One popular proverb says: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It seems that our Tatras, which offer a variety of different trails to different types of enthusiasts, will not be an exception. Ultimately, it only depends on how well you are physically prepared, equipped and if you dare. Do you think that if you are not one or the other, and you do not dare that much, you can forget the beautiful Tatra views? It’s not quite true. So if you are not just a chamois, but still want to wander somewhere in the mountains, we have some tips for you.
Batizovske pleso (tarn)
As a tourist or non-tourist, no matter what your reason is, you have several options to get to the beautiful views almost effortlessly. Your first option is to use one of the cable cars, which in the summer season willingly exchange all skiers and lovers of other winter sports for tourists wishing to shorten their way to the peaks. For a reasonable fee, any of them will take you to Solisko or even to the top of the Lomnicky stit (peak).
Hrebienok is a well-known landmark, from which hiking trails lead into almost every corner of the Tatra Mountains. In addition to a beautiful view of the mouth of Velka Studena dolina (the Great Cold Valley), here you´ll find various attractions for the youngest as well as a nice cold lager for the older ones. Tatranska magistrala (trail) also crosses Hrebienok – it is a red-marked hiking trail, which will take you from one side of the Tatras to the other without any dramatic climb. You could say that Tatranska magistrala is a kind of a scenic trail with a length of more than 40 kilometers, it is one of the tough nuts to crack. There are three ways to Hrebienok.
Velka Studena dolina (the Great Cold Valley)
The first option is to use the cog railway from Stary Smokovec. The cog railway runs every 15 minutes and will take you to the Hrebienok station in about half this time.
The second option is a bit more challenging but more interesting. You can rent bicycles in Smokovec. The bike rental is near the cog railway station and cannot be overlooked. So if you are not afraid to step on the pedals, you can reach Hrebienok almost certainly within an hour on the asphalt road designed for cyclists.
The last option, of course, is walking by foot. However, you do not have to worry, a green-marked hiking trail will lead you directly to Hrebienok from Smokovec, while crossing approximately 250-meter altitude and it should not take you more than 45 minutes.
Slavkovska vyhliadka (lookout) – Maximilianka
To get to our next view, you don’t have to go very far from Hrebienok. We recommend using a cog railway from Smokovec, it will save you time and strength. When you arrive at Hrebienok, follow the red mark – along the magistrala – towards Sliezsky dom (hotel). After about 20 minutes you should reach the crossroad, a blue-marked hiking trail leading to Slavkovsky stit (peak) starts on your right side. After about 15 minutes, this trail will lead you to a beautiful lookout. Directly in front of you Lomnicky stit (peak) rises, below which Velka Studena dolina (the Great Cold Valley) stretches and from it no less majestic peak of the Prostredny hrot (mountain) rises.
Lomnicke sedlo (saddle)
The starting point for another breathtaking view is Tatranská Lomnica. After a successful parking, which can sometimes be a problem in good weather, head to a well recognizable cable car station, where you can get a ticket to Skalnate pleso (tarn) without major problems. The actual cable car ride offers really beautiful views of Lomnicky stit (peak) and surrounding rock massifs. But the place a few hundred meters higher offers a really nice view. After you arrive at Skalnate pleso (tarn), you have two options.
The first option is to use a smaller cable car, which will take you for a really symbolic fee directly to Lomnicke sedlo (saddle), which lies at an altitude of almost 2200 meters a.s.l. The view is indescribable. You can see many Tatra peaks in their full beauty. In addition, Teryho chata (chalet) (2015 m a.s.l.) built in Kotlina Piatich Spisskych plies (Basin with Five Spis tarns) is also visible from Lomnicke sedlo (saddle). The surrounding panorama is complemented by ice peaks (each about 2500 m a.s.l.), Siroka veza (the Wide Tower) (2,462 m a.s.l.) and the dominant Prostredny hrot (2,441 m a.s.l.), which truly demonstrates respect.
The last tip is the view of one of the most beautiful ridges of the High Tatras – Bast ridge. Our journey begins at the cable car station, which will take us from Strbske pleso (tarn) (1355 m a.s.l.) to Chata pod Soliskom (chalet) (1840 m a.s.l.). We also have several ways to get the most out of our experience.
The first option is to enjoy the view of the ridge directly from the chalet along with the refreshments it offers. Many of our friends will be jealous.
The second option is to follow the red mark, which takes us to Predne Solisko (mountain) (2117 m a.s.l.) in about an hour. This option, however, you really need to think about, because it is a rocky terrain with an elevation of more than 250 meters, so you should wear hiking boots with a high-quality sole. However, if we climb to the top, there is a great reward in the form of a beautiful panorama. It is dominated by the ridge Bast, which rises from the Mlynicka dolina (valley) right in front of the eyes. In the south it starts with the Patria peak (2203 m a.s.l.) and continues northwards with the Mala and Predna Basta (2374 m a.s.l.), Satan (2422 m a.s.l.) and ends with the Hlinska veza (tower) (2340 m a.s.l.).
As for the ridge Bast, we have one bonus tip for you. Go to this place in winter, which begins a little before the closure of the trials in the Tatra mountains. Follow the yellow hiking trail towards the Skok waterfall. Tatra mountains turn into a fairy tale when the surrounding peaks are covered with snow. It’s an easy walk you won’t forget.
Text and photos: Martin Balko