Hiking in Tatras: The Ultimate Guide

Everything you need to know about Tatras: the best locations, mountain huts, seasonal tips, and why this is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
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You’ve just stumbled upon a hidden gem of the hiking world—the Tatra Mountains. 

While it may be easy to overlook these mountains due to their status as the world’s smallest high mountain range and choose an adventure in more famous Alpine destinations, such as Dolomites, Switzerland, Slovenia, you made the right choice to take a look into this gem.

Trust us, it will be worth it. 

Tatra mountain landscape
Tatras’ landscapes offer stunning views every step of the way

Why visit the High Tatras?

Nestled at the heart of Europe, the Tatra Mountains are the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains, and are a top destination for hikers around the globe. 

This natural border between Slovakia and Poland features an extensive network of waymarked paths, amounting to around 600 km of trails, which guide hikers through forested valleys, past hidden waterfalls, and around alpine lakes, offering a playground for those passionate about the great outdoors.

Despite their modest footprint, the Tatras are a powerhouse of natural beauty, boasting no fewer than 24 peaks above 2500 meters

Besides that, Tatras are also home to over 30 glacial lakes, each adding to the mystical allure of the region. Morskie Oko, the largest lake in Tatras, is arguably the most famous one in the Tatras, while Valley of Five Lakes attracts the visitors with promise of scenic views of a series of lakes. 

Summer in 5 lakes valley in High Tatra Mountains, Poland.
Tatras are home to over 30 scenic lakes

Tatras’ ecological and cultural significance, including rare flora and fauna, and the traditional pastoral lifestyle, were also recognised by UNESCO, and are listed under its Biosphere Reserve protection since 1993.

This combination of stunning natural beauty, a wide range of hiking trails, and a strong commitment to environmental preservation makes the Tatra Mountains a must-visit destination for hiking enthusiasts seeking to explore one of Europe’s most scenic and unspoiled regions.

When is the best time of the year for hiking here?

Tourists at chalet at Zelené pleso, High Tatras, Slovakia
High season in Tatras lasts from late July to late August

The ideal time for hiking in the Tatra Mountains is between late spring and early autumn, particularly from June to October, when mountain huts are open and trails are mostly clear of snow

The high season lasts from late July to late August, with the footpaths and huts getting more crowded, the temperatures rising, and the weather growing more unstable. The conditions become more appealing in September again, but you should keep in mind that the days grow shorter.

Daily Weather

Afternoon storms are the hiker’s main enemy. They are quite often during hot summer days and form quickly to surprise you in an inconvenient situation if you are unprepared.

Rysy peak in the high Tatra mountain in foggy day
Checking the local weather forecast regularly is of utmost importance when hiking

Additionally, while the days are warmer, nights can still be chilly, and the weather can change rapidly in the mountains, so carrying waterproof and warm gear is essential, even during the peak season.

Given these conditions, it’s imperative for hikers to check the latest weather forecasts before setting out. Being aware of the day’s weather can help in planning a safer and more enjoyable hike in the breathtaking landscapes of the Tatra Mountains.

Top hiking destinations in Tatra Mountains

The Tatra Mountains offer around 600 km of trails that cater to every level of hiker, from the novice to the experienced adventurer. 

While you can always draw up your own hut-to-hut hiking route, it might be better to start by sticking to established courses. They are easier to navigate, and with all the information about them available, you can prepare yourself for everything that awaits you. 

Here’s a look 10 of the best destinations in this splendid mountain range:

1. Lomnicky Peak 

Lomnica Peak at sunset in autumn season. The second highest peak of the High Tatras mountains of Slovakia, Europe.
Stunning views of Lomnicky peak in autumn

One of the highest and most exhilarating peaks in the Tatras. The journey to the summit offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains and valleys​​, and is accessible also via cable car from Skalnate Pleso.

2. Zelene Pleso

Lake Zelene Pleso in High tatras mountains, Slovakia
Emerald colors of Zelene Pleso invite hikers from all over the world

Known for its striking green lake and challenging terrain, Zelene Pleso is one of the top destinations in Tatras. The hike leads to a beautiful hut by the lake where hikers can rest and take in the stunning alpine scenery. There are many options to explore this beautiful area, from a family-friendly tour to a more challenging hut-to-hut- hike.

3. Morskie Oko

Morskie Oko lake in the Tatra Mountains, Poland
The “Eye of the Sea” is the biggest among Tatra lakes

The largest lake in the Polish Tatras and is known as one of the most popular destinations in the region. Surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests, Morskie Oko is easily accessible, making it a perfect destination for families and casual hikers.

If you also decide to visit the Valley of Five Lakes, this can become a great 4-day hut-to-hut adventure on the Polish side of the Tatras.

4. Skalnate Pleso

A landscape with one of the most famous mountain lakes in the Slovakian Tatra Mountains, Skalnate Pleso (Rocky Tarn) and Lomnicky peak on background
Lomnicky peak stands as a guardian of Skalnate Pleso

Overlooking a serene mountain lake, Skalnate Pleso is another vantage point offering stunning views of the High Tatras. The observatory nearby adds a unique touch to the visit, allowing hikers to gaze not only across the mountains but also into the stars. You can experience the beauty of this lake during adventurous hut-to-hut hiking to the best gems in the Tatras or with a more leisurely hike during the comfort hiking tour.

5. Velka Svistovka

Green Tatra mountain peaks in the distance. View from the mountain Velka Svistovka, Slovakia.
Rewarding views from Velka Svistovka after a challenging climb

Offering some of the most spectacular views in the Tatras, Velka Svistovka is a more challenging hike that rewards with panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys. It’s a hike that experienced trekkers should not miss while on a quest to enjoy the best hut-to-hut hike in the Tatras.

6. Rysy

Probably the most famous outdoor toilet in the world - the toilet of the mountain lodge Chata pod Rysmi near mount Rysy, Slovakia and Poland.
Rysy offers stunning views every step of the way – literally

As the highest peak in Poland, Rysy challenges hikers with its trails but rewards with unparalleled views of the Tatras. It’s a demanding trek suited for those with good fitness levels.

7. Kasprowy Wierch

cable car on the ropes, going to Mount Kasprowy Wierch, Poland. Beautiful view of the valley
The views from Kasprowy Wierch are accessible also via cable car

This peak is versatile, accessible by hiking or cable car, offering stunning panoramic views. It caters to a wide range of hikers, from beginners to experienced.

8. Giewont

Giewont is the highest peak of the Western Tatras, reaching 1,894 metres above sea

Known for its iconic cross at the summit, Giewont provides a moderately challenging hike and a taste of the region’s rich folklore.

9. Orla Perć

Tatra Mountains, Poland. (Orla Perć)
The trail to Orla Perć is not for the faint-hearted

This ridge trail is among the most challenging in the Tatra Mountains, adventurers along narrow ridges and steep inclines, providing an unforgettable experience for experienced hikers.

10. Kriváň

Hill Krivan in High Tatras mountains, Slovakia
The view of Krivan, symbol of Slovakia, from the valley

Symbolizing Slovak pride, Krivan offers one of the most breathtaking views in the Tatras. The ascent to its summit is a rite of passage for many Slovaks and a challenge eagerly accepted by hikers from around the world. 

Staying in the Tatra Mountain Huts

Hut-to-hut hiking in the Tatra Mountains offers a unique blend of adventure and hospitality, allowing hikers to explore the stunning landscapes of Slovakia and Poland with the added comfort of mountain huts along the way.  

There are plenty of mountain huts or “chatas” in the Tatras, providing comfortable accommodations and a chance to experience the area’s rustic charm. 

Zbojnicka Cottage, Vysoke Tatry (High Tatras), Slovakia
Zbojnicka hut in the Velka Studena Dolina offers some of the most scenic views in High Tatras

Here are some of our favorite ones:

  • Zbojnicka Hut, perched in the Velka Studena Dolina, is a haven for hikers looking to immerse themselves in the valley’s splendor 
  • Sliezsky Dom, boasting its status as the highest-located hotel in the High Tatras, serves as a more luxurious base for exploring nearby peaks 
  • For those trekking to Morskie Oko and Zelene Pleso, the huts just next to the lake offer a picturesque resting stop
  • Plesnivec Hut and Zelene Pleso Hut, each nestled in their unique landscapes, promise comfort and serenity after a day’s hike

These huts not only offer a place to rest but also enrich the hiking experience with their history, hospitality, and panoramic views​​​​.

What to keep in mind when booking the accommodation in Tatras?

Booking your accommodations in advance is a must. The popularity of hut-to-hut hiking has grown, and spaces can fill up quickly. It’s also worth considering the distance between huts when planning your daily hikes. While some may be just a few hours apart, others could require a full day’s trek, so plan according to your comfort and fitness level.

How to prepare for hut-to-hut hiking in Tatras?

While Tatras Mountains offer a variety of trails to suit any regular hiker, multi-day tours demand hours-long trekking and overcoming the altitude difference with a heavy backpack for multiple days in turn. And not just anybody can do that.

Man and child tourists in mountains at Morskie Oko lake near Zakopane, Tatra Mountains, Poland. Family travel concept.
Tatras offer something for everyone, however it is important to choose a hike suitable to your fitness level and experiences

Fitness Level:

Preparing for a hiking adventure in the Tatra Mountains requires not just a passion for the outdoors but also a commitment to improving your fitness level. The trails in the Tatras range from gentle walks to challenging climbs, making versatility in your workout regimen key. 

If you’re already an active hiker, tackling trails weekly or engaging in multi-day hikes, you’re well-prepared for a hut-to-hut adventure in the Tatra Mountains. 

For those less experienced, begin with regular, weekly hikes, gradually increasing distance and elevation. It’s crucial to practice with a heavy backpack to adapt to the added weight. 

Focus on accumulating mileage over pace, aiming for 10-15 kilometers daily to ensure endurance and stability on the trails, minimizing the risk of accidents in the Tatra’s technical terrains.


When planning for a hut-to-hut hiking adventure, it is essential to pack light and only bring what is necessary. Food and drinks are available in huts, which also means you don’t need to carry a tent with you.

Backpack and hiking boots in forest
Pack smartly — include only essentials, as you will carry that weight every day

The most important item you’ll have with you are your hiking shoes; while trail running shoes are popular for their lightness, rugged terrain in the Tatras makes sturdy hiking boots or shoes with ankle support necessary. Ensure your footwear is well-fitted to avoid discomfort and blisters. 

For clothing, we recommend having a good softshell jacket for wind protection. Even if it is summer and the weather is warm, it’s good to take enough extra layers, so you don’t get cold when the temperatures suddenly drop.

Here is our list of all the essentials you will need on your hut-to-hut hiking in Tatras:


  • Comfortable sports clothes
  • Sports shoes with a good grip
  • Insulation jacket
  • Extra layers
  • Rain jacket
  • Headwear
  • Gloves
  • Spare socks, underwear and shirts

For overnight stays in huts:

  • Sleeping liner 
  • Some cash for food and accommodation
  • UIAA membership card for accommodation discount
  • Toothbrush
  • Earplugs
  • ID card
  • Powerbank (power sockets are often taken)

Other equipment:

  • Hiking backpack 25-30 l
  • Trekking poles
  • Snacks 
  • Water bottle and a sports drink with electrolytes
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Headlamp
  • Map (as phone reliability can be limited in high altitudes)

How do I book a hiking tour in Tatra Mountains?

This guide to hiking the Tatra Mountains was crafted with a single goal in mind: to open the gateway to one of Europe’s most majestic hiking destinations and help you prepare for your adventure.

Tatra mountain path
Join us on a hut-to-hut hiking tour of your life!

We understand that planning the perfect hiking holiday can be daunting, which is why we’re here to help. Our travel agency prides itself on a team of travel agents who are not only passionate about hiking but also possess extensive knowledge of the Tatra Mountains. 

We’ve carefully crafted a selection of self-guided hut-to-hut hiking tours  that showcase the best of the Tatra Mountains, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to conquer the highest peaks, explore hidden valleys, or simply enjoy the tranquility of this stunning area, our tours are designed to provide unforgettable experiences. 

Ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime?

Explore hut to hut hiking in Slovakia and Poland's Tatra Mountains: From easy walks to challenging treks, showcasing the region's stunning landscapes and rich heritage.
Portfolio company of World Discovery.