High Tatras are a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. You can naturally visit them from both sides. Each of them is different. For me, the Slovak one is much more accessible. I have spent countless hours in this beautiful place. They are high, they are amazing, but they can be also dangerous. It is very important to decide for a day with good weather. Hails and storms can be fatal, sunny days can be very demanding in summer. Partly cloudy day is perfect for the trip.
There are quite a few places where you can start your trips in High Tatras. Each of them is different and unique. I have a lot of stories from all of them, but I cannot share all of them at once!
If you start in the east, in the vicinity of Kežmarok, locations like Ždiar are surrounded by so called "Belianske Tatry". This is an ideal location for relax and family trips which are not too expensive compared to the central Tatras. We have been there for a school trip during elementary school. It was the first time for me in High Tatras and I loved the place a lot. You can feel the fresh air, yet the location is not so full of tourists. We spent time there meditating in nature, watching sheep flocks and enjoying the meadows of the location. The only tricky part is accessibility as you need either car or bus to get there.
What most people imagine when saying High Tatras starts in Stary Smokovec. This is rather luxurios town, full of SPA locations and expensive hotels. It is easily accessible by train, so many people come here. The location has several levels of tourist routes, so be careful who you take with you. Sliezsky Dom is probably the easiest route, yet one friend of mine struggled to get even there. You can always store friends like this in the hotel there. Going in the opposite direction, you get to Hrebienok. In theory you can take even a local train to get there, so the lazy friends would love this one for sure. Hrebienok is only the start though. From there, my favourite is a trip next to Waterfalls of Studeny Potok. Those are amazingly strong in summer and beautifully frozen in winter. Ideal for all the seasons. Following this path you can go up towards Zamkovskeho Chata which offers hot wine and some snacks. During foggy or rainy days, it is a big challenge though. If the suns shows, the views are stunning for sure. If you are up for a challenge, you can choose Slavkovsky Štít. The route is a bit steeper though and if you are not expecting this, you can end up in tears. Will you reach the top?
From my experience, you should take to High Tatras only people, who are used to some physical activity, otherwise, it might not end in a mutual agreement of the path and pace. I do not know anybody who dislike the time spent in High Tatras though. Each trip is a story on its own and you will never forget it. The locations above are just the start, my most favourite ones are yet to come. Stay tuned and let me know if there is something specific you are interested in.
What is your most favourite track of High Tatras?