National Park High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) deserves top spot among Slovakia´s natural highlights. It is situated in the north of Slovakia, shared partly with Poland. Vysoke Tatry, having 29 peaks over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) are, with the Southern Carpathians, the only mountains of Alpine type in the whole Carpathian Mountain range and are often called “the smallest alpine mountains in Europe”.
High Tatras mean majestic peaks touching the sky, pristine snowfields, dark turquoise mountain lakes of glacier origin, waterfalls, pine forests and shimmering alpine meadows, unique plants, rare animals, exceptionally clean air and environment great for healing respiratory conditions.
Long-term preservation has kept the environment especially pristine, too. Authorities on the Slovak and Polish sides of the mountains collaborated to form the world’s first cross-border protected region here in 1948. In 1993, it was together with the Polish part of the Tatras mountains declared by the UNESCO to be the “Biospheric reservation of the Tatras”.
Many rare and endemic animals and plant species are native to the High Tatras. They include the Tatras’ endemic goat-antelope and critically endangered species, the Tatra chamois. Predators include Eurasian brown bear, Eurasian lynx, marten, wolf and fox. The Alpine marmot is common in the range.
The High Tatras are supreme climbing and hiking terrain, with a 600km network of trails, depending on the fitness level of the hiker, ranging from an easy stroll to a difficult all day hikes. Routes are colour-coded and easy to follow; unmarked routes cannot be undertaken without a mountain guide.
Other diversions include row boats in Štrbské Pleso and mountain biking (Smokovec Resort Towns are a good base). In winter, mountain resorts transform into ski hubs, with some of the most adventurous spots accessed from Tatranská Lomnica. The region of the High Tatras offers also over 100 km of marked trails for jogging and Nordic walking and about 40 marked cycle routes at the foothills mainly.
Please bear in mind that basic outdoor equipment is advisable – backpack, hiking boots, proper clothes (sport trousers, warm jacket, anorak, raincoat), sun glasses, gloves (in winter).Share this tour
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