You’ll cover up to 18km of uneven terrain each daily, with as much as 850m ascent and 1350m descent, so a good level of fitness is essential
Explore hiking trails through forested valleys, waterfalls and alpine lakes in the remote High Tatras mountains
Trek the little-known yet insanely beautiful Tatranská Magistrala trail as it weaves among 2500m+ peaks
Ascend gorges in the aptly-named Slovak Paradise National Park using a network of ladders, catwalks and hanging bridges
Welcome to Slovakia!
Meet your host and take a scenic drive over the border into Slovakia to your friendly family-run hotel in the lovely village of Stará Lesná. Check in, unwind and then meet the rest of your group for dinner and a chance to discuss the plan for the days ahead.
The Velicka Valley
Hike to the beautiful Velicka Valley, located at the foot of the highest mountain in Slovakia – the 2655m Gerlachovsky Peak. Enjoy the incredible scenery and then trek to a pretty mountain lake for lunch with a waterfall view. Explore the famous Tatranska Magistrala trail as it winds its way through a labyrinth of dwarf pines and spruces, then follow a pristine mountain stream back to your hotel for the evening.
Hop in a cable car to Skalnate Pleso at 1700m and hit the trail to the peak of Velka Svistovka. Take in the views from here before descending through a rugged valley to the serene Green Lake. Enjoy lunch at a lakeside hut, then walk through a dwarf pine forest to reach White Lake. Continue down through more forested slopes to reach Kovalčíkova pol'ana, where you'll hop back in a cable car to descend the valley and head back to your accommodation. Spend the evening unwinding in a jacuzzi or sauna at the hotel, and then grab some dinner before a well-deserved night’s sleep.
Strbske Lake and on to Slovak Paradise National Park
Pack up and head to Strbske Lake, one of the most scenic and photographed in Slovakia. Enjoy a hike through some stunning scenery on the way to Popradske Lake, then grab some lunch and soak up the quaint village beneath the peaks. Bid farewell to the High Tatras mountains as you journey to the quaint village of Levoča. Settle into your next base, soak up the town square and grab an early dinner before heading to the nearby thermal pools for a soak.
One day, two canyons
Head into the Slovak Paradise National Park and see for yourself why it lives up to its name. Hike along the bottom of Sucha Bela Gorge, one of the longest and most popular canyons in the park, where you will trek through water, climb over fallen trees and ascend ladders – you'll even pass a window-like hole in the rock. Emerge from the canyon and have lunch at a mountain hut before continuing through Prielom Hornadu Gorge, famous for the series of ledges and catwalks that rise above the Hornad River. Return to Levoča in time for dinner and a good night's sleep.
Head back into the park today and explore Piecky (Fireplace) Gorge, which gets its name from the amazing rock formations that span the canyon. More ladders await as you climb beside multi-story waterfalls, including some horizontal ones that take you over green and blue pools of water. After completing the hikes you'll head over to a reservoir hidden in the forest to take in the serenity of the spot and maybe grab a wild swim here. Head back to Levoča for dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
One last hike and head home
Check out of the hotel and venture into the National Park one last time, hiking to a stunning 200m-high rock shelf with excellent views over the entire area you’ve been exploring. Hike back down and return to Krakow in time for your flight home, with new stories and photos to share with your friends.
Expert, English-speaking local guides
6 nights in boutique, family-run hotels
All your breakfasts and 4 dinners
To and from the airport and everything in between
All permits and entry fees
Flights to and from the meeting point
Some meals as described
Visas where required
Day 2 – Day 3
Day 4 – Day 5
What is the food like?
Each morning you'll tuck in to a sizeable breakfast buffet with more options than you'll possibly need: cereals, muesli and yoghurt, meats, cheeses, salads, breads and eggs, plus cakes, juices and teas and coffees. Your dinners will vary but will focus on simple, fresh and hearty Slovakian staples that include pork, poultry, cheese, pastry, potatoes, onions and garlic. Lentil and vegetable stews are also common, as is wild game, pasta and the gnocchi-style dish bryndzove halušky.
There are a variety of restaurants in Stará Lesná and Levoča, including European-American fusion, pizza, pubs and Italian. It’s possible to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free diets, just let your host know before arrival.
What is the accommodation like?
While exploring the Tatras Mountains, you'll be staying in the friendly, family-run Penzión Lomnicky in the village of Stará Lesná. The hotel is beautifully presented, with a modern twist on traditional Slovakian style. All rooms are en suite and come with WiFi, towels and a hairdryer.
While hiking in the Slovak National Park, you'll stay at the Hotel U Leva – a family-run, 3-star hotel in a restored medieval building right in the heart of town. Rooms are en suite and include WiFi, satellite TV and a minibar. The hotel serves a delicious fresh breakfast each day.
Please note, select departures will stay next door at the Hotel Arkada, which is of a similar standard.
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).
Krakow Airport, Poland
17:00 on Day 1
Krakow Airport, Poland
15:30 on Day 7
You’ll be picked up by your host on arrival at Krakow Airport at 17:00, then transferred across the border into Slovakia en route to your first base – the village of Stará Lesná in the Tatras Mountains. On Day 7, you'll be driven back to Krakow Airport and dropped off in time for any flights departing after 17:30.
There are regular flights to Krakow from major airports across the UK and Europe.
Your group arrival and departure transfers are relatively long (150km/approximately 3 hours) and include a border crossing. For this reason, private transfers are not usually offered by your host, as the cost is prohibitive – you are encouraged to join the group arrival and departure transfers.
As the first and last days of your adventure are full days and the traffic between Krakow Airport and the city is usually heavy, it is not possible to be picked up or dropped off at a city hotel. However, public transport between the city and the airport is very good. There is a train that leaves once or twice per hour, which takes 17 minutes and is very economical.
Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear
In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.
What do I need to bring?
Main bag or suitcase Day pack for hiking (20-30 litres)
Waterproof liner for hiking pack
Lightweight down or synthetic jacket
Lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Buff or neck scarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
Underwear and socks
Swimwear for thermal pool
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight shoes for evenings at the hotels
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel insurance documents
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Two reusable water bottles x1 litre
Trekking poles Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
Optional Private Room Upgrade
Payable Before Departure
Optional Private Room Upgrade
We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 246kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
In the Tatras Mountains, you’ll cover around 18km of uneven terrain each day with as much as 1000m of ascent, so a moderate level of fitness is needed to enjoy it to the full. Some hikes also include short sections of scrambling. Whilst prior experience is recommended, it’s not required to enjoy this section of the trip.
In the Slovak Paradise National Park, you'll be covering 11-17km each day across uneven terrain, so a moderate level of fitness is recommended to enjoy it to the full. However, elevation gains are more modest (400-700m) and while the trails are complex, you'll be moving at a slow pace.
The ladders, catwalks and ledges (some of which are quite narrow) are very sturdy and secure; however, you should be comfortable with heights. Imagine climbing up to the third story of a building on a ladder: if you can do that, you'll be fine and your guide will never be far away.
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
The High Tatras in summer are beautiful and relatively warm. From June to August the average daytime temperature is 12°C, but it can range from 8–18 °C. It rains approximately 12 days each month, totalling 80mm monthly. Spring and autumn temperatures are a little cooler, ranging from 4 – 13 °C, but it is also drier (just 60mm monthly).
The Slovak Paradise National Park in summer is at lower elevation so will be warmer; from June to August the average daytime temperatures range from 18-22°C, but at night it cools down to around 8°C. In the spring and autumn it's a little chillier, ranging from 10-18 °C during the day and 3-6 °C at night. Autumn is the driest season and also boasts some beautiful colours.
You'll need to bring all your luggage with you, however on each day of hiking your main luggage can be left in the hotels in Stará Lesná and Levoča. You will only need to have a daypack for each day of hiking.
The local tap water is safe to drink. Please bring along your own reusable water bottles (at least 1.5L) to fill up to avoid buying single-use plastic bottles.
No – you'll need a daypack for each day of hiking, with 20-30 litres of capacity for your lunch, extra layers/waterproofs, water bottle(s) and any other personal items. Your main luggage can stay in the hotel each day throughout the trip.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
Pay In Installments
You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.
Full Financial Protection
Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.