"Hiking in Tatrzañski Park Narodowy" Tatrzanski Park Narodowy by betako3

Tatrzanski Park Narodowy Travel Guide: 86 reviews and 201 photos

The Tarta Mountains.

The Tatras, being the highest mountain range in Poland, is the Mecca for Polish hikers. The range is not very high on the world's scale, with its highest peak, Rysy, reaching 2499m. It is not even the highest peak in the Tatras, which stretch out into Slovakia, to the ultimate height of 2663 - Gerlach. Nevertheless climbing Rysy, or any other of the 2000 plus peaks of the Polish Tatras is a feat for any amateur mountain hiker and city dweller like myself and my friend Iwona. And we did climb some 2000 plus peaks this time: Œwinica (2301), Zawrat (2159), Ma³y Kozi Wierch (2228) and Szpiglasowa Prze³êcz (2110). Rysy must wait until the next summer.

Nature in the Tatras

Once in the park, keep your eyes open, for it is not uncommon to come into face to face contact with the wild inhabitants of the mountains, including the black bear and chamois. I have never personally seen a bear there but I have heard some stories from and about people that have. I have seen a chamois twice, though. The first encounter I had with it was some years ago, on the popular trail Czerwone Wierchy, quite close to Kasprowy Wierch. I just happened to raise my eyes from the path and a string of hikers ahead of me and there, just a few meters above my head, perched peacefully on a rock was a big wild goat looking full at me. I remember wondering how many people ahead of me had passed it without noticing. This year I have been even luckier, for I had a camera with me to capture the second chamois I saw in my life. And here it is.

People on the trail

Most of the people who write or talk in earnest about the Tatras compain about and sneer at crowds of Sunday tourists, mostly ill-equipped to hike, clogging the paths, talking too loudly, using their mobiles and flashing their cameras at every single tree, rock and stream. There is something to it. And due to the sheer numbers of people treadning the Tatras every summer it is almost impossible now to keep up the good old custom of greeting every fellow hiker you meet on your path with a 'hello'. But while I sometimes get irritated by another silly question 'How far is it?' a few hundred metres from KuŸnice (the beginning of many of the trails) I keep saying to myself that I'm not much different. I go there too, to have my share of beauty, to have the thrill of adventure, to escape my otherwise monotonous city life. And even in that crowd you are bound to meet someone interesting and make some friends. Some of the best memories I have from that last trip are such BECAUSE of the people I met. Take those three guys from Œl¹sk (Silesia) we met on the first day of our trip, in 'schronisko' (a hikers' mountain shelter) in the Valley of Five Lakes. We spent every evening together, sipping beer and 'Wiœniówka' (sweet cherry-flavoured vodka), laughing our heads off. Had it not been for Jacek, one of the guys, we - two girls with not much serious climbing experience- wouldn't have climbed Œwinica, and most definitely we wouldn't have ventured on Ma³y Kozi Wierch, which is the beginning of the notorious trail called Orla Peræ (something like Eagle's Perch in English). It was Jacek who taught us to use the chains and quided us through the most difficult parts of the trail. Thank you Jacek, if you chance to see this page :) And there are quite a few others, like that Polish guy living in London, who kept entering my pictures. I quess I appeared in a lot of his because at some point we started chatting and finally we exchanged emails to swap out photos later on. So, to keep up the custom: Hello to all the people who happened to be in the Valley of Five Lakes between 27th and 29th June 2007!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great views and a chance to prove yourself and meet interesting people.
  • Cons:Dangerous in bad weather.
  • In a nutshell:The place I dream about when I'm not there.
  • Last visit to Tatrzanski Park Narodowy: Jul 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 3, 2008
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Reviews (35)

Comments (12)

  • Zvrlj's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2008 at 5:36 AM

    Very nice page. We liked Siklawica very much.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Awesome pictures! Looks like you had an amazing hike!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2008 at 4:57 PM

    Looking at your photos this place is definitely a stunning place to visit and walk around.The Tatras look wellworth a visit.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:53 AM

    Excellent page, which reminded me of the good old days, although I never got as high in the Tatras as you did. Your tips are well-written and the photographs brilliant. Loved the chamois and the mother bird and many more.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 6:44 PM

    Wow, great stuff! I can relate to your hikes having just got back from Tasmania. Keep your five star work up.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    No wonder this Park is so crowded with tourists - with fantastic scenes such as you captured all around!! Your hiking trip sounds like a wonderful experience and so well written too! Lucky you to have seen that beautiful Chamois too.

  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Fantastic landscape!!! Thanks for visiting my pages!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2007 at 4:10 PM

    Beautiful mountains...great pic of the chamois. Looks like you found wonderful housing. I'd love to visit the restaurants w/ local foods and folk costumes. Maybe some day!

  • Saagar's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2007 at 10:11 PM

    Thanks for visiting my pages; and I especially enjoyed your Tatra pages!

  • Oct 28, 2007 at 2:10 AM

    This is what I was looking for. Interesting places to see and a good sense of humor. Nice start on the portal :).

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