The Green Lake (Zelene Pleso) in the High Tatras of Slovakia is a challenging summer hike that will test your endurance, but reward you with some stunning views of the Polish/ Slovakian mountain ranges!
This was one of two hikes I did in the High Tatras and just about takes the trophy home as my personal favourite.
You have two options with this hike;
We decided to take the second option, which added an extra 90 minutes onto our hiking time and really did challenge us hiking up the steep slopes, but was well worth it!
Parking! There is lot's of space within the car park near the cable cars and its free!!!
We started the hike at just after 7 AM on a very hot August morning, and if we did this hike again I would actually start the hike even earlier as the temperature gets hot very early. I also had 3 litres of water in my backpack which was needed, but it was a struggle for the first couple of hours hiking a steep gradient with a heavy bag on my back.
The trail is well signposted all the way up to Svistia krajinka, just remember to turn around ever so often as the view of the town just keeps getting better.
Svistia krajinka offers toilets, refreshments and cable cars to other destinations and is a great place to sit, cool down and get ready for the next stage of the hike... If you can, try and get here before 9 AM when the first cable car of tourists start to come up.
What footwear do I need for the Zelene Pleso Hike?
Make sure your footwear is sensible, ideally wear ankle supporting hiking boots. The trail has many large rocks, so maximum grip is highly recommended.
The best part of the hike is easily the view point looking down onto Zelene Pleso! After 3.5 hours of non stop hiking the view point is a perfect spot to have an early lunch and just take in the views (we actually stayed here for over an hour!).
I also want to let you know a little secret.... We did not hike down to the Green Lake from the view point, as after a healthy discussion we decided that the view just could not be beaten. Maybe if we started the hike earlier in the day we would have hiked down, but with clouds starting to form overhead we believed it was better overall to enjoy the view a little longer and then take a steady hike back.
Want something fun for the way back down?
At the last cable car switch (Stanica lanovky), there is the option to take some very cool go karts down to the bottom.... Do it!! If memory serves me right it was around 20 euros but such good fun and was a perfect way to get down to the bottom with a smile on your face after a hard morning of hiking
Big shout out to Leigh Clayton of https://www.leighclayton.co.uk/ for joining me on this epic trail.