7 Tatra Mountains Hiking Trails

Put it on your buck­et list: Tatra Moun­tains Hiking

The Tatra Moun­tains are a range that form a nat­ur­al bor­der between the nations of Slo­va­kia and Poland. As the high­est range in the Carpathi­ans, they occu­py an area larg­er than 300 square miles. Both of the coun­tries appre­ci­ate the beau­ty of these nat­ur­al set­tings, so the Tatras are made up of two nation­al parks (one on each side of the bor­der). How­ev­er, the major­i­ty of the range is in Slo­va­kia, so this is also the loca­tion of most of the worth­while hikes. Camp­ing is gen­er­al­ly for­bid­den with­in the parks, but they have shel­ters spread through­out the parks for when sleep­ing is necessary.

As both coun­tries are mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union, most areas are eas­i­ly acces­si­ble because of qual­i­ty infra­struc­ture. Anoth­er ben­e­fit is that they aren’t as crowd­ed as more famous areas of the world, but still have quick access to qual­i­ty med­ical care should any acci­dents occur.

Tatran­s­ka Magis­trala
This list will start with the longest hike to make every­thing else seem easy in com­par­i­son. This is a 26 mile (42 kilo­me­ter) route that trav­els the west­ern-east­ern length of the Tatras. It’s esti­mat­ed to take around 16 hours to com­plete this trail, but there are huts through­out the route if you want to spend a night. Addi­tion­al­ly, the offi­cial start and fin­ish points are small vil­lages with lim­it­ed accom­mo­da­tion, so you may need to add some extra dis­tance to find some­where else to sleep. How­ev­er, it’s def­i­nite­ly worth it to get such an overview of the Tatras in one hike.

Mt. Rysy
This three peaked moun­tain has points in both countries—one in Poland, and two in Slo­va­kia. To make it more inter­est­ing, you will have vary­ing lev­els of dif­fi­cul­ty depend­ing on which side of this 8,212 foot moun­tain you decide ascend. The Pol­ish side is the more chal­leng­ing of the two, but it includes a beau­ti­ful lake that jus­ti­fies the extra effort. And if you real­ly feel up to a chal­lenge, you can cross the bor­der from side into the other.

Popradske Ple­so to Koprovsky Stit
Although this is a return trip, the amaz­ing views make up for the lack of diverse scenery. It takes you above tree line where you will be able to see some impres­sive peaks, includ­ing Mt. Rysy. The route even trav­els past the high­est lakes in Slo­va­kia that still con­tain fish.

Hre­bi­enok, Slavkovský Peak
This is a nice jour­ney that starts from a small ski resort and heads up an 8,045 foot peak. There is noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar about this trek, but it is a very acces­si­ble route for those days when you want to do some­thing sim­ple and save some energy.

Veľká Stu­dená and Bielovod­ská Dolina
For a hike that’s slight­ly longer and more chal­leng­ing, try tak­ing a trip up the Bielovod­ská Val­ley. It’s a mas­sive val­ley with a lot of nice views and veg­e­ta­tion. This trip is spec­tac­u­lar for any­one with an inter­est in photography.

Tatran­ská Lom­ni­ca, Javorová Val­ley
Head­ing up this val­ley lined with lime­stone peaks can also add a lit­tle diver­si­ty to your hik­ing sched­ule. It’s a medi­um lev­el dif­fi­cul­ty, but it offers you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ride a moun­tain funic­u­lar for some extra excitement.

Kriváň Peak
Kriváň Peak is the nation­al sym­bol of Slo­va­kia, so you can show your respect to nation­al pride by hik­ing it. When you reach the sum­mit, you will be reward­ed with views of both the Slo­vak and Pol­ish Tatras.