The High Tatras represent a unique concentration of natural beauty, deserving their attribute of ‘the miniature Alps ‘ (they've also been described as New Zealand in miniature). They cover an area of approximately 785 square km (of which 610 square km is in Slovak territory) and there is everything that may be offered by their bigger and more expensive counterpart, the Alps. The Tatras are protected by law, by the establishment of the Tatra National Park Slovakia, and the Tatra National Park Poland, with membership in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.
The range, as it exists in Slovakia has some of the highest peaks within the Carpathians, and contains well over 600km of walking and mountaineering routes, encountering breath taking scenery on the way. At the start of your day you could be walking through stunning beech and thick spruce forest, climbing gradually into the fragrant and ancient mountain pine and wild herb forests, and on into the mountain grass plains at higher altitudes. For those aiming for the peaks, easy to challenging routes provide pathways to the top, where awaits beautiful panoramic vistas of the mountains and plains below.
As a protected area, there are many endemic species of plants and animals, some of which are no longer found in the forests of mainland Europe. From the European brown bear, wolves, the Eurasian Lynx and river otters, to badgers, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, marmots and the Tatra Chamois (an endemic species of mountain goat). There are various reptiles and fish such as the brown trout and alpine bullhead, and over 200 species of birds, including the famous golden eagle who often make their nests high on the cliff faces at higher altitudes.
Besides the larger and more recognisable mammals, there are also many endemic and incredibly rare species of mountain wildflowers, and other various forms of flora and fauna, over 1300 species. One such protected endemic wild flower is the distinctive Leontopodium Alpinum, a beautiful white and yellow flower only found in certain parts of the Tatras. As such, this flower takes pride of place in our logo and is a symbol of the fragility and beauty of the Tatra mountain environment.
The Tatras have spectacular biodiversity, and are a treasure trove of interest and spectacle for the discerning traveller.
In addition to the spectacular forests and alpine mountain terrain, the high Tatras hold within them some of the most stunning mountain lakes found anywhere in the world. Indeed, the Wall Street journal ranked the Slovak High Tatra lake of Morské Oko as one of the top five most beautiful lakes in the world. Crystal clear, emerald glacial water perfectly reflects the azure blue skies of a bright winter or summers day.
There is nothing better for the human soul in today's modern world, than time in some of the most beautiful natural scenery found anywhere in Europe. All this and more awaits your visit to the High Tatras.
As visitors to the Tatras you are spoilt for choice deciding how to spend your time here. From self guided walks and mountain treks, to the more ambitious day trips using local guides to show you some of the most spectacular and hidden sights, all trips can be organised with helpful advice and assistance form Cabin Under The Mountains.
If you are an experienced climber, either solo or with a group, the Tatras offer some challenging routes that involve varying demands of skill level. The highest peak in the range is that of Gerlachovský štít at 2655m, but other notable peaks with beautiful routes include Lomnický štít, Zadný Gerlach, and Rysy.
The High Tatras are also incredibly family friendly, being very popular with families in increasing numbers over the last decade. Most of the major routes and a large number of the lesser routes are easily accessible, and are quite manageable for children of good fitness levels. These routes are all clearly sign posted with well defined tracks, and are frequently populated with small rest areas and toilet facilities (at lower altitudes), including some with cafes and restaurants.
Also developed with families in mind is the eco friendly project of Tatra Wilderness, that enables you to discover the most beautiful and interesting places with children in an amusing and educational way. You will receive a workbook full of tempting stories, routes and adventures that will help you to create unforgettable memories.
Of course there is so much more to do other than walking. The Tatras are blessed with excellent snowfall during the winter, and there is an abundance of ski slopes, catering to all levels of skill. Prices here for rental and slope passes are much cheaper than the popular French, Italian and Austrian equivalents, allowing visitors to enjoy brilliant skiing for a fraction of the cost of a trip to the Alps.
The village of Zdiar, where we are located, has four ski slopes all catering for families and beginners; a perfect place to learn how to ski or snowboard! Once your skill levels have improved, or if you are already a capable skier/boarder and wish to try intermediate and advanced routes, there are many other slopes offering more challenge within a 15-39km distance. Transport to and from these slopes can easily be arranged for your convenience.
Besides the obvious walking, mountaineering and skiing/boarding, there are other interesting facets of the region to explore.
Cycling and mountain biking enthusiasts are well catered for, with the option of more than 300 km of cycling routes with various levels of difficulty. Choose the exposed ascents, reaching some of the highest peaks, or flat routes that will enable you to discover nearly the whole of the lower foothills of Bachladova dolina. Bike rental, maps and mobile apps are available to make sure you stay on track.
Only 8km away from our guest house is the Belianska stalactite cavern, the only accessible cavern in High Tatras. The cavern opened to the public in 1882, and has excellent acoustics. The cavern is open to exploration via a stunning, scenic route 1752m in length, giving you plenty of opportunity to enjoy exploration of a deep cave system, parts of which are up to 5 milion years old.
In the city of Poprad (approx. 30km away) you can find thermal pools, and a spa and wellness complex called Aquacity Poprad. There are outdoor pools with thermal water open all year round. The temperature of the pools varies so you can find the most suitable one for yourself and enjoy a relaxing experience of hot water bathing. If you are coming with children you can also enjoy a custom built attraction within the water park called Treasure Island, with salt water pools and interesting decoration to spark the imagination of the younger ones.
Sticking to the water theme, a popular and accessible day trip from our guest house is the rafting experience from Cerveny Klastor (approx. 50 km away) part of the National park of Pieniny. Traditional log rafts are used as you are guided through a winding 9km river trail through beautiful, lush valleys (containing ancient lime trees), narrow gorges and thick mountain forests. White water rafting is also available here with modern dinghies and exciting courses with fast currents. There is a 14th century monastery and museum, also at Cerveny Klastor, that houses interesting artefacts and a comprehensive herbarium created by the 14th century monk, Cyprian. A fascinating daytrip full of history, old tradition and natural beauty.
Golfers are also spoilt here, hidden amongst the foothills of the Tatras lies one of the top 20 golfing resorts in the world. The course we are referring to is the famous Black Stork resort, Velka Lomnica (approx. 23 km away). In 2011, the Black Stork golfing resort became only the 19th golf course in the world to be awarded with the prestigious PGA award. And it truly deserves the honour; the vista of the mountains provides the backdrop for every hole and shot. Plan a unique golfing holiday and play within the natural beauty of the Slovak Tatra National Park.
Here at Cabin Under The Mountains we are proud to be able to offer our booking guests significant and wide ranging discounts on almost all the attractions mentioned above. With our networking and our further links to local transport providers, every potential daytrip or holiday plan becomes an easily accessible possibility.
The Tatras are a unique holiday destination; unspoilt protected mountain beauty with all the facilities and infrasctructure needed to provide a truly unforgettable trip.