High alpine peaks of Slovakia's Tatra Mountains
Breakfast & Dinner
24th Jun 2022 – 1st Jul 2022
- See website for other dates
Tour code: 28100
Last Modified: 2nd September 2021
See what's planned
If you are looking at this one week holiday, why not make your stay two weeks by joining us on The Tatra Mountains.
The High Tatras offer spectacular mountains with snow covered peaks, alpine lakes, and unrivalled views. The range forms the border between Poland to the north and Slovakia to the south. They are wildly regarded as the smallest alpine range of mountains in the world. However, within their small size, peaks rise to Gerlach (2,655m) and trails offer all manner of spectacular walking. There are various mountain huts set around and above the tree line, as one would find in the Alps. These make for pleasant refreshment stops on our walks. All offer a cup of tea or a pint as you prefer and spectacular views to take in whilst enjoying the drink.
In Slovakia to the south of the range we stay in Strbske Pleso, another ideal centre allowing access to the best walking on the southern slopes. Strbske Pleso is under the centre of the range, a short distance from Zakopane but it takes around 2 hours to drive here. The southerly facing Slovakian slopes are generally more open and sunnier. On three days we walk from Strbske Pleso into the mountains. But we will also walk in the eastern and western end of the ranges to enjoy the best the range as to offer.
What's not included?
This is a grade 8 walking holiday where stamina is the key to this challenging walking programme. It will include hard mountain walking every day with long ascents and descents. Scrambling is necessary on some steep slopes and some paths will include fixed equipment such as chains. Stamina and a good head for heights is essential, this is not a holiday recommended for clients who suffer from vertigo. Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but ascents and descents will normally be between 1,000m and 1,500m. The paths are well-marked and accessible but includes lots of exploration. This is a high mountain walking holiday and some of the higher trails are steep, rough and loose underfoot. Some of the walks are the lower end of grade 8 whereas others are at the higher end of grade 8. Walks are weather dependant so an alternative route may be provided if necessary. We are accompanied by a local English speaking walking guide throughout the holiday.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We arrive in Krakow, Poland, and transfer by coach to Strbske Pleso in Slovakia.
Transfer Time = 2 hour 30 minutes
Breakfast & Dinner
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bare in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.
Our adventure in the Tatras starts with the exploration of the Tatra Magistrala, one of the most famous trails as it crosses the whole of the Tatras. As we climb through alpine forest, the valley below opens up with spectacular panoramic views of the dramatic Tatras. We reach Popradske Pleso, a turquoise glacial lake surrounded by mountains. We may have time to stop in a mountain hut here for a refreshment before continuing along a steep path to the Ostrva Pass. We pass Batizovske Pleso, a mountain lake located at the bottom of Gerlack Peak, one of the highest in Slovakia. The descent takes us down to the impressive valley below, to the small town Tatranska Polianka where we take the train back to Strbske Pleso.
Breakfast & Dinner
We venture up the impressive Mlynicka valley along a stone forest trail. We follow meandering tranquil mountain streams to a small lake and thundering waterfall. The path takes us to an area where fixed chains and scrambling is required before continuing along the rocky trail to the pass of Bystra Lavka, opening up to panoramic scenic views of the High Tatras and dramatic valleys below. We continue down the rocky path to the valleys below, passing by smaller glacial lakes before taking a ski lift down to Strbske Pleso.
Breakfast & Dinner
We follow a forest trail to Popradske pleso, a picturesque glacial lake surrounded by pine trees and mountains. As our hike continues, the dwarf pine forest starts to open to dramatic rocky terrain. We encounter more fixed chains to help climb the path before reaching a mountain hut. Incredible views of the bordering glacial lakes and Rysy Peak will emerge, a perfect stop before heading back down the trail.
Breakfast & Dinner
Today is a free day so you can enjoy your own independent exploration. Maybe wander around Strbske Pleso, or take a horse drawn carriage or hire a bike to explore the town. Perhaps enjoy a delicious traditional lunch at one of many restaurants and cafes in the town. The local rack railway runs between Tatranska Strba and Strbske Pleso, an enjoyable short journey! Or just sit back, relax and enjoy the hotels spa area.
Breakfast & Dinner
We take a train to the mountain resort of Tatranska Lomnica. From there we take a lift up to the Skalnate pleso, an astrological observatory first opened in 1943. A rocky path leads us through the peak Velka Svistovka to a mountain hut set on a tranquil glacial lake. Today’s walk will include scrambling and some fixed chains.
Breakfast & Dinner
We take a train transfer to Stary Smokovec, a main hiking haven in the Tatras and starting point of many walks. We follow a forest trail past a small picturesque stone-built hut. We follow the stream to a collection of impressive waterfalls known as the Velky Studeny Potok. A rocky path takes us along the verdant and dramatic valley Velka Studena Dolina. We ascend back down the same route before returning by train.
We take a coach transfer back to Krakow airport for our return flight to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Slovakia
The currency is Slovakia is euro. You will find banks, ATMs and currency exchange points in Štrbské Pleso.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Your Travel Details
We fly from London to Krakow, Poland, and return. We travel by coach across the border into Slovakia to Strbske Pleso. The transfer time will be approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Our transport to the start and end of our walks during the week will be by coach and sometimes train and cable car. Daily transfers are between 30-45 minutes.
If you intend joining and leaving the party in Slovakia, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passports and Visas
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Where are we going to stay?
K Vodopádom 4028/26 059 85 Vysoké Tatry-Štrbské Pleso Slovakia
+421 915 954 636
Strbske Pleso is a picturesque village located between the High and Belianske Tatras. It is the highest village in this area and is a haven for nature lovers throughout summer and winter. Dramatic rocky mountains and verdant valleys are the backdrop to this pretty little village of pastel colours, influenced by alpine wooden and gothic architecture. There are a variety of facilities such as shops, restaurants, and cafes.
We stay in the three-star Hotel Fis, located in the centre of Strbske Pleso against an alpine woodland backdrop, not far from the tranquil Strbske Pleso (lake) and ski slopes. The Hotel Fis is a blend of contemporary and traditional, with wooden furnishings, stone embellishment and pastel colours. Hotel facilities include a modern restaurant and bar area, and a spa and gym area with a sauna, whirlpool, and massage treatments (additional charge). There is a Honeybee hive on site where homemade honey can be enjoyed at breakfast, dinner or as a relaxing honey massage.
We stay in standard twin, double and single bedded rooms. Rooms are basic and small but have recently been refurbished and include a TV, free WIFI and hairdryer.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday and taken at the hotel restaurant. Fresh local produce and ingredients are used to make traditional homemade dishes and international cuisine. Breakfast usually includes a mixture of hot and cold options. Dinner can be buffet or a 3-course menu, usually including soup, meat, vegetables and a traditional desert.
This region is not known for its vegetarian and dietary options, however there are a variety of dishes without meat such as a local pasta or local potato-based pasta, eggs, cheese and vegetables. Please advise us in advance of any dietary requirements so we can inform the hotel before your arrival.
Lunches are not included in the package price but can be taken as a picnic during our walks. You can purchase lunch in advance of your walk at local shops, bakeries, or cafes. We recommend purchasing your lunch in the morning before the walk or in the late afternoon after you return to the hotel as buying food during walks is not possible.
Alternatively, you can arrange a packed lunch through the hotel for €9.00 per person per day. A lunch pack may include breaded chicken or pork escalope, ham or cheese, vegetables and fruit, or biscuits. Water is included too. You will need to advise the hotel a day in advance. Please ask your leader for more details.
Footwear & Kit List
Good quality waterproof walking boots with a moulded sole with a deep tread and good ankle support are essential for holidays at grade 7 and above.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Slovakia
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful.
Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.
BBC2 Michael Palin’s New Europe Episode 6 – Michael travels through Poland to Slovakia, south of the Tatra Mountains.
The High Tatras: Slovakia and Poland by Renyta Nyrozny and Colin Saunders
The High Tatras: Walks, treks and scrambles by Colin Saunders
A Ceper’s guide to the Tatra Mountains in Poland and Slovakia by Mieczyslaw Tarczynski
Tatra Mountains of Poland and Slovakia sunflower Landscape Guide by Sandra Bardwell
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
Find out more
Visas and Passports
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
EHIC & GHIC Cards
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Hard mountain walking every day in the Alps, the Balkans and the Pyrenees, with long ascents, descents and scrambling.
Stamina and a good head for heights are essential.
Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but cumulative ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m each day.