hikes in Slovakia
Slovakia is a mountainous country with plenty of hiking opportunities - from long and demanding treks in high mountains to easy walks in beautiful wild forests. While some hiking lovers go to the northern shore of the country because of its beautiful mountain ranges and well-maintained trails, others explore the central and eastern shores with their lovely forests and waterfalls. There are some lucky hikers that get to see both!
The most popular hiking regions in Slovakia are High Tatras, Low Tatras, Greater Fatra, Lesser Fatra, and Slovak Paradise. The highest peak can be found in the Tatra Mountains which, as part of the Carpathian Mountains, is the second largest mountain range in Europe. Gerlachovský štít, the highest Slovak peak is 8711ft high and can be reached only with a guided climb, while the highest top you can hike without a mountain guide is Mount Rysy (8212ft).
Check out our planning tools below to help you plan your hiking trip to Slovakia! You will find lots of helpful information with hiking route descriptions (including famous Mount Rysy).
10 Greatest Hikes in Slovakia
Slovakia continues to thrill and delight hikers with its hidden gem hiking trails across the country. Home to mountainous, craggy peaks, gorgeous old growth forests and secret waterfalls, Slovakia is a hikers paradise for those looking for peace and respite. For the ultimate challenge, hikers should head to the Tatra Mountains, which forms the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. Those in search of something more gentle may enjoy the scenic paths at Štrbské Pleso, a gorgeous lake trail perfect for families with little ones.
- Mlynická Dolina to Furkotská Dolina Loop: This incredible hike takes you from the tip of the Mlynicka Valley to the mountain ranges of Furkotska Valley. With incredible views from start to finish, follow the loop to discover the stunning Skok waterfall and the Bystra Lavka saddle, which will require some scrambling.
- Mount Rysy: Perhaps the most popular trail in the High Tatras, Mount Rysy never disappoints with incredible panoramic views and a challenging climb. Standing as the highest peak in the Tatras you can climb guide-free, you’ll certainly work up a sweat, but it will be well worth it.
- Zelené Pleso: This hike is absolutely stunning and one of our favourites in the Tatras. Conquer an epic mountain ridge before reaching the famed Zelené Pleso Lake and the traditional mountain chalet where you can grab a pint or two.
- Slavkovsky Štit: Not for the faint of heart, the Slavkovsky Štit hike is often deceiving, as it requires little technical skill, but the elevation gain rises quite quickly. Jump from boulder to boulder to reach the top, then enjoy 360-views at the Slavkovsky Peak.
- Popradské Pleso: A local favourite, this trail passes through a pretty pine forest to arrive at a lookout point over the Solisko Mountain ridge and Ostrva Mountain. Descend from the peak to the Majláthova Mountain hut, where you can indulge in a cold one and a traditional meal.
- Jamské Pleso: This walk remains a family-friendly classic and for good reason. The trail is relatively flat with little elevation, but offers gorgeous views for a fun day in the mountains.
- Zamkovského Mountain Chalet: Another very family-friendly hike in the High Tatras. Pass through pretty woodland, trickling rivers and views over the mountaintops, then arrive at the chalet for refreshments.
- Štrbské Pleso: The Ben Venue Walk tops our list as one of the best, easy hikes out there! With exceptional stunning views across magical Štrbské Lake and beyond, this hike should go to the top of your bucket list.
- Nad Dlhym Vodospadem: Perfect for kids, follow this interpretive trail that provides signage of the local flora and fauna for educational learning. Enjoy the pine forest scenery and pretty waterfall, before arriving at a Bilikova mountain chalet for a rest.
- Belianska Jaskyňa: Ideal for a quick, out and back trip with kids, follow the path to enjoy pretty views of Belianske Tatry and then explore the unique Belianska Cave.
When is the Best Time to Hike in Slovakia
Autumn is considered the best time to hike in Slovakia (especially October). The High Tatras, specifically, are best enjoyed when the weather is not too hot or cold and autumn offers little chance of storms. Hikers can enjoy hut-to-hut trips during this season, with cooler evenings for snuggling up in sleeping bags, but pleasant weather during the day. Summer can also be fantastic, though you’ll have to wait until at least July to ensure all the snow has melted. Be forewarned, it can be a little crowded during the summer, but nothing compared to what you’ll find at other, more popular European destinations.
Best Regions to Hike in Slovakia
There is no doubt that most hikers head to Slovakia to tackle two specific regions-- the High Tatras and the Low Tatras. The High Tatras sit on the border of northern Slovakia in the Prešov Region, and southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It is considered the smallest mountain range in the world, but is one certainly not to be skipped. There are plenty of trails to discover from family-friendly strolls, to heart pounding, challenging ascents. No matter what trail you choose, you’re sure to be rewarded with incredible scenery and often a chalet or two for rest and relaxation. The Low Tatras is located more towards central Slovakia, but still offers incredible views, along with unique caves for exploring and active wildlife. While the Low Tatras is the biggest national park in Slovakia, it is often overlooked for the High Tatras-- but we argue it’s equally, if not more stunning. With plenty of cozy hotels within the park, you can hike for days between villages, then enjoy the plush comforts at night.
Other Activities in Slovakia
Slovakia is a secret world of outdoor activities, ranging from skiing, rafting and snowboarding in the High Tatras and caving in east Slovakia. It’s rare to find a destination with plenty of unique spots to try your hand at caving, but Slovakia is certainly known for its plentiful crevices to explore. Demanovska Cave of Liberty, is a huge underground cave system that is open to the general public to explore. If skiing is more your thing, Jasna Nizke Tatry remains the largest (and most popular) ski resort, with runs starting up in the Tatra Mountains.
How to Plan a Trip to Slovakia
Ready to pack your bags and hit the trails across Slovakia? We’ve got you covered with our insider local guide to planning a trip to the High Tatras—we took out all the guesswork, leaving more time for hitting the trails. The mountains are calling!Read More