The High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia are the mountain secret nobody is talking about! The austere beauty of the High Tatras, intimidating but lively mountains that straddle the border between Slovakia and Poland. Undisturbed wilderness, challenging mountain trails, and a system of unique mountain lodges charmed us at Ryder-Walker immediately.
We first heard about the High Tatra’s listening to the gossip among young mountaineers in nearby Germany and Poland. The word was, that Eastern European trekkers were spending their time in the highest peaks of the Carpathians, with a tourist culture booming across Europe as enthusiasts traveled to the previously forgotten Slovakia.
The High Tatra Mountains Trek at Ryder-Walker explores the deep pine forests of the northern Carpathian range. The High Tatras revel in the beauty of the ancient European natural landscape, which has been forever changed by farming and ranching across the rest of the continent. The mountains are home to a host of wildlife that is extinct in Western Europe including lynx and bears! Navigating these truly untamed mountains involves following the rocky trails that are scattered throughout the High Tatras which includes easy Via Ferrata, thrilling days through the most precipitous stretch of the Carpathians, and of course overnights in four-star hotels in the valley’s far below. The accommodations in Slovakia include elegant, old world grand-hotels that were constructed at the height of the Hapsburg Empire and drip with charm and history today. The High Tatra Mountains trek begins in the resort town of Tatranská Lomnica, referred to by some as the Zermatt of Slovakia and we dive into the heart of the mountains in our journey towards the beautiful lakeside village of Štrbské Pleso.
The history of Slovakia is a varied one, with multiple empires including the Hapsburg and Soviet empires laying claim to the mountainous country throughout the last century. Ryder-Walker’s Remote High Tatra Mountains Trek travels through the best historic sites in Slovakia. Top among these is the Spiš Castle, which has the distinguished honor of being among the largest historic castles in Europe, although it lies in brooding ruins now. Hungarian kings built Spiš Castle in the 15th century as a massive defensive structure, although it would be expanded in the Gothic style a century later as it became the seat of the Zápolya clan before it was destroyed in a fire.
Ryder-Walker cordially invites you to explore one of our newest and most mysterious treks! While Slovakia might have missed you as a possible destination, the druidic wilds of the Carpathian Mountains have charmed mountaineers throughout Eastern Europe and have enthralled us at Ryder-Walker just as much! Step into the wildest frontier of Europe and explore the forgotten stretches of the High Tatras with us this summer!