This past summer we had the opportunity to hike the Tatras Mountains. The Tatra Mountains is a mountain range that separates Poland and Slovakia; only 30% are in Poland.
They are approximately 30 miles long and 18 miles wide. We can differentiate the High Tatras in the east, more alpine, and Western Tatras. Both are part of the Carpathian Mountain Range.
The Slovak side was declared a national park in 1948 and the Polish area in 1953.
This trek crosses through these mountains from east to west, starting in the Slovak town of Zdiar and finishing in the Slovak town of Zuberec, with three intermediate stages in Poland, around the town of Zakopane. The stages are:
1. Zdiar – Refuge Zelené Pleso
2. Refuge Zelené Pleso – Refuge Zbojnicka
3. Refuge Zbojnicka – Refuge Popradské Pleso
4. Refuge Popradské Pleso – Refuge Przedni Staw Polski
5. Refuge Przedni Staw Polski – Hotel Refuge Kalatówki
6. Hotel Refuge Kalatówki – Refuge Hala Ornak
7. Refuge Hala Ornak- Refuge Ziarska
8. Refuge Ziarska – Zuberec
We walked a total of 87 miles and about a positive height difference accumulated of 10,000 meters. The route can be done in eight stages, that we propose in this circuit.
The trek presents no problem, apart from the positive height to hike each day and the number of miles walked. It should be mentioned that some climbs that we hike are very vertical and aerial, in some cases with chains in the most difficult steps. In addition, much of the route runs along the mountain ridges, so you should be careful with weather and you descend to the valleys in storms, especially in summer.
The paths are constructed by large blocks of granite that Polish and Slovak workers built during the socialist age.
Zdiar, the staring point, can be access from the Polish town of Zakopane or from the Slovak town of Poprad. To access from the Polish side, the best way is to fly to Krakow, from there a train to Zakopane (4h) and finally a bus to Zdiar (1:30h).
If you want more information on this route, you can click here: Tatras Mountains