Trek The Polish High Tatras

Trek The Polish High Tatras
Poland & Slovakia
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. 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
of this scramble 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 most fascinating city.
At a glance
6 days point‐to‐point trekking, 1
free day
Not recomended for severe vertigo
Altitude maximum 2499m, average
Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader.
Min age 18 yrs
3 nights en suite pensions and 5
nights standard mountain huts
All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5
dinners included
Summit Mt Rysy (2,499m), Poland's
highest mountain
Spend a night in the Picturesque
folk town of Zakopane
Discover the splendour of Krakow
Challenging walking in the Tatra
Mountains, including
Optional visit to the UNESCO Salt
Mine and/or Auschwitz Museum
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
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The entries in bold at the end of each day indicate the meals
Day 1 ‐ Start Zakopane
Start at Krakow Airport, where we will be met on arrival by our
leader. We then transfer (about 2hrs) by road to our hotel in the
folk town of Zakopane, beneath the peaks of Giewont, Kasprowy
Wierch and Swinica. The evening is free to explore.
Day 2 ‐ Koscieliska valley
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).
Approx 5‐6hrs walking 12km (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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 on the way. 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 can not 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
and you can purchase snacks.
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.
Day 3 ‐ Ciemniak peak
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 Hotel
where we overnight.
Approx 7‐8 hrs walking 20km (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 ‐ From Mt. Kasprowy to Swinica
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 (1987m).
Traversing along the ridge towards Swinica pass (2050m) we
again have dramatic views of the whole area. From the rocky
pass we descend past small mountain tarns to Gasiencowa hostel
(1500m) where we overnight.
Approx 6‐7 hrs walking 16km (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 ‐ Challenging day
This morning we prepare for the most challenging two days of the
trip. We recommend that you try and pack as lightly as possible
for these days. We begin with a steady climb past Czarny Staw
and away from vegetation to the rocky heights of
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
the High Tatras. Using fixed chains to assist us in the scrambles,
we reach the Eagle's Perch' pass (2159m) around lunchtime
before descending back into the 'Valley of the five Polish lakes'
with a variety of mountain flowers and grasses, to Roztoki.
Approx 7‐8 hours walking 16km (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 ‐ Free day in Krakow
Day 6 ‐ Mt. Rysy ascent
Day 9 ‐ End Krakow
Our final ascent and the hardest of the trip! On leaving Roztoki
trek via Morskie Oko, one of the largest lakes in the Tatras, we
head for the peak of Mt. Rysy (2499m) on the Polish/Slovakian
border. This is a very long day (total ascent 1470m), ending in a
steep climb over rocky terrain, and using fixed chains for the final
400m of the ascent, but the effort is definitely worth it. In a 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. Return descent to Morskie Oko (your guide 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).
End in Krakow. (Breakfast)
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A full free day to explore Krakow. Your leader will be able to
advise on optional excursions, perhaps to the UNESCO Salt Mine
at Wieliczka, and/or Auschwitz Museum. (Breakfast)
Whilst trekking the accommodation will be in mountain
hostels/huts (bedding and linen are provided). The mountain
hostels are of a good standard with dormitory style rooms,
typically accommodating 8 to 10 people. In Zakopane we use a
good quality pension and in Krakow we use a hotel. Rooms are
provided on a twin share basis, and are all en suite.
Single Accommodation
Approx 12hrs walking 20km (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 ‐ To Krakow
A short walk down the Dolina Rybiego Potuku (valley) takes us to
the roadhead and our waiting bus. We'll then transfer to the
historic city of Krakow, arriving late morning. 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. (Breakfast)
Optional single supplement is £80 and covers only three nights, in
Zakopane (day 1) and Krakow (days 7 & 8).
Extra Accommodation
We can arrange accommodation in Zakopane or Krakow, before
or after your trip. Prices are available on request from the office.
All food is included, except for main meals (lunch and dinner) in
Zakopane and Krakow (days 1, 7 and 8).
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
Typical Meals:
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Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and changeable. It is
therefore possible to encounter unseasonal weather at any time.
Breakfasts in Zakopane and Krakow will be a hot and cold buffet.
In the mountain hostels a choice of hot or cold is usually
Lunches will be picnic type including rolls, fruit and a drink.
9 days, normally depart London Sat, return Sun
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.
Itinerary Start
The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day
1 of the itinerary.
Flights from London
Travel by minibus. The transfer time from Krakow to Zakopane is
approx. 2 hours.
We normally use the scheduled services of EasyJet (depending on
availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we
recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent
to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at
a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two
weeks before departure.
Due to Easyjet's booking system, we can only purchase flights 6
months before the date of your departure. If you book your trip
before this date, a booking confirmation will be sent to you
advising that flights are subject to confirmation. We will then
secure the flights as soon as they become available. In the case
that flights are not available at the original budgeted cost once
they are released for sale, a flight supplement will be charged. If
the supplement exceeds 10% of the original holiday price, you
will be given the right to cancel.
Please note that many destinations now require Advanced
Passenger Information (API), such as your passport number, date
of birth and nationality, to be added to your booking before
departure. When booking Easyjet flights through Exodus your
sales consultant will do this for you.
UK Regional Flights
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.
The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we
are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please
visit for a useful overview
of the options available, and contact our sales team for expert
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
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If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow
a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international
check in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1½ hours at Heathrow;
this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is
known to be subject to delays.
The start hotel in Zakopane is approximately 2 hours drive from
the airport. You can get there by public transport: bus or train
from the airport to Krakow (all info on website: and then catch the
bus to Zakopane.
Airport Transfers
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will
be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do
not receive these at least a week before departure, or require
them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights.
Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on
any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. Those arriving
from London on non‐group flights should read the airport transfer
section below for information on reaching the start point. Please
check with the Exodus office.
9 days, normally start Zakopane Sat, end Krakow Sun
Itinerary Start
Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Zakopane in the
afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the
start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent
approximately two weeks before departure.
Hotel check‐in times are normally from around 3pm.
Airport Transfers
If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement
only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged
to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check
the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not
take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the
joining point at your own expense.
Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing
income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to
protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to
responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan
and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company.
Walking in small group numbers is a fantastic way to visit this
region with minimal impact. Throughout our visit our local
operator ensures that our visit benefits the local communities we
visit by choosing accommodation that is on a smaller scale and
traditionally run to help support the local economy and
communities. They also encourage these establishments to source
their produce locally so the benefits of our visit are spread to the
wider community. Furthermore, you will visit and stay in smaller
communities rather than the larger towns enabling you to
interact more closely with the local customs and traditions,
learning more about the destination of your visit. Our local
partner will encourage you to try the local produce of the area,
supporting local traders and producers in the region.
The operator we work with in this area works hard to create tours
that respect the environment which they visit, involving activities
that appreciate the environment rather than damage it.
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
For full details of our Responsible Tourism Policy please visit:
Standard European Adapter required
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Group, Staff and Support
Passports and Visas
All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond
the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the
correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is
necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you
are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with
that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local
immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or
otherwise, and any subsequent effects.
The group will generally be between 4 and 16 people. There will
be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed.
The trip is led by a local tour leader throughout, plus local
specialist city guides where necessary.
The minimum age of clients on this trip is 18 years.
Currency Information
No visa required for British passport holders.
The national currency of Poland is the Zloty (PLN), with an
exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 4.7 to
the UK£ and 3.3 to the US$.
No visa required for British passport holders.
The national currency of Slovakia is the Euro (EUR), with an
exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.37
to the UK£ and 0.89 to the US$.
Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the
current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is
Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.
Vaccinations and Health
Travel health can often be something people forget about before
going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long
way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.
We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but Visa
/MasterCard credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping,
extra excursions and withdrawing cash from ATMs (cash points).
We do not recommend travellers cheques, as they may be
difficult to change during the holiday.
ATM availability/Credit Card Acceptance/Travellers cheques
There are no specific health risks on this trip.
The above information can change at short notice; as we are not
qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we
strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a
Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐
date information.
Insurance ‐ are you adequately covered?
You must have adequate travel insurance, and if you are joining
a trip which goes to high altitude, you must check that you are
covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip. If you are
resident in the UK we strongly recommend Exodus travel
insurance, which is specifically designed to cover all activities on
your trip.
Local Time
GMT +1hrs
There are plenty of ATM machines in Zakopane and Krakow. All
major credit cards are also widely accepted.
Extra Expenses and Spending Money
Allow up to £40 (approx. US$65) for meals not included in the
price of the trip, however this amount will vary according to
where and what you choose to eat.
Optional Excursions (approximate costs, depending on group
Wieliczka Salt Mine (4 hrs from Krakow) ~£25‐30 (~US$40‐50) pp.
Auschwitz Museum (6 hrs from Krakow) ~£25‐30 (~US$40‐50) pp.
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
Essential Equipment and Clothing
Rucksack of about 40 litres, 2 litres of water carrying capacity,
waterproof jacket, good leather walking boots and gaiters, warm
hat and gloves, warm trousers, shorts, small wash kit and torch,
It is important that you have your essential items but we also
advise that you try and pack as lightly as you can without
compromising on your kit as you will need to ensure that you can
carry your bag between the huts. Any baggage not needed on trek
can be left in the hotel in Zakopane.
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In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge
where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you
depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to
upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This
helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll
be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.
To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus.
It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting
Optional items
trekking poles
Baggage and Baggage Allowance
At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on
the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We
recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage.
Exodus operates a 24 hour duty office for emergencies, which
can be contacted on 0044 (0)1582 640 045.
Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to
read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure or
As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold
luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's
website for the latest information prior to your departure.
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and
details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you
approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not
receive these at least a week before departure, or require them
earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can
view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write‐ups
which have featured in the national media and take advantage
of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.
The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where
differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current
brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and
website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in
order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where
necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be
possible to follow the itinerary as planned.
Poland & Slovakia • Trek The Polish High Tatras
This may be for a variety of reasons ‐ climatic, political, physical
or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible
alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the
original itinerary.
As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and
airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder
than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we
endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily
fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of
date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of
our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice
Service advises British tourists on the potential dangers they
might experience when travelling overseas. We liaise closely with
them and adhere to their travel advice. For up‐to‐date advice on
all countries, please visit‐travel‐advice.
Should there be any change to advice prior to or during travel,
we may have to cancel or curtail a tour at short notice, or re‐
route an itinerary part way through.
Prices and exchange rates were correct at the time of
publication. The most up‐to‐date prices can be found on the
Exodus website.
© Exodus Travels Ltd. ATOL 2582/FTO
1. Check availability
Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
2. Secure your place
You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for
between three and seven days.
3. Complete your booking and payment
When you're ready to book, go to for online
booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking
form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all
major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book
with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour
operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number
2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association
(IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators
(FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can
book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to
us for your trip are fully protected.
Edition No. MM 01 2016
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