The Tatras

3 min read    100 comments

The Tatras are the highest part of the Carpathian mountain range, and for centuries they were Poland's natural border in the south. Arriving in Poland by air, the granite peaks rear up out of the clouds, slashing the skies like the claws of some mythic beast.

Traditionally, the lands beyond here belonged to Hungary, but by the mid-seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire - Poland's traditional foe - had crept all the way up to the Tatras. As the Sultan's Empire crumbled, the Hungarians moved back in, and they enjoyed warm relations with the Poles. Today, it is the goodly Slovakians who live beyond the mountains, and border skirmishes are not likely to interfere with your hiking trips.

The Tatra mountains cover some 785 square kilometres, three quarters of which lie in Slovakia. The highest Polish peak is Mount Rysy, which rises to 2499 metres above sea level. However, the most distinctive peak is Giewont, which is known affectionately as the 'Sleeping Knight'.

The Polish part of the Tatras was formally declared a national park in 1955. The lower and middle parts of the range are cloaked in forest. Beechs, which were traditional in this area, are now rarer, being superceded by larches, and above all spruces. These continue to grow beyond 1250 metres, along with stone pines, and it is in this area that wildlife is at its richest. Deer, wild boar, lynx, wolves and bears are to be found, as well as a great variety of birds and the Apollo butterfly.

Higher up, in the rockier areas, live the chamois and the alpine marmot and vole. The golden eagle is now very rare. However, as country dwellers know, it is quite likely that you won't see any mammals at all, as they are shy of humanfolk. In this case you may have to make to do with the slightly surreal stuffed collection in the Tatra Museum.

There are rare types of flowers on the starker rock faces, but the richest flowers can be seen in the meadows and down in the valleys, where yellow crocuses form carpets in Spring. It is in the valleys too, that you can discover the caves. These are a very popular aspect of the Tatras, and steeped in legend. Much like the English band of Robin Hood, the region was once inhabited by outlaws - the famed 'zbojnicki'. Seven caves are open to the public, six of which lie in the beautiful Koscieliska valley. Another popular feature of the range are the lakes, most famously the vast Morskie Oko, the 'Eye of the Sea.'

For skiers, the Kasprowy Wierch Peak is serviced by cable-car, and there are chairlifts in the Goryczlowa and Gasienicowa valleys. For hikers, there are 250 kilometres of trails in the park, ranging from leisurely strolls to hair-raising ascents for serious climbers. Entrance to the valleys is possible by bus, but from there you must continue on foot to the heart of the Tatras. Mountain bikes are permitted only on a few paths. Owing to the unpredictability of Mother Nature, there are basic safety precautions which are essential to bear in mind.

With the collapse of the Iron Curtain, border relations are now freer than ever. Thus for dedicated hikers, the opportunity to explore the region in depth is very much an option. Poles are the first to say how wonderful the Slovakian Tatras are, and it's well worth bearing this in mind if you want to get a full flavour of this wild region.

A sample of Tatra beauty is found below:

 

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Matthew
United Kingdom

Glad to find the Tatra mountains because I never heard of them before and I've been puzzling over it as a clue in my crossword. They look amazing though.

Reply Jun 16th, 2017
Art Pansze
United States

Planning to visit in May. Will some of the lower elevation hiking trails in the Tatras be open? Understand higher elevation trails are probably still unde rsnow. We are interested in day hiking, sodo not need lodge/hutaccomodtions on trails. Thank you.

Reply Jan 17th, 2017
Yvonne
United States

Looks lovely; would love to vacation in the summer!

Reply Nov 10th, 2016
Guest
United States

this site is very nice & just helped me on my homework

Reply Dec 14th, 2015
Pharmd937
United Kingdom

Very nice site!

Reply Jun 3rd, 2013
United States

im Doing a project and this is helpfull thanksss!

Reply Mar 11th, 2013
Ogrodygorskie
Poland

Hello Dear,you will for sure enjoyed your future stay in Zakopane as the snowfalls have been good until now,the temperatures below zero celsius and the weather by day with blue sky most of the time. If you are beginner or dium level in skiing, you will improve without any doubt, then yo will for sure have some very nice time after skiing in shops, restaurants, pubs, disco... Zakopane and its mountains are very beautiful in winter as you can ski down some of them, summer even more as you can walk up and down them on most of the peaks, cliffs and hills. We wish you to have a nice time in Zakopane.Staff of Apart-center and Ogrodygorskie residence(26 very comfy and cozy apartments in Zakopane);-)

Reply Dec 11th, 2012
dragonskin
United Kingdom

im going in 9 days,,i will let you all know what i think

Reply Dec 11th, 2012
Ogrodygorskie
Poland

Tatra mountains are very nice to walk on until snow is coming, after that , it is the time to enjoy skiing in a beautiful and romantic surroundings.

Reply Nov 11th, 2012
cynthia
United States

wow those moutains are awesome coool

Reply Nov 9th, 2012
oliver doyle
Ireland

Too much useless information and no information on opening times of cable car or funicular

Reply Aug 24th, 2012
Ogrodygorskie
Poland

Skiing in Zakopane is really advised for beginner-medium level skier as most resorts/ski complex which are in different locations and belong to different owners have a short length and wideness,have a low-medium ski grade.Some resorts are longer and large, so they are advised for person with medium-advanced ski level.So,if you are not satisfied of the ski conditions of the slopes where you have skied, you can change ski resorts to experience other style of slopes.Alps and Tatra mountain on polish side are very different because of all what I wrote previously.Snowfall should be very good at the end of January and February but only God knows about it at the actual time.There is also a nice atmosphere in Zakopane in winter after skking in streets, pubs, bars , restaurants with all folklore of a highlander ski touristic city.You may check the zakopane-life website for details of slopes, also narty.l.pl , narty.pl, discoverzakopane.pl.Hope my answer helps.Staff of Ogrodygorskie Residence of apartments, Zakopane.

Reply Jul 10th, 2012
John
United States

Would like as much info as possible about skiing Zakopane area-vertical, snow quality vs alps, number lifts ? We're considering flying over The end of Jan 2013 and would appreciate all opinions. Tthanks

Reply Jul 8th, 2012
Rosemary
Sudan

i love it and would like to reach there one day

Reply Apr 25th, 2012
wassam
Pakistan

your information is very good

Reply Dec 19th, 2011
alex
United Kingdom

been 8 times lovely place and wonderful mountains cant wait to go back

Reply Nov 30th, 2011
Ogrodygorskie
Poland

Hello Tatra p., I invite you to walk in the Tatra mountains.Also, you may try a nice beer named Tatra Jasne or Mocne.Zakopane has a lot to offer to visit and see like a lot in Poland.Welcome soon

Reply Sep 20th, 2011
tatra p.
United States

Omg, my name is tatra!! I didnt know there was a mountain range with the same name until recently! This is soo cool haha.

Reply Sep 17th, 2011
brian ward
United Kingdom

for the past 4 years i have every month walked the Tatras in 4 countrys,astoundingly beautiful and on many occasions in winter never saw anybody

Reply May 25th, 2011
United States

Glad I married a Polish woman! going there in June.

Reply May 16th, 2011
lavish
United States

wow its wonderful and very attractive. love it

Reply Apr 7th, 2011
Lorek
Poland

There are plenty of places to explore, visit, trek, hike, sightsee.It can be very easy or very hrd depending o the risk you want to take.But , you are all right, Poland and specially Zakopane and Cracow are wonderful cities and their people also.See you soon maybe.

Reply Sep 23rd, 2010
princess sinous
United States

i think that the mountain is pretty cool and i would like to explore it one day and take pictures of me on it is it dangerous or safe?

Reply Sep 23rd, 2010
Tushar Kamal
India

brave boy

Reply Jul 29th, 2010
Norma Soto
United States

I was there June 12th,2010 it is the most beautiful" place that i have ever been to...my first time to Europe my first time to Poland...I love "Poland". i am ready to go back..i want to go back ad play.

Reply Jul 4th, 2010
Kathy
United States

I was there yesterday, other than the sunburn, it is the most beautiful place I have visited. I would highly recommend this place for a vacation - also if you are a skier, they have some great jumps! Go for it! Poland is a beautiful and friendly country.

Reply Jun 18th, 2010
Kasiek
Poland

This is the most beautyful place in my country. I went there a few times and I be back to Tatra again. You have to go to Zakopane.There is one minus - too many turists!!!!!

Reply Jun 5th, 2010
miss mj
Philippines

its beautiful.i wish i can go there someday.part of my desire.

Reply Jun 4th, 2010
Sam
United States

Can't wait to get up into those mountains...!

Reply Mar 30th, 2010
David
South Africa

that's btiful, i wish i could go there. it's superb

Reply Mar 12th, 2010
mackenzie hayslip
United States

i love this pic its totally awsome! omg!

Reply Mar 1st, 2010
Eugenio
Estonia

Polish Tatras are the most beautiful mountains in Europe. Morskie Oko lake, Zakopane town, highlanders culture ..... awesome!!!

Reply Feb 24th, 2010
milay
Nicaragua

nyce mountains

Reply Feb 2nd, 2010
:)
United States

these mountains are so beautiful!

Reply Jan 24th, 2010
ernalyn
Philippines

nice pic ....but something scary,,,

Reply Dec 4th, 2009
ernalyn
Philippines

nice....but something scary,,,

Reply Dec 4th, 2009
ernalyn
Philippines

nice....but something scary,,,

Reply Dec 4th, 2009
kasanya alex
Uganda

this mountain were formed by faulting.forces caused by geothermal reaction causes the tension and compressional forces

Reply Dec 1st, 2009
KS
Poland

Polskie Tatry s¹ najpiêkniejsze na œwiecie! Polish Tatra Mountains - are best of the best :)

Reply Nov 23rd, 2009
United States

that shit sucks big balls

Reply Nov 12th, 2009
?
United States

that sucks

Reply Nov 12th, 2009
bob
United States

:() WOW!! That is a really nice pic!

Reply Nov 9th, 2009
shy
United States

dis shit is cool

Reply Nov 4th, 2009
benson njau
Kenya

it is wonderful

Reply Oct 27th, 2009
kal
United States

cool

Reply Sep 16th, 2009
dhurba Poudel
Nepal

I haven't such a beautifil picture,,,,,,,,,,i love it,,

Reply Sep 6th, 2009
Patti
United States

the Tatra Mountains are fantastic. Beauty beyond belief

Reply Sep 3rd, 2009
alisha sanchez
United States

i think it is relly cool

Reply Sep 1st, 2009
MARIA
United States

NICE!

Reply Aug 17th, 2009
shan
India

o.k

Reply Jul 30th, 2009
Nepal

wow what a picture

Reply Jun 20th, 2009
kim elijah
Philippines

thatz wonderful volcano gave feature to the philippines.

Reply Jun 11th, 2009
niki and agos
United States

well! hello we think the tatra mountains are the best plase on the word. The last month we visited it, was a very exited and extrange experience. 1.000 kiss bye bye

Reply Jun 5th, 2009
Peter N.
United Kingdom

Well of course, Castle Dracula was in the Carpathians (albeit the Transylvanian section, in today's Romania) so the Count would feel at home here. Check the film Nosferatu by Herzog,. filmed in this region (Slovak side)

Reply May 27th, 2009
dr.acula
Albania

good place to stick a castle at the top of that patch of snow on the right hand side of the picture

Reply May 13th, 2009
Spain

Dentro de unos dias podremos apreciar la belleza de los Tatras si Dios Quiere. Ya os contaremos. Jose ( Asturias ) y Maria ( Canarias ) saludos desde España

Reply May 13th, 2009
renee from tullawong high school
Australia

is this a world heritage sit?

Reply May 4th, 2009
yeshi lhamo
Nepal

this is really beautiful and its really look like my own country TIBET. i wish i will be there back tomy country soon, Free Tibet

Reply Apr 28th, 2009
Tiffany
United States

yall are stupid for commentin a stupid picture of a mountain.....

Reply Mar 31st, 2009
United States

omg! thatwas so cool. can you say tikki tikkitembo no sa rem bo charri barri rutchi pip perry pemm bo?

Reply Mar 3rd, 2009
sravz
India

This pic is cooooooooooooooooollllll....I'm loving it...........

Reply Mar 2nd, 2009
cassie 4 reals
United States

wow this pic is so cool everyone should print this and show it to yor friendz!!!!!!!!

Reply Feb 23rd, 2009
Kaitlyn
Canada

WOW THAT IS SOOOOOOO BEAUTIFULL!!!!! I love majestic pictures like that they really make me smille!!

Reply Feb 17th, 2009
maha
Pakistan

man we have so many mountains here in pakistan this is nothing like them but anyway wow!!

Reply Feb 3rd, 2009
rockstar
India

hi,friends i am rocky this picture looks osum and this picture shows the green.

Reply Feb 1st, 2009
mia connelly
United Kingdom

hi im mia connelly im 9 im on this because im learning about extreme survival and mountains this is well good pic i love mountains expecialy the ones that go over the clouds well pic mia from redcar

Reply Jan 8th, 2009
MPAO
Portugal

I REALLY MISS THIS PLACE AND COUNTRY...

Reply Dec 25th, 2008
gdhdggrff
China

this is awsome.

Reply Dec 18th, 2008
Mark
United States

this picture is gourgus! It makes me just wanna jump in the lake!

Reply Dec 9th, 2008
United States

it is so nice and so intresting and beautiful

Reply Dec 7th, 2008
maya
Philippines

nice.... especially the mountain....nice record...thanks for the chance...bye....

Reply Dec 3rd, 2008
maya
Philippines

nice.... especially the mountain....nice record...thanks for the chance...bye....

Reply Dec 3rd, 2008
Samrat
Nepal

It nice! but need some replacement. best of luck!!!!!!

Reply Nov 28th, 2008
jim arakataki
United States

BIG BANG THEROY SUCKS ITS NOT TRUE! GOD CREATED THIS EARTH

Reply Nov 25th, 2008
NUI
Aruba and Netherlands Antilles

THIS IS A GORGEOUS PICTURE

Reply Nov 14th, 2008
United States

awesome pic!

Reply Nov 2nd, 2008
United States

ithink this was a very good piece of work

Reply Oct 20th, 2008
Libby
Australia

Sorry Question rather than commment, Has anyone stayed in Krakow, but done a day tour out to the Tatra's for snowmobiling. If so, which tour company did you use please, having trouble finding details on day tours. Thanks

Reply Oct 7th, 2008
luv
United States

awsome pic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Sep 25th, 2008
kk
United States

awsome pic!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Sep 25th, 2008
j kelly
Ireland

can anyone answer the Q about hillwalking in March/April is it possible or is there too much snow??

Reply Sep 23rd, 2008
Rose Holton
United Kingdom

Hi there - I am already excited at the thought of visiting Zakopane for the first time in Feb. Just a bit apprehensive about being able to snow-shoe and walk in the mountains in winter. Can anyone offer advice as to how to organise this in advance - as we are not skiers ? Thanks you !

Reply Sep 23rd, 2008
karl schiele
United Kingdom

zakopane is beautiful l climbed up tatry mountains went to morskie oko after thats just a beautiful place when you leave your heart tells you to go back zakopane is a the best.

Reply Aug 29th, 2008
fredek
Poland

Pozdrowienia z zakopanego! Świetny artykuł zakopane kwatery

Reply Jul 1st, 2008
Zaman khan
Pakistan

"yes" very interesting and can only enjoy by watching its pics. I belong from hill area and just feel the emotion to be there. it is hot if there are both for kissing.

Reply Jun 16th, 2008
cj Howe
United Kingdom

We've just come back from Poland and we climbed to the top of the Tatra mountains.The view was jut breathtakingly spectacular.

Reply Jun 3rd, 2008
kijai
United States

huh??? im kinda lost by some of the comments but these pictures are so stunning and amazing!!! but im alittle skeptical about visiting there!

Reply May 29th, 2008
alex
Philippines

i've been there because i love traveling all over the world! it'so ravishing and amazing!!

Reply May 16th, 2008
abucada
Albania

i love it. i have been there several times. i even made love at the top

Reply May 7th, 2008
Monika
Canada

Iève been there itès AWESOME!

Reply May 1st, 2008
lenas
United States

Very stunning and breathtaking

Reply Apr 30th, 2008
ashley
United States

dat looks fun to be on top of nd scary

Reply Apr 28th, 2008
Mr. Rajesh V. Bhosale , M & E Officer ,
India

After seeing this picture of Mountains i feel that Nature is the only almighty God , A miracle ,,,,,,,,,, A friend who is always behind me and supporting me forever in this World...........

Reply Apr 9th, 2008
Mr. Rajesh V. Bhosale , M & E Officer ,
India

After seeing this picture of Mountains i feel that Nature is the only almighty God , A miracle ,,,,,,,,,, A friend who is always behind me and supporting me forever in this World...........

Reply Apr 9th, 2008
wayne
United States

killah

Reply Apr 7th, 2008
jessica
United States

This is a really good page. The picture is brill

Reply Mar 13th, 2008
ravi kumar
United States

hi there its cool

Reply Mar 13th, 2008
T-baby
United States

that is really pretty i would love to that

Reply Mar 11th, 2008
alex
United States

buitiful picture!

Reply Mar 6th, 2008
idk
United States

wow dat is real cool its very interestin

Reply Feb 26th, 2008

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