High Tatra Mountains, aerial view from Rysy peak

Trek the Polish High Tatras

9 days
from
$1,555 NZD
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Traveller ratings
4 / 5 from 23 reviews >
Trip code: 
TVT
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–16

Summit Poland's highest mountain, Mt Rysy

The High 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. The walking is hard but rewarding, the terrain tough but beautiful, and the mountain huts basic but friendly, clean and hospitable. At the end of the trip, we enjoy the delights of Krakow, Poland’s cultural capital.

Highlights

  • Summit Mt Rysy (2,499m), Poland's highest mountain
  • Spend a night in the picturesque folk town of Zakopane
  • Discover the splendours of Krakow
  • Challenging walking in the Tatra Mountains
  • Optional visit to the UNESCO Salt Mine and/or Auschwitz Museum

Key information

  • 3 nights en suite pension and 5 nights standard mountain hut (dormitory accommodation)
  • 6 days point-to-point trekking, 1 free day in Krakow
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 2499m, average 1700m
  • Travel by private minibus
  • Not recommended for severe vertigo sufferers

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Pace:

Approximately 6-8 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; moderate/challenging terrain with steep and rocky sections.

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/9.3miles
Day 315.0km/9.3miles
Day 415.0km/9.3miles
Day 514.0km/8.6miles
Day 622.0km/13.7miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus, we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Zakopane

    Our tour starts in the resort town of Zakopane, a 2-hour transfer from Karow. 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

  • Day 2

    Walk to Ornak;time permitting head to Ornak summit and Raczkowa Pass

    A short bus ride takes us to Kiry (15min from Zakopane) the entrance to the Tatra National Park, from where we start walking. A gentle 90min hike along the Koscieliska valley, with many limestone gorges and caves, brings us to the Ornak hostel, our base for the night. Depending on our time of arrival, there should be time to explore further and climb Ornak peak (1854m).

    Ornak Hostel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Tough trek to the summit of Ciemniak (2096m) with fantastic views; descend the Dolina Kondratowa to the Kalatowki Hut

    A harder day as we leave the hut, and start our ascent east, along the banks of the Tomanowy River, towards Tomanowa Przetecz 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 down the Dolina Kondratowa to the Kalatowki Hut where we overnight.

    Kalatowki Hut or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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. 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. From the Swinica ridge, we descend from the rocky ridge, past small mountain tarns to Gasiencowa hut (1500m) where we overnight.

     Gasiencowa hut or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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. You will be able to leave excess kit in Gasiencowa hut to lighten your load for the days ahead. It is recommended that you try and pack as lightly as possible for these days as you will be using fixed mountain chains to assist you on the walk. We begin with a steady climb past Czarny Staw and away from vegetation to the rocky heights of the High Tatras. Here, we cross the Zawrat Pass (2159m), summiting at 'Eagles Perch' around lunchtime, before descending back into the 'Valley of the five Polish lakes' with a variety of mountain flowers and grasses, to Roztoki. 

    Mountain Hut 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Ascend Mt Rysy (2499m), Poland's highest peak

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    A short descent down the Dolina Rybiego Potoku. Transfer to 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.

    Siesta Aparthotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day in Krakow

    A full free day to explore Krakow. Your leader will be able to advise on optional excursions, including the UNESCO Salt Mine at Wieliczka and/or Auschwitz Museum.

    Siesta Aparthotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Krakow

    Our tour ends after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Poland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Slovakia

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Poland

There are no specific health risks.

Slovakia

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Eating and Drinking

All food is included, except for main meals (lunch and dinner) in Zakopane and Krakow (days 1, 7 and 8). 

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.

Weather

Both Poland and Slovakia have a continental climate, with harsh winters and hot summers. Our trips run from July to September when temperatures are usually mild to hot. The summer months of July and August may be as hot as 30 - 35 ºC, perhaps a little cooler in the hills. Rain can fall at anytime of the year, although in mid-summer it is more likely to come as thunderstorms, and June, July and August have the highest rainfall. Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and changeable. It is, therefore, possible to encounter unseasonal weather at any time.

Is this trip for you?

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. Where the group exceeds 10 people an additional leader will assist the group on these days. 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. 

 

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Pension, Hotel & Mountain Huts

You will spend 1 night in a comfortable pension in Zakopane, while the 2 nights in Krakow are in a small historical 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.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    david ellis

    tatra mountains & krakow

    the trip was an interesting combination of both hill walking and city break. we were a bit unlucky with the weather, only one day with no rain, so it was waterproofs for most days, at least this made the pack lighter, the huts were very busy, lots of students on holiday in september. we had to miss the big climb at the end of the week due to rain which was snow and freezing conditions at 1800m. Teresa our guide did well to juggle activities in the circumstances. krakow for the last 3 days was a chance to explore the old town, do some of the trips on offer to the salt mine and auchwitz, and just chill with a beer, in the jewish quarter.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    a beer in the hut after a days walk

    What did you think of your group leader?

    very good, considering the bad weather

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    travel out of the university holidays , months

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    a good introduction to poland
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Johnny Corn

    The highs of the High Tatras

    Had a wonderful week of walking and sightseeing here in Poland. A great leader in Teresa, a good group, wonderful walking and Krakow after to unwind after a challenging few days walking. Brilliant accommodation with great food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sadly due to weather it was not getting to the top of Mount Rysy but we nearly got there! Mind you Auschwitz was an experience I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was brilliant. Years of experience in the mountains and her great sense of fun and humour made her one of the best guides I have been led by. She was well liked and respected in all the places we stayed and by othe guides and local people we met along the way. Whatever we wanted she saw we got it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a challenging trip so read trip notes and seriously decide if it is for you or not as the last day is tough and several people in our group I think were secretly relieved that the weather was bad so they did not have to go to the top!!! The chains were not something that some people were expecting!!! Take ear plugs! Pack light- ask the guide what to take! I took two books and never read a page! Use walking poles! Do not bother with a second pair of shoes, maybe just flip flops for shower!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Erik Baijards

    High Tatras

    Good trip for a short but strenuous holiday not far away. The views are fantastic. It is not a remote area and it was busy on all trekking days. The school holidays where still on and after some weeks of bad weather in the area we were lucky we had a week of good hiking weather so there were many locals on the tracks as well. The huts are OK.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day to the summit of Rysy was long and tiring but to reach the summit .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was nice and enthusiastic. Most important she took very very well of our safety when we climbed Rysy and had to use the chains. Counting was a very weak point and made things chaotic. When you ask who wants tomato soup when the group is not complete and you don't give the second option you cause a lot of confusion and the question has to be asked another two or three times. These sort of moments happened nearly every time we had coffee, tea or a meal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have time it's worth to extend your stay in Krakau to have enough time to visit Krakau, Auschwitz and the salt mines.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Irene Smith

    Tatra mountains

    I have just returned from a fantastic trip to the Tatra Mountins.. Did not realise what a beautiful country Poland was and we were really lucky to have had great weather. Getting to the top by useing chains was great it was very busy but it was a beautiful day and like all exciting summits when the weather is predicted to be good everyone comes out to catch a good day.the huts were the best I have ever had on a trek and there was always loads of food so no one needed to go hungry. The showers were immaculate and some huts even had drying rooms luxury. Our guide Teresa was amazing full of enthusiasm and knowledge of her country. Yes we did leave one of the party behind at the airport but that was sorted out and she apologised many many times. She was very encouraging to everyone and I felt I could go to her anytime for anything. To anyone who is looking to do this trip I would say go for it you will have a wonderful adventure

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit on such a beautiful day the views were spectacular and I think all our group were feeling very proud of themselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was amazing. She was so knowledgeable and proud of her country and wanted to share that with us. She was always smiley full of energy and great fun, and always always approachable for any problem anyone had. One of the better leaders I have had on a track.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trick if you like a bit of a challenge go for it you will not regret it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take some gloves for the chains as they can be hard on the hands.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Helen Bailey

    Trek the Polish High Tatras

    This was the worst trip I have experienced with Exodus. I could not recommend it to others. I had not realised how busy the area would be. When we climbed to the top of Rysy it felt like being on the top of a termite nest. The chains were very busy and queues up and down. Every path was visible with a line of people heading up the mountain. The majority of Footpaths were tourist tracks, ie they were white laid rocks, which could be seen for miles. Accommodation was better than expected, although we had issues with lack of drinks. Huts only provided one drink per meal, no top ups and usually no water jugs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    **

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leader was abrasive and managed to leave a client at the airport due to not being able to head count. The leader also made mealtimes stressful as she was unable to organise teas and coffees etc, which needed numbers! Not sure she knew which name went to which person by the end of the week. Felt that we were bullied and shouted at throughout the trip. Leader was safe on the mountain and knew the route, but had no client rapport.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you decide its for you.....take hut slippers, none are provided. If you have special dietary needs take plenty of supplements they are inflexible with meals and have limited options.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Helen for her review, although we are sorry to hear that she did not enjoy the The High Tatra mountains as a destination and we regret that some aspects of this tour fell below her expectations. As this area is close to the second largest city in Poland and the weather was good, there were a lot of others enjoying the walking trails on the mountains when Helen was travelling. We were also sorry to hear that Helen was disappointed with aspects of her tour’s leadership as her tour leader is incredibly experienced and has been leading for Exodus for over 10 years. In that time, she has received very good feedback with an emphasis on how safe clients feel with her. Due to group sizes increasing, however, we will be running this trip with two leaders from 2018.

    Simon Clifford - Product Manager

  • Reviewed September 2016
    Björn Matthíasson

    Trekking in the Polish High Tatras

    A mountain climb in Poland's Tatras mountains is an experience never forgotten. The mountains are stupendous to view, the trails are safe and well traveled, but the weather can at times be inclement. Our leader, Teresa, did everything to guide us safely and well and bent over backwards to make our trip enjoyable. I can highly recommend this tour for any climber with stamina and experience. Björn M.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We reached the summit of Mt. Rysy at an elevation of 2499.6 metres. Reaching such a peak is the climax of our entire tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa Stochel, our leader, was caring and determined, good-humored and pleasant in every respect. My fellow travelers and I will think of her as a friend for all time to come.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dress for any weather eventuality, from sub-freezing temperatures if you are travelling late in the season, to shirt-sleeve weather in the summer. For late September or early spring, bringing crampons or micro-spikes is advisable. A poncho or raincoat is necessary.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Julian Hart

    High Tatras

    I really enjoyed this trek. The group that completed the trek, including our super guide, Teresa, gelled really well and were all well up to the fitness level required. Two did not do the trek itinerary, as mentioned by Brendan McShane in a previous review. It indicates how essential reading the trip notes before you book your trip is!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Mt Rysy. Its quite a slog to get there, then lots of scrambling up and down but the achievement is worth it, and to sit at the top for those few moments is very special, the views are beautiful. But every day was special in its own way, not just Rysy, the comradeship between our trekking group, the walks, climbs and views experienced at every moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa is a gem, very knowledgeable and informative, nothing was too much trouble, she constantly checked on details to make sure everything went to plan and was always a pleasure to be with. I could not have asked for more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes before you book. Go to Auschwitz, what you see will stay with you forever, and the Salt Mine if you have time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I went on this trek based on recommendation from previous trekkers last year when I did the Julian Alps, Slovenia trek [equally enjoyable!]. Where do I go from here?
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Brendan Mcshane

    Trekking the High Tatras

    This was my first Exodus trip and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I went with two friends and we met up with the other eight members of the group plus the Guide in Poland. The five days of walking was sandwiched between a night in Zakopane and two nights in Krakow with a visit to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz on the last day. Both the Mountain huts and the food exceeded my expectations. Apart from two members of our group who dropped out after the first day, the rest of us were of a similar level of fitness to enjoy the walking (and each others company) as well as the surrounding scenery which was very pretty.

    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 July 2016
    Tessa Jakszewicz

    Trek the High Tatras

    This was a fabulous trip to see some great scenery, climb some mountains and get a sense of Poland. The huts are first class with great facilities and you won't go hungry with the food. You will need to be reasonably fit and not scared of heights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to pick a single moment as everyday had something to enjoy. I guess I was concerned whether I could achieve this trip, made it and had a great sense of achievement in climbing up Mt Rysy, especially the part where you need to use chains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was a real bonus to have a Polish guide who knew the area intimately - we got a sense of the Polish culture as well as the benefit of local knowledge. There were some challenges for the guide on the trip and she handled them admirably.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have virtigo of any kind don't do the trip. You'll need to end up going back at Rysy and it will impact on the whole group. Come with an open mind and a spirit of adventure - don't expect things to be like home and remember Poland is adjusting from years of communism. Remember you will be part of a team and if you are a real individualist you shouldn't join. If you come to be a member of a team, want to experience a bit of Poland and do something active, you'll have a ball. Get a bit fitter before you come and don't carry to much (keep to 7kg if you can).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Loved Poland, great guide, great country and fabulous huts - had a trip that I will remember forever.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Mark Gilbert

    Poland tatra

    Tough but very enjoyable trek .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching my seventh summit in four days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Knowledgeable but not enough concern for injured party member.Let himself down and exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy

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