Vysoke Tatry the Slovakia High Country

vskttrLocated on the border with Poland, Vysoke Tatry, which is Slovakian for the High Tatras, is part of the Carpathian range of mountains in the north of Slovakia.

Although it is an alpine region, by European standards Vysoke Tatry is quite compact. The name refers not merely to one village but to a series of small settlements that are almost clumped together. The region is popular during the warmer months due to the number of hiking trails in the area, and during winter it attracts its fair share of skiers and snowboarders.

The region is bountiful with beautiful mountain lakes, crystal clear churning mountain streams and rivers, waterfalls and lakes.

The tallest peak in the High Tatras is Gerlach which rises to a height of 2655 metres. These mountains consist of 32 connected valleys which cover a distance of just 26 kilometres. Possibly because of its relatively small size, which is cluttered with sharp peaks, the views over the High Tatras are very impressive.

Like most of Europe’s mountains, the Tatras have been carved by massive glaciers which covered the region during the last ice age. The result is deep valley floors that are dominated by steep cliffs which rise up to stoney peaks of ten summits which are reasonably accessible with a bit of physical effort.

As well as the hiking and snow activities, the area also has a number of spas where people go for curative treatments.

One of these is the Aquacity Resort in Poprad which looks more like a low-key theme park than a spa treatment centre. Having a great location with spectacular mountain views, the resort includes a water park containing pools, slides, flumes and Jacuzzis. A range of wellness and spa centres that are designed to pamper as well as rejuvenate. A Cryotherapy centre where extremes of temperature stimulate natural production of enzymes and hormones to kick start the body’s healing and regeneration process.

Poprad is a modern city, but nearby is a most charming local village called Spisska Sobota, which contains a cobbled central square, towering churches and painted, medieval buildings, galleries and museums.

The Administrative centre is Stary Smokovec, which together with Tatranska Lomnica and Strbske Pleso provides the focal point for one of the three most important Tatra tourist resorts. Stary Smokovec is important stop on the Tatra Railway, and the starting point for a funicular linking the most visited mountain valleys. Well worth seeing are the gothic sights of Spiš region or the thermal pools in Besenová and Vrbov or the traditional Slovak village museum in Pribilina.

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