High Tatras Hiking: The Greatest Hut To Hut trek No One Knows About

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High Tatras Hiking: The Greatest Hut To Hut trek No One Knows About
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In Europe, hut to hut treks are mostly associated with the Alps or the Pyrenees. However, all across the continent you can find exciting mountain ranges where you can spend each night in a mountain hut, such as the Scandinavian mountains in Norway and Mount Olympus in Greece. One of the least known ranges is the High Tatras, a small but spectacular mountain range shared by Poland and Slovakia in the very center of Europe. Although less high, the High Tatras is very alpine with rocky peaks, high altitude lakes and abundant forest.

We plotted an exciting hiking route from hut to hut through the heart of the High Tatras. In 6 days you'll explore the hidden corners of of this magical mountain range and stay in the best possible places with local mountain meals and wonderful views. Are you ready for a change of scenery? Poďme!

Why Everyone Should Go Hut To Hut Trekking In The High Tatras

When it comes to mountain adventures, Europe has a lot more to offer than just the Alps. Obviously we love the Alps, but sometimes it’s nice to do something different. One of those mountain gems is the High Tatras. Straddling the border of Poland and Slovakia, this small but spicy mountain range is one of the best kept secrets in Europe. In terms of altitude it’s fairly modest, with the highest peak Gerlachovský štít at 2655m. But if you look at these mountains they seem much higher due to their alpine characteristics. The bare, spiky peaks are plastered in snow most of the year and are a true climber’s paradise. Small lakes with crystal clear water can be found all over the range and the lower slopes are covered in thick forest.

The High Tatras have been an outdoor playground for the region since the early 20th century and trails and huts were built to accommodate outdoor enthusiasts. Not much has changed and the Tatras are gaining popularity each year. These days the huts are modernized, trails have been improved in terms of safety and in some places cable cars can take you higher up the mountain. The High Tatras are compact and easy to reach, which adds to the lure to go for a hut to hut trek in these stunning mountains.

Why Everyone Should Go Hut To Hut Trekking In The High Tatras

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Where Are The High Tatras and How Do I Get There?

The High Tatras is located in Central Europe. It is part of the Carpathian Mountains that stretches from Serbia to Czechia and forms the very western edge of this vast mountain range. The High Tatra mountains are shared by the countries Poland and Slovakia. Our focus is the Slovakian side of the Tatras. The main town of the High Tatras in Slovakia is Poprad, which sits right at the southern base of the mountains. It is close to a number of cities, of which Krakow (Poland) and Košice (Slovakia) are the closest. Both cities have well-served airports and it’s easy to get to Poprad by public transport and car.

By car

From Košice it’s only 113 km (1 hour) driving on a motorway. From Krakow it takes over 2 hours and 30 minutes, as the (scenic) road crosses the mountains and the international border.

By public transport

A direct train leaves Košice several times a day for Poprad and only takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Krakow you take the direct Flixbus that takes 3 and a half hours.

Where Are The High Tatras and How Do I Get There?

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your huts, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Tatra Mountains, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

When Is The Best Time To Go Trekking In The High Tatras

Whether you go hut-to-hut trekking in the Alps or in the mountain ranges of Central Europe, the season generally falls within the same months. Between mid-June and the end of September, the trails are mostly snow-free and you can reach the huts well. Because Ryse is a relatively high peak, snow can be found here for longer. As this is a return hike from the Popradské Pleso hut, you may be hindered by snow up to the end of June and you may have to return without reaching the summit.

Summers in Slovakia are generally warm with pleasant temperatures at altitude and plenty of sunshine. However, like most mountain ranges, the High Tatras are unpredictable and the weather can easily change. One day you can enjoy a sunny day, the next day you may get torrential rains. Usually, the weather builds up in the afternoon, so if you start your stage early, you may be able to avoid bad weather. Do make sure you bring your waterproofs!

If you’re into snow shoeing and mountaineering, the High Tatras are excellent and some of the huts stay open for winter.

When Is The Best Time To Go Trekking In The High Tatras

High Tatras Map And Trail Navigation

We plotted a fantastic route along the high trails of the Tatra Mountains. You can check the trail beta in our Komoot Collection, which is our 6-day trek including the ascent of the mountain Ryse (2501m).

High Tatras Traverse

We handpicked the best huts and mountain hotels in the High Tatras and created a stunning route that captures all the highlights in this spectacular mountain range.
Day
1

Tatranská Lomnica - Zelene Pleso

Duration: 03:50 h
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 760 m
Descent: 70 m
Lowest Point: 850 m
Highest Point: 1540 m
From Tatranská Lomnica you follow the cable car for about a kilometer and then the route veers off to the north. You enter the forest at Dolina Bielej Vody, now being away from urban development. A couple of kilometers before reaching the hut, you make a hard left into the Zeleny Potok Valley. The Zelene Plese hut is on the shore of a small Alpine lake that's also known as the Green Lake. You are in the High Tatras now!

Zelene Pleso

Info
Zelene Pleso
Day
2

Zelene Pleso Hut - Zamkovského Chata

Duration: 03:50 h
Distance: 8.7 km
Ascent: 460 m
Descent: 550 m
Lowest Point: 1460 m
Highest Point: 1990 m
The day starts spicy, with a steep hike up to a small pass called Veľká Svišťovka, just over 2000 meters. The descent is much milder and leads to the lifts at the mountain pond Skalnaté Plese. You keep descending gradually around the mountain called Lomnicky hrb. Shortly after you can find your cozy chalet Zamkovského in the middle of the forest.

Zamkovskeho Hut

Info
Zamkovskeho Hut
Day
3

Zamkovského Chata - Sliezsky Dom

Duration: 05:40 h
Distance: 11.6 km
Ascent: 920 m
Descent: 720 m
Lowest Point: 1310 m
Highest Point: 2230 m
Today you will venture deep into the Tatras, with beautiful vistas and a mix of forest, rivers and rugged rock formations. You start by descending to the Velkny Studeny Potok Valley and continue by following the river upstream. At around 2000 meters the terrain becomes high alpine, with picturesque mountain lakes, ideal for a snack, lunch or if you're brave a freezing dip. The trail becomes rougher and leads to a pass on the shoulder of the Divá Vež (2376m). Expect some chains and airy passages. From the pass you drop down to the lovely Sliezsky Dom mountain hotel on the shore of the small mountain lake Velické Pleso.

Sliezsky Dom

Info
Sliezsky Dom
Day
4

Sliezsky Dom - Popradské Pleso

Duration: 04:10 h
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 410 m
Descent: 570 m
Lowest Point: 1500 m
Highest Point: 2020 m
From Sliezsky Dom you contour around the mountain in a westerly direction, staying roughly at the same altitude until the short climb to the tiny alpine pond Batizovské Pleso. The trail keeps ascending gradually, eventually hitting the 2000 meter mark until you are on the final pass of the day. Below you can see the lake and mountain hotel Popradské Pleso. The path plunges down 400 meters, zigzagging all the way to your comfy hotel for the night.

Popradske Pleso

Info
Popradske Pleso
Day
5

Summit Hike Ryse

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 11.4 km
Ascent: 920 m
Descent: 930 m
Highest Point: 2501 m
The trail to the mountain Ryse starts easy with a gradual ascent at first. After about a kilometer and a half the summit trail veers off to the right and the character of the route changes dramatically. You start ascending steeply in an ever more rugged environment. Pass the small lake on your left and keep going up until you are at the small mountain shelter called Chata Pod Rymsi. From here it's 45 minutes to the summit of Ryse through high alpine terrain, with chains to hold on to at the most steep parts. You're now right on the border of Slovakia and Poland and on top of Poland's highest mountain. You return the same way you came. Take care, it might be harder than the way up, especially when it's wet.

Popradske Pleso

Info
Popradske Pleso
Day
6

Popradské Pleso - Strbske Pleso

Duration: 01:45 h
Distance: 5 km
Ascent: 70 m
Descent: 240 m
Lowest Point: 1330 m
Highest Point: 1500 m
Your hike out from the High Tatras is a fitting end to a great mountain experience. Follow the road for a couple of hundred meters and take the trail on the right, moving away from the road into the forest. Follow the scenic route all the way down to the train station at Strbske Pleso from where you can take the train to wherever your next destination is. You have traversed the Tatra mountains! Dobre urobené!
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Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Tatra Mountains for you? Check out all our options here.

Is Hiking In The High Tatras Difficult?

The terrain in the upper parts of the High Tatras is considered a high alpine environment. This doesn’t mean you need mountaineering equipment, but you will encounter steep trail sections and rocky paths. If you would have to make a comparison, you could compare it to the Palaronda Trek in the Dolomites and the Tour des Muverans in the Swiss Alps. These are all classified as T3, and may not be ideal as your first hut to hut trek. Having said this, the distances and vertical gain and loss are very manageable, so you can take your time for the harder parts. It’s usually short difficult sections rather than continuous hard terrain. If you’re up for a challenge, then this trek is definitely worth going for.

Is Hiking In The High Tatras Difficult?

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Tatra Mountains with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Packing List for the Tatra Mountains

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long: Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For a hiking trip in the mountains, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack. Its size will depend on how many days you will be spending in the mountains, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

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Where Can I Book the Tatra Mountains?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Tatra Mountains and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Tatra Mountains not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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