Hiking, fauna and flora

The scenic landscapes of the High Tatras offer opportunities to indulge in countless activities you can do on your own or in the company of your family and friends.  Set out for a challenging alpine hike, take a relaxing walk, or discover the fascinating world of the fauna and flora of Slovakia’s highest mountain range.

Hikers can choose from countless marked hiking trails (red, blue, green and yellow marked). Trails are classified according to their difficulty.

Hiking trail marks

Red – ridge routes
Blue – long-distance routes
Green – access routes
Yellow – interconnectors between trails of other colours

Fauna and flora of the High Tatras

In addition to its agreeable climate, the Tatras are rich in plant and animal wildlife.

There are around 14,000 plant species, including, for example, primula farinosa (bird’s-eye primrose), the endemic delphinium oxysepalumalpine bearberry,  creeping spearwort, ranunculus altitatrensis, euphrasia exaristata, dianthus nitidus (Carpathian glossy pink) or papaver tatricum. The territory of the High Tatras is mostly covered by coniferous forests, with creeping pine zones found at higher altitudes; the highest ridges, summits and peaks are forest-free.

The Tatra Mountains are abundant in animals, including such rare species as Tatra chamois, European roe deer, red deer, Tatra marmot, Tatra pine vole, and European snow vole. Big predators include Eurasian lynx, gray wolf, brown bear, and wildcat. The bird population of the High Tatras include golden eagle, peregrine falcon, common kestrel, Eurasian pygmy owl, Eurasian eagle-owl, or tawny owl. You may spot an Eurasian river otter near the Tatra creeks and streams that are also home to river trout (riverine brown trout).

All wildlife species found in the territory of the Tatra National Park (TANAP) are strictly protected year-round.

Going to hike in the Tatras? Don’t forget to pack these essentials:

  • firm, ankle-high hiking footwear with Vibram soles
  • quick-drying thermal underwear
  • water and windproof outerwear
  • raincoat, hat (cap) and gloves if the weather gets worse
  • hiking poles
  • in sunny weather, do not forget to bring sunglasses, a bandana or a baseball cap, and a sun protection cream with you
  • plenty of water and food
  • first aid kit (sterile gauze, disinfectant)

Mountain Rescue Service rules visitors must respect in the Tatras:

  • visitors must respect the instructions of the Mountain Rescue Service
  • visitors must respect warning, information and other signs and installations serving for the protection of their health and safety
  • visitors must not risk their life, health and property, nor the life, health and property of other persons
  • visitors must immediately report to the Mountain Rescue Service any serious accidents and injuries, or a person gone missing in the mountains
  • visitors must sign in a book of hikes and climbs before they go for a walk, hike or ascent
  • visitors must refund to the Mountain Rescue Service the costs of a rescue or search operation