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Tatra Mountains

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Tatra Mountains

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The Tatra Mountains [1] or Tatras or Tatra (in Polish and Slovak Tatry, which is a plural proper noun) is a mountain range on the border of Poland and Slovakia, the highest part of the Carpathian Mountains.

The Valley of the Five Polish Lakes, High Tatras


  • West Tatras (pl: Tatry Zachodnie, sk: Západné Tatry)
  • East Tatras (pl: Tatry Wschodnie, sk: Východné Tatry ):
    • High Tatras (pl: Tatry Wysokie)
    • Belianske Tatry (pl: Tatry Bielskie)

Note: The Tatra Mountains do not include the mountain range called Low Tatras (pl: Tatry Niskie, sk: Nízke Tatry). High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) stretch in the northern part of Slovakia bordering Poland and belong to Carpathian mountain range. High Tatras are divided into three parts Western, High and Belianske Tatras. High Tatras belong to the national park (TANAP) and also are registered in UNESCO because many protected animals and plants occur in High Tatras. High Tatras consist of peaks, mountain lakes and basins. The highest peaks are called Gerlachovsky stit (2655), Krivan (2494), Rysy (2499) and Lomnicky stit (2632m). Gerlachovsky stit is the highest peak in Slovakia rising to 2655m above the sea level. November 2004 a huge storm destroyed a considerable part of the forest and disturbed natural fauna and flora. The trees that used to protect the soil from erosion are gone now and the topsoil is being exposed to rain and erosion. The disaster did not have such catastrophic impact on tourism, and all ski centers, hotels and cottages go on providing their services. To High Tatras indisputably belong Poprad that is a town stretching below High Tatras offering a beautiful town center, various types of accommodation, small air port for tourists and incredible view at High Tatras scenery.


What to Do

Tatras sport activities

High Tatras do not just offer opportunities for hiking but also for different kind of sport activities. Snow condition during the winter is perfect for skiing or snowboarding. Funiculars are accessible to many alpine localities, such as Solisko (1840m) or Skalnata chata (1751m) where tourists can take another funicular and go to Lomnicky stit (2632m)and see whole Tatras below them. In High Tatras is possible to ski in nine localities and each one consist of two to nine slopes. Cycling is other activities that are very interesting for people who love adrenalin. Cyclists can choose either between asphalt or field roads. Different kind of roads with various level of difficulty is suitable for less or more demanding people.

Visiting From the Polish Side

Places to Stay

Throughout the Tatras there are scattered 'Chatas' or Chalets. These mountain chalets are an excellent way to experience the Tatra mountains. A well developed system of trails links the chalets with each other. If you're on the Slovakian side of the mountain range, you might want to take the funicular car from Starý Smokovec up to the first Chata. From there you can follow the trails up into the mountains. Every so often you'll come across a chata, where you can buy food, warm up over a cup of coffee, or even stay the night if there are any vacant beds. It's a good idea to bring along a map of the tatras.

Cottages and accommodation in the mountains Skalnatá chata in Skalnata dolina, Zamkovského chata in Mala Studena dolina, Téryho chata in Mala Studena dolina, Bilíkova chata in Hrebienok, Rainerova chata, Mountain hotel Sliezsky dom in Velicka dolina, Mountain hotel at Popradske pleso, the highest cottage below Rysy. Among others, these cottages are located in high attitudes above the sea level. Each cottage offers accommodation and food and most of them offer their service just during the summer because of bad access condition during the winter.

The most interesting cottages


Transportation and orientation in High Tatras is very easy. Trains, cog railway, cable railways, and trams these are possibilities how to get to any locality in High Tatras. If you want to see High Tatras from births perspective you can take a cable railway from Tatranská Lomnica to Lomnicky štít or take a tram and travel under the highest peaks and take delight in magnificent nature. The easiest access to High Tatras is from Poprad or Tatranská Štrba where are two main railway stations with an access to cog railways or trams leaving for the mountains.

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