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Trek the Polish High Tatras

from $1,599.00

A challenging trek through the high Tatra Mountains

  • Reviews 16 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Challenging / Tough
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Trek the Polish High Tatras.

The Tatra mountains are among the most rugged and spectacular in Europe, part of the granite Carpathian Range, rising to almost 2500m. The dramatic scenery, combined with a sophisticated network of footpaths, makes it a popular walking destination. On this trip, we trek through valleys, past lakes and over ridges before the final test, a tough ascent of Rysy (2499m), the highest mountain in Poland. From the top, we gain a dramatic 360-degree view of more than 100 peaks. This trip offers the great opportunity to experience the great change of scenery from the verdant Western Tatras to the The High Tatras, with their dramatic vistas, steep peaks, sharp rocks, deep glens, and crystal lakes. The walking will be hard but rewarding, the terrain tough but beautiful, and the mountain huts basic but friendly, clean and hospitable.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
* 2 nights end suite pension and 5 nights standard mountain hut (dormitory accommodation)
* Airport Transfers (at designated times)

*Tour leader throughout. Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Min age 18 yrs

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Summit Mt Rysy (2,499m), Poland’s highest mountain
  • Spend a night in the picturesque folk town of Zakopane
  • Experience the change of landscape from the Western to the Eastern Tatras
  • Challenging walking and dramatic mountain views
  1. Day 1 Start Zakopane.

    Our tour starts in the resort town of Zakopane, a 2-hour transfer from Krakow. For those not on the group flight, we recommend that you arrange to meet the group at Krakow Airport, to avoid a costly private transfer. *Willa Orla guest house or similar*

  2. Day 2 Bus to Tatra National Park; walk in the Koscieliska Valley. 

    This morning after breakfast there will be some free time to explore Zakopane, a vibrant folk with beautiful wooden architecture offering splendid views of the Tatra. Afterwards, a short bus ride takes us to Kiry (15min from Zakopane) the entrance to the Tatra National Park, from where we start start walking along Koscieliska valley, one of the most beautiful and well-known valleys of the Polish part of the Western Tatra Mountains. A gentle 90-minute hike takes us along many limestone gorges and caves. We end the day at Ornak hut, our base for the night. Depending on our time of arrival, there should be time to explore the surroundings.

  3. Day 3 Trek to the Czerwone Wierchy (Red Peaks) and summit Cemniak (2096m).

    Another day of exploring the Western Tatras as we trek through the massif of Czerwone Wierchy (Red Peaks), a stunning area offering dramatic views over the High Tatras as well as the highest peaks of the Western Tatras. The massif is beautiful especially in September, when the grasses that covers the mountains called ’sit skucina’ start to change its colour from green to rusty, thus explaining why these mountains are also known as Red Peaks. After leaving the hut, we start our challeging ascent along the banks of the Tomanowy River, towards Tomanowa pass and then Ciemniak, our first 2000m peak. From Ciemniak we follow the main ridge of the Tatras towards Krzesanica, Malolaczniak and Kopa Kondracka with a spectacular view of Giewont (1985m) and the whole region. To the north, we can see Zakopane, to the east Mt Rysy, and the south Slovakia. We descend the Dolina Kondratowa to the Kalatowki Hut where we overnight in a very comfortable hut (rooms for 2-5 pax).

  4. Day 4 Long climb to the summit of Mt Kasprowy; descend to the Gasiencowa hut.

    Our second long day as we head back up to the main ridge above our hostel; here we officially enter the High Tatras and notice the gradual change to a more alpine landscape. We follow the main trail alongside a chairlift, zig-zagging in places to the summit of Mt. Kasprowy (1955m). Traversing along the ridge towards Swinica (2050m) we again have dramatic views of the whole area. We descend from the rocky ridge to the picturesque Gąsienicowa Valley. We pass a few secluded mountain tarns and finish our day at Hut Murowaniec, another comfortable refuge (1500m) where we stay overnight. From the hut we can enjoy one of the most characteristic and known panoramic views of the High Tatras.* *

  5. Day 5 Beautiful day of trekking in the heart of the High Tatras; through the Valley of the Five Polish Lakes to Roztoki.

    This morning we prepare for the most challenging two days of the trip. Depending on weather conditions and group’s ability, the leader will decide how we trek the legendary Eagles Perch, the most difficult and spectacular trail in the Polish Tatras. The option is to either cross the Zawrat Pass where you will be using fixed mountain chains to assist you on the walk or go over the Krzyzne Pass, without these technically difficulties. Both trails offer amazing views of the highest peaks in the Tatras and of the beautiful valleys of Gasinicowa, our start point, and the Lakes Valley, where we descend. It is recommended that you try and pack as light as possible for this day. Highlight of the last section is the waterfall Siklawa, the highest in Poland (70 m) and the most powerful in the Tatras. We then descend back into the ’Valley of the five Polish lakes’ with a variety of mountain flowers and grasses, to Roztoka Hut, one of the best polish mountain huts offering great atmosphere.* *

  6. Day 6 Ascend Mt Rysy (2499m), Poland's highest peak. The splendid views from the top will make the effort more than worthwhile.

    Our final ascent and the hardest of the trip! On leaving Roztoki we trek via Morskie Oko, towards the peak of Mt. Rysy (2499m) on the Polish/Slovakian border. This is a very long day with a steep climb (ascending over 1000m), walking and scrambling over difficult terrain, on the Polish side of the mountain, but the effort is definitely worth it. On a clear day the views from the summit of Rysy are simply stunning. We should be able to see over 100 peaks and several lakes including Morskie Oko once of the largest in the Tatras. Return descent to Morskie Oko (your guides can decide to descent the Slovakian side, which is not so steep and considered a safer descent than the Polish side – there are chains to help).*Mountain hut*

  7. Day 7 A short descent down the Dolina Rybiego Potoku. Transfer to the historic city of Krakow.

    Our last day walking as we descend down the Dolina Rybiego Potoku (valley) to the road ahead and our waiting bus. We’ll then transfer to the historic city of Krakow, arriving mid-afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore the delights of this beautiful city. The Old Town was added to UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage in 1978. Possible places of interest are Krakow’s Jewish district, where the film ’Schindler’s List’ was shot. There are also numerous churches, the castle, the largest market square in Europe and the oldest university in Poland. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants as well as jazz venues.* *

  8. Day 8 End Krakow.

    Our tour ends after breakfast.

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Where you stay

Pension, Hotel & Mountain Huts

You will spend 1 night in a comfortable pension in Zakopane, while in Krakow we stay in a small historic hotel, with en-suite rooms, 750m from the old town square. 5 nights will be spent in good standard mountain huts with dormitories. These rooms typically accommodate 8 to 10 people.

Pension Willa Orla, Zakopane
Eating and Drinking

All food is included, except for main meals (lunch and dinner) in Zakopane and Krakow (days 1 and 7).

Breakfasts in Zakopane and Krakow will be a hot and cold buffet. In the mountain hostels, a choice of hot or cold is usually available. Lunches will be picnic type including rolls, fruit and a drink. Evening meals in the mountain hostels are plentiful and are usually very filling! The main course will include a selection of meat and vegetables.

Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, but options are limited in the huts – please inform the office of any specific dietary requirements when booking.

Walking Grade: 6 – challenging / tough. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

This 5-day trek involves walking through moderate to difficult terrain. In addition on 4 of these days, you will be required to carry all your trekking gear and lunches, which will make the walking seem harder. We usually walk between 7 to 8 hours a day, with a picnic lunch en route. The trails are almost always well marked but are often rough and stony underfoot. The walks involve long ascents and descents (maximum 1470 metres Roztoki – Mt Rysy). We, therefore, recommend that you try to pack as lightly as possible. There are steep, long drops on some sections of this trip, as well as paths that traverse along ridgelines. It is not recommended for clients who suffer from vertigo.

Days 5 and 6 are the most challenging with sections of the walk using fixed chains to assist our climb. Whilst there is no additional equipment needed it is imperative that you are confident of your fitness as these sections will be tough. An additional leader will assist the group on the Rysy ascent. The difficulty climbing Mount Rysy is largely due to the length of the walk. Should you decide that you cannot complete the ascent it is possible to do an easier walk from the hut.

The refuges have dormitory rooms and it is often not possible to provide clients with smaller rooms, however, they are equipped with bedding. We might be sharing with other walkers, not in our group.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

THE POLISH HIGH TATRAS

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I guess the chains going up Mt Rysy, but no views.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader in Teresa. I would have liked a bit more time to stop and enjoy the scenery; at times it seemed a race to reach our day's objective, but then we did have quite a lot of bad weather in the mountains.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The huts are really good quality. Good food and free hot showers. In many they provided all bed linen. A bit noisy. I needed about 260 zloty (roughly £60) for meals, excluding drinks. You need about the same if you take the trips to the salt mine and Auschwitz, plus visiting the castle, cathedral and churches in Krakow. The scenery reminded me of North Wales, so did the weather as we only had glimpses through the clouds from the peaks. There was a bit of scrambling on chains on two days; the first day we did it with full packs. The second day on Mt Rysy was possibly easier as we didn't carry full packs; there was quite a lot of snow on the way down and that was a longish day. In Krakow you can collect your bag with clean clothes, so you don't need to carry that on the trek. The hotel in Krakow was good with excellent breakfasts.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Enjoyable weeks walking despite the rain

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Topping out on Mt Rysy - in the fog.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader, Teresa, was knowledgeable and we all felt very safe in her charge.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The huts are actually bunkhouses and you are provided with pillow and duvet covers so no need for a sheet sleeping bag. If you do the trip to the Salt Mines make sure you go to the museum too - its actually more interesting than the first part of the tour and most people miss it out.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Consider taking a couple of extra days if you want to go to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines as its too much to really appreciate in one day and you don't get time to relax in Krakow.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

The Polish High Tatras

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Using the chains and getting to the top of Mt. Rysy with cloud clearing and getting some fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and landscape. It was a great experience ascending Rysy from the Polish side and descending from the Slovakian side - a long, but well deserved day!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was a very good leader - extremely knowledgeable, helpful, very much 'in charge', and one felt safe with her (especially on the chains). She did take time out and show us briefly around Krakow and even organised the salt mine trip for us. However, there were a couple of things that she should have kept an eye on: When she stopped to tell the group about a particular mountain or what we could see in the view, she wouldn't realise that everyone hadn't caught up yet so the people at the back never got a chance to hear what she had to say, and there were times when we asked her to repeat, she told us off that we weren't listening! Although the overall pace was fine, there were times she did go a bit fast and a couple of people had to tell her to slow down on some occasions.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The chains are not all that difficult as the trip notes make it sound. They are there for your help so do use them. Pack light as you do have to carry all your gear for 4 days.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes and photographs for the event do not do enough justice of how good the trip is. It would be worth updating them!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Trekking the High Tatras

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This has to be Mount Rysy! Fortunately the itinerary of the trip lends itself to prepare you for the ascent and descent of Mount Rysy and in my case to the introduction of chains which I'd never used before. Undoubtedly this was the highlight of the trip. It is a very long day and quite tiring, but all good fun! Whilst I had no problems with the ascent, I was a little concerned about going down the same way! However this was not really a problem and not as bad as people think as long as you concentrate and listen to your guide. It's worth going up Mount Rysy just for the views, it's just a shame that so many other people had the same idea as the summit was very crowded.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Teresa! She was very good and looked after us very well on the mountains!! She is clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the high Tatras and I enjoyed her company. She also dealt with what could have been an awkward situation well - Some would say she did more than she should have done with dealing with two members of our group who dropped out on the first day as they couldn't keep up.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes! Please read the trip notes thoroughly! To do this trip you have to be fit - Otherwise you won't enjoy it. There are five days of hard walking most of which is not level. Although there are regular stops, it's important that given the nature of the terrain and distances covered each day that a consistent pace is maintained.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like walking and are fit, then I would definitely recommend this trip. The scenery is very pretty, The mountain huts are of a good standard and there's loads of food!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Trek the Polish High Tatras

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent of Mt Rysy was brilliant. The appearance of early morning snow and ice added to the excitement of the day. Stunning views all around and the chance to climb an additional 20 metres to sit atop a mountain in another country.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Having been on several trips I have to say that Wojtzec was one of the most considerate, professional and knowledgable guides I have had the pleasure to be in the company of. His English was excellent and his passion and knowledge of his country was just brilliant. Our every needs were catered for and although we left earlier than the rest of the group it was very much appreciated to see Wojtzec early in the morning to say goodbye. A lovely touch from a lovely man ! A real asset to your company.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some interesting scrambling. Certainly classed in my opinion at grade three. The crowds are a bit of a surprise but this should not detract from an area of great beauty and brilliant walking. Most things are very cheap by our standards but the food (and beer) are of a very good standard and widely available at all huts. Poland was a real surprise. A beautiful city in Krakow and a very interesting cultural experience.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only to reiterate what a great guide we had in Wojtzec !!!

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