Treasures of the Polish Tatras to be explored

They are much smaller, but it doesn’t detract from their beauty. The Polish Tatras have something to offer to anyone who visits them, and at any time of year. The mountains of our neighbors amaze us and encourage us to explore the unknown. 

Pack your backpack, change some zloty and go wandering to our northern neighbors. Head to the Polish Tatras, where you will experience the adventure of discovering natural beauty. In addition, the Polish Tatras are known for no seasonal restrictions, which means you can visit them all year round. This triple combination is what attracts Slovaks to the Polish Tatras. Look at the majestic peaks from the other side and discover the sites the Poles are proud of, first through our tips and then with your own eyes by planning an unforgettable trip. 

Tip: You can also visit the beauties of the Tatras of our northern neighbors from the Slovak side of the mountains in the form of a one-day trip. They are just a few minutes’ drive away. If you stay in popular GoPass hotels, you will really have them just a short walk away. 

Treasure of the Tatras: Morské oko (The Sea Eye) 

Who hasn’t visited „Morské oko as if they weren’t in the Tatras at all. The largest lake of the High Tatras lies on the Polish side. Several times a year, it is literally overcrowded with tourists, because trips to it are popular with us Slovaks and the Poles. Especially during the school holidays and holidays you will meet crowds of people here. The view of the lake will truly subdue you. The huge peaks reflecting on the calm water surface will charm you so much that you will want to come back.

Tip: You must walk 10 kilometers to see the beauty of the lake. The route to „Morské oko“ leads along a well-tended asphalt road, which you can conquer on foot or on a carriage.

Foto: Marek a Ewa Wojciechowscy / Trips over Poland, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=566159

If you would like to get to „Morské oko“ from Slovakia, you can stay at the Grandhotel Praha, which is located only 15.6 km from the lake.

Czarny staw pod Rysmi

Ďalší poklad poľských Tatier je ukrytý pri dobre známej výstupovej trase na Rysy. Tú každoročne navštívi početný zástup turistov, ktorí chcú zdolať najvyšší vrch Poľska. Odmenou za výstup k slovensko-poľskému hraničnému vrchu je v prvom rade nádherný výhľad a vodný skvost Czarny staw (Čierne pleso). Pleso púta pozornosť svojím typickým tmavým sfarbením, za ktoré vďačí dvom druhom siníc: Pleurocapsa polonica a Pleurocapsa minor.

Another treasure of the Polish Tatras is hidden by the well-known ascent route to Rysy. This is visited annually by a large crowd of tourists who want to conquer Poland’s highest mountain. The reward for climbing to the Slovak-Polish border mountain is first and foremost a magnificent view and a water gem Czarny staw (Black Lake). The lake attracts attention with its typical dark color, owing to two kinds of cyanobacteria: Pleurocapsa polonica and Pleurocapsa minor.

Dolina Gąsienicowa

Dolina Gąsienicowa is an interesting place popular for hiking and climbing activities. At the same time, it forms an imaginary border between the High and West Tatras. In the valley you will find the main starting point of the hiking trails – the vast area of ​​Hala Gąsienicowa, from where you can get off to Kasprov hill or „Ľaliové sedlo“ (saddle) and hike through the ridge of „Červené vrchy“ (Red Hills).

Tip: The fourth largest lake of the Polish Tatras „Czarny staw Gąsienicowy” is worth mentioning. The lake is home to trout, which were artificially deployed here at the end of the 19th century. 

The starting point to the valley can be easily reached in an hour’s drive from the Grandhotel Starý Smokovec.

Sleeping Knight Giewont 

You can spot the national peak of Poles from afar because of its unmistakable shape. According to a legend associated with it, there are sleeping knights in the Tatras who will come to defend the country whenever needed. The greatest of these knights was turned into stone and since then lies on his back with his hands crossed and a shield on his breasts. In short, Giewont is fascinating not only because of this legend, but also for the magnificent views that you will have from the top. It is not surprising that both Poles and Slovaks are striving for a climb and often do not hesitate to stand in a long queue just to see its magnificence.

Tip: Avoid climbing Giewont in bad weather. At the top of Giewont, there is a 15-meter-high cross that acts as a lightning conductor during a storm.

The starting point, which can be the parking lot at the Mała Łąka gamekeeper’s lodge in Kościelisko, can be reached by car in approximately 1 hour 20 minutes from the Hotel Bešeňová.

Zakopane 

We all know that the other side of the Tatras attracts visitors with beautiful nature and countless opportunities for interesting trips. Those who like history and admire the unique Tatra architecture, will not miss the opportunity to stop in Zakopane at least for a while. The Tatra town with its original wooden buildings is the heart of the Tatras.

There is a steady bustle on the main street Krupówki, where you can enjoy a tasty coffee or a sweet cake in one of the well-known cafes. After a short break, the historical monuments are literally called for. The most important monuments are the Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Church of the Most Holy Family or an extraordinary “house upside down”. The diversity of the town only underlines the atmosphere of the Polish Tatras and makes them a unique place to visit.

Zakopane is only 1-hour drive from the Grandhotel Praha.

(Foto: Mgiganteus – Vlastné dielo, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1544878)

Tip: Poland is also the perfect place for skiing. In the Polish Tatras you can ski in the resorts in Zakopane or Jurgów. If you would like to try mountains other than the Tatras, an attractive place for skiing is the resort Szczyrk in the Polish Beskids. It is a relatively large resort, as it has 22 km of slopes and the longest track is 5.3 km long. The resort is undergoing major modernization, adding new cable cars and buildings with comprehensive services for visitors. Buying tickets via GoPass loyalty program is worth the price and gives you the best flexible prices – the price of the ski pass on the chosen day depends on the conditions and capacity of the resort. Our tip for a convenient combination of accommodation and skiing is the Hotel Gronie, located near the slope.