High Tatras - hiking/backpacking
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 9, 2012 5:42 AM Last Post By: ig0r
Mar 1, 2012 3:38 PM
Mar 2, 2012 3:16 PM
1In the high summer season the main trails in the Slovak Tatras can be very busy with hikers (mostly Slovaks, Poles, Czechs), though there are some more remote areas in the range where it's possible to get away from the biggest crowds. The western end of the Tatras has some great trails that start from above the village of Zuberec, which makes a good base for that region. To the north-east of the main range the village of Ždiar makes a good base for hikes, it's a pretty village with painted folk cottages (and a youth hostel). Another worthwhile region for hiking in Slovakia is the Malá Fatra national park, with the small town of Terchová making a good base for the region (it's also a centre of folk culture, see photos here). The Slovenský Raj national park with its hiking trails through river canyons is another good option and a rather different kind of hiking experience. If you want to stay in a traditional village that has hiking options nearby, try the village of Čičmany, south of the city of Žilina. It has traditional wooden cottages painted with folk patterns, see photos here. There are trails leading off into the hills in every direction from there which will have far fewer hikers on them than the Tatras will in summer.
The Goulash Train Blog
Czech and Slovak Travel Ideas
Mar 6, 2012 10:18 AM
Mar 6, 2012 10:50 AM
No, it's much more popular. In the high season there happen to be queues on the most popular trails.
The huts in the Tatras (chata in Slovak, schronisko in Polish) are similar to the Romanian and Bulgarian ones - they offer hot meals and a place to sleep. Keep in mind that in summer the sleeping places get booked weeks if not months ahead.
How do the Tatras compare with these areas ?
I have hiked in Bucegi in Romania and Pirin in Bulgaria. Both ranges were less crowded than the Tatras. On the other hand the scenery in the Tatras is more dramatic.
The folk architecture on the Polish side is also interesting. Google the Lesser Poland wooden architecture trail.
Mar 6, 2012 1:38 PM
4I fully agree with Igor's advice above. Compared to hiking in Romania and Bulgaria the Tatras will feel more crowded because the mountain range is quite compact in area. If you stick to the western end of the Tatras though the crowds are more manageable - try the hike from Zuberec to the peak of Ostrý Roháč (around 2100m).
The Goulash Train Blog
Mar 7, 2012 4:47 PM
Mar 7, 2012 4:53 PM
Mar 8, 2012 2:24 AM
I don't remember the huts in Bulgaria, Romania etc being bookable. I think there it was a matter of first come first served etc.
In Poland most of the places in a hut are bookable (by phone or online, depending on the hut; the Zakopane tourist info might help with the bookings), some are left for the "first come first served". In high season those places are taken well before noon. If you arrive late at a remote hut (like the one in Dolina Pięciu Stawów Polskich) and the beds are full you will be allowed to sleep on the floor.
Late September is the best season. Early June is also OK (apart from the Corpus Christi holiday and the following weekend).
AFAIK in Slovakia it works similarly, but it would be good if someone confirmed that.
Mar 8, 2012 8:44 AM
8By the way, most of trails in the Tatra National Park on Slovak side of High Tatras are closed before June 15 so early June is not good idea.
Mar 8, 2012 1:00 PM
9Thanks again for all the info. I must admit what you have told me so far puts me off a bit.
I was trying to escape from people. I remember one time being in the Pirin mountains (which I like alot) in Bulgaria around mid July and there were hoards of people. Terrible !
Do the hoards in the Tatras start around mid-July or earlier ?
Mar 9, 2012 5:42 AM
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