The ‘town’ of Vysoké Tatry in Slovakia isn’t really a town but an amalgamation of three main settlements (Stary Smokovek, Strbske Pleso and Tatranska Lomnica) which form the main tourist resorts in the Slovak portion of the High Tatras. It’s also amazingly accessible from Poprad; which is handily served by a host of European low cost airlines.
Whether you want to start a High Tatras hike from a higher elevation or just want to enjoy the fantastic views across the region then you can take one of the ski lifts starting in Tatranska Lomnica, which remain open in the Summer, to transport visitors up to Skalnate Pleso and the highest point of Lomnicky Stit (that latter being served by the fairly scary looking 20-odd person cable car shown in this picture that doesn’t look like it’s been updated since it opened in the 1940s). The lifts are somewhat more expensive than you would expect to pay during prime ski season (to put that statement in to context I had to pick between a one-way lift pass or 17 glasses of cheap local wine), but the admission price is worth it for the fantastic views and photo opportunities. From the ski lift drop off point at Skalnate Pleso it’s also an easy 2.5-hour hike to Hrebienok where you have the option of riding the funicular (which, as we kept getting reminded by local literature, was also ridden by the Queen in 2008 – not Freddy Mercury’s Queen as my wife originally thought) down into the town of Stary Smokovek or continuing the walk down to the town. Lift tickets are available at ‘cash points’ at the bottom of the lifts and you will need to pay an additional EUR 2 refundable deposit for the plastic card they come on.
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