you return to the middle station Hrebienok, you can enjoy some of the activities (sliding, wooden bears, or an ice palace).

 

Quick Overview of the Hike

  • Starting Point: Starý Smokovec
  • Route: Starý Smokovec – funicular to Hrebienok – Zamkovského Chata
  • Hiking Time: 1 hour to Hrebienok and 1 hour to the hut
  • Funicular: 12 EUR (adults) / 10 EUR (students & seniors) / 9 EUR (children) for a roundtrip
  • Distance: 3km
  • Difficulty: Easy with slight uphill sections
  • Lunch options: 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 that easy. It is mainly 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 next to the lake.

 

Quick Overview of the Hike

  • Starting Point: Štrbské Pleso
  • Route: Štrbské Pleso – Popradské Pleso
  • Hiking Time: 1 hour  & 30 minutes
  • Distance: 4.8km
  • Difficulty: Very easy with slight uphill section at the beginning
  • Lunch options: Popradské Pleso
Popradské Pleso High Tatras
Popradské Pleso, High Tatras, 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 get to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the Slovakian valleys below.

Unlike other hikes, there is no hut nearby 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: 5km
  • Difficulty: Easy with slight uphill sections
  • Lunch options: none, take snacks with you
waterfall skok vodopad skok high tatras slovakia
Hiking to Waterfall Skok, High Tatras, Slovakia

 

4. TATRA PANORAMIC TRAIL: SKALNATÉ PLESO – ZAMKOVSKÉHO CHATA

Another popular hike, especially among families and those who don’t like steep ascending. In fact, this hike is the easiest one on the list. First of all, you’ll have to 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. After, you’ll join the famous Tatra Panoramic Trail that connects Skalnaté Pleso with Zamkovského Chata. You’ll be descending most of the time. There are no ascends or steep parts.

Have a nice lunch at Zamkovského Chata before you make your way down 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: 7km (from Skalnaté Pleso to Hrebienok)
  • Difficulty: Easy, only walking downhill with panoramic views
  • Lunch options: Skalnaté Pleso, Zamkovského Chata, or Hrebienok
skalnate pleso hiking trails in high tatras slovakia
Skalnaté Pleso, High Tatras, Slovakia

 

 

5. BATIZOVSKÉ PLESO (BATIZOVSKÉ LAKE)

Batizovské Pleso is my personal favourite. I cannot express with words how special this place is. I ranked the hike to the easier ones considering you’ll first take a transfer to Sliezsky Dom (a hotel), and from there, you’ll walk 1 hour to the lake. It is one of the easiest hikes in High Tatras but also one of the most special places. You would do the same hike if you were to climb the highest peak here, Gerlach Peak.

In case you don’t want to make the transfer or pay for it, there is another way to walk to Batizovské Pleso. You’ll have to get to Vyšné Hágy, from where you can start your hike. However, this trail is more challenging. There are no dangerous parts or steep ascending, but it is quite long, and nothing is around you. So it’s more in your head. But once you get there, it will pay off for sure.

If you feel like going on a nice or romantic gateway, you can sleep in Sliezsky Dom Hotel. Enjoy its spa, and watch the stars next to the lake in the evening. It is an incredible place.

 

Quick Overview of the Hike

  • Starting Point: Tatranská Polianka or Vyšné Hágy
  • Route: Tatranská Polianka – Sliezsky Dom – Batizovské Pleso / Vyšné Hágy – Batizovské Pleso
  • Transfer to Sliezsky Dom: 10 EUR pp. one way – call the hotel for reservations
  • Hiking Time: 1 hour & 10 minutes (from Sliezsky Dom) / 2 hours & 30 minutes (from Vyšné Hágy)
  • Distance: 3.6km (from Sliezsky Dom) / 5.3km (from Vyšné Hágy)
  • Difficulty: Easy, slightly uphill
  • Lunch options: Sliezsky Dom

hut-to-hut hiking slovakia high tatras

 

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

This hike can be either very easy or rank to the more difficult ones in High Tatras, depending on the way you take. If you start hiking from Biela Voda, you’ll have a very easy hike, with a slight ascending. It’ll take you 3 hours to get there. After, you can enjoy the hut and its stunning Green Lake. Walk around and soak up the special atmosphere.

Once you rest and have a good lunch at the hut, you’ll have 2 hiking trails to choose from. Either, you can hike the same trail back to Biela Voda. Or you can ascend to the Skalnaté Pleso. If you decide to go for the second option, there is just one steep part. Once you get through, you’ll enjoy a rather easy walk on the top of the rocky mountains. It is one of my favourite hikes thanks to its location and the views. After, you’ll descend down to Skalnaté Pleso, where you can have some drinks or another food in the restaurant. From there, it is 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
  • Cable Car from Skalnaté Pleso: 17 EUR pp. downhill
  • 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: 8.6km from Biela Voda to Skalnaté Pleso
  • Difficulty: Easy, with one steep section
  • Lunch options: Zamkovského Chata, Skalnaté Pleso
best hiking trails in high tatras chata pri zelenom plese green lake
Chata pri Zelenom Plese, Hiking Trails in High Tatras, Slovakia

 

More Difficult Hiking Trails in High Tatras, Slovakia

Let’s check out some of the more difficult and longer hikes on this list of hiking trails in High Tatras.

However, I want to encourage you to try them. If you are fit on average, you can definitely do it. Even if you don’t exercise much all year long. It’s possible. 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 8am. This way, you’ll have more time to enjoy the huts or stop on the way and enjoy the hike. Especially the last hiking trail to Rysy is quite long. So if you start too late, you’ll be in a rush going down, which is not good. Believe me, it happened to me a few times. Also, the weather is nicer in the morning, and it might change in the afternoon. Plan accordingly.

 

7. TERÝHO CHATA (TERÝHO HUT)

Terýho Chata is, to my mind, an easier hike than the rest. The trail starts in Starý Smokovec. From there, you can either take a funicular to Hrebienok, or walk about an hour to Hrebienok.

You’ll first take the same trail hiking up to Zamkovského Chata (check out the first hike from this list). From the hut, you’ll continue ascending until you reach Terýho Hut. The hike is gradually ascending until the end, when there is a steeper pathway up the hill. But the path is well visible with stones put next to each other, so you’ll feel like walking on a cobbled street (just with giant rocks) :D. From Zamkovského Hut, it’ll take you about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Terýho Chata.

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

Immerse yourself into the special atmosphere. Sit down next to the lake or on a rock overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. Chill and have some snacks or chocolate. You deserve it.
Then follow the same trail back to Zamkovského Chata, Hrebienok, and all the way down to Starý Smokovec.

 

Quick Overview of the Hike

  • Starting Point: Starý Smokovec
  • Route: Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Zamkovského Chata – Terýho Chata
  • Funicular to Hrebienok: 12 EUR (adults) / 10 EUR (students & seniors) / 9 EUR (children) for a roundtrip
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours & 45 minutes from Hrebienok to Terýho Chata
  • Distance: 7km from Hrebienok to Terýho Chata
  • Difficulty: more difficult ascending all the time
  • Lunch options: Zamkovského Chata, Terýho Chata, Hrebienok
hut-to-hut hiking slovakia high tatras teryho chata
Terýho Chata, Hiking Trails in high Tatras, Slovakia

 

 

8. ZBOJNÍCKA CHATA (ZBOJNÍCKA HUT)

This hiking trail is very similar to Terýho Chata in terms of difficulty. It is 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, follow the trail for about 3 hours, and you’ll reach your destination with Zbojnícka Chata. Unlike the previous hut, here you won’t walk all the way up to Zamkovského Chata. Instead, you’ll turn left a few minutes after Hrebienok once you see the sign with Zbojnícka Chata.

After, follow the same trail back to Starý Smokovec.

 

Quick Overview of the Hike

  • Starting Point: Starý Smokovec
  • Route: Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Zbojnícka Chata
  • Funicular to Hrebienok: 12 EUR (adults) / 10 EUR (students & seniors) / 9 EUR (children) for a roundtrip
  • Hiking Time: 3 hours (from Hrebienok to Zbojnícka Chata)
  • Distance: 6.4km from Hrebienok to Zbojnícka Chata
  • Difficulty: more difficult ascending all the time
  • Lunch options: Zbojnícka Chata, Hrebienok

 

Sleeping options in mountain huts

There are also other ways to hike if you like a challenge. For instance, from Zbojnícka Hut, you can reach Terýho Hut hiking one saddle and sleep 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.

best hiking trails in slovakia high tatras zbojnicka chata

 

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. So if you want, you can first stop at Popradské Pleso, enjoy the lake, and come back to the sign and continue. However, I don’t recommend it for now. I would hike up to Rysy first, and then on the way back, I would stop at Popradské Pleso and even chill for a moment in the hut.

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 additional 40 minutes and reach the Rysy Hut.

rysy chata best hiking trails in high tatras slovakia
Rysy Hut, Best Hiking trails in High Tatras, Slovakia

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

As with other mountain huts, Rysy Hut also has great food options for lunch. You’ll absolutely deserve it. Don’t forget to check out the special toilet with stunning mountain views. It is incredible (the best toilet I’ve ever experienced). Once you’re ready, take the same hiking trail back to Štrbské Pleso.

 

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: 9.5km from Štrbské Pleso to Rysy Chata
  • Difficulty: challenging ascending all the time, with one chain section
  • Lunch options: Rysy Chata, Popradské Pleso
hiking trails in high tatras slovakia
The best toilet next to Rysy Hut with stunning views

 

 

More Information For your Slovakian Trip

These are the top hiking trails in High Tatras mountains in Slovakia. You can do all of them. It only depends on your feelings. If you feel like doing an easy hike, choose one from the first part of the list. If you want to spend the entire day hiking and go further to the mountains (with fewer people), choose one from the second part of the list.

In case you’re crazy about hiking and need a bigger challenge, check out my itinerary for a 5-day hut-to-hut hiking Slovakia in the High Tatras. During this trail, you’ll pretty much hike through the entire range of High Tatras. You’ll cross several huts (mentioned on this list) and enjoy it all. It is also possible to sleep in the huts. So if you want to, check out the article about hut-to-hut hiking and sleep in one of these huts. It’ll be an unforgettable experience.

Check out other activities in Slovakia. On the way to the High Tatras, see some of the fairy-tale castles in Slovakia. Don’t forget to check out my Slovakia road trip itinerary that I’ve designed for you to get to the country more in-depth. You’ll explore caves, traditional Slovakian villages with shepherds’ houses, taste delicious food, walk through the Slovakian paradise, and walk above the tree. So check it out.