Slovakians are the lucky ones! More than 75% of the Tatra Mountains belong to them. With that being said, Slovakia offers more hiking trails than Poland, with a more diverse range of walks for advanced, intermediate and novice hikers. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you 12 hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia suitable for almost everybody. The hikes listed below are not always short, some of them require a decent level of fitness, but they have no technical sections, and no rock scrambling involved. Let’s get into it!
POPRADSKÉ PLESO & TATRANSKÝ SYMBLICÝ CINTORÍN
Popradské Pleso is a mountain lake of glacial origin located at an altitude of 1494 m. Next to this scenic spot, there is also a symbolic cemetery built in the memory of the fatalities in the High Tatras. It’s called Tatranský Symbolický Cintorín and I highly recommend visiting it too. Leave your car here: 49.126148, 20.074668, next to the Tatra Electric Railway station, and take the blue track to Popradské Pleso. After about 1,5 hours of walking, you will reach your destination. Feeling hungry or thirsty? You can have lunch or coffee at a mountain hut or in the hotel nearby. Once you get that sorted, take the yellow track to the symbolic cemetery. At the end, the yellow track joins the blue one, and this is how you go back to the carpark. Enjoy!
Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso” – Popradské Pleso (1494 m) – Tatranský Symbolický Cintorín – Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso”
Start & finish: 49.126148, 20.074668
Walking track: 9 km, 3 hours (loop)
Elevation gain: 369 m
Elevation loss: 375 m
SLIEZSKY DOM & VELICKÝ VODOPÁD
Another hike in the Tatras of Slovakia for beginners, especially those who love chasing waterfalls. Velický Vodopád is a beautiful waterfall located in the Velická Dolina, near Slizesky Dom, a 4-star mountain hotel. This location is stunning, so if you can afford spending a night there, feel free to do it. The walking track starts in Tatranská Polianka: 49.123275, 20.185355, not too far from the Tatra Electric Railway station. From there, take the green track to Slizesky Dom, and then continue even further to see the waterfall up close. You can also walk up a little to capture the lake from above. After that, turn back and return the same way. If hungry, go and grab something in Slizesky Dom, they have a canteen for hikers, and a fancy restaurant.
Tatranská Polianka – Slizesky Dom – Velický Vodopád (1670 m) – Slizesky Dom – Tatranská Polianka
Start & finish: 49.123275, 20.185355
Walking track: 10,7 km, 4 hours 20 minutes (return)
Elevation gain: 764 m
Elevation loss: 766 m
TATRANSKÁ MAGISTRÁLA & OSTRVA
This hike is a combination of the two previous ones, so it’s much longer, however still suitable for beginners with a good fitness level. Tatranská Magistrála has 72 km in total, but I want you to do its shorter section, from Slizesky Dom to Popradské Pleso. Start in Tatranská Polianka, and take the green track to Slizesky Dom. Then jump on the red track to Batizovské Pleso, a picturesque lake surrounded with high mountain peaks. The next stop is Ostrva (1980 m). From there, it’s another hour of walking to Popradské Pleso. The track goes down steeply, but there are no technical bits. After that, take the yellow track to Tatranský Symbolický Cintorín, and the blue one to the Tatra Electric Railway station. Catch a train & pick up your car.
Tatranská Polianka – Slizesky Dom – Batizovské Pleso – Ostrva (1980 m) – Popradské Pleso –Tatranský Symbolický Cintorín – Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso”
Start: 49.123275, 20.185355
Finish: 49.126148, 20.074668
Walking track: 19,5 km, 8 hours 30 minutes (one way)
Elevation gain: 1324 m
Elevation loss: 1072 m
ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO & PREDNÉ SOLISKO
Predné Solisko at 2117 m is the southernmost peak of the Solisko Ridge. The walking track starts at Štrbské Pleso, a glacial lake, and a tourist hot spot with many restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops. You can get there by car or train. In fact, the Tatra Electric Railway has its beginning right there. Firstly, take the blue trail to Chata pod Soliskom, a mountain hut at 1840 m. They serve delicious food, so consider having lunch there. Their goulash is just yummy! Next, take the red trail to the summit. You’ll go steeply up for about an hour. Return via Furkotská Dolina to make the hike even more fun. Turn right at the hut and follow the blue trail. Then turn left and jump on the yellow trail, which later on joins the red trail to Štrbské Pleso. Alternatively, you can also take a cable car to Chata pod Soliskom. It’ll shorten the hike to two hours tops.
Štrbské Pleso – Chata pod Soliskom – Predné Solisko (2117 m) – Chata pod Soliskom – Škutnastá Poľana – Pod Furkotskou Doliou – Štrbské Pleso
MLYNICKÁ DOLINA & VODOPÁD SKOK
Here’s another idea for an easy and enjoyable hike in the Tatras of Slovakia. Vodopád Skok is a 25 m tall waterfall located in Mlynická Dolina. You can reach it, as in the previous case, from Štrbské Pleso. The walking track starts to the right from the lake, past the last carpark. This time take the yellow trail, and stick with it until you get to the waterfall. Vodopád Skok is best to see in spring and autumn, as well as after heavy rainfalls. Feel free to spend as much time as you need around there, and then return the same way. The yellow track goes further up to Bystrá Lavká, a saddle at 2315 m, which is definitely not for beginners. Right after the waterfall, the track gets sketchy, the rocks are secured with chains, same as the saddle itself.
Štrbské Pleso – Vodopád Skok (1730 m) – Štrbské Pleso
VODOPÁDY STUDENÉHO POTOKA
There is no such thing as bad weather to walk through Studeného Potoka Dolina. This hike is perfect for either a sunny, or rainy day. In fact, the more it rained, the more impressive the falls are going to be. Start in Tatranská Lesná, near the Tatra Electric Railway station, and take the yellow trail that goes along the stream. You will first reach Dlhý Vodopád. Then the following falls, Veľký Vodopád, Skrytý Vodopád, Malý Vodopád. These three are on the green trail that goes to Rainerova Chata, the oldest mountain hut in the High Tatras. They don’t offer beds anymore, but you can still get a drink there. From Rainerova Chata follow the green trail a little longer, and once you reach Obrovský Vodopád, turn back, and return the same way.
Tatranská Lesná – Dlhý Vodopád – Veľký Vodopád – Skrytý Vodopád – Malý Vodopád – Rainerova Chata – Obrovský Vodopád (1365 m) – Rainerova Chata – Tatranská Lesná
TÉRYHO CHATA & KOTLINA PIATICH SPIŠSKÝCH PLIES
There is no need to finish the previous hike at Obrovský Vodopád. You can stay on the green trail, continue to Zamkovského Chata, and even to Téryho Chata, a mountain hut situated among lakes in Kotlina Piatich Spišských Plies. This is a 20 km long hike with an elevation gain of over 1200 m, so it will most probably take you a whole day. Téryho Chata at 2015 m is the highest located hut in the Tatra Mountains which remains open all year round, even in winter. The place looks magical from above, so I highly suggest following the green trail a little further up, so that you can see the hut and the lakes from a higher altitude. Return the same way. This track crosses Priečne Sedlo, so once you are done with the views, walk back to the carpark.
Tatranská Lesná – Dlhý Vodopád – Veľký Vodopád – Skrytý Vodopád – Malý Vodopád – Rainerova Chata – Obrovský Vodopád – Zamkovského Chata – Téryho Chata (2015 m) – Zamkovského Chata – Rainerova Chata – Tatranská Lesná
ZBOJNÍCKA CHATA & ZBOJNÍCKE PLESA
Zbojnícka Chata is a mountain hut at 1960 m, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and beautiful glacial lakes. Interestingly enough, this is one of my favourite mountain huts in the Tatras of Slovakia. First and foremost, the location itself is very impressive. Secondly, they have friendly staff and tasty food. Pierogi with bryndza are a real treat. Start in Starý Smokovec and take the green trail to Hrebienok. A funicular goes up there too. Next, take the red trail, and then the blue one to Zbojnícka Chata. You will go uphill for about three hours. There will be one section with chains, but you don’t really need to use them on a sunny day. Once you reach your final destination, take your time to enjoy the scenery, and then return the same way.
Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Nad Rainerovou Chatou – Zbojnícka Chata (1960 m) – Nad Rainerovou Chatou – Hrebienok – Starý Smokovec
Zelené Pleso, the Green Lake in English, is a beautiful emerald lake situated at 1542 m. This place is quite touristy, but truly magical, and definitely worth a visit. Besides the fact that you can simply chill out by the lake, there is also a mountain hut offering accommodation, serving meals, and drinks. The quickest way to get there is through Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina. Start your walk in this exact point, 49.187643, 20.29256, follow the yellow trail for about three hours until you reach your destination, and then return the same way. Jahňací Štít and Veľká Svišťovka are two peaks that can be accessed from the lake, however, they are not suitable for beginners. Veľká Svišťovka is a good idea for novice hikers, but only if going from Skalnaté Pleso.
Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina – Zelené Pleso (1542 m) – Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina
SKALNATÉ PLESO & VEL’KÁ SVIŠTOVKA
The walking track to Skalnaté Pleso is quite steep and long. If you are indeed a beginner hiker, I do think it may discourage you a little. That’s why, this time, I would suggest taking the cable car. The journey begins in Tatranská Lomnica, where you can leave your car and buy a ticket for the cable car. The ride from Tatranská Lomnica to Skalnaté Pleso and back is 33€ and requires one change. Once you get up there, make sure to visit the mountain hut Skalnatá Chata. It’s located just below the cable car station. After that, take the red trail and start walking to Veľká Svišťovka (2038 m). It will take you more or less 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the peak. The track goes uphill most of the time. Return the same way. I don’t recommend going down from Veľká Svišťovka to Zelené Pleso as there is one tricky section secured with metal chains.
Tatranská Lomnica – cable car ride – Skalnaté Pleso – Skalnatá Chata – Veľká Svišťovka (2038 m) – Skalnaté Pleso – cable car ride – Tatranská Lomnica
NIŽNÉ TEMNOSMREČINSKÉ PLESO
Nižné Temnosmrečinské Pleso is a true hidden gem! I’m telling you, the chances of coming across other human beings there are very low. This spot is not very popular among tourists, mostly because you do need to walk for quite a bit to see it, 11,5 km one way to be exact with elevation gain over 900 m. Anyway, it’s worth it, especially if you are looking for a peaceful spot. Start your walk from Tri Studničky carpark, take the red trail, and next, the blue one. It’s a concrete road through Kôprová Dolina, then it’s going to be more interesting. At next junction, before Hlinská Dolina, take the green trail, and then the red one that will finally get you to the lake. This last section is steep, but definitely worth the view at the end. Return the same way.
Tri Studničky Carpark – Nad Bytom – Pod Grúnikom – Pod Temnými Smrečinami – Nižné Temnosmrečinské Pleso (1674 m) – Pod Temnými Smrečinami – Pod Grúnikom – Nad Bytom – Tri Studničky Carpark
Start & finish: 49.134448, 19.968681
Walking track: 23 km, 8 hours (return)
Elevation gain: 956 m
Elevation loss: 957 m
Roháčske Plesá are a group of lakes located in Roháčska Dolina in the Western Tatras. It’s a very peaceful spot with beautiful scenery, and a great hike for beginners. The walking track starts here: 49.242647, 19.713982, next to a restaurant and a small carpark. It’s the only free carpark nearby, so if it happens to be full, drive a little further up, and take the ticket. Then, walk through Roháčska Dolina and stay on the red trail until you reach the junction Adamcuľa. After that, jump on the blue trail to Roháčsky Vodopád and stick with it to the first lake, Štvrté Roháčske Pleso. Further on, follow the green trail to Tretie, Druhé & Veľké Roháčske Pleso, Smutná Dolina, Ťatliakova Chata. At the end, switch to the red trail to return to the carpark.
Zverovka – Roháčsky Vodopád – Štvrté Roháčske Pleso (1720 m) – Tretie Roháčske Pleso – Druhé Roháčske Pleso – Veľké Roháčske Pleso – Ťatliakova Chata – Zverovka
Start & finish: 49.242647, 19.713982
Walking track: 13,2 km, 5 hours 30 minutes (loop)
Elevation gain: 735 m
Elevation loss: 737 m
These are the hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia for beginners. Which one seems like a good fit for you? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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