Top 10 of the High Tatras

The best Tatras
The alpine-shaped mountains called Tatras consists of the highest and the northest part of the 1200 km long massif mountain-range - Karpaty. It is attractive for the tourists from all around the world by the precious concentration of natural beauties on a small area. It is divided into Western and Eastern Tatras. The eastern part, consisting of two separate geo-morphological parts, is the most visited. The eastern part consists of the granite High Tatras (with a large number of tourist paths as well as traffic facilities) and the Belianske Tatras (not easily accessible for the tourists).

The unique Belianske Tatras
Outstanding 14 km long limestone mountain-range. Natural and visually unique land with typical rocky-galleries consisting of several stages. Nowadays it is a national natural reserve. The instructional path from Monková Valley to Kopské saddle (following the green mark) is the only tourist path enabling the direct contact with this breathtaking world. A suitable starting point is a typical goral village Ždiar. Its attractive surroundings bellow the peak Ždiarska Vidla or the peak Havran (2151,5 m) offer boarding and accommodation services of a good quality.

Top town of the High Tatras
A very specific small town called "High Tatras" consists of 13 separate settlements situated in an attractive dense-forested area. The town is thanks to the dimensions of its area 359,79 km2 (including the inhospitable rocky Tatra mountains) the largest town in Slovakia. The biggest settlements Štrbské pleso, Old Smokovec and Tatranská Lomnica are at the same time the most visited by the tourists. The settlements are connected with each other by roads, most of them by rail-ways, too. They will attract your attention by their beautifully decorated balconies, towers or steep roofs. Beside of hotels and pensions, several demanded sanatoria were founded there.

The top attraction of the Tatras
The most visited attraction is a ride by a cable car up to the Lomnický Peak (2634 m) - not accessible on foot. It is the second highest peak of the High Tatras. A modern cable car with a capacity of 15 people will take you in a few minutes that you never forget from the busy Skalnaté pleso (Rocky Mountain Lake) up to the kingdom of silence. About 50 minutes of the limited stay at the cable car station on the top of the peak should suffice you to remember the breathtaking view of the majestic panorama of the Slovak and Polish landscape. Except of refreshment you will find there the highest situated Astronomic observatory of the Slovak Science Academy. If you are interested by our offer, do not forget to take good weather with you.

The most mysterious world of the High Tatras
You will find it in Belianska jaskyňa (Belianska Cave). It is the only cave open to public in the High Tatras. It is situated under the eastern end of the Belianske Tatras, in the northern slope of Kobylí vrch (Kobylí Hill). A good starting point for visiting the cave is a settlement Tatranská kotlina (Tatranská Basin). Do not let the 30 minutes long slightly ascending path to discourage you. 1001 m long wonderful excursion will be a reward for your effort. You will certainly be impressed by a rich stalactite and stalagmite decoration with large rooms in grey-blue limestone.

The peak of the Tatras peak
In the middle of a huge number of the Tatras peaks stands the highest - Gerlachovský Peak (2654,4 m). It is not situated in the line of the main mountain range, but it is one of the five out-standing peaks joining the main comb from the south. It is not open for the tourists. It is possible to climb there only under the leadership of a skilled mountain guide. You can hire one in Sliezky dom (Sliezky House). The hike up to the Gerlachovský Peak- with a typical basin in its southern slope- starts in Velická Valley, passing the sc. Velická Próba. From the peak you descend through the Batizovská Próba down to the Batizovská Valley. The fact that it is really the highest peak of the High Tatras was proved in 1838 by the barometric measures of Ľudovít Greler (a gamekeeper of Jelšava). Before that time, three of the peaks had been supposed to be the possible highest (Lomnický Peak, Ľadový Peak and Kriváň).

The best of mountain lakes
The most glittering decoration of the Tatras valleys are mountain lakes. The most suitable nickname for them would be "sea eyes". They all have a glacier origin. The largest and at the same time the deepest in the slovak part of the High Tatras is Veľké Hincovo pleso (Great Hinc Mountain Lake) with the area of 200 800 m2 and the depth 53,7 m. You can find and admire it at the end of the Mongusovská Valley. The largest mountain lake of the whole High Tatras is Morskie Oko (Sea Eye) - situated on the polish side of the mountains (349 000 m2 large and 51 m deep). The mountain lake with the highest elevation (2192 m above the sea) is Modré pleso (Blue Mountain Lake). You can find it bellow the mountain saddle Sedielko - recently open to public - right at the place, where Malá Studená dolina (Small Cold Valley) joins the Javorová dolina (Javorová Valley).

The best of waterfalls
Undeprivable part of the Tatras valleys are howling waterfalls flowing over the characteristic rocky thresholds. The majestic cascade of the 80m high Kmeťov vodopád (Kmeť `s Waterfall) decorates the wild (currently not accessible) valley called Nefcerka, situated in the western part of the High Tatras. This waterfall - the biggest in the High Tatras - you can hear and partly even see on the way ascending through the Kôprova Valley. Often visited by the tourists are: the Watterfalls on the Studený potok (Cold Creek) in Veľká Studená dolina (Grand Cold Valley), the huge waterfall in Malá Studená dolina (Small Cold Valley) or the waterfall Skok in Mlynická dolina (Mlynická Valley).

The best of rocky walls
The most massive rocky wall in the High Tatras is 900 m high northern wall of the Malý Kežmarský štít (Small Kežmarský Peak). It is a permanent challenge for local as well as foreign mountain-climbers. The most appreciated are the winter ascents through this difficult wall. The tourists can admire this wall from the chalet at the Zelené pleso (Green Mountain Lake), or on the way following the red marked one-way route connecting the chalet with the Skalnaté pleso (Rocky Mountain Lake). The most popular wall between the mountain-climbers is a legendary gallery Gánok. You can admire it from the mountain saddle Váh by ascending the Rysy peak (2500 m).

The top danger in the High Tatras
The biggest danger for the tourists visiting the alpine area in the High Tatras is not the rocky terrain but the sudden change of weather. It is typical for the Tatras especially in the summer (the most visited) season. Significant fall of temperature in the middle of a hot day is often connected with a storm, hail or even with snow. In that case, a romantic walk can easily become the fight for surviving. This can happen only if you underrated one of the safety rules listed in every tourist guide.

I wish you, the friends of tourism, lucky return from the mountains!

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