Štrbské Pleso – beautiful tarn in the High Tatras National Park
Štrbské Pleso is a beautiful tarn in the High Tatras National Park. Despite the recent natural disasters, when thousands of trees were cut by windstorms or destroyed by a bark beetle, the High Tatras Mountains are still one of the most visited tourist destinations in Slovakia.
For their beauty, it is popular not among Slovaks only but among travellers from all surrounding countries and beyond. There are lots of sports activities that they like to do here, such as skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, climbing, or just relaxing in some of the great hotels or spa resorts.
In addition to these activities, there are also many natural attractions. And one of the best of them is certainly Štrbské Pleso glacial lake. Although in Slovak High Tatras there are around 90 glacial lakes, Štrbské Pleso is definitely the most famous of them!
It is not the largest, deepest, or highest, but it’s just typical and is on every postcard from the High Tatras National Park. It lies where Furkotská and Mlynická Valley meet at 1 346.6 meters above sea level.
Strbske Pleso glacial lake in autumn, High Tatras National Park, Slovakia by Ján Ťažký
Štrbské Pleso covers an area of 19.76 hectares and reaches a maximum depth of around 20 meters. You won’t find any inflow or outflow on its surface. Almost half the year the lake is covered by ice creating large cross-country skiing arena.
Even boating has its tradition on the lake already for more than 130 years. From a boat, you can enjoy the beautiful views of Solisko (2119m), Patria (2203m), Vysoká (2565m) and other high peaks around and enjoy the quiet atmosphere of this exceptional place that fought to be one of the seven wonders of the world.
The history of Štrbské Pleso dates back to 1872 when there was a hunting lodge built by Joseph Szentivanyi. Other buildings were built on the initiative of Hungarian Carpathian Association.
Today, Štrbské Pleso is a winter sport and a climatic spa resort with many hotels and restaurants. With its altitude, it is also the highest village in Slovakia.
How to get to Štrbské Pleso
There are several ways on how to get to Štrbské Pleso. You can get there by car, there are a lot of paid-only parking spots (5,50EUR/day/car). You can also get there by bus or Tatra trams from the city of Poprad, but the best and most interesting way is to get there by old Zubačka (cog railway).
Zubačka has been running between Štrba and Štrbské Pleso already since the end of the 19th century (1896). The railway is about 5 km long and the journey takes about 15 minutes. For children, it is definitely one of the most memorable attractions.
Lakes of love in Štrbské pleso
Štrbské pleso is rich in lakes and although the main lake is the most iconic and popular there are a few others that you should see as well.
Founded at the end of the 19th century for fishing purposes and breeding trout, Lakes of love have become a symbol of love, well-being and relaxation during the years. You’ll find them in the centre of Štrbské pleso, not far from the main parking place.
Where to stay in Štrbské Pleso
Even though Štrbské Pleso is great also as a day trip, it is definitely worth to spend few nights here. Even a week is not enough if you wish to see and try everything that this place has to offer.
There are many accommodation options here from hostel to private apartments to the luxury pensions and hotels. One of the most iconic and exclusive hotels here, sitting on the shore of the glacial lake is Hotel Patria.
If you want to experience a truly luxurious and beautiful accommodation during your stay in Štrbské Pleso, choose Hotel Patria, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the whole High Tatras and offers one of the best views in the whole of Slovakia.
Hiking in Štrbské Pleso
Štrbské Pleso serves as a great starting point for day trips to the surrounding mountains. There are many hiking trails around suitable for both novice and smaller hikers as well as advanced hikers.
Among the most famous tours include waterfall Skok, Popradské Pleso glacial lake, and more demanding tours to Solisko peak (2119m), Kriváň peak (2,495m) and Rysy peak (2,503m).
Strbske Pleso hiking map, Slovakia by mapy.cz
Tour to Popradské Pleso glacial lake (1,500 m)
The tour to Popradské Pleso glacial lake lasts about one hour. Popradské Pleso is reachable from Štrbské Pleso via red tourist trail.
On its shores, there is a Mountain Hotel Popradské Pleso with a restaurant. It is definitely one of the best-situated hotels in Slovakia. Staying here is an adventure itself! From here you can go on to other amazing places in the High Tatras, such as Ostrva, Rysy or Kôprovský štít.
Popradske Pleso lake from above, High Tatras, Slovakia by Jerzy Opioła
Tour to Waterfall Skok (1,725 m)
Waterfall Skok offers a beautiful view of the water falling from the top of the mountains. It is considered the mightiest and the third highest waterfall (25 meters) in the High Tatras.
You will find it in Mlynická valley after about 1,5-hour hike from Štrbské Pleso by following the yellow tourist trail. Waterfall impresses with its beauty not only in summer but also in winter.
Tour to Kriváň peak (2,495 m)
Kriváň (2,494 m) is considered a symbol of Slovaks’ national pride. You can get there from Štrbské Pleso by following the red and then blue hiking trail.
It is quite demanding and long hiking trip. Do not forget to pack enough water, jacket and wear proper shoes.
Tour to Rysy peak (2,503 m)
One of the most demanding tours from Štrbské Pleso is a tour to Rysy peak. It is very popular and you will meet lots of hikers on the way.
It is possible to get here from Poland as well as it lies at the borders between the Slovak Republic and Poland. It is the highest mountain in Poland and is therefore very popular among Polish tourists.
Rysy, High Tatras National Park, Slovakia by Krzysztof T.
Other attractions around Štrbské Pleso
Once you discovered all the places in Štrbské Pleso you can check on what to do around. There are several great aquaparks, caves, museums, cities, castles and villages with original folk architecture.
Tatralandia thermal water park
The largest and best aquapark in Slovakia is that of Tatralandia water park located nearby in the city of Liptovský Mikuláš.
It is situated only around 50 kilometers from Štrbské Pleso and offers lots of pools, slides, fun and relax.
Aquapark Tatralandia, Slovakia by tatralandia.sk
Belianska Cave is the biggest and only accessible stalactite cave in the High Tatras National Park. In 1886, it was one of the first caves in the world equipped with electric lighting. Only 12 years after the invention of the light bulb.
Belianska Cave is situated in Tatranská Kotlina, only about 30 kilometers from Štrbské Pleso. You can find more about Belianska cave and other Slovak caves in another article: Visit Slovakia and its amazing Caves.
Belianska Cave, Slovakia by Rafał Kozubek
Tatra National Park Museum in Tatranská Lomnica
If you want to learn something about High Tatras National Park you should visit Tatra National Park Museum in Tatranská Lomnica. You can get here by Tatra trams.
You will learn more about Tatra nature and its conservation. It is one of the most visited museums of its kind in Slovakia with around 30,000 visitors a year. It is interesting also among children.
Tatra National Park Museum in Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia by Jozef Kotulič
Spiš Castle is one of the most extensive castle complexes in Europe and is the largest castle in Slovakia. Its area is really unique; it covers more than 41,000 square meters.
Not only because of its robustness, the castle was included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1993. Its construction started in the 12th century and was developed during the next 600 years. It is located 70 kilometers from Štrbské Pleso.
And more places
For more great places in the national parks check this article about National Parks of Slovakia and their best places to visit, or explore more Top places to visit in Slovakia with pictures and map.
The High Tatras are part of Prešov region, see here what else you can visit here: Things to do in Prešov region – 25 places to visit.
Whether you come to Štrbské Pleso for hiking or skiing, its beauty will surely amaze and inspire you. If you have some more information about Štrbské Pleso that you would want to share with us, please leave us a comment below.