The last time, I talked about the eastern part of High Tatras. For me. the best part is the middle one, starting from Štrbské pleso or from Popradské pleso. When it comes to accessibility, Štrbské pleso is a great starting point and Popradské is the finishing line, but it is up to you. There are two options how to get to Štrbské pleso: either take local train from Poprad which runs through the whole High Tatras or use cog railway from Štrba. I always take the latter on the way in, and then return with local train to Poprad.
There are quite a few trips you can take from both locations and here the difficulty is really covering all the range you can imagine.
The easiest thing you can do is to come to Štrbské pleso by train, have a small walk around the lake and enjoy the lunch at this touristic resort. You can also go to hotel, SPA or skiing here, no additional hiking required. It is a nice location to spend time in, but that would be very boring as a hiking trip.
Much more interesting, yet very easy, is a trip from Štrbské pleso to Popradské pleso. There is minimum of ascending parts on this route, yet there are plentiful amazing views all the way through. This is one of my most favourite trips really. I use it as a starter day or as a relax day. On the picture above, you can see that there is place for beers and food at Popradské pleso, so you can enjoy the last part of the trip properly. One thing to keep in mind, Popradské pleso station is approximately 1 hour downhill from here, so don´t miss your train!
If you are looking for a trip of medium difficulty, then use the one above as the beginning and continue from Popradské pleso higher towards Veľké Hincovo pleso. This is the biggest lake in the Slovak part of High Tatras. Funnily, it does not look bigger than Štrbské pleso, but that is just an optical illusion. It is really the biggest one. The trip is very nice, just make sure there is no storm in the forecast, as that might be "fun". It happeend to me once, and then you can only turn off your mobile phone, hide under some rock and pray. You can continue even higher, if you wish so, towards Kôprovské sedlo. From there you can see the Polish country as well as beautiful views towards Slovak High Tatras. Very nice experience.
One level higher would be a trip from Štrbské pleso through Mlynická dolina to Furkotská dolina and back to Štrbské pleso. If you separated it to two trips it would be as easy as the trip above. However if you wish to go both in one go, it is a nice little challenge. The hike covers quite a few lakes and very nice views. There is a bit of steep ascending throughout the trip and the most difficult part is in the middle. The real challenge is to cross pass from one valley to the other. You do not need any special outfit or accessories, but you will be forced to use chains which are part of the mountain slopes. I think the worst moment is when you reach the top of the mountain pass. It is really a jump from one valley to another. There is no spot to stop. You need to climb it up and immediately climb down without a break. It can cause a bit of dizziness if you don´t like heights, so be careful and don´t fall down!
For me, the king of the hikes is a trip to Rysy where you can cross the border and go to Poland. I think that this is too difficult during one day so I suggest to book some accomodation at the Morskie oko lake and stay there once you cross the mountains. You can start this trip from Štrbské or Popradské pleso. The route is rather straightforward, but very demanding. Due to complicated logistic it is still on my to do list, but once I manage to get there, I will share with you my full experience!
I personally like the trip to Veľké Hincovo Pleso with the view from Kôprovské sedlo the most. It is a very spectacular trip offering big range of views. Try it!
These are my tips for the best trips in High Tatras. Do you have another list? Let me know!