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By Julia Van Peer
"In the span of a few minutes you will have conquered all three peaks, including the highest peak on Polish ground."

The majestic peaks of Rysy are rising above me, captivating in every sense. Rysy is a massif of three peaks, found in the High Tatra, balancing between Poland and Slovakia. Considered to be the highest in Poland (the northwestern peak measuring 2 499 meters), its uppermost peak stands on Slovak territory at 2 503 meters. All three peaks can be summitted in the span of a few minutes, talk about motivation! 


Peak after peak rises from the ground, one even more spectacular than the other.

There are two approaches to mount this divine peak. One starts in Zakopane, a touristic village in Poland, the second trailhead is located in Štrbské pleso, a lovely Slovak village. In other words, if you choose the Slovak slope you can conquer the highest mountain in Poland without even setting foot in the country.


The most picturesque mountain villages can be found in the High Tatra.

At Štrbské pleso the recognizable yellow signpost marks the head of the red trail, navigating you up the hill to Popradské pleso, after which the blue trail leads you through a beautiful forest with shimmering rivers on both sides. Reaching the end of the alpine thicket, the views on the surrounding wall of Mengusovka Valley get more astonishing with every step. The impressive wall of magnificent spikes makes you feel as small as an ant during the steep intense climb on the red-white marked path. 


View on the surrounding wall of Mengusovka Valley.

Two stunning deep-blue glacial lakes, true jewels of the Dolina Žabích Plies Valley, make for an ideal place to take a well-earned break, before commencing the most strenuous and exhausting section of the climb. When hitting the vertical rock wall, ladders and chains ease the ascent. 


Take a break at one of the inviting glacial lakes, before undertaking the most strenuous part of today.

Suddenly Chata pod Rysmi, at 2 250 metres the highest shelter in the Tatras, appears out of nowhere, indicating the last hour of your escalate. The lodge is not reachable by motorised vehicle, meaning all the provisions have to be carried up the slope on the backs of surprisingly capable sherpa’s, volunteers who get rewarded with a cup of tea. The rugged path leads you along Váha Pass (2 337 metres), with astounding views over Bielovodska Valley, all the way to the summit. Here the 2 503 metres high peak welcomes you with a breathtaking 360-degrees view on numerous peaks and glacial lakes. This is the place where memories are made.


Both the colours and the formations of the mountains make them true monuments of nature.

Winding your way back down the same path, Chata pod Rysmi and Chata Popradské pleso are both ideal places to order a favoured refreshing beer while looking back on your extraordinary day hike. 


For those who didn't understand yet...


  • Length of the trail: 20 km (round way)

  • Duration: 9 hours (average) – 7 hours (experienced)

  • Elevation gain: 1 345 m

  • Highest point: 2 499 m (northwestern peak in Poland), 2503 m (highest peak in Slovakia)

  • Starting point: Štrbské pleso

  • Difficulty: Moderate – advanced 

  • Optimal period: June - September


  • Chata pod Rysmi: A rustic mountain shelter, located at 2250 m high. 

    Contact information: +421 903 181 051

  • Chata Popradské pleso: A beautiful lodge near the  Popradské pleso lake.

    Contact information: +421 908 761 403


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Hi there!

I'm Julia, a Belgian native who loves to travel and explore off the beaten places all over the world. Discover more on how to fill your travels with adventure, warmth, and colour. Learn more about me here.

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