Why it is worth visiting Tatras?
Cold, grandiose, full of challenging hikes and splendid views, the Tatra Mountains (or Vysoké Tatry = High Tatras) are a great alternative to any mountain range in the world. They spread on the border with Poland and it is the only Carpathian mountain range with alpine character in Slovakia. Although they span relatively small area, they represent the highest mountain range in the whole Carpathians and often are called “the smallest high mountains in the world”, or “the miniature Alps”.
Thanks to their altitude, availability and impressive mountain landscape, the Tatras are the most visited mountains in the country and are a paradise for hikers and tourists. During hiking you can enjoy more than 100 beautiful alpine lakes and ponds, the biggest waterfall in Slovakia (Kmeťov vodopád), or 30 peaks with altitude over 2,500 m asl (Kriváň, Rysy, Gerlachovský štít…). Due to huge diversity of flora and fauna with many endemic species, almost 80% of the Tatra area is included in the Tatra National Park (TANAP) – the oldest and the largest national park in the country, established in 1949.
Also culture and history lovers will come into their own in this region. Northern Spiš is unusually rich in architectural monuments from various historic periods. They are represented by manor houses (Strážky – part of Spišská Belá, which is a gem of Renaissance architecture in Slovakia), monasteries (unique cultural and historical complex of the Červený Kláštor), castles (Kežmarok, Ľubovňa castle in Stará Ľubovňa) or Town Monument Reserves (e.g. Kežmarok, Spišská Sobota, Podolínec), that will bring you closer to the former life in this unique region. Houses built in traditional folk style are still present in various surrounding villages (e.g. Ždiar village), some of them were moved to the Open Air Museum below the Ľubovňa Castle.
The pearl of the northern Spiš is the gorge Prielom Dunajca located in the Pieniny National Park, below the majestic summit called Tri Koruny (Three Crowns).
The unique combination of alpine nature and local folklore and culture has made the Tatras region one of the most memorable corners of Slovakia.
What to do in Tatra region
The Tatras offer countless opportunities to spend time in the region – from nature trips of varying difficulty on foot or by bike, to exploring cultural or architectural monuments, local customs, gastronomy, to entertaining attractions or adrenaline experiences. A lot of useful information about Slovakia and Tatra region (links) and points of interest in Stará Lesná and two closest settlements (maps) you can find below:
Hopefully not necessary, but sometimes helpful…
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Police SK: phone number 158
Emergency SK: phone number 155
Integrated Rescue System: phone number 112