Tatra Mountains (Slovakia) – 15 best places to visit with pictures and maps
Tatra Mountains (High Tatras) in Slovakia – the best places to visit with pictures and maps! Slovakia is rich in natural attractions and nature is also country’s main treasure. There are 9 wonderful National Parks, mountains with peaks reaching 2600+ meters above sea level, lowlands, bears and wolfs living in the wild, waterfalls and wild rivers, thousands of caves and more than 40% of the country is covered with forests which makes it one of the most forested countries in all of Europe.
But Tatra Mountains are definitely the most visited place in Slovakia and there is no doubt why. You only need to come here for a week or more and you’ll be really amazed at what mother nature is able to create! Check this list of the best places to visit in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia.
Tatra Mountains – the best places to visit
First of all, do not confuse with Low Tatras Mountains, we are going to show you the High Tatras! Low Tatras are also in Slovakia but they are located south of the Tatra Mountains. Tatra mountains are part of the Carpathian Mountains, a mountain range that stretches in several European countries, starting in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia and ending in Romania.
It is the second longest mountain range in Europe (just after the Scandinavian Mountains) and the Tatra Mountains are its highest part!
1. Štrbské Pleso (1346m)
If you have never been to the High Tatras yet, your first steps should definitely lead to Štrbské Pleso. The panorama of the glacier tarn with the hotel Patria and with the amazing peaks in the background is one of the best-known views not only in our country (Slovakia) but also abroad.
Here you can do the cross-country skiing, skiing and in the summer you can also rent a boat or take a lot of tours to the most beautiful places of the High Tatras. Do not forget to look at the lakes of love that are near the main car park. There is peace, quiet and these lakes are also very nice!
Of course, you have to come to Štrbské Pleso with a cog-rail train. It was built at the end of the 19th century and still serves the people, however, there are plans to replace it with a new one, so hurry up!
2. Popradské Pleso (1494m)
The first tour in the High Tatras must be a hike to Popradské Pleso. You can reach it from Štrbské Pleso by tourist path marked red (map). The other option is by a blue marked path from the stop of Tatra Electric Railway called Popradské Pleso (map).
This path with a tarmac surface is suitable for tourists with child prams as for the people using wheelchairs or bicycle. From Popradské Pleso you can continue further to other places such as Ostrva, Rysy, and others (but without child pram or bicycle).
3. Waterfall Skok (Jump)
Whoever done some of the first hikes in the Tatra Mountains can make a bit more difficult trip… There are many waterfalls in the Tatras, but the most impressive is definitely the waterfall Skok.
The Skok Waterfall is considered to be the most abundant waterfall in Slovakia and is also the third largest waterfall in the High Tatras. You can see it from Štrbské Pleso. But the best is to climb to it and continue through Bystrá Lávka back to Štrbské Pleso.
The path is no longer than 15 kilometres and you can go through it in less than 6 hours. Due to the wonderful waterfalls, tarns and a bit of adrenaline, I recommend you to do this trip as the first one. Check the map here: https://en.mapy.cz/s/2AkDG
4. Hrebienok (1285m)
Those who did not try sledging from Hrebienok to Starý Smokovec do not know what it really means to enjoy the High Tatras.
You can get to Hrebienok by the only cable car in Slovakia or you can go there on foot in around one hour (map). And then continue further to the waterfalls of Studený Potok, Zbojnícka Chalet or to Teryho Chalet, Sliezsky Dom or Skalnaté Pleso. There are really plenty of paths to choose from!
5. Tatra Ice Dome
Traditionally every winter there is a magnificent Tatra Ice Dom on Hrebienok with wonderful ice sculptures! 190 tonnes of ice in 1440 ice blocks were used for it in December 2017.
It is one of the most beautiful pieces of art you can find in Slovakia! We are looking forward to visiting it every winter! WARNING!!! You won’t find it in the summer! But only from December to April!
6. Lomnický štít (2634 m)
Who would not want to see our highest peak from our second highest peak? Or wherever else. From here you can see everywhere! Tourists reach Lomnický štít by cable car from Tatranská Lomnica or also by foot with a professional mountain guide.
You can take a unique red suspension cable car from Skalnaté Pleso to Lomnický peak. Before you climb the Gerlach peak (the highest peak in Slovakia) under the leadership of a skilled mountain guide, you should first try to climb to Lomnický peak. The climbing is not so difficult here and at least you can test your physical form.
7. Kriváň (2495 m)
Kriváň is, of course, the most typical Slovak peak, where is regularly organized some mass climbing. Every Slovak should climb on it at least once in his lifetime. There is a splendid view of the Tatras, Slovakia or Poland, and can be reached by a not-so-demanding trip from Tri Studničky or Štrbské Pleso.
But if you want to try some of your first big hiking tours in the Tatras, I do not recommend Kriváň! Postpone it for later and rather go somewhere else, with more waterfalls and tarns along the way. For example, the already mentioned waterfall Skok and Bystrá lávka is a perfect option!
8. Rysy (2503m)
This is the very popular peak among tourists. What annoyed were tourists when “metal risers” were installed here in 2016 in order to make the climb easier.
However, the less experienced tourists, who otherwise would not climb to Rysy peak or turn by the first path with chains, have the bigger chance now. I was also scared here. A final part of the trail is very steep from the Rysy chalet up to the Rysy peak. You have to go down on your knees and scramble up to the top! It is a big challenge for a many hikers.
9. Zelené Pleso (1551m)
Zelené Pleso is considered to be the most beautiful and most romantic place in Slovakia and it is also one of the easiest accessible tarns in the Tatras.
In the winter can be reached by cross-country skiing, in summer on a bicycle (however I do not recommend this path with a bike) or on foot. The Chalet at Zelené Pleso is also known as Brnčalova Chalet and was named after a climber who died by the climbing down from the Jastrabie Sedlo(Hawk Pass). After all day hiking you can sleepover in the chalet.
10. Jahňací štít (2229m)
A little bit longer hiking tour that only begins at Zelené pleso. However it really worth a try! During the whole way you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the mountains, waterfalls (https://youtu.be/bAaLrPgmXA8) and you’ll see wonderful Zelené pleso from above, which is a must!
You’ll see a few more mountain lakes on the way, peaks of Belianske Tatra mountains and if you are lucky enough then you’ll meet also chamois! Check this round hiking trip to Jahňací štít: https://en.mapy.cz/s/2xjyX
11. Zbojnícka chata mountain chalet (1960m)
Another must-do hiking tour in the High Tatras is a trip to Zbojnícka mountain chalet situated in an elevation of 1960 meters above sea level. The cottage is opened all year round (like all other mountain cottages in the High Tatras) and offers some refreshments as well as accommodation.
You can get there from Starý Smokovec following green hiking route to Rainerova chata chalet and then blue one up to Zbojnícka chata chalet. From here you can continue further to other places in the High Tatras, such as Téryho chata chalet through Priečne sedlo mountain saddle and then get back to Starý Smokovec.
The tour is quite demanding and one way to Zbojnícka chata chalet takes around 4 hours. Check the tourist map here: https://en.mapy.cz/s/2xjrB Find more information about the chalet at their website: zbojnickachata.sk
12. Belianske Tatras
A part of the High Tatras mountains is a range called as Belianske Tatras. It would be a mistake not to visit this part of the mountains as well. Apart from amazing views of the Tatra mountain peaks from the rear, you’ll find charming villages here with all you can expect from countryside living and typical old wooden houses.
Cows, goats, lambs, woods, meadows and fields, playgrounds for kids, ski slopes and many cycling or walking opportunities. This will definitely be a pleasure not only for you but also for your children! In addition, it will not be so overcrowded by tourists as in the main Tatra mountains resorts. Main resorts here are villages of Ždiar, Tatranská Javorina, Tatranská kotlina and Bachledova dolina. Find them on a map here: https://en.mapy.cz/s/2xjK0
As said above, Ždiar village is the centre of Belianske Tatras mountains. Even from here you can go for hiking and walking trips, there are lots of asphalt and forest trails for cycling and hiking trips around the village as well.
Furthermore, if you wish to learn something about local folklore and original life in this part of Slovakia, visit Museum Ždiarsky dom which is in the centre of the village.
We can definitely recommend Hotel Magura here, which is situated in Monkova dolina valley, in one of the most unique places in all of Slovakia. Prices are grateful, they have a delicious kitchen, a large meadow in front of the hotel with a playground for kids and from the hotel balcony, you’ll be served with a mind-cleaning view of the Belianske Tatras peaks.
14. Walkway above trees Bachledka
The first walkway above trees in Slovakia has been opened recently in Bachledova dolina village in Belianske Tatras mountains. As this is the most recent attraction in the area, and there are still a lot of people who haven’t visited it yet, it can be quite overcrowded on weekends. Therefore the best time to visit it is in morning.
But if you decide to join the mass of people making their way to the top of the trees, you will be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding and the whole area at the foot of Belianske Tatras. There is even a chair lift that can make your ascent shorter, suitable even for disabled personals.
You can also spend the night in Bachledova dolina as there are numerous accommodation options here, either hotels or private houses.
15. Belianska Cave
Experiencing bad weather in the Tatra Mountains? No problem here! One of the best options on how to spend a rainy day is visiting Belianska Cave. You can find it in Tatranská Kotlina, right in the centre of a village.
Like all the caves in Slovakia, this one is spectacular too. But don’t worry! Bad weather is not the only reason why you should add this cave on your itinerary, it is opened even when it is nice outside and it still worth your attention!
Price list for 2018: 8,-EUR / adult, 4,-EUR / children 6-15r, 10,-EUR / photo and video. The tour takes 70 minutes and there is about 5-6°C in the cave. It is open daily except for Mondays almost all year round (from the end of December to half of November).
So these are my first few tips on where to go and what to visit in the Tatra Mountains. The list will be updated with even more places soon, so stay in touch with us! Since there are really a lot of amazing places here, the list is going to be really long one!
The more places to go are Gerlachovský peak (only accessible with proffessional mountain guide), Sliezsky dom (by bike or on foot), Skalnaté pleso (by cable lift or on foot), Ostrva from Popradské pleso, and many other tarns and waterfalls.
Have you already visited any of these places? Or, which of them would you choose for your next Tatra mountains holidays? Please let us know below in the comments!