Hiking at the foot of the highest peak


Martin Talač


The good news is that this hike can be done year-round. The winter closure of hiking trails doesn´t apply on this particular hiking trail. It starts in the village of Tatranska Polianka, goes through Hrebienok and ends in the village of Stary Smokovec. There is a mountain hotel by Lake Velicke pleso, where it´s possible to have a lunch. The hotel is situated halfway, below Peak Gerlach 2 655 meters – the highest peak of Slovakia. The hotel was even visited by the Pope John Paul II in 1995. He loved mountains, so during his official visit of Slovakia he managed to find some time to go to the mountains.

I mentioned that this hike can be done year-round, but I don´t recommend to do it in winter due to the snow. The paths are covered with and you can´t see the way. Also you need appropriate gear – crampons. But you can do it as soon as the snow melts.

This hike is of medium difficulty, about 15 km long and the vertical asent is 800 meters. It´s also possible to make an extension.

Scroll down to see the photo story of the hike, the terrain and views.

The beginning of the hike. The top of the highest peak of slovakia – Gerlach is hidden in the clouds.
Bridge over a stream
Walking through nice forest
The weather changed and now it´s possible to see Gerlach
Hiking crossroad
There are only two kinds of people. The first group hates the shape of this hotel and others don´t mind. What is your opinion?
By Lake Velicke pleso
Walking towards Hrebienok. Look back at Peak Gerlach
Walking this trail is like walking in a labyrinth of dwarf pines
The path is really narrow at some places
The clouds create dramatic landscapes
Descending through forest down to Hrebienok

We use to walk this hike also during the trips as it offers really nice landscape views.


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