Are you looking forward to a holiday in the Low Tatras? Check out the travel guide with the best hikes and things to do in the Low Tatras, Slovakia.
In this guide you will learn:
- travel tips on how to get to the Low Tatras and how to get around;
- where to stay in the Low Tatras
- when to visit the Low Tatras;
- tips for hikes and the most beautiful places in the Low Tatras – tips for easy and more demanding hikes and routes.
- things to do in the Low Tatras with children
Travel Guide for the Low Tatras:
- When to visit the Low Tatras
- Best hikes and things to do in the Low Tatras, Slovakia
- Things to do in Low Tatras with kids
- Map of
Low Tatras by car
The Low Tatras are a bit closer than the High Tatras. The shortest route is via Brno on D1. If everything goes smoothly and there are no traffic jams on D1, you are at the finish in 5.5 hours of pure time (500 km).
If you have bad experience with D1 or you don’t want to arrive at your destination stuck like a schnitzel, you can choose a half-hour longer route via Pardubice – Olomouc – Valašské Meziříčí, where you will follow the first option in Žilina.
You can calculate how much the trip will cost you here. The price of petrol in Slovakia is similar to that in the Czech Republic. Add to the price of petrol the price of a vignette for Slovakia, or the price of a toll for Slovakia. also for the Czech Republic, if you don’t have.
A Slovak motorway vignette will cost you €17.80/10 days (2023). You can buy it easily online. In the Czech Republic, the motorway will cost you 310 CZK / 10 days.
Low Tatras by train and bus
If you do not want to give up the comfort of a car, there is the option of a car train, i.e. The car will be driven by Czech Railways and you will sleep in the sleeping area. I have no experience with this myself, but my friend travelled to the High Tatras (same connection as to the Low Tatras) and she couldn’t praise the trip.
The train stops near the Low Tatras at 3 locations, from where you can comfortably get directly to your accommodation:
- Ružomberok station – from here you take a bus to Donovaly, which takes half an hour and costs around €2 (long-distance buses can be more expensive).
- Liptovský Mikuláš station, where most of the passengers will disembark and head to the Jasná resort in the Demänovská valley. The bus station is right next to the train station. The journey takes half an hour and costs €1.60.
- Station Poprad, from which you will travel to Telgart. The trip takes 1 hour and takes €2.10 out of your wallet.
(Note: Prices are valid as of 2022)
Transport in the Low Tatras
In the case of the Low Tatras, you can rely mainly on bus transport. It’s just not as dense as you might imagine. But it will get you to the main points without any problems. It runs regularly and is reinforced with additional connections in peak seasons. Use the Slovak timetables to find a specific connection.
In the Low Tatras it is easier to get around by car. There is ample paid parking at all starting points. Prices are usually around €6 for all-day parking (6am-6pm).
If you are going hiking in the Low Tatras, it is worth waiting to avoid encountering piles of snow or large snow fields on the way, which could make your journey quite difficult.
Even July is still a bit erratic. The weather may be April, but there should be no sign of snow. I recommend checking out the situation beforehand on the webcams.
And then there are the favourites – August, September and October. The driest time of the year, when you’re least likely to get hit by a storm in the middle of nature. October is the best month ever, because the weather is already pleasantly cool and you have the chance to experience some really far-reaching views in good visibility.
However, it always depends on what the snowfall was like that year. Sometimes the hiking trails are easily passable even in December, as the peaks are only lightly dusted. In situations like this, remember to pack nesmeky which can sometimes literally save your skin in frozen terrain or unexpected snow.
As for the winter season, it usually runs from December to the end of March. If you are heading to the Jasná resort in the Demänovská valley, you can ski here until the end of April.
Below you’ll find tips for hiking routes and trips for those looking for easy routes and those who would prefer a more strenuous day hike.
Difficulty is calculated in the outward direction unless otherwise stated. The time is only approximate and if you have a little bit of fitness, you will be at the finish line faster.
Tips for easy hiking trails and day treks in the Low Tatras:
1. Chopok (2023 m)
If you are looking for a hiking trail and a hiking point where you can enjoy some privacy, skip Chopok. It is the most visited peak in the Low Tatras. But then again, it’s an iconic highlight that few will miss.
There are several ways to get to it. The easiest option is the cable car directly from the Jasná resort.
Ascent to Chopok from the south side
- Length from Kosodrevina hut: 2 km; 1 hour 30 min
- Elevation: 487 m
Another option is to ascend Chopok from its southern side – from the Trangoška hut, where you leave your car. The cottage is a great accommodation tip as it is strategically located for many excursions and hiking trails. From there, take the cable car to the Kosodrevina mountain hut. Here you will follow the yellow hiking trail.
Ascent to Chopok from Demänovská Dolina
Most often people go to Chopok from its north side, resp. from Demänovská Dolina. There are two hiking trails leading to the top around Vrbický pleso, which is the largest lake in the Low Tatras. Follow the blue hiking trail, which partly follows the cable cars heading to Chopok and which will take you about 3 hours.
The second trail follows the yellow hiking trail to the Polana saddle, where you will follow the red trail. The stretch between the saddle and the Chopok peak is part of the iconic ridge from which you will have great views. However, the route upwards will take quite a lot of time (6 hours), so for us we recommend to take the cable car up and go down in the opposite direction from the top of Chopok to Demänovská Dolina.
2. Small ridge
The Little Ridge is called the area between the cable car below Chopok Peak and Dereš Peak. You can manage the small ridge even with smaller children. The cable car will take you to Chopok, from where you will head towards the top of Dereše (2004 m) along the mountain path. The journey will take you less than an hour. You can return along the same route or descend down one of the hiking trails.
3. Peak of the Cracow Hole (1752 m)
- Length: 7 km; 4 hours
- Elevation: ↑1035 m ↓221 m
- Route map: Route to the top of Krakow Hole
The starting point is the largest cave in Slovakia – the Demänovská Cave of Freedom, from where you will follow the blue hiking trail over the top of Pustá to the top of Krakova Hole.
From the top of the Krakow Hole you can enjoy the same beautiful views as from the more visited peaks of Chopok and Ďumbier, but the tranquility is much greater here.
4. Ďumbier (2043 m)
- Length from the top station of the cable car to Chopok: 4.1 km; 2 hours
- Elevation: ↑ 399 m ↓386 m
- Route map: route to the top of Ďumbier
Ďumbier is the highest peak of the Low Tatras. Take the cable car up to Chopok and from there follow the red hiking trail around Kamenná chata through Demänovská and Krúpa saddle to the top of Ďumbier.
5. Vrbické pleso
Vrbické pleso is located directly in Demänovská Dolina. A number of hiking trails lead around it to the very heart of the Low Tatras.
- Length: 1 km; 20 minutes
- Elevation: none; easy walk
Park your car directly behind the Grand Jasná Hotel (you will not miss it – on the left side), where the nature trail around Vrbický pleso follows. There are several information boards and a playground along the route.
6. Demänovská Cave of Freedom
The Demänovská Cave of Freedom is a karst cave on the northern side of the Demänovská valley. There are several caves in this area and the Demänovská Cave of Freedom is the most famous. The first option is to drive here and park in the paid parking lot, or. to ride the bus.
The Demänovská Cave of Freedom can be reached on foot directly from Jasná from the Biela Pút’ saddle (by the reservoir), from where you can follow the yellow trail to the Ostredok lookout tower, past the symbolic cemetery of the victims of the Low Tatras to the Demänovská Cave of Freedom. On the way you will experience beautiful views of the Demänovská Dolina. The route will take you about an hour and a half and you won’t have to climb much.
7. Demänovská valley
- Length: 13 km; 4 h 30 min
- Route map: route around the Demänovská valley
A nature trail with information boards and great views leads around the entire Demänovská valley.
The route starts at Vrbický pleso, where you park at the Grand Jasna Hotel. You will go past the Nicholas Cottage on the yellow trail. At the Tri vody signpost turn left to the red light, which will take you through the Luková cable car station to the Záver Širokej doliny signpost. From there you will follow the green tourist trail through the Širokou dolina valley to the cottage at the Lúčky signpost.
TIP: In Demänovská Dolina you can go for a traditional Slovak meal in kolyba Jasná which you may remember from Yes, Chef.
8. Kralova hora (1946 m)
- Length: 3.5 hours; 6 km
- Elevation: 1060 m
- Route map: route to the top of Kralova hora on the red trail
The eastern part of the Low Tatras is not as popular as the western part, which has more higher and more impressive peaks. A popular peak is Kralova hora, which is reached from the village of Telgárt by the red or green hiking trail.
9. Lookout tower on Krajčov Hill (980 m)
- Length: 700 m; 25 minutes
- Elevation: 80 m
- Route map: route to the lookout tower on Krajčov Hill
An unmarked hiking trail leads to the Krajčov vrch lookout tower from the village of Nižná Boca, where you can park (buses also stop here). The views from here are great – in good visibility you can see up to the top of Kriváň in High Tatras .
10. Crossing the Low Tatras
- Length: 90 km, 5 days
- Route map: Ridge route through the Low Tatras
The ridge across the Low Tatras is iconic. We haven’t done the whole thing yet, but we definitely plan to in the future, because we love ridges (in Bohemia, for example, in the Krkonoše or Sumava). The ridge is 90 km long and is interrupted only by two larger saddles, Čertovica and Priehyba. The transition will take 5 days.
You will start from Donovaly along the red trail of the SNP Heroes Trail and end up in Telgárt. The best views are in autumn – September or October. There are several mountain huts along the way where you can stay overnight and refill your drinking water and something good for your stomach. In case of emergency, there are overnight accommodations on the way.
On the way, you can stay here: the tourist shelter Hiadeľské sedlo, Útulna Ďurková pod Chabencom, Chata M. R. Štefánika pod Ďumbierom, Útulna Ramža and Útulna Andrejcová.
If you don’t feel like doing the whole ridge, you can choose just part of it and create your own day hike with beautiful views. You can connect and disconnect in a number of places. You can choose a sightseeing route or take a local bus back.
11. Peak Fireplace
Ohnište is a karst peak in the national nature reserve of the same name. That is why it is necessary to stick strictly to the tourist markings and not to enter the trails with markings. From the top you will have a magnificent view of the highest peak of the Low Tatras, Ďumbier.
In addition to the view, you will also see the Great Ice Abyss. There is a rock gate nearby, to which an unofficial path leads and entry is not allowed nowadays.
There are several routes to the Fireplace. The first popular route starts in Malužina, where there is a small parking lot and from there you continue through Svidovské sedlo to Ohnište.
Personally, I recommend starting from the Stanišovská cave, where you leave the car and continue along the yellow Stanišovská valley. From the yellow trail you turn green towards the top of Slemä, from where a turn-off leads to the memorial of the fall of the Slovak National Uprising aircraft.
Turn back to the green and continue to the top of Ohnište (1536 m). It’s a full day hike with a lot of elevation gain, but there are some nice viewpoints and interesting places along the way.
The Low Tatras are not as well connected as the High Tatras. If you don’t want to keep moving (or looking for connections, which aren’t as good here as in the case of the High Tatras), choose your accommodation strategically. Where you have the opportunity to do a variety of hiking tours or other activities.
Hotel Grand Jasna is the ideal choice for those who want to enjoy a nice wellness stay in the Low Tatras. There are also outdoor hot tubs with views of Chopok. The hotel is located in the Demänovská valley, a short walk from Vrbický pleso (if you are travelling with children, there is a nice playground) and popular hiking trails pass through the hotel. Rooms and suites are decorated in a modern style and warm tones.
Family pension Kvasničník is located in the Demänovská valley near the centre of Jasná and just a short walk from the cable car to Chopok. You can choose between rooms, maisonettes and apartments with a kitchenette for up to 4 people. There is an outdoor terrace, free private parking and plenty of hiking trails nearby.
Hotel Björnson Jasná : A beautiful mountain resort nestled in the countryside. It provides plenty of privacy for couples and families with children. Stylish clean rooms with private bathrooms, friendly staff, quality wellness and excellent cuisine. There is also a games room and playground for children, a terrace and other facilities.
Family hotel Jasná is located a short walk from the cable car to Chopok near the Jasná resort. It has a large lounge with a library, clean rooms with private bathrooms, and good cooking.
If you are looking for a hotel for a couple’s stay, try Hotel Tri Studničky . The hotel is located right next to a mountain stream, where you can cool off after a sauna. There is outdoor seating, everything is decorated in cosy natural materials and the cooking is excellent.
Apartment Bartek Ski Rental offers fully equipped and clean apartments at a competitive price. There is an outdoor seating area with a fireplace. Right from the apartments you can go hiking (e.g. Krakova hoľa or Ďumbier). Parking is right next to the apartments.
Many of the hiking trails and points can be visited even with smaller children:
- By cable car to Chopok and from there a short walk along the ridge towards the top of Dereše (see above)
- Walk around Vrbický pleso (see above)
- Demänovská Cave of Liberty and Demänovská Ice Cave a little further away – both caves have a parking lot a short distance from the entrance
- Lookout tower on Krajčovo hill (see above)
You don’t have to worry about going on most trails with bigger kids. Unlike the High Tatras, the Low Tatras are more accessible, forested and without more difficult sections that could cause problems for children.
More interesting tips on where to go with children in the Low Tatras
Black Chronicle Railway and Čierny Balog
The Čiernohronská railway offers steam train rides in three directions. The green trail leads to the Vydrovo forestry museum, where you can see an exhibition with your children about the forest and everything connected with it. The area also includes a playground, refreshments, nature trails and cycle paths, etc. It is possible to get off the train at any time and walk part of the route. Free parking is available right next to the railway.
The Contact Zoo is a great experience not only for children near the Tatralandia theme park in Liptovský Mikuláš. You can feed the animals (adults and bigger children), pet them, cuddle with them, take pictures. You will see small tigers, zebras, llamas, rabbits, camels, eagles, owls and more. We recommend starting early in the morning.
Not far from the zoo is the Heliport. As its name suggests, you will experience what it is like to live upside down.
The well-known aquapark can be found in Liptovský Mikuláš. It’s a great choice on those days when it rains. The water park is huge and the attractions…you can have fun here for a whole day.
Liptovský Mara reservoir
Do you prefer natural bathing like us? Then go to the Liptovský Mara reservoir in Liptovský Mikuláš to refresh yourself. There are a number of smaller beaches, you can rent boats or take a steamboat ride across the dam.
Fairy-tale village of Habakuky
The fairy-tale village of Habakuky can be found in Donovaly. The place will literally draw you into the action of Slovak fairy tales. The area is smaller, but young children will be thrilled.
Donovalkovo entertainment complex
Donovalkovo , or the Capital of Children, is located just a short distance from the village of Habakuky. The town is a children’s version of a classic town, with the addition of other attractions, animation programmes and a mini-zoo.
Interactive map of the most beautiful places and trips, which will help you easily plan what to visit and see in the Low Tatras.
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of the Low Tatras. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places mentioned in the Low Tatras guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.
These were our tips for trips and the most beautiful places to visit in the Low Tatras. Do you have a question? Let me know in the comments below or share your experience. Have a safe journey!
More information about Slovakia
HIGH TATRAS: See the complete guide to the High Tatras (transport, accommodation, easy and day hikes, excursions).
MALÁ FATRA: We share tips for the best hikes in Malá Fatra in a separate article.
Summary of the article Low Tatras: tips for trips and hikes
A pleasant walk leads past Vrbický pleso, which has an ideal starting position for further hikes. You can take a cable car to Chopok, the most popular peak in the Low Tatras. From here you can take the so-called. a small ridge to the top of Dereš. For more tips and a detailed description of the routes, see the article.
The Low Tatras have a number of trails that will literally stun you with their views. You can choose to summit the Cracow Hole, Ďumbier, Kralova Hora in the east of the mountain range or walk the entire mountain range on the iconic ridge. For more tips and a detailed description of the routes, see the article.