After two exhausting but rewarding days of hiking up to this beautiful cottage and this alpine lake, we decided to do a more chill moderate hike. We found this beauty up the Hrebienok Chata where we had a delicious lunch and explored some cascading waterfalls near the cottage in Slovakia’s High Tatras.

This is an easy trail to follow that starts in Stary Smokovec and goes up to Hrebienok and then ends up at the beautiful cascading waterfalls. This was our first time getting up close to some waterfalls in the High Tatras and it was a nice change to do a bit of a shorter and easier hike than the previous two. 

In this post, you can find everything you need to know about hiking to the waterfalls and how we planned this day hike to Stary Smokovec from Poprad.

You can also find all the links and step by step instructions on how to get there including the map of the trail in this post. That way you don’t have to worry about anything besides enjoying your hike to some cool waterfalls and nature in the Slovakian outdoors.

Hiking up to beautiful cascading waterfalls near Stary Smokovec

This hike is great if you’re looking for a more moderate hike that has some crazy views. It’s just under 7km return and the elevation gain isn’t too challenging. This hike will give you a good feel for the High Tatras but it won’t expose you to the crazy high mountains that you’ll see along the hike.

It’s a nice relaxing trail that will open your eyes to the beauty of Slovakia’s nature and make you crave more. We spent three days exploring the mountains and can’t wait to get back. You’ll notice when you open the maps for the directions that there are tons and tons of amazing trails.

Stary Smokovec in specific is an awesome little town where lots of great hikes start. It was hard to decide where to go until we saw the trail up to Hrebienok and the waterfalls just a few hundred meters past it. So it was an easy decision to go hike to the falls.

It’s super convenient that the hike starts right from Stary Smokovec. The trail is easy to follow when you have the right information. We recommend downloading either MapyCZ or Google Maps to know you’re following the right trail.

Beautiful waterfall in Slovakia.

Practical information about Hrebienok and the waterfalls

Distance: 6.6 km return / 4.1 miles return
Elevation: 349 m / 1145 ft. elevation gain
Type: In and out
Length: 2.5-3 hours return (We took 4 hours including a picture and lunch break)
Difficulty: Moderate
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dom exploring Hrebienok in the High Tatras!

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Beautiful waterfall in the High Tatras
Click here to see a map of the beginning of the Hrebienok Trail

If you have the chance to download MapyCZ for hikes around Slovakia and the Czech Republic then we highly recommend doing so. On the app, you can save hikes so you can revisit the routes for later so you don’t forget them. The app shows the exact trail colours that are on the signs on each hike which makes it super easy to use and follow. 

Because so many trails are connected on this hike and since they aren’t signed in English, it makes it challenging sometimes. So it’s better to be safe and just have the route prepared on your phone so you know exactly where you’re going! (Unless you’re up for the adventure and you want to wing it then that’s ok too! 😉 )

If you’re not already staying in the town of Stary Smokovec, the first thing you want to do is to take a train there to get started on the hike. You can see the timetables for the train here if you’re staying in Poprad like we did. 

Once you’re in Stary Smokovec the trailhead isn’t too hard to find. Once you get off the train the trail starts basically just around the corner. You’ll see a sign with all the trails and you will be able to see “Hrebienok” and you will follow the green trail most of the way up. The train also runs parallel with this mountain train that actually goes up to Hrebienok.

Views from Hrebienok in Slovakia.
Hrebienok waterfall in Slovakia.

First, let’s make sure you actually get on the right trail!

  1. Make sure you get off at the Stary Smokovec train stop.
  2. Head north (up the hill) as soon as you get off the train.
  3. You will get to a main road where you’ll see some signs.
  4. Look for Hrebienok. It will have a green trail sign next to it.
  5. Follow the green trail from there parallel to the train going up the mountain.
  6. You can follow MapyCZ or Google Maps directions as well! =)
Gorgeous hike from Stary Smokovec.

The hike up to Hrebienok from Stary Smokovec

This hike is much shorter and easier than Sliezsky Dom and Zelene Pleso but still very rewarding. It’s a nice afternoon hike that will give you a glimpse of Slovakia’s High Tatras and the sheer beauty the mountains have to offer.

The trail starts right in town and will take you up the mountain parallel to a train that also takes people to Hrebienok. In the winter months, Hrebienok is a small ski resort but in the summer months, it transforms into a hiker’s paradise.

You’ll see quite a few people on the trail as this one is quite family friendly since it’s only a moderate hike and many people hike up the Hrebienok and enjoy a nice lunch or coffee up at the restaurant.

We recommend continuing past the touristy area and towards the waterfalls where the real beauty begins!

Jo on a day hike from Stary Smokovec.

Hrebienok to Dlhý Vodopád (waterfall)

Once you get to the top you’ll see the little ski resort, restaurant, and touristy area. We recommend continuing and hiking towards Dlhý Vodopád where you’ll see the long cascading waterfall.

This is by far the most beautiful part of the hike. So definitely make your way down there if you have the time.

The path is easy to find and there are signs that point towards Dlhý Vodopád. Otherwise, you can also use the MapyCZ or Google Maps to make sure you find your way there.

Beautiful day hike in Slovakia.

There are a few awesome lookouts where you can get some great photos of the falls. We recommend getting some at the top but then also hiking 5-10 more minutes down the trail where there is this lookout platform. From there you’ll be able to see the waterfall above you.

It’s an awesome spot to take some pictures. It, unfortunately, started raining really hard as soon as we got there so we only grabbed a few pictures but it’s a really beautiful spot.

If you get hungry before or after the hike to the waterfall we recommend stopping at the little cottage on the way. It’s next to impossible to miss! You’ll walk right past it and you’ll see the name Bilikova Chata. We enjoyed a tasty beer and lunch there on our way back!

Hrebienok ski resort in Slovakia.

Where to stay in the High Tatras

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This might be one of the most challenging decisions to make on your whole trip. Is it best to stay in one of the small towns that are directly connected to the High Tatras? Or is it better to stay in Poprad, about a 20-minute train ride away from the Tatras?

When we went we took a weekend trip from Prague by train to Poprad so we thought it would be easier to get a place in town where the train stopped. So we found somewhere close by.

It actually worked out really well and we found a super nice place in Poprad. There are lots of restaurants and grocery stores in Poprad along with reasonably priced Airbnbs so it was the perfect base for exploring the Tatras for us. We loved that everything was so accessible by public transport!

If you’re only in the High Tatras for a few days and want to make the most of it, it might make more sense to stay in one of the mountain towns so you can get straight onto the trails in the morning. However, if you have a little more time or are travelling on a budget, we can recommend staying in Poprad!

The Airbnb we stayed at in Poprad was a 10-minute walk from the train and bus station and from there it took us about 20 minutes by bus to get to Stary Smokovec.

A day hike in Slovakia.

How to get to Hrebienok Trailhead

From anywhere in Poprad

From anywhere in the High Tatras.

  • There are quite a few small towns along the High Tatras so use this train schedule and find the easiest way to get to Stary Smokovec.
  • Most towns and train stops will have buildings where you can buy tickets otherwise you can buy them here.
  • Here’s a map of where to go from Stary Smokovec towards Hrebienok and the waterfalls
  • Here’s a Google Map version in case you don’t have MapyCZ.
Amazing views in Slovakia's High Tatras.

Before you go

Check the weather. We figured out that one of the most dangerous things about hiking in the High Tatras is that the weather can change quickly… Which it actually did while hiking to the waterfalls. 

The weather was calm and sunny up until we got to Hrebienok. Then from there we ended up getting soaked as we hiked to the waterfalls. It wasn’t that bad but it’s always good to come prepared. Dom actually forgot his rain jacket and got soaked.

Dom enjoying the view in Slovakia High Tatras near Stary Smokovec.

What to Bring

You don’t need too much extra stuff for this hike since it’s not too long. We recommend a few snacks and a water bottle or two. You’ll never be more than half an hour away from a toilet or store so you’ll be able to pick up some food and go to the toilet if you need to.

Remember your hiking boots. I wouldn’t say you absolutely need them on this hike but they’ll be nice to have. We have this amazing packing list for hikers that you can scroll through to see if there’s something you may be missing for your hike!

So bring:

  • Sunscreen is a must during the summer hiking anywhere in the High Tatras because of the elevation.
  • Hiking boots! You don’t want to be rolling your ankles throughout the hike or fall in the mud.
  • Bring some food that you can snack on and will give you some energy. Dates, fruit, PB&J sandwiches, protein bars, vegetables, and smoothies are all great snacks for hiking.
  • This is a great list of hiking gear that you may need on a hike!
Nature in Slovakia.

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Other useful info

As long as you have all the apps and links we mentioned above then you should have no problems hiking in the High Tatras in Slovakia. Even though it’s a foreign country and not everyone will speak English in the smaller towns it’s still super easy to get around.

We hope you have an awesome time exploring the waterfall at the end of the hike. We highly recommend grabbing some lunch at Bilikova Chata on the hike instead of up at Hrebienok. Or you can also order a nice big pizza once you’re back in town!

Stay safe and please feel free to comment below if you have any other questions about hiking in the High Tatras that we’ll do our best to answer! =)

Have fun!

Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures
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